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BA Pilot's sex discrimination case. (Update: Now includes Tribunal's judgement)

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BA Pilot's sex discrimination case. (Update: Now includes Tribunal's judgement)

Old 7th Feb 2005, 22:03
  #281 (permalink)  

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Sorry WR, but I fail to see the correlation between my quote and your statement.

One of the great things about PPRuNe is the great diversity of people that it attracts. . . usually with one common interest: aviation; this includes the aviation nuts and the aviating nut-munchers. (That was a joke for those who have had a sense of humour lobotomy).

What I do find slightly offensive here are those who say things like: “She shouldn’t have got up the duff in the first place” or “women. . . they should be tied to the kitchen sink. . . they have no place in a cockpit” (or words to that effect).

At then end of the day, we have here a person who was prepared to stand up FOR WHAT SHE FEELS IS RIGHT! Whether we agree with her case or not, let’s not turn start attacking her blindly. . . who knows? Some good may just come out of this for us all. . . .

BH
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 22:36
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BH

The equivalent of telling a surgeon where to stick his scalpel (your analogy) would be telling a barrister how to conduct a trial, not how to run his chambers.
Friends of mine who work in the commercial world are very free with their comments about how barristers' chambers are run - usually expressions of disbelief!

That aside, wouldn't you agree that, regardless of the detail of this particular case, the underlying clash of opinions here is between those who believe it's reasonable in the 'modern world' that employers should adjust to accommodate working mothers (and be forced to if they won't) and those who think if couples wish to have careers which take them both away from home as well as having children, they should accept responsiblity for planning their own lives without looking to employers to accommodate their wishes - even if it means one of them having to make a choice between children and career?
Some people think being forced to make a choice is outrageous; others think it's perfectly reasonable.
One side accuses the other of being stuck in a time warp; their opponents argue that 'traditional' family values are not necessarily bad just because they've been around a long time.

All I meant was that the issue isn't unique to pilots, and you don't need to be a pilot to express a view on the broad principles/issues.
Do we really disagree on that?

I'm neither a professional pilot nor an employment lawyer and, since the absurd change in the law post 9/11, I now have to sit down the back eating nuts etc. I've still found the discussion and the various views very interesting, not only reactions to the particular case but the conflict between modern and traditional family values.

______

You say Jessica is standing up for what she feels is right - there are clearly conflicting views about whether she's motivated by high principle or self-interest.
Either way, she's not going to attract the respect and admiration of those who consider what she feels, and is standing up for, is completely wrong.
I willingly concede that, if I knew all the facts, I might admire her and hope she wins. On the limited facts posted here, and on BALPA's website, I don't and I hope she doesn't.

Rgds

Tudor
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 22:40
  #283 (permalink)  
 
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Big Hilly,

What I do find slightly offensive here are those who say things like: “She shouldn’t have got up the duff in the first place” or “women. . . they should be tied to the kitchen sink. . . they have no place in a cockpit” (or words to that effect).
I totally agree.
...we have here a person who was prepared to stand up FOR WHAT SHE FEELS IS RIGHT!
This may indeed be the case but a lot of people in BA would re-phrase that to read:

"... we have here a person who was prepared to stand up FOR WHAT SHE WANTS AND SOD EVERYONE ELSE!"
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Old 7th Feb 2005, 23:20
  #284 (permalink)  

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Tudor,

The scalpel analogy was indeed a quick and perhaps ill thought-out reply, which is partly why I modified it to that of your Head of Chambers.

No, you don’t need to be a pilot to express a view on the broad issues (your words) of the case, but I do think that you need to be one to express a view on the specifics of this particular case.

It is not within our gift to pass judgement nor indeed comment as to whether Jessica was right to conceive and give birth to a child; that is entirely her own business and clearly none of us on this board (pilots or otherwise) should even be questioning that right but yet many do seem to think that they can. . . Apart from this, many others feel that they have the right to comment on the fact that British Airways sponsored this lady and how many thousands of other people would be lucky to have had such an opportunity and what a waste that is. . . again, this is a matter for her and her alone. But then we get to the people who feel that a part-time pilot is far more dangerous than a full time pilot. When I was flying fast-jets for the RAF I flew far less hours than I do now as a commercial pilot, (infact probably about the same as a part-time BA pilot) was I unsafe then? It is this level of understanding that I question that you need to be a pilot to comments on the SPECIFICS of the case.

As a barrister, you are protected by the Bar Council (please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong as I’m not a barrister) but as I understand it, the worse case scenario is that if you are found guilty of Professional Misconduct or are found to have provided Inadequate Professional Services you are only required to repay your fees (up to £5000) and say sorry. . . . As yet, barristers have not been subject to the level of ‘dumbing-down’ that we have seen in our profession (i.e. where everyone feels that they are an expert and could do a better job than those of us trained to do so) and it is in this respect that I make no excuse for sticking up for my colleagues.

It’s late, and I need to go to bed; there are poor, unsuspecting souls who need to flown around by an 'arrogant ' such as I tomorrow and I need my sleep, because, if I screw up, I’ll need your services and you and I may just be on the same side for once. . . .

BH
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 00:31
  #285 (permalink)  
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I don't know about your RAF fast jet time Big Hilly (way after my time I suspect) but I do remember the "career" pilots who first thought of their future, which did not mean flying, and spent an inordinate time furthering this desire whilst the rest of us did the early mornings, late nights, air tests, etc. Those guys played the system to their own ends and some achieved the goal of high office with little airborne time. Meanwhile the rest of the flying motivated bunch flew their butts off, mostly enjoying it but occasionally noticing that ones social and parental life was not perfect. The part time career flyer was more and more obvious by his poor and barely acceptable flying performance, and invariably wound up on a Sqn or flying unit where lack of front line abilities was not noticeable.
Please don't try and bull**** us with "you're not a pilot and don't understand" therefore don't comment.
The Lady can fly but if she doesn't put the hours in she will not be as experienced as those who do have the time. Consequently and until she has the the hours she should not expect to be able to work the hours available to experienced pilots.
As SLF now, I would prefer both pilots of my BA flight to be current.
Finally there is no comparison between low flying hours flown in the Mil fast jet world and as an ATPL in a commercial aircraft with lots of fare paying passengers. One may "get away with it" as Richthoffen but certainly not as "Captain speaking".
 
Old 8th Feb 2005, 11:58
  #286 (permalink)  
 
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Late on in the debate but having tried to keep up with the case surely it boils down to wether there was an agreement to allow part time work with that particular experience level when the person applied for that option.
Arguments of the ability of a particular gender to perform certain jobs are really a none starter in this day and age and say more about the person questioning equal opportunities. Women can perform equally as well as men (apart from stone skimming that is).
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 12:37
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Big Hilly
The worst case scenario for a barrister found guilty of Professional Misconduct is being struck off. The worst case scenario in financial terms for negligence in a particular case is being ordered to pay damages to the client for any loss incurred as a result. We aren't allowed to practise without professional indemnity insurance and it isn't cheap - one negligent mistake in court could mean a claim for £millions.

"As yet, barristers have not been subject to the level of ‘dumbing-down’ that we have seen in our profession"?
Come on, almost every man and his dog feels able to comment on what lawyers do wrong, what the courts do wrong, how barristers and judges are out of touch with the real world, that we're all money-grabbing liars who won't help anyone unless we're being paid big fat and totally unjustifiable fees etc etc

As someone who works closely with the industry, and with many professional pilot friends, I have the impression there has been some 'dumbing down' of the profession of pilot in recent years, but more within than outside - and stems IMHO from policies within certain companies (BA for one). The vast majority of passengers realise pilots are highly qualified people who've successfully completed long and demanding training to obtain their professional qualifications, and still have enormous respect for pilots. I do.


PS: I agree with you re the 'part-time/safety' argument - you need to be a professional pilot to comment on that aspect of the dispute.
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 14:25
  #288 (permalink)  
 
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Big Hilly
Not within our gift to pass judgement nor comment? Why not? It's a discussion.

"Whether Jessica was right to conceive and give birth to a child is entirely her own business."
Right on target Sir! That's what a lot of folk here have been saying here all along. It's her and her husband's business and they should sort themselves out not expect the company to do it.
Sure it's her own business but she made it company business by trying to have her cake and eat it and then running off to lawyers when she don't get her own way.
Beats me why you think people ain't allowed to comment on the fact that British Airways just sponsored her through an expensive training program.
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 15:43
  #289 (permalink)  

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The argument about currency is a false one as the CAA make no such demands on the licence holder. I thought that had been done to death earlier in the thread.

Roghead: There is no question that BA pilots will not be 'current', even part-time ones. You are skating on thin ice here with statements like this.

BA's case is a tenuous one brought about by fleet manpower shortages and a rule has been introduced retrospectively after the application was made. That is partly why this has come to tribunal.

Sponsored BA pilots partly pay back their training costs with reduced salary.

Jessica is not 'having her cake and eating it' - what on earth does that mean? Her pay will be reduced commensurate with hours worked.

Chippy63: better watch out for me as well as I am part-time. I have just passed a 6-monthly sim check where the issue was not even raised. The Trg Capt who conducted the detail was not even aware I was PTWK. Are you suggesting I or other part-timers are in some way less safe? If so, how? The CAA do not hold that view. Your comments re operational safety are ignorant and highly offensive.
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 16:15
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Its not about whether someone working part time is safe, of course they are or it wouldn't be allowed. Its about whether someone with only 1000 hours is being unresponsible to not only their passengers but also their crew and company by having so little experience and being unable to increase this properly by working 50% and therefore lacking continuity.
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 16:50
  #291 (permalink)  

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FL,

I stand entirely corrected about your liability, as I said, I'm not a Barrister but I guess it just goes to prove that unfounded assumptions and a little knowledge really are dangerous things. . . .

I do think, however, that you are confusing the 'dumbing-down' of one’s professional status with simple 'name-calling'. We all get called names be it 'fat cat lawyer' or 'womanising, over paid, steel tube drivers'. My point is; when was the last time a member of the public questioned publicly your ability to perform effectively or efficiently because you're self-employed or because you're not constantly up on your hind-legs in court? . . .

BH
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 17:07
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Agreed. People who aren't professional pilots presuming to comment on the safety aspect of BA's rule re part-time flying are being silly.
Non-pilots are obviously entitled to express a view on whether an employer should be obliged to make exceptions from any rule or practice for working mothers.
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Old 9th Feb 2005, 01:13
  #293 (permalink)  
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Girl999 thanks for saying what I clumsily meant. Of course all BA pilots are current if they are flying under the terms of their licence, but some are more current than others or as you stated far more eloquently "Its about whether someone with only 1000 hours is being unresponsible to not only their passengers but also their crew and company by having so little experience and being unable to increase this properly by working 50% and therefore lacking continuity"
I still believe that she is taking the **** at the expense of the majority of the hard working full time pilots- male or female.
 
Old 9th Feb 2005, 09:20
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Roghead

I agree!
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Old 10th Feb 2005, 07:29
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Big Hilly
My point is; when was the last time a member of the public questioned publicly your ability to perform effectively or efficiently because you're self-employed or because you're not constantly up on your hind-legs in court? . . .
I'm a latecomer to this thread. I think the substantive issues have already been dealt with. But I can't let your question to FL pass without comment.

Problem for us lawyers is that, generally speaking, we're only as good as our last win. Being self employed has its attractions. But one's reputation is constantly on display to our professional colleagues (who in many instances are competitors for work) and, most importantly, our clients.

Members of the public don't question publicly our ability to perform effectively or efficiently. They just take their business elsewhere if they (or their instructing solicitor) aren't happy with the service provided.

No one loves a loser – or a service provider who doesn’t deliver.
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Old 22nd Apr 2005, 09:05
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BA Sex Discrimination Case

Just being reported that JS has won her case for sex discrimination, could have significant financial implications for "all" UK and possibly EEC based airlines as pilots and other staff in similar situations seek parity.
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Old 22nd Apr 2005, 09:06
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Do you have a link?
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Old 22nd Apr 2005, 09:41
  #298 (permalink)  
 
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Just the one.
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Old 22nd Apr 2005, 10:01
  #299 (permalink)  
 
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Looks like BA are having a bad year in the courts.

They were also recently taken to court over the Working Time Directive.

Apparantly they have only been paying shift workers 48 weeks shift pay instead of the full (and legally required) 52.

Case won by the T&GWU.
BA are appealing. (Or is that an oxymoron?)

If the ruling is upheld then all shift workers will be owed about 4 weeks shift pay backdated to August 2003.
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Old 22nd Apr 2005, 10:01
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Sounds like the BA pilot selection process is spot on as usual. Nothing like recruiting hard working dedicated professionals.
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