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The Virgin Strike (or not-actually-a-strike) Thread III

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The Virgin Strike (or not-actually-a-strike) Thread III

Old 9th Jan 2008, 00:02
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Hey guys, I really think that everyone should belong to the union, if not so that they can vote in events like this, but to protect and help them should they need legal representation at any time. There are so many things that can happen to us when flying and the company will not be so quick to stand by you should you be attacked during a flight, that has happened as you may remember to one of our crew many years ago and the company didn't want to know!!!! Or if you sustain an injury or a multitude of other incidents which may require you to take legal action to protect your own interests. In this event, you're stuffed if you're not in the union unless you have enough money to pay for legal representation yourself!!

Also, I totally agree that negotiations for FSM's/CSS's should be kept separate from those for junior and senior crew. And I think it's time to look elsewhere for a union that can better represent us and who will never allow a fiasco like the one that has been going on for the last few months between the company, its employees AND its union reps!!

Sorry, edited to also say, I think one of the reasons for such high sickness levels, is because 5 and sometimes 6 flights a month every month is just TOOOOOOOOOOOO much!! How long can anyone work like that without needing a decent break!! When I was a junior/senior and CSS, it was RARE to get 5 flights on your roster, now it's rare to get any less. I think they pushed for 5 or 6 flights for full time crew so that they could justify giving the part timers 3. With regard to not crewing flights sufficiently, It also amazes me how frequently I am told that they dont have anyone on standby to call out when my flights are crew down!!

And are we the only company whose crew can end up flying both Christmas AND New Year for 3 consequetive years!!! er Hello, and they wonder why people go sick!!!
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 03:16
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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016fsm

With regards to sickness, if the company decided to bring in a decent hourly rate and scrapped the measly trip pays then you'd soon find crew pitching up for work on a Summer's weekend day, or the Wimbledon finals, or Brighton/London Pride!!

When the flight crew are earning something in the region of 300 for an Lax with their hourly rate (posted on here previously by a pilot) then they only earn their super salaries by actually flying. You don't see too many of them going sick for an Lax on a Saturday morning do you?

If the company brought in something like this for cabin crew, sickness would fall through the floor.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 07:43
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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I think with regard to the amount of trips a crew member does each month, that is a very valid point, and nobody will ever understand the toll it takes on your body (no matter how much fun we have) until they actually fly themselves.

I also believe that the reason sickness is so high is because its just so damn easy to call in sick. You pick up the phone knowing that you are going to simply just speak to a voice of someone who doesnt know you and give your payroll number. No questions asked. Then hey presto back to your next trip when you feel ready.
Now back in the day when anyone was tempted to skive (and lets face it we have all done it) we had our rosters wiped for 2 weeks and if we called in fit before the 2 weeks then we went on stand by. Why dont we just bring this back? It would give the company extra standbys each month plus I dont think sickness would be half as bad if people realised that by not going to Mumbai on a friday night, they wouldnt be going to SFO either the following week!

Come on lynch me, I'm ready
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 07:56
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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I also believe that the reason sickness is so high is because its just so damn easy to call in sick. You pick up the phone knowing that you are going to simply just speak to a voice of someone who doesnt know you and give your payroll number. No questions asked. Then hey presto back to your next trip when you feel ready.

Now back in the day when anyone was tempted to skive (and lets face it we have all done it) we had our rosters wiped for 2 weeks and if we called in fit before the 2 weeks then we went on stand by. Why dont we just bring this back? It would give the company extra standbys each month plus I dont think sickness would be half as bad if people realised that by not going to Mumbai on a friday night, they wouldnt be going to SFO either the following week!


Excellent idea. Certainly something needs to be done, because as sure as eggs is eggs, the whole problem of crew down would be solved by sorting out healthy-workers-going-sick (I was avoiding using the word 'skivers' deliberately). And if it doesn't fix it, then crew are better off because crew down payments go up.

There are parts of my job I hate, but calling in sick to avoid them isn't an option.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 08:17
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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hey sign it to your room - That system was dropped after a GREAT deal of fighting by the VACCC as it was known in those days, the reason being was because sometimes people are genuinely sick!!!!!!! So why should they be punished for having to go sick because of those who do it just for the sake of it and because they 'can'?? You have a stinking cold and can't fly and end up having your roster swiped and then go on standby, so what happens, people end up flying when they're not well and everybody ends up catching the cold or they are left downroute and cant fly home!!

As was said earlier, if the company paid decent trip allowance and route pay, then people wouldn't go sick so readily. What is the deterrant for someone to not go sick for an India flight, for 60!!! It costs some people that in petrol for a round trip to/from the airport!!

In days of old it was RARE for people to go sick for a nrt, I wonder why that was???
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 08:24
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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Devil 016

Here here - I agree but don't start with the cost of commuting otherwise you'll set those off that think we should all live in a spit of the dreaded Gatwick bus link where in their eyes rent is 2.50 and transport to work free!!
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 09:29
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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MagicE, good spot

From what has been posted above, doest it not mean that Virgin has to reduce the amount of flights going crew down by 50%. If they dont then they have to up the crew down payments.

Unless average sickness is above 6.49% in which case nothing changes.

This gives me the impression that its not sickness that is causing most of the trouble regarding crew down but something the company is doing, perhaps not rostering enough crew for each flight.

Then again maybe the current sickness average is way above 6.49% (does anyone have the figure?). In which case this seems fair to me!!!
I missed the word "NOT", you are correct it is VAA who have to reduce sickness by 50% and if it fails to do so it will increase crew down payments, unless sickness is over 6.49%. I wonder what's cheaper for the company to increase crew down payments or run undercrewed ?


So what we need is to know "NOW" what the sickness was last year in that period and likewise what the average sickness was in that period and in the last few quarters to know if the numbers are realistic.


As for sickness, the old system showed no regard for genuine sickness and encouraged flying whilst unwell. It really is only through equally balanced trip pay and a revamp of allowances that I feel any changes will be seen.


I also agree with 016 that we all need protection by a union, but for any negotiating we need that move to be acknowledged and honoured by the company. protection is the key thing so leaving unite now and joining Bassa or a.n. other union would cover us, it would also show 2 fingers to unite.


Why dont we setup a group, nominate a team who can speak to the management on our behalf's and seek a guarantee from management that if X percentage/number of CSS's leave unite and join another union e.g. BASSA they will recognise BASSA for css's and fsm and allow future negotiations on our behalf through this new channel. I cant see why they would object, they must be as miffed with unite as we are.

n.b. I know Bassa is BA only, ar there any other options ? if we joined t&g that is just unite again right ?

Last edited by scoobydooo; 9th Jan 2008 at 10:54.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 12:18
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Scooby

Exactly Scooby - you post what we are all thinking. The CSS's and FSM's amongst us should most definately start to think seriously about going our own way.

I think the company would be more likely to take our proposals, as long as they remain reasonable, more seriously.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 13:03
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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Here's a thought...

Sickness with a doctor's note - no swiped roster
Sickness without - swiped roster

I for one agree wholeheartedly with FSM/CSS's going there own way and looking after ourselves.

We need to arrange meetings where we can air our views discuss important issues with each other and become a united group instead of relying on rumour etc.

I no the organisation between the Union and Management was poor to say the least but I think we should all look closer to home, at our colleagues and friends that were going to take our days wages by working instead of standing together. For me this was so much worst than the outcome now and will be hard for me to forget.

I do know that the marjority of FSM and CSS and quite a few seniors were united.

I also agree to leave the Union - whatever you think - would be very silly.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 13:45
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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Having just read the letter dated 8th January, I am stunned by Mr Boyds cheek. He says that because RPI is now 4.3% iso 3.5 % that your payrise is somehow better as it is now estimated above 9%. An RPI payrise just means you are treading water, it doesn't matter if it 3.5%, 4.3% or 200% the cost of living has gone up to match your payrise. In fact the rise of RPI effectively makes the year 1 rise smaller.
I am glad that both sides have come to their senses. I would urge for everyones sake you get rid of this joker.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 14:21
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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01nofun,

I thought about that and the doctors note, but the problem lies again with the cost of having a doctors note for sickness less than 7 days, unless the company was willing to pick the tab up, depends what costs it more 40 per docs note or crew taking liberties.

Of course there is the what do you do on a weekend qustion when the docs are closed.

There is the points system at present, how about when somone reaches a certain category/number of points (without doctors notes) they become "roster wipeable"... if subsequent sickness showed that the initial sickness was a direct result ie symptom of a more serious condition then their points are reset. However only becoming "roster wipeable" after hitting a set number of points would cater for the odd ocassion one is sick over a weekend and cant get a doctors note, if however people just so happened to be falling sick every time a docs not availabe (weekends) then a pattern starts to emerge and that's just tough,the points threshold was there to cater for that, but everytime.... come on !!
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 15:03
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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mcZ

Your post contradicts itself, you say great have a divided workforce by CSS and FSM's having a seperate workforce. You then go on to explain how we already have one as a direct result of our situation a few days back, if you catch my drift, so it already is divided.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 15:05
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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re a divided workforce, it wouldn't be like that at all. When you having worked for the company for 10 years plus and are an FSM/CSS, you need to be fighting for different things than the junior and senior crew. We would all still be united, but salaries would be addressed differently, route pay because the FSM does have extra responsibilites down route, the subject of star reviews would be discussed, when it's feasible to complete them and when it's as with flying with members of your team etc etc etc.

Another example which is fact and not gossip, is that a few days ago, a crew coming in from HKG were arrested in customs for bringing in THOUSANDS of cigarettes each. All chz crew I believe. A crew line manager was called to be witness and the FSM was also asked to stay behind, so, after returning from a 9 day trip, that sector would have been around 14 hours, the FSM could not then go home. It was over 2 hours later that he was finally able to leave. Does he get over time for that? No, he doesn't, our hours finish at chox on. So if we had a committee of our own, things like that would also be addressed!!
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 15:09
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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MzG, the company did make it quite clear that intimidation would not be tolerated, so all she needs to do is report it to her line manager. But besides, if that's the worst that she comes up against, I don't think she has too much to worry about.

We are all only too well aware that as unfortunate as it is, we DO have 'manager's' in ALL departments of this company who are not fit to be in their role!!
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 15:30
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Another example which is fact and not gossip, is that a few days ago, a crew coming in from HKG were arrested in customs for bringing in THOUSANDS of cigarettes each. All chz crew I believe. A crew line manager was called to be witness and the FSM was also asked to stay behind, so, after returning from a 9 day trip, that sector would have been around 14 hours, the FSM could not then go home. It was over 2 hours later that he was finally able to leave. Does he get over time for that? No, he doesn't, our hours finish at chox on. So if we had a committee of our own, things like that would also be addressed!!
Probably not the best example to bring up. Being detained by authorities is something technically outside of the company's control, in the same way that if I was witness to a crime on the street and the police asked me to go into the station to fill out a statement, I could hardly expect overtime for it. Them's just the breaks. There are no doubt better examples you could cite.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 16:24
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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How about not being paid when we have landed and no transport turns up to take us back to LGW or LHR. The other week the crew and I waited almost 1hr waiting for a bus from the aircraft to take us back Queens building. Sat in the cold in the stairwell of a jetway and not being paid. One of the many things Virgin need to sort out.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 16:44
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These last 2 examples would be directly addresses if trip pay and allowances were combined and the resultant financial pot paid in reflection to duty periods, not just flying duty periods.

Most other airlines pay duty pay similar to half hour or an hour after on chocks or if delayed transport or FSM caught up by something else then the off duty time is the actual off duty time and they are paid accordingly. This is hopefully one of the commitments the company will stick with and will sort out, to just modify trip pay would not work, it would have to be trip pay and allowances pay combined otherwise people would still go sick for the low allowance destinations.

As for splitting CSS/FSM's to a different union, or having separate negotiations for them the strength in numbers thing isn't really a valid argument I feel. When you look at the distribution of the crew.

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showpost.php?p=3801642&postcount=116 is where the following numbers come from;

Unite said it has 3200 members, I think Virgin says it has 4500 members, lets say that's 71% membership.

Of those 4500 crew 795 are CSS or FSM's, only 18% of the crew. seniors are 35% and juniors 47%.

Put that in terms of unite members CSS's AND FSM's that's 565 members total (if distributed evenly throughout the ranks at 71% membership).

I think that really points to these 2 ranks requiring separate negotiations either via alternate union or separate talks with virgin as any ballot will never capture their concerns fully.

What say yee ?
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 19:03
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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How about not being paid when we have landed and no transport turns up to take us back to LGW or LHR. The other week the crew and I waited almost 1hr waiting for a bus from the aircraft to take us back Queens building. Sat in the cold in the stairwell of a jetway and not being paid. One of the many things Virgin need to sort out.
Well, I agree VS shouldn't be leaving you hanging around for an hour, but again not a great example as you're just waiting for transport rather than working. The analogy would be the thousands (millions?) of commuters who have to stand in the rain on train platforms through the constant delays to the laughable public transport service we have in this country.

These last 2 examples would be directly addresses if trip pay and allowances were combined and the resultant financial pot paid in reflection to duty periods, not just flying duty periods.
That makes more sense to me, although I don't think the 2 examples given are the best arguments for any changes. The way the rest of industry works is that (depending on the type of contract), overtime would generally be paid when the company has requested staff work extra hours. That said, there is also a growing trend in employment contracts to state 'whatever extra hours are necessary to perform the full functions of the role' alongside the normal working hours, which basically means if you need to work late to get the job done, you don't get any extra for it.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 19:55
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Guys And Girls,
I Think We Are All Missing The Point And Blaming Every Man And Thier Dog For The Cancellation Of The Strike.
Lets All Look A Bit Closer To Home And Ask About Your Scab Breaking Blood Money Thirsty Colleagues Who When Push Came To Shove Decided That They Were Either To Scared Or Could Not Knock Back The Stike Breaking Payment.... All Those People Should Bow Thier Heads In Disgrace....
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 20:04
  #120 (permalink)  
 
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We are still working whilst waiting for the bus back to the terminal, after all we still need to clear customs (if they are there) and hand in the red bag etc. and then we still have go through the nightmare of driving home or getting public transport.

Its not as though Virgin don't know they have a flight landing so why can't they make sure a bus is ready for us? Its another example of someone at the office making mistakes.
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