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BA CC industrial relations (current airline staff only)

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BA CC industrial relations (current airline staff only)

Old 2nd Apr 2011, 20:27
  #3721 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 217
Perhaps that's because we have a strict guideline as to when we can and can't work? It's not very clever to fly when your sinuses are blocked or go to work when suffering from gastroenteritis as you are dealing with food.
The blocked sinuses and food handling excuses are often trotted out. The fact remains that pilots are subject to far more stringent health regulations, are required to take an annual medical check and must consult the CAA doctors when taking prescribed medication, something which often results in them being prevented from flying, yet they still take a fraction of the sick days that cabin crew do. The biggest problem in the cabin crew community is social sickness. I doubt it's coincidence that cabin crew sickness peaks around public holidays and popular social events. And before you say it, no, maternity absence is not counted as a sick day by BA.
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Old 2nd Apr 2011, 20:55
  #3722 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: M3 usually!
Posts: 492
pilots are subject to far more stringent health regulations
What pilots are NOT subjected to, is several hundred people a day coughing, spluttering and breathing over them! Nor I think are they likely to be a handed a nice warm bag of vomit containing all manner of germs! Statistically, CC are far more likely to come into contact with viruses than those sat in their ivory tower, wherever that tower may be located! Equally, we are more likely to go flying across the cabin when the brakes are jammed on while taxying than you are, we are more likely to be hurt in turbulence and we are, sadly, more likely to be assaulted than you. The chances of a trolley running you over, a passengers bag falling on you, or of you being burnt by an oven are also, happily, slim. I will concede however that you are more likely to slip over on the ramp than I. Put like this, I'm amazed any of us get to work at all!

Incidentally, CC also need permission from BAHS to fly when taking medication and must usually wait 48 hours to ensure there are no side effects before cleared to fly. We are as equally restricted as your good selves regarding medical procedures.

While it was certainly true in the past, I think you'll find that today's crew are not really in the Royal Ascot, Wimbledon finals, Henley regatta wage bracket and I haven't heard that Glastonbury has been a particular problem either! The ramp, however, are often facing shortages if there is an England footie game.

Last edited by ottergirl; 2nd Apr 2011 at 21:25.
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Old 2nd Apr 2011, 21:15
  #3723 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: London
Posts: 83
Miss M

I agree with you, it has become clear that BA doesn't want to go down the path of sacking people, so you are here to stay if you want.

My view is that the chance to influence the development of mixed fleet was missed, at one stage the whole fleet was off the table. As far as part time goes, I am convinced that the moment we put these troubles behind us part time will become available for all that want it. I would also hazzard a guess that staff travel will come back sooner than 2013 as well if a deal is accepted. I get the feeling that Keith would like to put this whole mess to bed and then move on (as would most of us). It might not be part of the deal but you can bet it will come sooon after under the guise of "relationship building".

Miss M, you, me, and thousands of others have made the airline what it is. There is a future for all of us, if we want one.
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Old 2nd Apr 2011, 21:30
  #3724 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Planet Moo Moo
Posts: 1,243
What pilots are NOT subjected to, is several hundred people a day coughing, spluttering and breathing over them!
Really? In an aircraft with a recirculating air conditioning system? I wouldn't be too sure. The HEPA filters are good but not that good.
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Old 2nd Apr 2011, 21:55
  #3725 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: maidenhead
Posts: 942

I really don't want to get into this discussion about who is or isn't the most sick or not sick.

However I just wanted to clarify for Wirbelsturm that coughs and colds are passed around by face to face contact through droplet infection i.e. when someone coughs or sneezes or touches a surface with contaminated fluid and not through air conditioning systems as recent folk law would have some of us believe..
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Old 2nd Apr 2011, 22:53
  #3726 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 16
Coughs and sneezes

I know that getting caught up in sickness rates is not necessarily getting to the heart of the debate but my wife is charter cabin crew and her sickness rate as is her colleagues is a lot closer to the BA pilots than the BA cabin crew.
I do not wish to cast aspersions but I wish to clarify that all of us in the metal tube are exposed to the same germs and the same fit to fly parameters.
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Old 2nd Apr 2011, 22:58
  #3727 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 4

Don't know if you are a pilot or not. But if you were/really are, you'd know that you don't really breathe in the same air as CC do. Right?
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Old 2nd Apr 2011, 23:14
  #3728 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: maidenhead
Posts: 942


We all know that sickness rates are high and this is for many different reasons and sometimes it is for social reasons.

I have worked in a charter airline and I can assure you that sickness rates are very high there too (usually due to the youthful demographic of the staff and their wish to party) and these rates are often used to decide which crew are taken on full time or not at the end of the summer season.

What dose surprise me is how you and your wife know what the sickness rates in BA for both cabin crew and pilots are and those of her own company. You are very well informed.
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 02:15
  #3729 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tunbridge Wells
Posts: 148
It is an indisputable fact that unpopular flights (eg; ones that generate less dosh in allowances) have far more sickness than on the more lucrative routes.
Hourly rates would even this out.
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 03:30
  #3730 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: The Shadows
Posts: 202
Well..... Yes and no.

Maybe on WW, but at LGW the hourly rate firmly puts "short haul ituss" a regularly used phrase.

The pilot pay structure eliminates this problem, but it was unlikely BA wanted to go down this route for crew as LGW was the bench mark. That said...BASSA had no interest in it either....doh!
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 07:27
  #3731 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: on a cloud
Posts: 40
We want a fair deal and protection against Mixed Fleet.
The previous and current offers have offered this MissM. The current offer gives a PERMANENT top up if you fail to reach the average variable pay for your grade ( unless this re NEGOTIATED with the Union).

There are no changes to our Ts and Cs either. You won't be put on Mixed Fleet if you sign and you won't relinquish your Redeployment rights either!!

I'm afraid that this is as fair as its going to get.

Had BASSA not steam rollered into IA regarding impostion, and actually focused its efforts on Mixed Fleet, we ALL could be in a far healthier position now.

BA have trained thousands of VCC's and their only purpose is to destroy our strike
This was an innovative idea to counteract any strike action (and any future disruption..weather, ash etc). I actually don't agree with it as a strike busting initiative, however using VCC during times of disruption to help our customers ( a consequence of overly restrictive agreements!!) can only be a positive. No? The initiative should have been implemented years ago then it wouldn't be such a bitter pill to swallow.

BA have also completely ignored a long-standing agreement with regards to part-time contract. Crew have been offered part-time over others who are on the part-time list
I don't think that this is particularly fair either however try looking at it the other way round MissM. If you had supported the company, signed the deal (which aimed to offer all those on the part time list it by March 2011) wouldn't it be disrespectful for BA NOT to offer these individuals part-time. BA are actually honouring the agreement within the deal they offered!

Part-time can't be offered to those still in dispute with company. But I'm sure as soon as this debacle is over part-time will be offered...thick and fast.
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 08:52
  #3732 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 859
I actually don't agree with it as a strike busting initiative,
Of course the creation of the VCC's was a strike busting initiative, it is silly to suggest otherwise. The idea came about as a result of the desire of BA employees to do something to minimise the effects of the industrial blackmail that BASSA were embarking upon.

The idea was first floated when the abortive 12 days of Christmas strike was announced. It is hard to think back to those days, but the public outcry and massive indignation of the majority of BA staff about BASSA's completely unreasonable behaviour was immense. Had BASSA been able to organise a legal ballot at this stage, it is likely that the strike may well have been effective. It was as a result of this realisation that lead BA to try to both harness the desire of it's own workforce to do something and also a desire to neuter the BASSA threat. They did this by creating the VCCs.

Trying to claim that the VCC program was created to deal with disruption such as snow and volcanic ash, etc is at best disingenuous, the VCC's are a strike breaking tool pure and simple. It may be that BA keep the VCC program going and use them to help with other disruptions but that is a secondary thing, the VCC's are there to neutralise the strike threat from a historically bolshy union with poor negotiators.

What the BASSA supporters need to realise is that BA has every right, and indeed a duty to it's shareholders to minimise the effects of a strike - defying a strike is just as much part of the industrial landscape as striking. The stupidity of suggesting that it shows a "lack of respect" is self-evident, a strike is ultimately a thuggish act of blackmail and will only work if the threat of closing the business can be carried through. Those that think BA should sit back and not react to their union's strike are deluded.

Last edited by Juan Tugoh; 3rd Apr 2011 at 09:09.
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 09:02
  #3733 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: LAM/BIG/BNN hold
Posts: 153
a strange shift seems to be happening ...

I have noticed over the past few weeks that the non-BASSA (& non-striking crew) are becoming more confident/vocal at work. They seem to be standing up for what their views are and there are more and more people who are saying they are not going to be intimidated anymore.

Comments like 'it has gone on too long' and 'we want to enjoy our work' seem very common. And they are the polite comments!

This is refreshing as after all, the BASSA union 'view' is officially now in the minority.

I think if everyone stands up now for what they believe and refuse to be intimidated, it will bring this sad state of union affairs to an end. It takes guts, but I think you will be surprised at how many of your colleagues will be relieved and agree with you. Many crew really do understand the situation and realise that BASSA are digging a big hole.

So, try it at work over the next week, it may be hard and you may get some comments back, but overall you will be hastening BA back to a good place to work.

After all, how much more pleasant is it to enjoy the day at work ... lets make that a normal experience soon
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 09:52
  #3734 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: 35,000 ft
Posts: 468
The company won't be able to move forward fully until they have solved the dispute with us. BA are saying that they are willing to talk at any time. Unite is saying the same yet nothing is progressing. We want a fair deal and protection against Mixed Fleet. Why is that difficult to understand?
Miss M

The company won't be able to move forward? Have you been off for the last year, or have you simply not read ESS? If so, then please let me enlighten you:

Mixed Fleet - up and running since Nov 10 - new routes transferring monthly
Employee Forums - up and running for several months. Groups of selected CABIN CREW giving input on various issues - product, service, etc.
Employee Briefings - ie. EF CSD/PSR - to check what cabin crew want, and now they are bringing changes to the EF CSD/PSR job spec. as a direct result of what crew want
Uniform Standards - CTMs now wearing uniform to drive forward a positive change in this area
VCCs - now an established team. Can and will be used whenever required, including strikes.
New Customer Service Drive - with new Manager in place, driving forward change.

The company have not moved forward as fast as this in years. While the cat's away....

What you don't seem to realise, is this way of working works well, and those of us who had the good sense to leave the Union, are enjoying a new, refreshing sense of freedom to do our jobs and serve customers in the way we and BA want to. We no longer have the restrictions (and quite frankly bullying tactics) of BASSA telling us not to hand out hot towels, close window blinds, etc. I think it unlikely that the 50% of crew who didn't vote for a strike, would want to return to the old ways, nor do I think BA would want to either.

You don't have a majority hold over us now - it's 50-50. And that makes your entrenched position all the more unsustainable.

We want a fair deal and protection against Mixed Fleet. Why is that difficult to understand?
Sorry but you take my breath away with statements like this.

Mixed Fleet is the result of BASSA's inability to negotiate. BASSA were given a blank piece of paper to come up with 127M of savings in 2009. They could, and should, have represented the members by asking for our input on how we thought savings could be achieved. There are a miriad of different ways we could have saved money - but instead BASSA said NO.

As you well know, MF was not on the table at one point. It could have been incorporated as New Entrant contracts, but BASSA did not represent their members, they didn't even ask us what we wanted them to do. They acted autonomously and they acted stupidly. Now we are all paying the price for their childish tantrums and we have Mixed Fleet and VCCs as a direct result of what they did.

A "fair deal and protection" was also offered in the Monthly Travel Payment. Since then we have had Ash Cloud, Snow disruption, earthquakes, political unrest across the ME and Africa, and the MTP would have stood us in good stead now. BASSA rejected it, and it has now left us high and dry.

Why is THAT so difficult to understand?

This is my own viewpoint and not that of BA.

Last edited by HiFlyer14; 3rd Apr 2011 at 10:05.
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 10:31
  #3735 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Canterbury
Posts: 420
Social sickness could be a result as we are not able to bid (which some other working groups in the company are able to do). If BA were that concerned with social sickness maybe they should try and change it instead. Don't try to claim that BASSA have been against it in the past because in that case there would have been many crew screaming loudly as there are many of us, myself included, who want a bidding system more than anything else.

We could discuss the top-up payment for years and still disagree. Do you still believe they will continue to pay us the same top-up payment when we only have a few routes left? It's not a very fair payment either as you would have to wait a year for it to be paid to you. Let's say you have been sat at home for months without any flights. You would have to rely solely on your basic salary. Hardly fair, is it? The top-up payment is very little too for EF as they rely a lot on meal allowances and other payments. What are they going to do when their most lucrative EF routes have been transferred?

The "VCC team" was set up solely to break our strike. There's no point in denying that piece of fact. What management have recently realised is that they can use them whenever there's a disruption which would give management a bit of value for all that money spent on training thousands of VCC. Are there any other airlines in the world with this practice?


Mixed Fleet - Something which you seem to be excited about? Even you who have signed the individual offer must understand that the new fleet, sooner or later, will put an end to your career?
Employee Forums - Groups of "selected" cabin crew you say. Would these selected cabin crew either by non-union members and those who have accepted BA's individual offer as a sort of reward for backing BA?
Employee Briefings - Changes to the roles of CSD and PSR. Surely BA must do something to keep the enthusiasm flowing whilst Mixed Fleet is taking our work.
Uniform Standards - CTMs wearing uniform? Perhaps instead of issuing new uniforms (and spending almost 40 per hat to Mixed Fleet) they should sort out their little problems at the uniform store where it's more or less impossible to get a new uniform item. However, we are obviously not that important on EF and WW as we are far too restrictive and expensive.
VCC - All with the sole purpose to prolong and destroy our dispute.
New Customer Service Drive - Another new manager with some brilliant ideas? BA must be one of the few airlines in the world with so many managerial positions.

BASSA were given a blank sheet of paper. They gave a couple of suggestions, not all of them their most clever moves, but BA were always after a new fleet and would have gone forward with it sooner or later. Why else do you believe BASSA accepted it in the end? BASSA are not always clever but surely not that stupid either to destroy the careers for some 13,000 cabin crew members. BASSA have been trying to ensure legally binding protection to us, something which BA have not been willing to give.

Whilst you personally and everyone else who signed the individual offer may be happy with BA there are thousands who are not. All you need to look is at the latest ballot result.
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 10:47
  #3736 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 217
Germs in the cabin

Lets put this 'germs in the cabin' thing to bed. There has been plenty of research on air quality in the cabin, not just in terms of bacteria but also into toxic oil compounds, so here are a few facts:

There are no more germs in an aircraft cabin than in an average large office.

The air in an aircraft cabin is refreshed at 4 times the rate of standard office air conditioning systems.

You are in closer contact with more people with germs if you commute on the tube to work or go to the cinema.

Pilots breathe the same air as cabin crew (on the 747 it comes via Pack 2 and the recirc fans) but have lower sickness rates.

If somebody hands you a bag full of vomit then germs can be killed by washing your hands.

Excuses about dirty air and dirty passengers are just that - excuses. The air is not the cause, the passengers germs are most unlikely to be the cause unless they sneeze directly into your face. If dirty air or dirty passengers were the cause we'd see a genuine level of sicknesss evenly distributed across the workforce and across the year, with an uptrend in winter when colds thrive. Instead what we see are some crew who are never ill, a lot who are ill frequently, uptrends towards the weekends and school holidays and huge spikes over public holdays and social events. These trends are totally inconsistent with data on public health.

MissM has half admitted the problem is social sickness due to the absence of a bidding system, but that's not the whole story. Pilots have a bidding system, and the guys at the bottom who never get a weekend off still have better sickness rates. The other half of the problem is the poor attitude towards attendance. We've all heard the term 'the charity Paris' on EF, a poor allowance paying trip that people think isn't worth doing. Similar trips exist on WW and require a destination payment. It's the belief that some people have that they have no obligation to turn up to work if it's inconvenient for them that drives CC sickness rates skyward.
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 10:48
  #3737 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tunbridge Wells
Posts: 148
Miss M

Social sickness could be a result as we are not able to bid (which some other working groups in the company are able to do). If BA were that concerned with social sickness maybe they should tPry and change it instead. Don't try to claim that BASSA have been against it in the past because in that case there would have been many crew screaming loudly as there are many of us, myself included, who want a bidding system more than anything else.

Well, here I go, about to claim!
A professional union who had my interests at heart would have tried to negotiate on my behalf a bidding system as part of any deal

An unprofessional union sulks, refuses to attend negotiations, whips up hatred against fellow cabin crew, pilots, whoever is flavour du jour but still has the dogged loyalty of some crew seemingly suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome.

No matter - it's done and the opportunity lost. Shame
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 10:50
  #3738 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: 35,000 ft
Posts: 468
Miss M - Why would any of us "be excited" about Mixed Fleet? Where did I say that?

The FACT is none of us wanted Mixed Fleet - but Mixed Fleet is here because of BASSA's inability to negotiate it. Mixed Fleet wasn't always on the table, but now it is. And that is a direct result of BASSA's inability to stop it. But you have consistently avoided answering that point.

Why don't we look at this from an entirely different point of view? You are making the following claims:

1. Disciplinaries - not justified.
2. Mixed Fleet - taking away our work.
3. VCC's - ditto.
4. BA not offering part-time in order,
5. BA not negotiating
6. ETC.

Well, what are your union doing to stop it? Have their tactics worked so far? What have you gained so far? Loss of income, loss of staff travel, loss of part-time, Mixed Fleet, VCC's, that's been your lot to date. Do you honestly think this tactic is working??

If the disciplinaries, for example, are so unfair, why aren't BASSA stating, in public, what they did? Why aren't they shouting it from the rooftops and running off to tribunals to prove BA to be the "ruthless employer" that they claim?

Why not Miss M? After all, it is the job of a union to stop "ruthless employers", to find the best possible compromise for their members, and to ensure a fair and justified process with regard to all disciplinaries. If your union aren't doing their job, why are you still paying them? Why are you still voting them in? Their tactics haven't worked and won't work. It doesn't matter which side of the fence you sit on, that is the reality of the matter.

The sooner you realise that, the better off we will all be.

I am BA cabin crew and this is my veiwpoint and not that of BA.
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 11:04
  #3739 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: London
Posts: 97
Miss M

BASSA told us in '97 that the new contracts would be the end of our contracts forever, no promotion as it would be cheaper to promote post '97 than old contract. None of it ever came true even now when post '97 far out number old contract. So why on earth would anyone believe that MF will end our careers. All MF will do is ensure BA saves money in the long term as the fleet grows and expands as it did with the new contracts back in '97.

You keep stating that thousands are not happy. Well Thousands ARE happy, just look at the number of Cabin Crew within our community and the number of other employee groups, we just want to get on with our jobs and make sure BA does well. If you and your thousands of unhappy friends can't get over that then may be you should look for employment elsewhere?
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 11:28
  #3740 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: london
Posts: 177
Miss M,
Excuses, excuses and more excuses.
If you don t trust ba and have decided to fight a losing battle it is your problem, I prefer to trust ba and only if they don t keep their word I will complain about it and fight my corner.
Why can t you do the same?
Suspensions, sackings, bad feelings have been caused by an inept union and their undeniable quality in brainwashing gullible individuals with negativity and lies.
Time to stop this charade.
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