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Middle East Many expats still flying in Knoteetingham. Regional issues can be discussed here.


Old 22nd Dec 2015, 19:14
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One sure way to strip a person of his dignity and ensure their deep resentment is to rob or cheat them openly - knowing there is nothing they can do about it. To then ignore to requests, complaints and pleas on the subject will only reinforce their loathing and contempt.

Why then does a company aiming to be in the top 50 or 100 or whatever brand names set about systematically cheating their pilot employees out of leave and/or productivity pay? Why does it wonder why its attrition rate is high and increasing? Is it not concerned about its image when these examples are discussed and explained outside the company to family, friends, and at social gatherings?

Is it really worth it?

A study of what the company makes out of its employees when it does not adjust the productivity threshold proportionately in those months containing leave days is a most interesting exercise. Every pilot should have a look at it.

I looked at 30 (a small selection I understand but a larger review underway) random November B777 rosters (15 Capt and 15 FO) that contained short amounts of leave ranging between 4 to 14 days. It became obvious that there deliberate directive to maximize the hours in these rosters through use of ULR/LR flights and roster compression to achieve as near to full productivity even though a large proportion of the month is actually spent on leave!

Without going into too much detail it is not difficult to see that a leave day should be given a credit of 2.8 hours at least. I.e. if the pilot has 10 days of this should be credited as 28 hours. Adding the rest of the months flying to this should give a total credit on which productivity should be paid. (In the old days this was in fact the practice leading to a fair system that ran well here for a decade.)

Anything else is simply theft - either of the leave or the productivity. Why should pilots be expected to work proportionately harder in rosters containing leave than what is expected of pilots whose rosters do not contain leave?

I have seen rosters containing 6 days of leave and still at the productivity threshold or higher, with no credit given for the leave which is then for all intents and purposes is lost. Stolen would be a more apt description. This is akin to making anyone else in the company come in on weekends and public holidays to make up for work hours lost when they took leave!

As the company can in fact assign leave then theoretically they could issue 4 sets of 10 days leave in the year, maximize the productivity in those months and get rid of their whole pilots leave debt for free! Up to a point this is also what is happening when they assign short periods of leave.

Back to the study of rosters containing less than 14 days leaveÖ Without exception all the rosters reviewed exceeded the threshold considerably when a credit of 2.8 per leave day was included.

One captain with 60.25 credit hours had 13 days leave. Assuming the 2.8 hours per leave day would make his real credit 96.65 hours. He had been cheated out of 7000 Dhs. Another FO had 8 days leave and 77.17 hours. He had been denied of 6200 Dhs. On Average the captains were each losing around 5500 dhs in productivity. FOís were losing 3900 dhs on average.

Given the amount of rosters examined it becomes apparent that this is a deliberate and systematic strategy by the company. It is less successful as the leave gets over 14 days in the month, but very effective with lower amounts of leave. The moral of the story Ė donít take less than 10 days of leave. Youíll be giving most of it away.

Also interesting are the repercussions of this strategy. As ULR and LR flights are being used to maximize productivity in rosters containing leave, those flights are then not available to the rest of the pilots who donít have leave in the month. The likelihood of doing shorter turn around flights for pilots with rosters containing no leave then goes up. That explains some of the roster dissatisfaction. Those with no leave in the month are less likely to get a ULR which many use for roster duty time control.

Another ripple effect is that the leave system is less likely to cope with leave allocation. Knowing what we know, who would be mad enough to bid for a short 4 to 8 day leave block unless absolutely essential? You might as well give it to the company.

To avoid getting cheated out of leave most will bid for longer leave periods. If pilots could bid for 4 days of leave knowing they would get credit then more would likely do so on an ad hoc basis. This would then free up the system to better allocate leave for the others. Previously when the system gave credit for leave and there were many who took short blocks of leave through the year and no surprise, leave satisfaction and flexibility was much better.

Is it really worth it? It is a leading cause of resentment within the flightcrew. It also impacts other systems reducing their efficiency and flexibility as people will desperately try to manipulate a system to avoid being taken advantage of and living with that feeling of violation.

A few thousand dirhams is a lot to an individual employee. But for the company, what they save by cheating their employees compared with a movement of a few cents in the oil price of the cost of another sponsorship is pennies, I must wonder who is sanctioning and supporting this contemptible practice. Is this what one would expect of a brand leader?

So while millions are spent on one advertisement with a celebrity, thousands of pilots are systematically cheated of productivity or leave, while the very celebrity promotes the excellence of the brand.

The company factor; pro-ratas and moderates every dirham from meal allowances to education. Why would they not pro rata productivity expectation on the few months we enjoy our precious leave? Did they miss the logic? Do they not see the obvious sleight of hand? No, it appears deliberate and dishonest.

And itís definitely not it keeping with a leading brand. So I say to them Ė get it together, raise the game, be fair - and then the bounty will likely keep coming.

No one likes a cheat.
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Old 22nd Dec 2015, 21:19
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Were you here when that c*** Knowles (TCK) was around? No credit for leave was part of his raft of "Cost Neutral" changes. That's when annual leave became simply "guaranteed" days off. It's been around since about 2005 or so and it was no accident.

Why did he do it? Greed. His bonus from the company's savings at our expense. Same as always, Pixy.

So I say to them – get it together, raise the game, be fair - and then the bounty will likely keep coming.
Pissing in the wind.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 00:17
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if you don't like it just leave, on one needs you over here , the problem with you is you think you can change the company behaviour,they can treat you whatever they like, just go ahead and research about other countries,
Pilots are treated worse in south america , Iran , Iraq and ...
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 01:56
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Pity, I hate to say it but it's a waste of time. Nothing will change. As posted 2005 cost neutral. 4days leave has been a schedule tool , instead of 15 days off you get 4 leave and 11 off days. Cost to company zero,cost to you 4 wasted days of vacation.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 02:24
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Pixy, excellent post. Unfortunately they will continue to steal and cheat, it's in their DNA.

Mmorel, you are just a brainwashed idiot who says stealing is ok. Words fail me why don't you join this outfit here if you so like being shafted??
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 02:37
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Originally Posted by mmorel
Pilots are treated worse in south america , Iran , Iraq and ...
We don't see many global brand names coming from these places... And probably never will...

The point that Pixy is making Mmorel is that if a company wishes to be a household global brand name then you should treat your staff accordingly!
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 02:57
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Love your work, Pixy.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 05:31
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No one likes a cheat.
Apart from your good contribution, there you're wrong.
I can think of at least a handful of higher ups liking such cheats, all dressed in easily recognisable suits
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 07:31
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Pixy is right. Whoever is sanctioning this practice is damaging the brand. I doubt the very top takes any interest how pay and productivity works so they may not be aware that this goes on.

Perhaps our new EVP will make this his first bit of business. Correcting this evil would be a strong opener.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 07:33
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Well done Pixy it's so true.

It's good to see someone write the facts for all to see and not fiction.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 07:42
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mmorel. A troll.

If you dont like it you can leave...
You can't change it....
We can do what we like here...
Its worse elsewhere...

Dont we get this in every RTGS washup?

Good one Pixy.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 09:44
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Please sir, tell me you are not that naive. Do you honestly think ANYTHING will change for the betterment of our pilot group? Starting with Pixy's post, factoring, 100+ hours per month, lack of full leave award, pay, etc. But I love your optimism. Have a Happy everyone.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 12:03
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Excellent post Pixy

Any prospective pilot applying to EK would be well advised to read your posts before they make a massive mistake.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 13:26
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No Tango Uniform not that naive.

However the reasoning is this. New DSVP comes from flight safety. Of all people he should understand that by cramping rosters to get max productivity on months of leave is defeating the whole purpose of leave. What Pixy has not mentioned is that this is has a safety implication also. Leave is there for a reason. Not an excuse to exhaust the pilot immediately before or after.

He should also understand the implications of the large variation in duty hours across fleets and rosters. The ones who do more duty get less rest.

For these reasons the whole system has been bent out of shape to the point of large scale resignation and a reluctance for experienced pilots to apply.

These are the problems he has taken on.

It has been suggested on this forum that the new broom is a good man and he has a background in safety so we should give him a chance before he is condemned as ineffective and simply a messenger and facilitator of the powers above.

So lets see. If he does not even attempt to change the so obviously flawed systems here then we have our answer.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 14:01
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I once considered joining Emirates many years ago. It was the best decision I never made. I cannot believe how lucky I was to have dodged that bullet!
For years now I've watched the slow demise of this once prestigious airline, wondering where it all went wrong. Most of my friends there have long since resigned in despair.
Whenever I hear of one of our FO's considering EK or QR I warn them with the feedback from my friends and old colleagues not to touch them with a bargepole.
You guys have our sympathies. In fact it's become a talking point in our airline about how badly you guys are treated. What was once one of the best airlines in the world has probabally, become one of the worst. It's tragic. EK has become the benchmark in how crap an airline job can be. Sadly there are going to be long term repercussions for the industry.
If the Emirates style treatment of crew becomes the norm in the industry, fewer young people are going to enter this profession. And certainly all the ME and Far Eastern airlines are going to experience a serious shortage of crew. (As I know they already are.) Emirates et al only have themselves to blame.
And if they continue their behavior they are only going to make the situation worse for themselves in the years that follow.
They could probabally turn things around if they wanted to, but from what I read in these pages, they don't appear to have the foresight.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 19:56
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congo, I agree with you. Just take a look at the Regionals in the USA how bad they hurting for pilots now.
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Old 23rd Dec 2015, 21:28
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excellent post ... Bravo!
It is time to escape back into the wild as this shelter isn't any longer safe.
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Old 24th Dec 2015, 10:50
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Great post Pixy
I actually have 4 days AL in Jan 2016(overlaps to Feb2016 11 days)
And at 87:15 hrs with a HS in as well for good measure my actual hrs should be 98:25 and if you include the Sim 102:25 hrs and I did get a ULR to US as well in there. So that's a 10hrs overtime loss of roughly 6,240aed!!!!
Good money I could use and to starve off a bit of fatigue.
There was a research article I read in American Scientific Magazine (showed it to JA at a wash up about 4 years ago) that said that compensation for EXTRA work above the normal actually suppresses fatigue as its a Reward and the opposite happens if no reward is given and actually Compounds Fatigue!! It's all brain chemicals and fatigue affects us on a very long term level. A few days of Leave will not be able to cure with a few nights of sleep!!! It's a ever tightening spin without a rudder to correct.
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Old 24th Dec 2015, 11:25
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Read a similar article in a Psychology mag a few years back (I know you're surprised...) Was at a meeting where AS said pilots only complained about working up to 90 hours as they no longer got overtime pay. Suggesting that there was no complaints when the threshold was at 78 hrs. He was absolutely correct but didn't realise it or why....
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