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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 26th Apr 2005, 12:56
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Angel

I do so agree that this thread should not degenerate into a pregnant working women bashing excercise. But, let us not disregard the fact that a pregnant woman has indulged in a considerable amount of BA bashing. Furthermore, there are those, of whom I am one, who might curl an eyebrow at the very idea that good old Jess might be described as a working woman.
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Old 26th Apr 2005, 13:47
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Please let's not let this thread degenerate into victimising pregnant working women.
That is the last thing we want to do.

The point here is that this particular pregnant woman appears to have made almost no concessions and has expected the world to revolve around her. She doesn't realise, and most likely does not care, what negative impact this will have on others.
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Old 26th Apr 2005, 13:56
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A lot of people today certainly know their 'rights', but don't seem to know that with those 'rights' come 'responsibilities' ( albeit that there used to be a level of responsibility required ).
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Old 26th Apr 2005, 14:33
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....degenerate into victimising pregnant working women
If there's to be any finger pointing with that particular charge, I think all fingers should be pojnting squarely in the direction of faaaar away Dorset.

Regarding BALPA, I thought a union was supposed to look after the interests of its memberS - note the plural. This lady is taking the piss, pure and simple, and not just at the expense of the company, (which is bad enough), but at the expense of all her colleagues - with the possible exception of her husband.

To paraphrase a famous aviator, this is one small rest break for (a) woman, a giant leap backwards for womankind.

And 'Old King Cole'... well said.
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Old 26th Apr 2005, 15:09
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Let's not forget that the tribunal ruled on this....the law has been interpreted to come up with this result. I understand that it had been decided several weeks ago and bounced all the way to the top as it was realised that this would be setting precedents for workers rights under new European legislation. Those posters that reckon BA has been shafted should realise that this ruling applies to ALL businesses in the U.K.
As the Chinese say...."May you live in interesting times"
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Old 26th Apr 2005, 15:32
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Whilst I agree that pregnancy bashing is the wrong route for this thread to take, I must comment that if this was a planned child, it seems to have made this entire process rather a waste of time. If she feels that she is not spending enough time with just the 1 child on her currently reduced roster, then surely 2 will mean her job is not a possibility. It seems a little bit of a kick in the teeth for BALPA too. They go through all of this, taking on one of the biggest providers of their membership, only for her to seem to say Ďthanks for that, but Iím actually off to put my feet up for a few months while I have another oneí. Wonder if this will have an impact on the appeal, in that she now appears to have had no intention of flying at all.
I sincerely hope 25% is not her next intention.
Iím surprised it appears to have been such an open and shut case. No comment appears to have been made on the fact that here 250 mile round trip would have added to her periods of absence, nothing to do with the airline. Also, being part of a very high earning couple, makes the claim that a nanny was hard to find seem a bit flimsy. Arenít the Beckhamís only offering 20Kish for their nanny of 3. Donít think J is in quite the same league.
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Old 26th Apr 2005, 16:32
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spartacan

No problem at all.

I don't like folk who abuse the system to the detriment of their fellow workers, male or female.


I bet she votes Labour!

MP
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Old 26th Apr 2005, 16:36
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The law is an ass on occasions and, IMHO, this is one of them.
I hoped she'd lose, but thought she might win.

I can understand the concern about the possible repercussions of her 'win' but, according to my contacts on the fleet, the likely effect upon other women of her getting what she wants is not something which is likely to worry Ms Starmer.
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Old 26th Apr 2005, 17:20
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Call me cynical but the "isn't-my-daughter-lovely?" quotes from this woman seem more at home in an issue of 'Hello' than an industrial tribunal.

Wonder if she knew she would have attracted even less sympathy if the child had remained nameless, faceless and descriptionless?
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Old 26th Apr 2005, 19:39
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Pilots Sex Discrimination Case

Re. All of the above
How I wish that all those years ago, as I said good-bye to the family on Christmas Eve or tried to explain to my daughter why I was missing her birthday for to seventh time running, that it was all part of the job and that there were good times too.
It seems to me that this lady wants it all ways, but only to her advantage. I hope that the appeal suceeds. After all no employer in their right mind would employ a woman of child bearing age, would they?
I am sure that she is a decent lady but this is a cause gone too far.
Sadly, Sid
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Old 26th Apr 2005, 21:03
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duty calls

have we all temporarily forgotten the unfair dismissal cases in the early 1990s where a large number of WRAFs ranging in rank from SAC to Sqn Ldr were awarded many thousands of pounds in compensation after being forced to leave the RAF on becoming pregnant.

Some of these ladies were married to serving members of the RAF and all were fully aware of the implications of pregnancy in service.

The fact is, some were not at all sorry to be given an "easy" way out while at the same time, a male serving officer had to endure a 3 year ground tour designed to make sure his recent flying experience could not count toward a civvy licence.

The military however, would not have these ladies back and therefore wasted many thousands of pounds in training costs not to mention the money spent in compensation for "lost careers" which the ladies themselves were probably not too upset about!

This was the same RAF that sent you lot to the Falklands, the Gulf, NI, and god knows where else away from family and friends.

At least BA will get some return on their investment by continuing JS's employment and encouraging by example, further recruitment from a section of society hitherto shunned by the airlines and the military.

By questioning employment law, which applies to everyone within an organisation from CEO to bog cleaners, we only play into the clutches of management.

One of the not too cheery aspects of this thread is how united we pilots seem to be behind management over this issue and how we seem to be against BALPA and a fellow member.

Divided we fall buddies!
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Old 26th Apr 2005, 21:20
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Angry

Now the lady is pregnant again! Does this mean she will be taking BA to court again to achive a 33% contract? Or will she trying to get fully paid to stay at home?

Also...I can't believe 2 BA pilots (even on part time contracts) can't afford a nanny to cover some of the time they "have to work".

You have to decide WHAT you want first in life - career or family!
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Old 27th Apr 2005, 01:05
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The girl is sharp, Balpa is blunt and the rest of us pick up the slack. One child 50% roster, two children ?% roster, three or more - heaven knows. Call me old fashioned, call me neanderthal, but, 'don't call me stupid' (A Fish Called Wanda). It is a tragic consequence of socialist nanny environments that there will be those morally inadequate enough to 'use' the system to their own advantage. I am all for supporting those in need - single parent families etc, but these two - I include the husband here as he must be a really strong individual - just want their cake and icing and presents and time off all paid for by someone else. Shame on them and all the pc fools who cannot see the wood for the trees. Nothing wrong with a parent wanting children and also employment but there must come a time when a decision has to be made as to which is the more important. Obviously it is the parent side of the equation but why on earth should a company and its other employees both pay for that decision?

Don't get too carried away with whose side Balpa is on, I don't think they know.
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Old 27th Apr 2005, 17:30
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Obviously it is the parent side of the equation but why on earth should a company and its other employees both pay for that decision?
Because that is the social model in this country - why should BA get away with not supporting the upbringing of our youth and share the burden of ensuring that we have a well-rounded future generation. Every other company has to make that allowance for the future growth of our economy and stability of the youth who will take over this country.

You all miss the point that this is a legal decision - not a moral one. Legally JS has proven a point and she is on firm ground.

Her motivation may be in question, but many have confused the two.

If you don't like the social model and want to unpick it, go and get into politics, but don't take a swipe at someone standing up for their rights in this country.
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Old 27th Apr 2005, 17:57
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Re-Heat
You all miss the point that this is a legal decision - not a moral one. Legally JS has proven a point and she is on firm ground.
It doesn't necessarily mean the decision was correct. BA's lawyers obviously don't think it's as clear cut as you suggest. BA fought the case and is now appealing the decision.

Even if it was a correct legal decision, is it unreasonable for people to criticise a law which produces a result which most people even in a pilots forum seem to think is barmy?

..... don't take a swipe at someone standing up for their rights in this country.
Why not?

Why aren't people entitled to say they think someone 'standing up for their rights' is selfish or reprehensible behaviour in certain circumstances?
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Old 27th Apr 2005, 18:12
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I flew with the first female pilots in BA. They were a determined bunch who had gone through all kinds of sÖt to get there. At the time I was freshly divorced, and heavily into misogyny, but they permanently changed my attitude to women. To successfully pursue a flying career, those women not only had to overcome all sorts of prejudice, but they also had to put on the back burner, the incredibly strong basic female instinct for children. They succeeded because they were good humoured, determined, and above all responsible. More than one of the originals is a Captain now, and has her own family.
J.S. however, is a disgrace to the pilotís profession in general, and to her female colleagues in particular.
Not only has J.S. milked the system, but also in the company of BALPA, she risks killing the golden goose itself.
No business, even one as big as BA, can survive for long if a significant % of its workers are at home, not working, on full pay, for periods of a year or more. The rules of economics apply to big and small. Does anyone remember Pan-Am & TWAÖ?(Yes I know different problems, but still economics that did for them)
BALPA needs to carefully consider its position regarding the appeal. By supporting J.S. it will be threatening the very company which provides employment for most of its members.

I am sending this post to Atlyn Forde (a woman) and Head of Communications for BALPA. [email protected]

BALPAs reply will be interesting, and I suggest that members take appropriate action if they are not happy with it.

MG
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Old 27th Apr 2005, 18:59
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Wink

Well said indeed!
With protest and resignation directed at BALPA, there lies a remedy for so many who abhor the atrocious actions and achievements of JS whose name should forevever lie in perfidy in the black book of aviation history.
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Old 28th Apr 2005, 02:53
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Re-heat, I completely disagree with your picture of the social model of t'UK. The only responsibilities that an employer has to future generations are to provide a safe working environment which meets or exceeds all regulations pertaining to safety in its environment. They may also provide other benefits as negotiated in accordance with labour legislation which could be conducive for an employee to procreate. I mean child care and maternity leave etc. But my misguided poster, their most important responsibility to the parents of these hypothetical children is to REMAIN IN BUSINESS AND PROFITABLE. I think you need to move to Scandanavia somewhere.
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Old 28th Apr 2005, 09:36
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Was just pointing out why companies should take on some responsibility - that is an aside from the hours issue, which though important is hypocritical of BA as they have/had managers with similar hours who fly far less.

You might disagree on the social model, but that is what exists in the UK.

The question would be whether CAA rules could override laws on parenting upon which this decision rests. At least a clear rule would make all parties clear on where they stand.


Flight International
26 April 2005

British Airways is seeking guidance from the UK Civil Aviation Authority on the safety implications of a UK employment tribunal verdict that the airline must allow a young co-pilot to work 50% part-time flying hours to care for her one-year-old daughter. The airline is to appeal against the landmark ruling, arguing that the case is about safety, not gender. However, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) says it welcomes the decision and hopes that it will oencourage more airlines to introduce better flexible working arrangements for all flightcrewo. Jessica Starmer, the pilot who brought the case to tribunal, is ocurrently working part-time on a 75% contracto, according to BA. It argues that since she is a new and inexperienced pilot with about 1,200h commercial aircraft flying time reducing her monthly flying hours to half the normal amount would mean she accumulates experience at too low a rate for effective learning. BA calculates that Starmer would work an average of eight duty days a month. If she were an experienced pilot, which the carrier says it equates to a minimum 2,000h line flying, the company says it would have no objection to contracting Starmer for 50% flexible working.
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Old 28th Apr 2005, 10:07
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British Airways is seeking guidance from the UK Civil Aviation Authority on the safety implications of a UK employment tribunal verdict that the airline must allow a young co-pilot to work 50% part-time flying hours to care for her one-year-old daughter.
The only way that the CAA could respond to this is by imposing a 'one size fits all' rule on the minimum flying hours a pilot should fly annually.

Such a ruling by the CAA would impose a cost on some airlines, particularly freight carriers, which have light rosters. These airlines would hotly contest any implication that light rosters are a safety hazard just as other airlines contest that heavy rosters are likewise.

BA will fail on this one.
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