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Bristow North Sea

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Bristow North Sea

Old 12th Jun 2001, 03:05
  #61 (permalink)  
stikker
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would a web cam be an idea
 
Old 12th Jun 2001, 14:01
  #62 (permalink)  
Tuckunder
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Unfortunately, Scatsta are not the only remote site! Would love to make the meeting but can't due to rosta. There is a lot of support from remote sites for some form of co-ordinated action.
 
Old 13th Jun 2001, 03:27
  #63 (permalink)  
thechopper
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Is it legal that the company can prevent the company council to tell the workforce about proposals for pay etc?
I think we have a right to know what's on the agenda. That's what I thought I pay my union dues for. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
Old 13th Jun 2001, 03:34
  #64 (permalink)  
thechopper
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ok guys,
make sure you're goona make it tonight. The message is there; let's make sure it's received.If you don't do anything now, you deserve what you get. Shut up and suffer.
 
Old 13th Jun 2001, 12:21
  #65 (permalink)  
chopperman
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thechopper,
Your company council answer to you, (the members), not to the company. I keep saying this, 'they, (the CC), are your mouthpiece and will say or do exactly what you tell them. If, for instance, you all want a 100% payrise then the CC must put forward your claim'. It has been known for a CC to keep commercially sensitive items from the membership at the companies request but it should not do so at the expence of that membership.

On another thread,
It seems that few people on this forum know what is going on in Scotia, does anyone from Scotia take part in this particular thread? I do know what is going on but am unwilling to publish it here, hopefully, you will know more after your bun-fight in the Thistle. I am sure you will find that Scotia pilots are a more united and determined bunch than you think.

Unfortunately, for personal reasons, I can't make the bun-fight , have fun.

Chopperman.
 
Old 14th Jun 2001, 02:40
  #66 (permalink)  
stikker
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well how did it go?
 
Old 14th Jun 2001, 18:43
  #67 (permalink)  
Speedwing
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Well, what a disappointment! Only about 50 pilots turned up out of about 250 based in Aberdeen (approx 30 from Scotia and 20 from Bristow). Basically only 20% of the workforce were prepared to attend. OK, some were working, some were away and didn't see the notices, but basically it just shows that the so-called unitedness to get something done was not achieved one little bit.

There was also a lot of hot-air going around with lots of rumours which were blatantly untrue (Scotia going for a 50% pay rise for example which was traced down to someone putting that is what they wanted on a questionnaire sent around to all the BALPA members). Rumours like these do not help anyone, and just go to make our case harder to justify in my opinion.

However, there were some good points put forward such as trying to get our salaries put at the low-cost airlines level (by low cost it was meant at the RyanAir, easyJet, Go scales). Companies would not be able to go to that sort of salary in one go, but could progress to achieve these levels after, say 3 years. This could be achievable by both companies because they can then sort out their budget and contract details. The scales would then match these airlines.

However, both comapnies should be made to realise that they need to start off with a good message to their workforce by giving a decent pay rise to prevent the drift away either from one company to the other, or to the airlines.

This is the best (and probably only time) that both work forces have to achieve an improvement in both pay and conditions. The feeling was let it go this year and we may never get a chance again!

Evidently, someone in Bristow this morning put around a letter demanding that their Company Council go for a 50% pay rise. Personally I think he is dreaming as no company will even start to talk at that sort of request. Perhaps a more sensible way to go is to start at about 25-30% but also get in an agreement that over a period of time e.g. 3 years, that salaries are matched with the low-cost airlines, as I said earlier. However, good luck to them if they can achieve it. I watch with interest.

Anyway, I was disappointed with the turn out and it just makes me think that many pilots are happy with what they have got. Putting around false hopes and promises doesn't help though, nor does a lot of hot air without some form of action to back it up!

One final point, to whoever set this up, why wasn't a room booked rather than filling up a bar with lots of other people? I understand that one kind soul scrounged a room from the hotel that was spare. This at least meant that we could all talk without "outsiders" listening in.
 
Old 14th Jun 2001, 22:36
  #68 (permalink)  
chopperman
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The 50% that Scotia pilots are looking for is no rumour, nor is it hot air. A few quick sums will show that it would put us near to the narrow body jet pay that we used to have parity with years ago.

Chopperman.
 
Old 15th Jun 2001, 03:05
  #69 (permalink)  
100%RPM
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As promised, a summary somebody produced:

MEETING 13 JUNE 2001
Introduction
A meeting of North Sea Helicopter Pilots was held recently primarily as a social event, but also to give an opportunity for the pilots of both sides of the airfield to acquaint themselves more accurately with the working conditions and rosters that each company worked to.

The Scotia situation
The company has been promising the pilots a new roster (8-6, which over 28 days gives 16 on and 12 off count up your days on in any 28-day period and see that it comes to an average of 19) for the last eighteen months or so and as at the beginning of April they have achieved exactly that (no 5-2-5-9 roster as we had been led to believe because they didn't want that). However, this has left the company some two to four crews short on any contract day and it was hoped that this shortfall would be made up by crews working their days off
The company themselves are preaching that the crews have agreed to this arrangement wherein they will work extra days and be rostered on to do so. Some crews may well have agreed to this, but not all, and it certainly isn't the case that everyone is working this arrangement.
They can be put on a "flexi-roster" which basically means that they don't know what they are working on any particular day, and they receive a small extra remuneration for this.
The Scotia work force has just received the second round of their "7% over two years", namely 4.27%. However, since then the pilots themselves have been communicating to BALPA the fact that they are entirely unhappy with the remuneration they are receiving (which rates are on average about 7-10% ahead of BHL), and they want a complete review of their pay and conditions to bring them into line with other essential service professionals in the oil industry and also to align them more accurately with their counterparts in other areas of the aviation industry.
They are currently pursuing this matter through the BALPA company council, who have indicated that it will take approximately six weeks to formulate a proposal to the company.

BHL Discussion
A separate discussion among the BHL aircrew present drew several conclusions. Without stating the obvious, the way ahead for the company is to make it sufficiently attractive to those joining to stay and make a career of it. This will involve substantial increases in remuneration and, through recruitment of sufficient numbers, quality of life.
There is a gagging clause on the discussions between the company and the CC on pay and this is completely unacceptable to the membership. The cc represents us a.t these negotiations and it is beholden upon them to report to us as members what has transacted at the negotiations.
A11 we know so far is that we know nothing, from which we can only infer that no offer has been made!
As an aside, it was pointed out that several company directors have recently traded their options and made substantial amounts of money in so doing (in the vicinity of $500,000).
Enough is enough! It was decided that we need to direct the cc more firmly on the levels of award we are now looking for (more in line with our colleagues), and that we would write to the cc and direct them as our representatives to ensure the company is made abundantly clear about this. Secondly it was decided that a meeting should be set for a date prior to the next meeting of the cc with the company, with a view to determining a strategy for the response to the outcome of these negotiations.
A letter has been formulated and is attached to this notice. Anybody who wants to make the letter personal should send an email to [email protected] to receive a copy of the text for themselves, otherwise, simply sign the attached letter and it will be passed on to the chairman of the cc very shortly. BALPA cc representatives and volunteers will be approaching you as an individual with a view to obtaining your support for the cc and the negotiating team and pilots are urged to consider the ramifications of the fact that we as yet do not know anything from the cc despite three meetings with the company!
 
Old 15th Jun 2001, 03:17
  #70 (permalink)  
North Sea Phantom
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This is the letter BHL pilots are circulating around.

13 June 2001

The Chairman
BALPA Company Council
Bristow Helicopters Ltd
Dear Mr Chairman,

Recently you asked us to submit a vote on the level of pay rise we would expect from the company this year. Since this last correspondence from the Company Council I have been involved in discussions with my work colleagues and it has become abundantly clear that the level of pay and conditions that we are currently receiving from the industry is wholly inadequate, and does not reflect the true value of our service to the industry.

As pilots we perform a valuable function, providing a safe and efficient service without which the North Sea Oil Industry would be considerably the poorer! Our colleagues in other areas of the oil industry are rewarded significantly more than we are, and it is felt that the oil companies are not recognising the importance of our role in the infrastructure of the industry on the whole of the North Sea.

It is well documented that the value of the remuneration received by individuals in our own profession, in other areas of our industry such as the charter airlines, is much higher. Paradoxically, their working environment is significantly less-demanding. This inconsistency has led to the drain of experienced licence holders from among our ranks attracted by the better pay and working conditions. This affects me, my career and my working environment directly, placing an even higher demand on my personal resources to continue to provide the level of service and safety to the oil industry.

I believe that we need to achieve an immediate change in two vital elements of our working environment. Primarily, my remuneration should reflect the importance of the service I provide, and secondly, I want a career with visible, and attractive horizons to stop the drain to fixed-wing. Accordingly, I want to direct you as my representative on the Company Council and as part of the negotiating team, to make it very clear to the company that a pay award of less than 50% will not be acceptable to me!

I also want to ask you to hold a meeting prior to the next meeting with the company, with a view to establishing a clear mandate for you to continue the negotiations with the company and to make it clear to them that any further stalling of negotiations is unacceptable, that I want to see an offer published immediately after your next meeting and if no offer is forthcoming, to decide on what action we should take as a workforce to ensure that the company understands the seriousness of my position!
 
Old 15th Jun 2001, 12:33
  #71 (permalink)  
Special 25
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North Sea Phantom - I have seen the letter above circulating around the company, and am aware that pilots are willing to undersign. The letter raises some good points that both we and I'm sure Bristow and Scotia management are well aware of but are we really signing to say that "anything less than 50% is unacceptable" ?

We have plenty of good arguments in our favour and these need to be put forward primarily to the oil companies by our management but to suggest that even a small minority of the pilots woruld down-tools and walk out if we were to be offered 20% is I beleieve, plainly not fact.

We all, as a united workforce, believe our services are worth more than we currently receive. Together we can achieve a lot more but at the same time, we need to keep our feet on the ground and by that I mean that we cannot threaten, what we have no intention of carrying out.
 
Old 15th Jun 2001, 13:34
  #72 (permalink)  
thechopper
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That exactly is the crux. You're unhappy to sign up for 50% but happy to sign for 20.
150 pilots and 160 different figures. But as I suspect you quite happily fly your a/c with 15.5% pitch along with the others, go on and sign up for 50 just to bring the message across and force some reaction from the company. At least then we'll know where we stand rather sooner than later. And that's one big part of the exercise as I see it. If management still don't give a toss, this is their chance to show it to us.
 
Old 15th Jun 2001, 18:03
  #73 (permalink)  
Speedwing
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To Chopperman

I believe that there is no directive for the Scotia Balpa CC to go to the company to negotiate a 50% pay rise. I cannot see any company seriously contemplating any discussions unless the workforce is willing IN LARGE numbers to do something about it. I think that the other night just goes to prove that there isn't the belief that there will be any chance of that type of increase in salaries straight off.

I don't deny that a 50% pay rise in Scotia (which would equate to about 60%(?) for Bristow) would bring us all in to line with the likes of easyJet, Go, etc. It will not happen in one go. However, to go to battle with the management to achieve this rise over a period of time where companies have the chance to re-organise their financial budgets and also their contract rates surely must be the way to go. Nothing comes instantly (unless you win the lottery).
 
Old 15th Jun 2001, 18:54
  #74 (permalink)  
roundwego
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hang on guys, - what are we doing discussing our negotiating options in an open forum like this which every manager and oil company aviation rep can read. Whilst it is perfectly acceptable to vent our frustrations here, we should be keeping our plans a bit more discrete. Lets get this closed forum up and running.- does someone know how to do this?
 
Old 15th Jun 2001, 18:59
  #75 (permalink)  
thechopper
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Speedwing
have we not spent years of trying to achieve nothing instantly? These days everything is geared around short term gains for the shareholders; if that's not achieved they sell their shares and us. So let's participate in short term policy. If we give our companies time until the next invariable slump we will be back to where we started from.Go for it now or lose out next year forever.
 
Old 15th Jun 2001, 19:33
  #76 (permalink)  
Speedwing
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thechopper

You are right, we must go for it this year, but let's get a deal in where we increase over a number of years at a rate which will not put our companies in to a financial situation which may mean pilots numbers being cut just to pay those that remain. Get a deal agreed this year and we must be on to a winner! Or are you going to be one of those that only 50% will do at the cost of everyone else?

roundwego

I know that the bosses read this forum, but I am discussing nothing that hasn't already been heard around the crewrooms by our managers. It is nothing new to them, hence I put it on here. However, if it is seen to get support from those of you on here, then we may actually get somewhere! It would be nice to think that with so-called new management strategies and the hope of doing something to stop the exodus (soon to be mass?) of helicopter pilots to fixed-wing, they will consider a deal like this. In the end, it is of use to them because it will keep experience in the cockpit, and it is of use to the pilots because they can see a firm commitment from the companies that they are trying to do something.

[This message has been edited by Speedwing (edited 15 June 2001).]
 
Old 15th Jun 2001, 23:31
  #77 (permalink)  
Problemchild
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Well,as a rotorhead expat I can't believe you're still carrying on like this.Social meetings have been tried before, with the same dismal turn out( bolstered by company spies).You have to accept that those flying helicopters for a living are not going to have a lot of get up and go or they'd have got up and gone.As for having a salary on par with easy and go etc. you have to realise you can fit 180 pax on a 737 800, how many can you get on a 332? Also the last time I checked nobody was paying for a seat to the basin.5 or more years ago you sat and watched the proactive members of your industry leave for pastures new, you may aswell resign yourselves to what you have in the way of terms and conditions, because nobody believes you can or will vote with your feet.
 
Old 16th Jun 2001, 01:12
  #78 (permalink)  
Special 25
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Problem Child by name and nature it would seem !

Your 737 (and I believe a typical one carries around 150 pax) is full of average families looking to buy a budget ticket to a holiday destination and are looking for rock-bottom prices. ie. I recently bought 2 tickets, Aberdeen to Luton return for 100 including Taxes.

My 18 pax are paid for by the oil companies who are not looking for the cheapest price. They are making ?? million per day and need the guys out there at any price (obviously within some reason). I've flown 5 hour trips just to deliver a packet of washers !

Their business is producing oil and its a rich business. BP/Shell etc, need the workers out there, they need their frieght delivered and we could set the price a lot higher before any of them are going to consider it too expensive.

Isn't it nice to have such a simplistic outlook on the industry, but in truth that's where we stand. The oil companies need our services desperately and they would be willing to pay for them, yet somehow we have managed to find ourselves boxed into a corner, trying to outbid the competition by charging budget airline prices when they simply weren't required !

You can't compare North Sea Helicopters to the operations at Easyjet & Go. You can however determine that the aircrews, engineers etc do have a comparative working environment and I don't see many of them heading fixed-wing to rotary ! We work just as hard, in a harsher environment, for less pay and something has got to be done about it.
 
Old 16th Jun 2001, 02:33
  #79 (permalink)  
thechopper
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Speedwing,
I must say, that, with (probably) 8 years left in this volatile industry of ours ,I am not too concerned about the long term prospect. If the oil price goes up by 300%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and the profits reach obscene !!!!!!!!!!!!!! levels , I don't feel embarrased by asking for a 50% payrise not over years , but now. Just like Standby - vessels, drill-rigs or consultants, we are an essential part of an industry, which in our part of the world is declining. So the demand dictates the price.
Do you see any chance of working for any period of time abroad as a pilot? Unless you strike a speial deal with management and they provide a house for you in the Faroes if you are prepared to crew a contract.
The empire died some years ago.
If we give them time to reach the next inevitable slump we only hurt ourselves.
I hate to say that, because until very recently I saw quite a future for our industry, and thinking along the lines of US and THEM never occurred to me, but if management gives you a " Like it or shove it "
Attitude, that's what they can expect and get from their workforce. And I hope it's not only pilots, but engineers who think along the same lines, as they provide my tools on OUR ESSENTIAL JOB;
WITHOUT IT THE NORTHSEA STOPS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Old 16th Jun 2001, 11:49
  #80 (permalink)  
Problemchild
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Special 25 All that you say is true! However it's been true for the last 30 years.Howcome commercial divers have long since retired to a large slice of the home counties whilst all the Helicopter Pilots live in Ellon and are still getting up at 00 dark o clock? If you have a valuable skill how are the oil and helicopter companies managing to pay slave wage rates for all these years? I'm afraid I agree with you on many points ,but have no faith that you'll find sufficient depth of courage and support among the work force to get any improvement.In the end it'll be the same old story, those who would do something about it will eventually act on their own and move to better conditions for themselves elsewhere.
 

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