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The end of arapa

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 end of arapa

Old 13th Aug 2020, 06:28
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 638
coronavirus - clearly we didn't fly together ;-)

Thanks to the failure of TA16 and TA18 we don't have any pesky legal restrictions on changes to ARAP or HKPA. Minor changes can be done with impunity, wholesale changes are 'challengeable' in court. But given the economic environment we find ourselves in, what would be considered 'wholesale' with an airline making a profit vs 'wholesale' with an airline losing $1.5Billion a month is debatable.

There has been a long term degradation in our terms. It is not the newcomer's fault - I remember some on A scale complaining about B scalers arriving. Then ASL - then COS08, then HKPA, then COS18. If the deal was so bad, people wouldn't come. Market forces!

A year from now I will be grateful to have/keep my job - I will be even more grateful if my employment terms(I mean $$$) are close to what I got prior to SLS. I will be gob smacked if they are the same. As the saying goes, never waste a crisis. All airlines will try to make themselves leaner out of all this. And that means- us - where else can they trim?

PS to spelling and grammar nazis - I do numbers not English - fire away at errors but I don't care ;-)

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Old 14th Aug 2020, 04:08
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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ARAP is certainly one of the "low-hanging fruit" that I fully expect the company to take an axe to. What seems to contradict this though, is the offer to continue to pay this allowance while people are on the latest Unpaid Leave offer going through to March next year.

The out-going GMA gave us a 10-year deal on ARAP so we could plan with some degree of certainty. Maybe they're going to honour this? Large changes could potentially bankrupt some people (though no-one saw Covid coming and planned accordingly). Maybe they're going to slowly turn the tap off as leases come up for renewal. It's anyone's guess.
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 08:57
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Originally Posted by mothy1583 View Post
(though no-one saw Covid coming and planned accordingly).
Correction if I may: No one knew it would be COVID but many knew the financial and economic system had to end sometime and some were even prepared for the changes that are being brought about by COVID.
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Old 14th Aug 2020, 11:15
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: usa
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Originally Posted by Dilbert68 View Post
Lose is a verb that means “to fail to win, to misplace, or to free oneself from something or someone.” Loose is an adjective that means “not tight.

Herewego75, please learn how to spell.
Wow you must be a dream to fly with. Sticks and stones!

As I said before everyone will decide what is best for themselves and their families. I just will comment here when they do pull ARAPA and say I told you so! All the deals they have done to extend it for 10 years etc means nothing... If a company needs to show they saving money and doing everything they can to save jobs, that is what they will do, with many other cuts! Don't forget they looking to save CC jobs also. Not just pilots jobs! How much is half of an ARAPA payment compared to CC salaries?

I hope I am wrong and we will all be happily flying soon, but we all know that won't happen.
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Old 15th Aug 2020, 04:56
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 7
I hope I am wrong and we will all be happily flying soon, but we all know that won't happen.[/QUOTE]

I’m sure you are right with parking a chunk of the fleet and the following quote:
On possible job cuts in 2020, CEO Augustus Tang said: “It is inevitable we will need to make difficult decisions”

I’d also wager that before long they’ll start the process of new contracts sign here or else.

On that gloomy note I’ll sign off 😂.
Good luck everybody.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 01:00
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Sydney
Posts: 18
The days of $70k to pay your mortgage or $100k to rent one of those nice places in Kowloon will be gone by Christmas. A new deal is coming, it won't be terrible but you will all sign it because there is nowhere else to go. It does't matter if you think it's fair. Life's not fair. You will just be happy not be be on the scrap heap like half the other Pilots in the world. Also if you are anywhere near 50 your career is probably over if you loose your job now.

Last edited by Busbitch; 16th Aug 2020 at 01:19.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 01:52
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Originally Posted by Busbitch View Post
The days of $70k to pay your mortgage or $100k to rent one of those nice places in Kowloon will be gone by Christmas. A new deal is coming, it won't be terrible but you will all sign it because there is nowhere else to go. It does't matter if you think it's fair. Life's not fair. You will just be happy not be be on the scrap heap like half the other Pilots in the world. Also if you are anywhere near 50 your career is probably over if you loose your job now.
I don't think a highly-experienced pilot will have trouble resurrecting their careers post-COVID. It's probably going to be hardest for the inexperienced or command-less.

Housing changes will mean dramatic lifestyle changes for many if they cut deep. Those who have houses/ apartments may be better off than those dependant on renting due refinancing options. But who really knows?
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 03:00
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Cesspit
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by Speed Weasel View Post
Has anyone that wants to scrap ARAPA realized that any new contract comes with age 65 retirement?

What do you think that does to upgrade times in a shrinking airline?

We should all be hoping people get to stay on COS 99 and leave at 55.
I’m not sure everyone quite understands what the current arrangements are. Certainly the original poster is confused.


ARAPA has been gone for three years now and is highly unlikely to ever be negotiated again or put to a vote to ratify an agreement over the housing allowance. Obviously the company still pays an allowance though as this is a contractural requirement to comply with the Accommodation and Rental Assistance clause.

I can only assume the original poster was referring to this payment when he made reference to ARAPA. In order for the company to cease this payment they’d be required to offer new contracts to eligible COS99 and COS08 crew. It’s arguable that the issue of a productivity based payment system has actually been a higher priority than any other aspect of our contracts, so it’s highly likely that if the company did offer new contracts that they won’t change one aspect of it but many. Not just productivity and housing but provident fund, CEA, payment increments, leave, seniority, list mergers, recruitment policy in regards to DEFO/DEC, etc. as well as adjusting non contractural allowances such as HKPA.

It’s also highly likely that it won’t be just one pilot group offered a new contract, but everyone within the group. The pain will be shared, although not equally. Until we see the devil in the detail we really have no idea of the effect it will have on individuals or if it will result in lifestyle adjustments.


Last edited by Progress Wanchai; 16th Aug 2020 at 05:11.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 03:57
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: HK
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Originally Posted by Gnadenburg View Post
I don't think a highly-experienced pilot will have trouble resurrecting their careers post-COVID. It's probably going to be hardest for the inexperienced or command-less.

Housing changes will mean dramatic lifestyle changes for many if they cut deep. Those who have houses/ apartments may be better off than those dependant on renting due refinancing options. But who really knows?
seniority means that even for a highly experienced pilot their career will be shafted - unless they go contracting.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 05:06
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
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Originally Posted by Progress Wanchai View Post
I’m not sure everyone quite understands what the current arrangements are. Certainly the original poster is confused.


ARAPA has been gone for three years now and is highly unlikely to ever be negotiated again or put to a vote to ratify an agreement over the housing allowance. Obviously the company still pays an allowance though as this is a contractural requirement to comply with the Accommodation and Rental Assistance clause.

I can only assume the original poster was referring to this payment when he made reference to ARAPA. In order for the company to cease this payment they’d be required to offer new contracts. It’s arguable that the issue of a productivity based payment system has actually been a higher priority than any other aspect of our contracts, so it’s highly likely that if the company did offer new contracts that they won’t change one aspect of it but many. Not just productivity and housing but provident fund, CEA, payment increments, leave, seniority, list mergers, recruitment policy in regards to DEFO/DEC, etc. as well as adjusting non contractural allowances such as HKPA.

It’s also highly likely that it won’t be just one pilot group offered a new contract, but everyone within the group. The pain will be shared, although not equally. Until we see the devil in the detail we really have no idea of the effect it will have on individuals or if it will result in lifestyle adjustments.
One just has to look at the recurrent theme in the press (small leaks here and there) and from certain pilot and cc managers. It’s Classic CX expectation management. Keep pushing the bad news to prepare the ground for pineapples.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 11:58
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 638
Yes it is contractual to pay housing assistance/HKPA for all of us. The levels are policy. So $1 is still an ARAP payment for someone who was getting $100K last month in rental assistance. As I have stated on these forums, and in all the TA18 forums, the amount can vary. If it varies too much - then it is challengeable in court. As I said - what was defines "too much" in Sep 2020 is very different to what the amount/percentage would have been in Dec 2019.

In terms of even pain? I am not so sure - somehow I think i am in the demographic that will be hit hardest. If they put us on onto current levels of HKPA - that hurts less than half the pilots here. And where would we go? If they tweak HKPA as well - then a lot of pain for the expats very little pain for HKPA recipients.

So yeah - if there is pain I will almost guarantee it won't be (fairly) shared - pretty sure my demographic will be hit hardest!
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 15:01
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Originally Posted by Numero Crunchero View Post
Yes it is contractual to pay housing assistance/HKPA for all of us. The levels are policy. So $1 is still an ARAP payment for someone who was getting $100K last month in rental assistance. As I have stated on these forums, and in all the TA18 forums, the amount can vary. If it varies too much - then it is challengeable in court. As I said - what was defines "too much" in Sep 2020 is very different to what the amount/percentage would have been in Dec 2019.

In terms of even pain? I am not so sure - somehow I think i am in the demographic that will be hit hardest. If they put us on onto current levels of HKPA - that hurts less than half the pilots here. And where would we go? If they tweak HKPA as well - then a lot of pain for the expats very little pain for HKPA recipients.

So yeah - if there is pain I will almost guarantee it won't be (fairly) shared - pretty sure my demographic will be hit hardest!
The housing rental levels are contractural. Sometimes you put too much emphasis on numbers while ignoring words. “adjusted to reflect market conditions in Hong Kong” while not being rock solid, is probably why they’ve only been adjusted to reflect market conditions in Hong Kong. Sure, market conditions are currently weak, so there’s no surprise the allowance currently reflects this. That’s exactly what the contract stipulates.

I’m in agreement with you that the pain won’t be shared equally. It never is. That’s life.
I’m not sure how much sympathy our demographic that failed to negotiate a common retirement age while “enjoying” 10 years of extra work can argue we’ll be hit the hardest. In the game of swings and roundabouts there won’t be many tears for us.

Last edited by Progress Wanchai; 16th Aug 2020 at 17:16.
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 00:29
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Hong Kong
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"The housing rental levels are contractual"

I hope I’m wrong but I wouldn’t plan on relying on current contractual rights.
Under restructuring laws employment is not automatically transferred between entities as a result of restructuring.
Either;
The employee accepts the offer of employment with the new entity,
The employee resigns, or
The employment is terminated by the employer on grounds of redundancy (IAW Employment Ordinance Cap 57)
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 04:43
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Originally Posted by Progress Wanchai View Post
The housing rental levels are contractural. Sometimes you put too much emphasis on numbers while ignoring words. “adjusted to reflect market conditions in Hong Kong” while not being rock solid, is probably why they’ve only been adjusted to reflect market conditions in Hong Kong. Sure, market conditions are currently weak, so there’s no surprise the allowance currently reflects this. That’s exactly what the contract stipulates.
I wish you were right but you are 100% wrong. The HKAOA lawyers and senior counsel advice on two seperate occasions have stated what I have repeated here. Though a former chairman spent an hour on the phone arguing with our lawyers telling them they were all wrong.
Up to you - believe the bush lawyers amongst us, or the legal advice prepared for the HKAOA by specialists in HK labour/employment law!
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 05:01
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
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Originally Posted by Progress Wanchai View Post
The housing rental levels are contractural.
Until a new contract is thrown at you, with no mention of any housing allowance. It's coming, and it's going to be a case of "Use it or lose it"
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 05:31
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Originally Posted by Curry Lamb View Post
Until a new contract is thrown at you, with no mention of any housing allowance. It's coming, and it's going to be a case of "Use it or lose it"
I suspect this would be the company’s preferred path rather than merely adjusting company policies. By using this option the company can tidy up a wish list of outstanding issues.

Some home owners and all boat owners have their payment in regards to Housing and Rental Assistance fixed, irrespective of the latest changes to ARAPA or ARAP. Can a change of company policy affect this agreement between individuals and the company? Certainly the company can try and certainly the affected individuals will seek redress through the courts.
It’s not all that hard to find lawyers who will argue anything including disagreeing with NC’s “100% wrong” assertion. When it comes to the courts no lawyer will give any client a 100% guarantee of a particular finding.

So a court case is inevitable whether the company chooses to significantly alter the housing allowance or if it chooses to re-write everyone’s contracts.
I suspect they’d rather go to court having taken a giant bite rather than a tasting lick.
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 06:56
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: CLK
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Any expensive lawsuit funded by the HKAOA that benefits only the (former) expat pilots will not be popular with the majority of the HKAOA members and will result in a massive exodus, another win for the company!
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 07:00
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: planet earth
Posts: 37
Yeah that's a good plan, ensure no lawsuit for ARAPA so that the Company can get to work right away on abolishing HKPA. It WILL be their next target.
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Old 17th Aug 2020, 07:15
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
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Hence an enticing new contract coming your way. 2 Birds with one (brush) stroke!
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 06:39
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Originally Posted by Progress Wanchai View Post
I suspect this would be the company’s preferred path rather than merely adjusting company policies. By using this option the company can tidy up a wish list of outstanding issues.

Some home owners and all boat owners have their payment in regards to Housing and Rental Assistance fixed, irrespective of the latest changes to ARAPA or ARAP. Can a change of company policy affect this agreement between individuals and the company? Certainly the company can try and certainly the affected individuals will seek redress through the courts.
It’s not all that hard to find lawyers who will argue anything including disagreeing with NC’s “100% wrong” assertion. When it comes to the courts no lawyer will give any client a 100% guarantee of a particular finding.

So a court case is inevitable whether the company chooses to significantly alter the housing allowance or if it chooses to re-write everyone’s contracts.
I suspect they’d rather go to court having taken a giant bite rather than a tasting lick.
I actually agree with some of what you have said here! Quelle surprise!

Where I disagree.....The amounts paid by CX on Level 1 or RFZ or mortgage are POLICY. They spell out in the policy how they come up with those numbers. There is no contract between CX and the pilot stating that their monthly payment is, say, $74,000 per month for life of the mortgage. The Policy states you will get it. So defining a number does not empower its' resilience in the face of corporate change to policy. If I am reading your arguments correctly, you are inferring that those with fixed numbers (whether for life of the mortgage or for 2 year periods) are more 'bullet proof' to variation than those on RFZ or level 1? That is NOT the case. Level 1 is clearly identifiable(by govt indices) and fixed(and varied by terms of the policy)- RFZ is also defined by govt indices (and varied by terms of the policy) - the 2 year rolling is fixed (and varied by terms of the policy) - the 15/25 year lock-in is fixed (by the terms of the policy). But all are under the policy. And the contractual obligation of the company is to provide housing assistance law with the policy. Policy can change unilaterally - and even as optimistic a person as I am, I suspect it will change soon! A large change leading to a significant change in your standard of living is challengeable. But what if you are getting 74K a month in purchasing a property, but you can put out the term of the loan to say 20 years and lower the payments to say 30K per month. You are still living in your flat/house - and CX could pay you 30K and you keep your flat. How have you suffered? Yes you are losing how quickly you were paying it off. But you see my point. Ironically I think the renters have a stronger case - if they are renting for 74K - then they would be materially and immediately affected by a substantial change in policy levels. So yes - not as clear as some people seem to think it is. Which is why the union paid a lot of money getting SC advice on two occasions over the last decade or so. Not as obvious as our bush lawyers would like us to think!

But I agree with your last sentence - a lick would not win in court -a bite(if big enough) would be defendable. But as I have said, what size bite would have been acceptable in 2019 is likely to be smaller than an acceptable bite size in covid times.

Of course the easy way out for them(CX) is for us to sign a new contract - that removes all the ambiguity. Question is - will it be a 1994 "voluntary' offer or a 1999 'sign or be fired' offer. Given the economic environment I tend to lean towards the latter.

Anyway - good debating with you PW

PS people please don't bother telling me the 1999 option can't be done - just go read the Judgements on the 49ers case/appeal etc. Then ask yourself - would a court be as sympathetic to CX pilots today as they were to the 49ers?
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