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The irony of the 2019 13th month

Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

The irony of the 2019 13th month

Old 22nd Dec 2019, 23:10
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 322
Originally Posted by Dragon_Delight View Post
the only way this company can be sustainable is to merge CX and KA once and for all.
something should have been done ten years ago
Totally agree, it would have to be a brutal cut and dry merge with a seniority list purely based on DOJ anything else just gets complicated, yes itís sucks merging lists but at least itís transparent (not something you see in CX and the more complicated it is the more opportunity CX has to create loopholes dividing the crews), the long term effect should be a better career. At the same time they could put the vacancy bidding system in place once again with a transparent seniority list itís not complicated giving us more lifestyle choices and a career with a future we can predict. Is it April 1st sadly I must be dreaming. Imagine the AOA/DPA approaching the GMA weíve agreed on a DOJ combined seniority list effective January 1st 2020 all positions based on a VBS 😂 DEFOs go where no one opts to.

Last edited by Avinthenews; 22nd Dec 2019 at 23:25.
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 23:15
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 322
Originally Posted by cxorcist View Post

Whatís expensive is plonking in a perfectly good airplane with 300-400 passengers on it because the bean counters hijacked pilot hiring. But keep drooling into that iPad NJers... Thatíll keep you safe!
Have a look through the insurance contract when next on the aircraft, while the loss of life insurance is I guess reasonable the insurance against the loss of the aircraft is a pittance it might as well not be insured.
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Old 22nd Dec 2019, 23:36
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: No where
Posts: 891
Sadly, people will continue to fantasize and rationalize their way towards ever decreasing terms and conditions. It has been a constant downhill trajectory for TWENTY FIVE years now. Who amongst you are willing to bet their careers and families futures on that somehow changing direction? I too spent many years "believing" that CX management would come to their senses and correct their ways. Never happened, and never will. They are perfectly happy squeezing every last drop of blood sweat and tears out of their crew, and they will discard you and your precious T and C's the first chance they get. You only have to look at the latest commuting contract to see what will happen to the job at CX. I'm sorry to be so negative, but I witnessed this first hand for over 20 years. I now look back in horror at the fact that I allowed myself to stay immersed in such a dysfunctional system for my entire career. Should have left over a decade ago.
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 05:13
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 48
Originally Posted by Air Profit View Post
I'm sorry to be so negative, but I witnessed this first hand for over 20 years. I now look back in horror at the fact that I allowed myself to stay immersed in such a dysfunctional system for my entire career. Should have left over a decade ago.
Unless youíre American, youíd have the same sentiment at most other airlines because pilot wages have been depressed almost everywhere. Fact of the matter is that COS18 is an embarrassment of a contract compared to the A/B scales, but at least in terms of pay, it is quite competitive when compared with the current contracts of competing airlines (ie: AC, QF, SQ, etc). It would be fantastic if Cathay could keep the wages as they were 20 years ago, but had they done so, you likely wouldnít even have a job at CX right now. Besides fuel, labour is the next biggest cost and when competing airlines are cutting labour costs, you best do the same if you want to compete on price. Unfortunately, quality is not as important anymore to the consumer which is evident by airlines significantly reducing or even eliminating F class. People just want to get from A to B. Another common theme people complain about on here is mismanagement and greed from the top, but this happens pretty much everywhere as well, so thatís not something that would disappear if you left either. Iím not saying that everything is good and we should just be content with what we have. I think itís important to fight for a better contract, but just understand that CX is still competitive and the sky isnít falling.
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 06:00
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 28
Originally Posted by Porterboy View Post

Fact of the matter is that COS18 is an embarrassment of a contract compared to the A/B scales, but at least in terms of pay, it is quite competitive when compared with the current contracts of competing airlines (ie: AC, QF, SQ, etc).


I would be extremely careful with that statement.

Depending on where you might get an alternative job, your home country for example, factor in, if applicable:
- A government pension system with monthly payouts during retirement (priceless in times of indefinite low interest rates)
- A company pension system with monthly payouts during retirement (priceless in times of indefinite low interest rates)
- Better, cheaper and/or even free healthcare system, to which you might have access to until you die (the day you leave Cathay you and your family will lose healthcare insurance)
- Better, cheaper and/or even free education system (500.000+ HK$ debenture per child in HK)
- Affordability of property (rent and purchase) and the associated higher quality of life for yourself, your wife and kids, living in a bigger place and in a much healthier environment compared to HK
- Living with wife and kids in a healthy environment in unpolluted air (and avoiding the associated medical cost of living in polluted air like in HK eventually)
- Cheaper, better and healthier food
- Cheaper commuting cost to see friends and relatives (2 ID90 tickets Business Class for a return trip from HK to the UK cost 6000 HK$ for one person)
- Avoiding the risk of living in an unstable city (protests, uncertain outcome) and the associated risk of starting somewhere else from scratch at the lowest pay scale worst case
- Probably a few more reasons.

Last edited by Frank W. Abagnale; 23rd Dec 2019 at 06:17.
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 13:51
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Polar Route
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by Frank W. Abagnale View Post
I would be extremely careful with that statement.

Depending on where you might get an alternative job, your home country for example, factor in, if applicable:
- A government pension system with monthly payouts during retirement (priceless in times of indefinite low interest rates)
- A company pension system with monthly payouts during retirement (priceless in times of indefinite low interest rates)
- Better, cheaper and/or even free healthcare system, to which you might have access to until you die (the day you leave Cathay you and your family will lose healthcare insurance)
- Better, cheaper and/or even free education system (500.000+ HK$ debenture per child in HK)
- Affordability of property (rent and purchase) and the associated higher quality of life for yourself, your wife and kids, living in a bigger place and in a much healthier environment compared to HK
- Living with wife and kids in a healthy environment in unpolluted air (and avoiding the associated medical cost of living in polluted air like in HK eventually)
- Cheaper, better and healthier food
- Cheaper commuting cost to see friends and relatives (2 ID90 tickets Business Class for a return trip from HK to the UK cost 6000 HK$ for one person)
- Avoiding the risk of living in an unstable city (protests, uncertain outcome) and the associated risk of starting somewhere else from scratch at the lowest pay scale worst case
- Probably a few more reasons.
Exactly correct!!! You canít even compare living in HK to doing so in a proper Western country. Why do you think all the A and B scalers chase off to bases? Even when they have housing in HK!!! On paper, yes, CoS18 has competitive wages. Standard of living? Not even close. HK is a Chinese city with a unique history and people. Other than that, nothing special these days, except extreme costs of living and pollution.
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 14:15
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 76
I ask this purely for information (maybe I've been here too long):

Which country do you assert has a better free healthcare system than the free healthcare system in Hong Kong?

Which country do you assert has a better free education system than the (English-language) public schools in Hong Kong? (It's not compulsory to pay for private education here any more than it is in the UK.)

Of course I can't dispute the fact that supermarket food is far, far cheaper in, say, the UK. Although, having said that, 50% of employed HK people earn less than about HK$15,000/month and I don't recall anyone dying of malnutrition in HK in recent times (and HK has a higher life expectancy than the UK), so it must be possible to eat well cheaply.

I produced plenty of data previously to show that HK was no more polluted than London on average. But the big difference is that if you are based in London you can live 100 miles away in a much less polluted environment. That isn't possible in HK.

And where in the world will you get a skivvy to clean up after you, take the kids to school, and cook your meals for HK$5000/month all in?

Last edited by Paul852; 23rd Dec 2019 at 16:41.
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Old 23rd Dec 2019, 15:02
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: All over
Posts: 267
Originally Posted by Frank W. Abagnale View Post
I would be extremely careful with that statement.

Depending on where you might get an alternative job, your home country for example, factor in, if applicable:
- A government pension system with monthly payouts during retirement (priceless in times of indefinite low interest rates)
- A company pension system with monthly payouts during retirement (priceless in times of indefinite low interest rates)
- Better, cheaper and/or even free healthcare system, to which you might have access to until you die (the day you leave Cathay you and your family will lose healthcare insurance)
- Better, cheaper and/or even free education system (500.000+ HK$ debenture per child in HK)
- Affordability of property (rent and purchase) and the associated higher quality of life for yourself, your wife and kids, living in a bigger place and in a much healthier environment compared to HK
- Living with wife and kids in a healthy environment in unpolluted air (and avoiding the associated medical cost of living in polluted air like in HK eventually)
- Cheaper, better and healthier food
- Cheaper commuting cost to see friends and relatives (2 ID90 tickets Business Class for a return trip from HK to the UK cost 6000 HK$ for one person)
- Avoiding the risk of living in an unstable city (protests, uncertain outcome) and the associated risk of starting somewhere else from scratch at the lowest pay scale worst case
- Probably a few more reasons.
Yup....as I've said raw numbers are irrelevant. The cost of living in San Francisco is quite a bit different than that of Waldo, FL. What IS relevant is the COL where you are compared to what you are paid. This can be a trap and can have some dig themselves into a hole of debt from which it's really tough to climb out--with all the lifes issues of not being able to get by for where you are and the stress (and family stress) that goes with this situation. Some people get around this by commuting--which is great--but you then have to look at the cost of the commute and the collateral time lost. With time lost being the big thing. Unlike many other carriers, you are in a VERY hostile environment to make a commute work in any way. There are ways around this.

The bottom line comes down to are you doing what you like, do you have ENOUGH to live a decent life, and are you enjoying your life where you are. I've found that as long as one has 'enough' (which can be surprisingly little) but is happy in what one is doing that's the key. Probably the happiest times of my life were when I made less than I do now, had less 'stuff', but really enjoyed what I was doing and felt a part of it. I think this is the 'new guy' trap; despite all the sage warnings of what's going on there's a stream of wishful thinkers seeing conditions not for what they are but for what they wish them to be. So they wind up rationalizing everything and find themselves in a job that isn't that hard but is boring and routine watching air go by with lots of angst towards the future making less than they need to get by. And piss away a large fraction of their life entrapped in a situation of their own making. Not knowing how to get out. And waking up with nothing to show for a significant fraction of their life. Having wasted a great deal of life.

POS 18 is predicated on LESS THAN ENOUGH. Wishful thinking doesn't change this. Nor is there any indication that one will ever have ENOUGH for this environment.

Nor is it a particularly 'happy' place. With more than enough fear and division to last ten lifetimes.

Anyway, all of this has been published before. Some folks gotta stick their hand in the boiling water to figure out it's hot.
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Old 24th Dec 2019, 00:55
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 28
Originally Posted by Paul852 View Post
I ask this purely for information (maybe I've been here too long):

Which country do you assert has a better free healthcare system than the free healthcare system in Hong Kong?

Which country do you assert has a better free education system than the (English-language) public schools in Hong Kong? (It's not compulsory to pay for private education here any more than it is in the UK.)

Of course I can't dispute the fact that supermarket food is far, far cheaper in, say, the UK. Although, having said that, 50% of employed HK people earn less than about HK$15,000/month and I don't recall anyone dying of malnutrition in HK in recent times (and HK has a higher life expectancy than the UK), so it must be possible to eat well cheaply.

I produced plenty of data previously to show that HK was no more polluted than London on average. But the big difference is that if you are based in London you can live 100 miles away in a much less polluted environment. That isn't possible in HK.

And where in the world will you get a skivvy to clean up after you, take the kids to school, and cook your meals for HK$5000/month all in?
The country I am from ticks most of my mentioned boxes.
Before I joined Cathay on B Scale and full Expat benefits I concluded that it would be worth it.
That was before the global financial crisis with interest rates of around 5%.
The global financial crisis changed the dynamics.
If you depend on your own capital to generate income for your retirement, the Cathay Pacific model so to speak, you need a huge amount of cash to generate adequate income.
When 1 Mill US$ generated 50.000 US$ per year in income before the GFC with 5% interest rate, now you have to come up with 5 Mill US$ to generate 50.000 US$ with 1% interest rate.
Now if the numbers don't work for me anymore on B-Scale and full Expat benefits, how are they supposed to work for someone on D-Scale (CoS18) ?
As I mentioned before, if someone has the chance to get monthly pension payouts from the government and/or a company I would be thinking twice before giving that up nowadays.
With 1% interest rate, every 1.000 US$ per month in pension requires 1.2 Mill US$ in cash to generate it.

By the way, besides eating local food very cheaply for the rest of your life, you can rent very cheaply in HK too - a cage (four cages for yourself, a wife and 2 kids).
I am not sure if leaving a healthy environment just to eat local HK food and to live in a cage would be a prudent move though.
Same applies to the quality of free local schools.
You are wrong with the quality of air comparison between London and HK. According to air-matters the historical data for London shows good air quality for the vast majority over the year, whereas it shows average quality for the vast majority over the year in HK.
The market (cost of living) nowadays tells us that a young pilot is not wanted neither in London nor in HK.
As you rightly sad, in London you can move further away, in HK you can't.

You got the one about the domestic helpers right.
Here is a question though - who do you think has to pay for that extra room you would need to accommodate the domestic helper ?
Suddenly that 5.000 HK$ per month domestic helper might turn into a 10-15.000 HK$ (including the rent for the extra room, food and utilities, etc.) per month domestic helper.
With 12.000 HK$=1.500 US$ per month, that's 18.000 US$ per year, 180.000 US$ in 10 years, 720.000 US$ in 40 years for a domestic helper.
As a D-Scaler on CoS18 I suspect that money would be better saved for retirement, unless you want to work until 78 as a Sim Instructor.
I hope you are also aware about the 'helper trap'.


For me personally all those items, even the dysfunctional relationship between management and the pilot group on top are completely irrelevant considering the present situation in and of HK.
The HK protests, the associated downturn and uncertain treatment of HK by China in the future represents a red flag to join any company in HK, IMO.
Anyone, who makes the lifetime career decision and relocate to HK might be in for a very rude awakening one day.

Last edited by Frank W. Abagnale; 24th Dec 2019 at 01:46.
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Old 24th Dec 2019, 02:41
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Polar Route
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by Frank W. Abagnale View Post
The country I am from ticks most of my mentioned boxes.
Before I joined Cathay on B Scale and full Expat benefits I concluded that it would be worth it.
That was before the global financial crisis with interest rates of around 5%.
The global financial crisis changed the dynamics.
If you depend on your own capital to generate income for your retirement, the Cathay Pacific model so to speak, you need a huge amount of cash to generate adequate income.
When 1 Mill US$ generated 50.000 US$ per year in income before the GFC with 5% interest rate, now you have to come up with 5 Mill US$ to generate 50.000 US$ with 1% interest rate.
Now if the numbers don't work for me anymore on B-Scale and full Expat benefits, how are they supposed to work for someone on D-Scale (CoS18) ?
As I mentioned before, if someone has the chance to get monthly pension payouts from the government and/or a company I would be thinking twice before giving that up nowadays.
With 1% interest rate, every 1.000 US$ per month in pension requires 1.2 Mill US$ in cash to generate it.

By the way, besides eating local food very cheaply for the rest of your life, you can rent very cheaply in HK too - a cage (four cages for yourself, a wife and 2 kids).
I am not sure if leaving a healthy environment just to eat local HK food and to live in a cage would be a prudent move though.
Same applies to the quality of free local schools.
You are wrong with the quality of air comparison between London and HK. According to air-matters the historical data for London shows good air quality for the vast majority over the year, whereas it shows average quality for the vast majority over the year in HK.
The market (cost of living) nowadays tells us that a young pilot is not wanted neither in London nor in HK.
As you rightly sad, in London you can move further away, in HK you can't.

You got the one about the domestic helpers right.
Here is a question though - who do you think has to pay for that extra room you would need to accommodate the domestic helper ?
Suddenly that 5.000 HK$ per month domestic helper might turn into a 10-15.000 HK$ (including the rent for the extra room, food and utilities, etc.) per month domestic helper.
With 12.000 HK$=1.500 US$ per month, that's 18.000 US$ per year, 180.000 US$ in 10 years, 720.000 US$ in 40 years for a domestic helper.
As a D-Scaler on CoS18 I suspect that money would be better saved for retirement, unless you want to work until 78 as a Sim Instructor.
I hope you are also aware about the 'helper trap'.


For me personally all those items, even the dysfunctional relationship between management and the pilot group on top are completely irrelevant considering the present situation in and of HK.
The HK protests, the associated downturn and uncertain treatment of HK by China in the future represents a red flag to join any company in HK, IMO.
Anyone, who makes the lifetime career decision and relocate to HK might be in for a very rude awakening one day.
Ah, come on Frank! Old fashioned math?! Havenít you heard? Even math is subjective now. There is no right and wrong, just whatever you feel. Also, math is racist. Just ask some of the more progressive school boards. Based on new pilots today, these concepts have been been firmly embraced. Perhaps gravity is relative too. I think I read that on the new CFIT training slides.
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