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Union representation let down

Old 6th Sep 2018, 22:08
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Union representation let down

Is there an Aussie union out there who would like to represent a couple of hundred pilots? AFAP and the TWU can put their hands down......apparently it's quite ok to pick and choose the most "winnable" battles despite there being a very clear set of EBA clauses not being adhered to. The only alternative left for an aggrieved pilot is to take the company on by themselves and live in hope that their chosen representatives will be there to pick up the pieces. Black and white cases where pilots are at a disadvantage and the response is as weak as a glass of water, or worse still nothing at all, and always to the detriment of the members. Membership dues paid in good faith but very little support or consultation in return, disgraceful!!

This is not a go at individuals or airlines in any way, it is a very big go at inwardly focused unions who expect pilots to represent themselves and do most of the dirty work.
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Old 7th Sep 2018, 23:52
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What exactly are you annoyed about whizz? Do you have an example?
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Old 8th Sep 2018, 21:27
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AFAP, TWU and EBA breaches. You must be talking about a certain ATR operator.
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Old 8th Sep 2018, 22:11
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No VH-FTS but interesting that you feel that way about them in relation to that particular operator, I thought it was just us being let down.

Change Management, an example:

Multiple pilots having grievances with EBA compliance and/or interpretation that was not in the spirit of the negotiated clause, which in some cases was clarified prior to the EBA going to the vote and is now being reneged on. The position of one union is along the lines of "if you don't like it, get on the committee". Pilots have been paying this particular union very generous sums of money only to be told that the unions hands are tied unless the pilots fight the breach themselves. There are pilots spending significant amounts of their private time doing the work of their union. Ironic that a union would promote free labour don't you think.

The union involved was asked prior to the commencement of the EBA if they had allocated any resources to ensure a smooth transition of the new EBA (for both the pilots and the airline) and the reply was effectively "don't stress, we got this". So I'm told most of the Pilot Council and the Senior Officer of the union were on leave when the EBA came into force, god knows what the other union were doing. Individuals (pilots) who had nominated as independent reps were the only source of quasi legal backing when their colleagues were short changed. When the matter of poor union support was escalated to people higher up in the union, the official position from the union was that there is no real right to a service from the union per se.

I wonder what my union dues are being used for, if not to protect member rights
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Old 9th Sep 2018, 00:56
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Gwizz.
Youíre not talking about a particular low cost carrier are you?🐯......
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Old 9th Sep 2018, 01:42
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Iíd rather this not be an airline bashing thread, there are plenty of those, this is all about the way we pilots are being ďrepresentedĒ by the publicly available unions. As I said in my earlier post though, it is interesting that itís not limited to the members in my organization.
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Old 9th Sep 2018, 05:05
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Long time observer, just joined.
From my past experience (now semi retired) Airline Co's love to divide & conquer, this is one thing they love to see, disputes between the troops & the unions that are meant t represent them, it always works in the Co's favor sadly:-)
I hope you guys can stick to your guns, LCC's, greedy CEO's etc all mean the troops are getting further & further down the food chain!

Good luck
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Old 9th Sep 2018, 08:05
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Originally Posted by GWhizz View Post
Iíd rather this not be an airline bashing thread, there are plenty of those, this is all about the way we pilots are being ďrepresentedĒ by the publicly available unions. As I said in my earlier post though, it is interesting that itís not limited to the members in my organization.
Nor are the issues you encounter confined to the unions you mention, either. The best of the unions are those comprised and controlled by existing employees or those intimately acquainted with itís memberships duties.

I can empathise with your experience and unfortunately for us, thereís no justice. We are fighting for our weak as p$ss unions to take action on one front, and on the other we are up against the employer.

Its not a good situation to be in, particularly when the legal instruments and industrial law framework work against an employees aswell.

I appreciate most of what Iíve written is not assistive. Good luck!
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Old 9th Sep 2018, 10:03
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Given that you refuse to provide any specifics, I can only offer a generalised response.

Your Union is YOU. Look up the definition.

How many of your colleagues are volunteering their time on their daysí off to try to resolve your problems?

Having a whinge on PPRuNe because you have to lift a finger to help the Union? The problem is you.

If you donít like the way your Union operates, get involved... you might be surprised by what you learn.
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Old 9th Sep 2018, 10:12
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How many of your colleagues are volunteering their time on their daysí off to try to resolve your problems?
Defred

Did you read GWhizz's posts?

There are pilots spending significant amounts of their private time doing the work of their union. Ironic that a union would promote free labour don't you think.
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Old 10th Sep 2018, 00:49
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As one of the original architects of a Pilot Association and its relationship with its representing Union, I can shed some light on how it works.

The pilot groups association does all the real work. Those issues that are raised by pilot members with the association, usually through its own members website or portal and end up on a list. From there the committee seeks to determine does the issue have support.

The issues on that list are broken into two groups, must haves and nice to have.

The must haves must be supported by a better than 2/3 majority of the membership, while the nice to haves only a majority.

The percentage of support for those matters are normally a closely guarded secret, in some cases even from the committee itself. The reason for that is that if a must have issue is or will be unpopular with the company, then they will actively attempt to lobby against the issue. We call that divide and conquer.

Nice to have issues are listed and an attempt is made to introduce them into the negotiation phase of the next EBA.

The Chairman of the Pilots Association is usually the Unions Delegate.

What the Union will not do:

Seek to represent an individual on Check and Training matters.

Use its Industrial Muscle for the benefit of individual members.

Use its Industrial muscle for nice to have issues.

What the Union will do:

Seek to represent the Pilot Group on industrial matters and EBA negotiations and apply if necessary its industrial muscle for Must have Issues.



Matters other than check and training issues that impact upon individual members are normally dealt with by the Pilot Groups Committee and its close working relationship with the company.

Regardless of any issue, the Committee and the Union must always act in the best interests of the greater majority of its pilot group or membership.
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Old 10th Sep 2018, 04:06
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For some time now, in Oz anyway, a Pilot's union with Industrial Muscle has been nothing more than a euphemism.
Sorry if that sounds pessimistic.
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Old 10th Sep 2018, 04:35
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It’s been many years since Industrial Muscle has been seen in Australia. Every Union has muscle, it only needs the full support of its membership in order to use it. That said it must still be used Responsibly and Justly. It should never be them and us.

The next display of serious industrial muscle we’ll see is when the average Australians power (electricity) gets switched off because we can’t afford it. It will trigger a chain of events not seen in this country since the 70’s and I’m thinking it’s not all that far away.

This generation of Australians for the first time will see for themselves what Industrial muscle is.
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Old 10th Sep 2018, 21:13
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Given that you refuse to provide any specifics, I can only offer a generalised response.

Your Union is YOU. Look up the definition.

How many of your colleagues are volunteering their time on their daysí off to try to resolve your problems?

Having a whinge on PPRuNe because you have to lift a finger to help the Union? The problem is you.

If you donít like the way your Union operates, get involved... you might be surprised by what you learn.
Derfred your response sounds all too familiar.

I can tell you quite categorically that dozens of my colleagues volunteer their time to resolve, not mine, but everybody's problem. The problem is not a lack of work being put into resolving them, but a lack of uptake by the unions once the work is done. In short, the unions have been a dead end. on many matters.

It is galling when a problem is identified by a pilot, all direct channels for a correction are exhausted and refused by the airline and the union deems it "only a minor issue". You want examples: Allowances, DEC's and transfers, rostering breaches to name a few, black and white issues made grey by the union. The unions cannot even begin to conceive how many pilots dumped their union reps and nominated individuals for one recent EB negotiation. They may not have left the union completely as the insurance policy kept them there, but they voted with their feet when it came to their confidence (or lack of) in the union in question having the pilots best interests at heart during an EB negotiation.
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Old 10th Sep 2018, 23:22
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Get Solar, problem solved..
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 00:21
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It sounds to me that your pilot group is fractured. Your EBA doesn't help either. What may well be a black and white issue in your EBA may well not be enforceable in law.
For example, allowances are enforcable, DEC's and Transfers are not enforcable and if rostering breaches fall into the reasonable overtime category, again not enforceable. These are not things the unions created and whilst they have remained in the EBA's over the years, there's a fair argument they should'nt be. You can't go to war over an unenforceable issue

Berealgetreal, Solar power won't run your Heater or your Air-conditioner and if one can't afford the quarterly power bill how does one afford Solar. In any case a solar array that you paid for isn't there for your benefit it's there for the energy company's benefit. Think about what you produce and how much you are paid for it verses what you pay. Who really benefits.
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 02:42
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Originally Posted by Xeptu View Post
It sounds to me that your pilot group is fractured. Your EBA doesn't help either. What may well be a black and white issue in your EBA may well not be enforceable in law.
For example, allowances are enforcable, DEC's and Transfers are not enforcable and if rostering breaches fall into the reasonable overtime category, again not enforceable. These are not things the unions created and whilst they have remained in the EBA's over the years, there's a fair argument they should'nt be. You can't go to war over an unenforceable issue
However if the situation was flipped around and Pilots were flagrantly breaching an EBA on gray areas what do you think would happen?

I think there is a general feeling of frustration at the double standards held on EBA interpretation and the general lack of enforcement by Unions over EBA issues. This issue does not appear to be restricted to one particular Pilot Union and or Company either. It's all well and good to play the responsible union card and keep the peace but when things keep getting eroded over a long time at what point will action be taken? As you say if there are items in a EBA that aren't enforceable then what's the point?
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 03:40
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Well that has been the case since the Howard Governments Work Choices came into effect. at the time most of the original Award Clauses were left in the new EBA's on the belief that when a Labor Government is elected they will throw it out, they did, but it didn't go far enough. Back then what was fought for, thrashed out in Tribunals and the Industrial Court, is now decided by a 25 year old office girl at Fair Work Australia. the Industrial Architecture in Australia is a mess and until it's fixed companies will continue to take advantage of it's employees. you can do yourselves a favour by removing from your EBA's all those issues that are not enforcable, that way you are not deluding yourselves and removing some of the confusion.

I can't imagine that there is a single clause in your EBA that a pilot can flagrantly breach.

Last edited by Xeptu; 12th Sep 2018 at 04:27. Reason: extended
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 09:32
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https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/...59beb711ad0788

I have a lot of respect for anyone in a trade.....but wish I was earning $288, 500 pa.

Personally I would like the CMFMMEU representing me.....not only would that supply super strong Representation, but also enable direct representation to the Future Govt of Australia, and also present Govt of QLD. Seriously...nice guys lose, time to join the other side.

And being a vowel, A for Aviation can fit there in quite a few spots.

Long live the memory of Norm.
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 09:47
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I can't imagine that there is a single clause in your EBA that a pilot can flagrantly breach.
Nope, and nor should there be. This is the point of my ďwhingeĒ, airlines treat the EB as a guide only when it benefits them and unions treat the EB and a showcase of their legalese skills. Pilots are collateral damage in a war that we didnít really start.

Try asking your union for a copy of their code of ethics and see what you get.
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