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BA and Project Columbus III

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BA and Project Columbus III

Old 20th Mar 2009, 17:29
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Here we go, including the usual BASSA b*****ks and posturing about pilots:


Mar 19th, 2009 by admin

Negotiations on cost-cutting have today resumed.
For the last week it has probably appeared to have all gone away, or at least we could have hoped it had......It categorically has not.

A joint meeting of all the Unions from across the airline that are involved in cost cutting measures was held on Tuesday and information on each of their targeted savings was shared. Last week British Airways had declined to share this information with us. It is apparent that cost saving targets are not equal but vary widely across the airline. For example, the Pilots' budget is £445 million and they face no cuts. Their only input is to not incur further costs over the next two years. Their projected increase is £13 million and this will be their contribution. The vast majority of other areas will achieve savings by quite a severe headcount reduction but not by changes to terms and conditions ("restrictive practices"; as Willie Walsh prefers to call them).

British Airways has now completed their expectations of the cost cuts for cabin crew. To remind you, the headline facts are again recapped below:
BA states that IFCE costs are £567.9 million per year. Most of that cost is salaries (98.9%).

BA wants to cut this by £82 million (14%) over the next two years, commencing April 1st 2009. This equates to approx £6,000 per person directly from earnings and/or costs. They propose this to be achieved by two separate but linked phases. The "new fleet" would still only save £35 million in its first two years, the remaining £47 million would need to come from existing agreements for current crew i.e. you.

Until now we have been unable to publish this "list" to you due to a confidentiality commitment specified to us when it was received. Our confidentiality commitment regarding this has ended and we have received legal clearance to reveal details to you. The following is a list of proposed and possible cost saving measures to reach the specified target, exactly as they were given to us.

What is acceptable or otherwise, is of course the subject of ongoing negotiation but from the list below you will be able to see these are substantial and major issues that will need to be faced. They affect all current crew, no matter which base or agreement you currently operate. It is not just a case of "Oh there's a new fleet coming but it won't affect me"; - it will.

Proposals for a New Fleet at LHR: Not for current crew unless joining the fleet

A low-cost fleet based on a low cost model (Almost identical to the document leaked by BASSA at Christmas).

BA aims to achieve this in the next 2 years. Approaching 1000 crew have already been trained and placed in a holding pool.

It will have over 2000 plus crew operating within two years

Market rate paid Cabin Crew in line with virgin plus 10%.

Fleet will consist of mixed flying on Airbus, 777, 747 aircraft.

Crew will consist of 3 new grades, Main Crew, Supervisor and Lead Supervisor. Not CSD, Purser and main crew and NOT to current levels.

No ETP, long-range, back-to-back or destination Payments or other variable shorthaul payments etc.

A fixed hourly rate.
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Old 20th Mar 2009, 17:47
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Pay scales will have no time served increments, any increase in basic pay will be performance related.

Merit promotion.

No Seniority.

Crew will not operate to either Worldwide or Shorthaul agreements but to BA Scheme Limitations document only - For your information this is covered in your Blue Joint Operations procedures manual part 2, pages 78 to 107 inclusive. A link to show scheme details is also available via the BASSA website under agreements.
There will be no MBT etc just scheme days off.

Preference bidding to scheme.

BA project in year one 850 crew to be flying on this new fleet and 2075 by end of year two (remember EF has only 2314 crew and LGW single fleet, 1189.
Long-term this will lead to the total restructuring of cabin crew costs.

Proposed changes to existing crews terms and conditions ("restrictive practices") from this list:
1) Remove double night on LAX, SFO, PHX, MEX.
2) Reduce 777 crew compliment by 1 on long-range 4 class.
3) MBT to be a maximum of 4 local nights irrespective trip.
4) Reduce annual leave for all crew to 34 days from 36.
5) Completely flexible rosters, no fixed trips.
6) One main crew member removed from 777- 3 class.
* Details of item to be confirmed
7) Annual increment freeze for one year for all crew.
8 ) Remove one main crew from worldwide destinations that at present receive the extra crew member as agreed post September 11th 2001. For the summer they are CCU- DAC- DEN -CPT (042) MAA- MEX- MIA- MRU- PEK
9) Remove the early report day allowing report times prior to 0800.
10) Bidding only on EF, ending the 6-3 and 5-2 and job share work patterns.
11) Removal of 767 CSD on EF.
12) All Crew grades to be planned/rostered to work up or down with no extra payment or restriction.
13) Remove one main crew member from 777 long-range top up.
* Details of Item To be confirmed
14) Extension on Eurofleet working day from 12.30 hours to 15.00.
15) Allow earlier report/start and later debrief/finish times.
16) Replace all 24hr stand-by with 12 hour.
17) One purser to be removed from all 747 and 777.
18 ) Remove EF Club top-up crewing level agreement.
19) No meal allowances to be triggered whilst in flight.
20) Reduction of Box-One payments by 50%
21) Back-To-Back payments to be reduced by 50%.
22) All destination payments to be permanently removed. For summer these will be paid on MIA- LAD -DEN -DAR -SEA YVR- EBB- IAH- DFW -YYC
23) Pay actual ETP rather than planned.
24) Remove STR payments and introduce fixed links also with no payment - EF.
25) Replace QRS with airport standby.
26) Reduce report and debrief times i.e., shorten duty day timings.
27) Removal of telephone allowance.
28 ) Change definition of EF night duty.
29) Exchange 2 pursers from all 767, 747, 777 to junior crew positions (switching roles).
30) No CSD on 757 EF.
31) Switch one purser at LGW for main crew member.
These are potentially in addition to a two-year pay freeze.

Now we have been able to share this list, you will see first-hand the scale of the challenge we face, there are no easy options available. This will require ongoing and extensive consultation between us, as your representatives and you, as our members. This is something you need to become involved in, right now and take an active interest, it will affect every single one of us, it's not even a question of supporting your union, it's a question of being involved in some really hard and far reaching decisions that are not going to go away.

BASSA and Amicus sections of UNITE will continue to work closely together to do our best to protect your future, we will not kid you that this is going to be an easy task but please be assured that we will be doing our very best for you.We have now told BA that we will not meet next week as we wanted to start the consultation process with you over the next several days. Talks will however reconvene on the 30th and then obviously we have our branch meeting at Kempton Park on the 6th April when a full and frank debate will no doubt be forthcoming.
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Old 21st Mar 2009, 11:30
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So once again the pilots accuse the Cabin Crew of "bringing the company down" Sheesh.

We joined BA because they offered those terms and conditions and we get a FAIR wage for the work we do (just like the pilots do).

If BA now think we are too expensive then they shouldn't have offered those terms to begin with.

It is not the cabin crews fault what they earn, it's what BA offered and we accepted. It's called a contract.

To smash-and-grab our terms permanently when the downturn is purely temporary is opportunism of the first order.

Most crew would agree to temporary measures but would need assurance that when the economy recovered and BA starting making the profits it has in the past (despite our hideously expensive and restrictive terms and conditions ) we would get the money back.

Thing aren't just tough for poor old BA! We are not faceless cabin crew. We are real people living lives with families and mouths to feed. We don't need to be told how tough thing are, our cost of living has increased along with BAs. Everything costs more from eggs to bread to rent to mortgages. Why should we take home less pay when the cost of living keeps going up?

And shame on our "colleagues" who take delight in our struggle at the moment. It wont be long before you need our support maybe? Its a two-way street and we should all be together.

Remember, after you have landed the plane in an emergency its the other half of the onboard team that may have to look after you and make sure you get off safe.

We should be one team, shame on you.
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Old 21st Mar 2009, 11:50
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It is not the cabin crews fault what they earn, it's what BA offered and we accepted. It's called a contract.
And contracts are always being revisited and rewritten. That's life and what is happening here. We would all like the changes to be temporary but sadly I doubt that will be an option in these times. The revenue the company earns is in sharp decline and the costs need to be aligned with the market. BA have looked at all areas and decided what is required and achievable by each area, hence different targets this time around - it is about survival of the fittest and still being in the game in 2011.
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Old 21st Mar 2009, 13:18
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Where is the 'shame on you' coming from? I don't think anyone 'delights' (your words not mine) in seeing terms and conditions deteriorate. Unfortunately, as TopBunk has already alluded to times change and contracts need to be revisited.

In the past BA has put CC contracts in the 'too difficult' draw. Now, when faced with an economic draw down the likes of which we have never seen before, coupled with the uncertainty of how long it will last, the 'too difficult' draw has been opened and emptied. Flight crew took this pain the last time the company hit dire straits. There is no them and us, it is just that BASSA has managed to hold on to its T's & C's a bit longer, well done. The flight crew took rationalisation to prevent junior pilots being made redundant. The levelling of pay cost many of the middle seniority pilots alot of money but as there was unity to protect our colleagues some difficult and costly decision were made. Hence, at this point we have very little left to give as the company has us on a rationalised pay scheme. Now they are turning their attention to the cabin crew contracts and, if the company is to be believed, the pain will be coming your way. There is NO 'them and us' there is no 'delight' in seeing this come but always remember before you slag off the flight crew, WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH THIS ALREADY!

If industrial action occurs then the investment potential of dinosaur BA (due to the crippling unionised antagonism) will plummet. If the share price dips below about £1 (my speculation) then the company will be rife for the asset strippers. BA as a 'brand' is still a powerful market force and one that many asset stripping companies (Blackstone group?) would still love to get their hands on. IF that happens then your contracts, our contracts, any contract is worth nothing, nichts, nada. No TUPE as the company was insolvent. Either take what they give you or the dole queue.

We would all love to get our original T's & C's back, but lets be pragmatic, it isn't going to happen. Hence the best way through is to find common ground, give and take and engage without the 'lets bring the company down with our silo mentality' or 'but the pilots aren't giving as much why should we?'

Grow a backbone and engage as adults, don't let BASSA take you down the same route as Arthur Scargill which led to the death of mining in the UK.
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Old 21st Mar 2009, 19:32
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Speedmarque I don't know what planet you are living on.......

Everything costs more from eggs to bread to rent to mortgages. Why should we take home less pay when the cost of living keeps going up?
Rents are down 6% where I live and falling. Mortgages are also falling, a typical 100k mortgage has reduced by £300, unless of course you tied into a fixed rate RPI is falling and so is inflation.

I don't think for one moment that BA want everything on their "wish list" as presented by BASSA, rather each "wish" comes with a cost saving tag.

You can also assume that with such a wish list, the company have thought about the cost of industrial action v some form of compromise, but I have a strong feeling they will get some of what they want.

Equally I have just spent the afternoon chatting with an HR director for a large travel conglomerate, she could see no legal basis for strike action over the setting up another new fleet, and she pointed to the old AML contract at LGW, there are of course some proviso were BA to try and "force" some people to join the new fleet, but like everything the high court may disagree
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Old 21st Mar 2009, 20:26
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People, this IS the Cabin Crew forum.

While a great many other people have an interest in what will happen to the T&Cs of BA cabin crew, this forum is not primarily for those who have an interest, but for those who actually are cabin crew.

Well thought out posts by non CC, like the ones written by wobble2plank and DaDog, are very welcome.
Doesn't matter if they agree with the CC or not, what matters is that they add something to the debate.

Sh!t stirring one-liner posts by people who come here merely to vent their spleen about current BA CC T&Cs, and whose posts add nothing to the debate, have been and will be deleted.

Do consider which forum you're in before hitting that send button.
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Old 21st Mar 2009, 20:49
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When you look at what BA think are the costly elements of the CC part of the business, as crew I have to agree. QRS for example must cost a fortune having crew in a 5* hotel when most other airlines have 90min/airport standby even on LH trips. I can understand why people want to hang on to their T&Cís but BASSA donít help by creating a them and us situation. Didnít KLM have a change in their conditions a couple of years back that gave cost savings? Could BASSA may be look for solutions rather than ways to block? I know thatís not going to make me popular with the union but surely the whole point of having a union is for them to work a solution and not send out emails like the one above.. or the one earlier in the year threatening to name and shame! Come on BASSA take a look and help us donít hinder the whole business
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Old 21st Mar 2009, 22:46
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So, what has been given up so far by flight ops?

Block payments, lunch payments, destination payments, CAT turnarounds, lateness credits etc. All were lumped together to form a slightly increased basic. (Not the basic that the pension is based upon, that stays the same as prior to the levelling agreement). Variable pay was reduced subsequently to make it a smaller proportion of the monthly wage thus enabling better financial planning over periods of lean flying. Sector pay and a flat hourly 'subsistence' rate, leading to a more manageable monthly pay, less loss of allowances and no 'senior' trips to high paying destinations. Most of those trips are now bid for on the basis of good golfing. Leading to a much more pleasant and varied flying environment.

Seem familiar?
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 16:54
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all am gonna say is 2 speedmarque
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 17:41
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An interesting comment from one of your colleagues on a related thread on this CC forum:

" BA is like semi retirement and even if any of the 32 proposals are accepted BA will still remain the best to work for. "

Care to comment?
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 18:20
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BD That's one individuals opinion. He doesn't speak for me or the other thirteen thousand other BA cabin crew.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 18:21
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Instead of comparing c/c pay and working practices with those of the pilots would it not be more appropriate to compare BA c/c pay structures and working condition with those of c/c in other airlines operating similar routes? There are plenty of airlines out there for the comparisons to be made.

It would be intersting for you if you find c/c working condition and pay scales in other airlines that are far better than your own.

I wish you well.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 18:50
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Well I see my posts have been deleted, all the while offensive comments remain like "what planet do you live on etc...." Guess it's all about who you know on here as to what gets deleted or not

I stand by my comment that CC conditions are exactly that and really should not concern anyone else.

There have been several reports about pilots intimidating crew and trying to bully them into accepting anything the company wants. People have been reporting these pilots on the basis of bullying and poor CRM skills.

Safe flying
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 19:26
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I stand by my comment that CC conditions are exactly that and really should not concern anyone else

I'm not really sure why people on here are getting so wound up by this thread ? Especially when some of these people don't even work for BA and those who do are not all cabin crew, it really is none of your business !!!

and for those of you who think it is because they don't want to see the airline go down etc ,,,,,,,,,,,,, being vocal on this forum isn't going to change how the majority of the BA cabin crew feel at the moment and the course of events that will unfold over the next few weeks or months. In fact for those that read this forum makes their resolve all the more firm.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 19:30
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CC terms and conditions, pilots T&Cs, Engineer's T&Cs etc, are all the interest of anyone who is a share holder of the company. CC payment and reward is not the sole territory of CC - it is naive to suggest so.

To take money from people is tough - as has been mentioned we all have bills to pay. But, savings still need to made. So, the question that needs addressing is how to move forward. Perhaps some of the suggestions with regard to flexibility of work practices etc may be the way ahead. After all, given that most of the crew tell me that they are reaching the 900 hour limit so they cannot be made to work any harder.

If there is a way to work smarter that should be encouraged. Given what is happening everywhere else in the economy surely retaining a job must be the prime objective of all who work for BA. The main bugbear of all this seems more to do with the company wanting permanent cuts and savings to cover a temporary problem.

I have a great amount of sympathy for all the CC at BA, times are really tough but those who will not change and would rather see the company go under are living in clown cuckoo land. We all labour under a very benign system at BA, I would rather see harsher T&C's to keep my job there than end up losing my house to, for example keep a CSD on SH.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 19:45
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"In fact for those that read this forum makes their resolve all the more firm."

Well said, keep on bleating people, it just makes us stronger in our resolve to keep what's fair. We will lose some of our terms and that's fine but we will not be bullied by others.

The fact that our terms and conditions wind others in the company up just makes me smile even broader.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 19:50
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LHR WW and LGW Fleet both work to 900 hours per year so any costs savings made by making crew work harder will be offset by having them grounded for 2/3 months of the year because they have reached to 900 hours before the rolling 12 months is up.
However Eurofleet only seem to manage on average 500 hours a year, so looking logically at cost savings the only option seems to be to make eurofleet crew work closer to the 900 hours. Another 400 hundred hours per year from crewmembers would generate significant cost savings.

Although cost savings could be made from other fleets ie: removing crew members off longhaul aircraft this effects the level of service given onboard and with flights crewed to the bare minimum anyway this would have a significant negative effect on the BA business plan to be a 'Global Premium Longhaul Airline'.
Having a 'Cabin Service Director' on a single aisle aircraft is just to operate shorthual services and having above minimum crew on the A320 series aircraft can no longer be justified.
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 20:33
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so looking logically at cost savings the only option seems to be to make eurofleet crew work closer to the 900 hours. Another 400 hundred hours per year from crewmembers would generate significant cost savings.
Its certainly 1 option, BA have identified about 30 others you seem to have missed!
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Old 22nd Mar 2009, 21:08
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Perhaps speedmarque the posts were removed because they fell under the "one liner wind ups" as described by one of the moderators. I and others did try and apply some rational explanations at the time, but they too got removed.

I am sure that those pilots who have been reported are quaking in their boots for arguing IFCE policy, and for adopting
bullying and poor CRM skills.
I wish I had a UK£ for every time I heard Cabin Crew level that accusation, I would be a very rich man.

If you don't like the rational arguments put forwards here on Pprunne, you can always go back onto the BASSA forum for a bit of "head in the sand blue sky thinking" I'm just glad its the same old same old people posting the same old rhetoric time and time again............ and as for throwing good wine down the sink then boasting about it
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