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Union Shafts its employees - yes its BALPA

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Union Shafts its employees - yes its BALPA

Old 8th Jun 2008, 10:55
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Union Shafts its employees - yes its BALPA

If the union behaves like this then you get an insight into why your FS pension didn't get defended. Double standards or what?

Morning Star

3, 2008 Tuesday

Britain - GMB to ballot BALPA workers for strike
action

LENGTH: 269 words

General union GMB announced plans to ballot members
working at BALPA headquarters yesterday after the
pilots' union imposed a pay rise and "detrimental
changes" to staff pensions.

BALPA has given notice to its staff that it intends to
close the staff pension scheme to new entrants and to
make dramatic changes to the future benefits afforded
by the scheme. It has also given notice that it
intends to impose a pay rise.

The pilots' union HQ is in West Drayton, just outside
Heathrow airport.

Some 33 GMB members are being balloted for action, the
first time in the history of BALPA that it faces
industrial action by its own staff.

GMB organiser Dave Kent angrily accused his union's
fellow TUC affiliate of "disgraceful hypocrisy," as
BALPA has itself been campaigning to defend the
final-salary pensions of pilots working for British
Airways and other airlines.

Mr Kent said that the call for strike action had been
made after intensive negotiations failed to persuade
BALPA either to modify sufficiently its position on
the pension scheme or to agree a two-year
inflation-proofed pay deal.

The Morning Star published this on Tuesday. Double standards or what?

Now you know why your FA pension scheme went down the tubes, they're behaving like big business too.

"There is no economic justification for these changes
because BALPA is one of the most successful and
financially robust trade unions in the UK," he
insisted.

"No employer, let alone a trade union, should impose
changes to terms and conditions of employment without
the agreement of its own staff. BALPA would not
tolerate such behaviour from an employer that it was
dealing with and the GMB will not tolerate this from
BALPA," said the GMB organiser.

BALPA was unavailable for comment.

The ballot result will be known on June 24.

Last edited by Southernboy; 8th Jun 2008 at 11:03. Reason: Ommission
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 11:05
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What employer these days can afford to give its employees a final salary/defined benefits pension....apart from local authorities and civil servants who appear to be immune from the same anti-pension forces that the rest of us have to put up with? I see one quarter of our excessive local authority charges now are dedicated to local authority pensions, of whom the refuse collectors now refuse to pick up the bins if they can't move them with 2 fingers? I, along with every other homeowner, am paying nearly 500 Pounds to local authority pension funds for their index linked pensions that those very homeowners can no longer get for themselves? I see!

And neither can pilots get them for themselves....so how can they pay into a union where the union employees DO get them for themselves? Will we end up with one quarter of union subs going to union employee pension funds for their index linked pensions? What will that do to membership?

I'm afraid the world has moved on.

Bit brutal to just 'impose a pay rise'.....without a 'by your leave'! There's no end to how cruel employers can be these days! Wish mine was as nasty!

Last edited by Notso Fantastic; 8th Jun 2008 at 14:29.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 11:35
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In the UK 21% of my Council Tax goes directly towards financing the final salary pension schemes of local council employees. Most of these employees will not be working to the national retirement age of 65.

The world has indeed moved on. Just as a corporation has first duty to the shareholders, BALPA has a first duty to it's members.

I would be surprised to read any different slant on this in the 'Morning Star'
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 14:13
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May i question just what exactly these 33 full time staff all do ?
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 14:20
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What do they do?

Work to protect members interests like pension schemes I imagine.

Also to be accurate about the cost of FS schemes you'd need to compare the cost of money purchase. Your council pension costs may not be less tha a MP pension. I remember someone demonstrating rather eloquently that the FS scheme was actually cheaper than the MP scheme. The difference was at the end when you come to collect, its the pensioner who takes the risk on the financial markets, not the scheme.

Last edited by Southernboy; 8th Jun 2008 at 14:26. Reason: additional comment
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 16:03
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Norman, does your airline, assuming you are a pilot, function without any office staff?
No, I thought not.
Stupid question really.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 17:35
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I remember someone demonstrating rather eloquently that the FS scheme was actually cheaper than the MP scheme.
Extraordinary! Every single major FS pension that has been closed in the past few years, thanks in part to robber Brown's hatred of the middle classes, was shut under the mistaken assumption that a MP scheme was cheaper.

As I said, how extraordinary.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 20:52
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I'm amazed how a union can treat its own staff. Surely, the conditions of its own employees sets a standard by which the union will act on when representing its members. BALPA weakens its bargaining position by imposing these detrimental changes.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 21:58
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So the subscription paying members should pay for the union employees to have an index linked pension far better than any of the subscription paying members? Er....why so? The 'union' is actually working pilots paying 1% of their salary to the association. I do sympathise with the employees of BALPA, but every other pilot in the UK has lost the gold standard pension and cannot now afford special treatment for their employees. The pain must be spread around equally.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 22:08
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Notso Fantastic

So, because your pension is pants, everyone else's should be the same.

Rather than riding rough shod over the BALPA staff, would it not be better to take up your issues with your local BALPA reps and get the airlines to pay their way?

I personally think you should have a good pension, I have one, and I see no reason why all professionals should not enjoy the same or similar. As you said, share the pain, that includes employers as well.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 22:09
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What employer these days can afford to give its employees a final salary/defined benefits pension....apart from local authorities and civil servants who appear to be immune from the same anti-pension forces that the rest of us have to put up with? I see one quarter of our excessive local authority charges now are dedicated to local authority pensions, of whom the refuse collectors now refuse to pick up the bins if they can't move them with 2 fingers?
Notso F- You have my vote when/if you decide to run for office!
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 22:16
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spinnaker- but the airlines cannot afford index linked pensions any longer- heck several now can barely afford to stay afloat! So all their pilots have now lost or never had the gold plated pension. Should the pilots pay into an association that provides this to their employees? Wishfully yes, realistically impossible. The truth must be faced that the members will not have it, just as I am outraged the useless local authorities are providing us with fewer useful services and paying themselves gold plated pensions (out of my money)- and I wish I could stop it! I do sympathise with the BALPA staff, but surely they must understand the time has come to share the pain with the members. Nobody is going to win the index linked pension back these days- hanging onto it is becoming an anachronism. I would not continue funding it for BALPA employees out of my income given the reduced Pension benefits available to me these days. I'm sorry, it's time for a reality pill.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 22:32
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The BA pilots have more or less forced themselves to take that reality pill, so understandable why they feel BALPA staff should do the same. I'm tempted to shout " HYPOCRISY" but one should remember this is what BACC decreed for new entrants to BA.
What goes around, comes around. Welcome to Nu Labours Brave New World - don't blame me, I didn't vote for either Blair or BALPA!
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 02:45
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The BALPA package/pension can only really be viewed in the context of the other trade unions, rather than a completely different and incomparable industry, such as the airlines. We should ensure that we are towards the top end, with the likes of the BMA, in order to attract and retain the best in the industry.

Let us not forget that the NEC (who we elect via our CC's) are custodians of our finances and the BALPA staff want the best package/pension that they can get, as is human nature. The BALPA staff are on the whole experienced union professionals, who spend all day applying industrial pressure on our behalf, so we can expect them to use all available means in this dispute with us, their employers (by proxy).
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 10:46
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Pensions

2 points re the pension issue. I may have jumped to the conclusion that the BALPA pension is indeed FS. The article doesn't say so only that the benefits are being attacked.

Secondly, to the doubters. I saw the presentation demonstrating VERY clearly that the monthly/annual contributary costs for an FS pension was indeed lower than the MP version. Annual cost is not the reason companies have leaped at the chance to close them. It is the risk/unknown factor. The day before 9/11 many pension funders were in surplus. The day after they were in serious poo. Companies prefer that you the pensioner carry that risk, not them.

As for the BALPA situation I only know what's in the article, so it's more about the principle of a Union imposing Ts& Cs rather than via negotiation & that union has a BA chairman & a BA majority on its Nat Exec committee. However you look at it, one can't help feeling some double standards are present here.
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 11:59
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Southernboy

I shouldn't expect any business conducted by the current NEC chairman to receive any moral consideration. His actions, and alleged actions thus far, show him to be a moral vacuum.

But as stated in my last post he was elected by us, in as much as the current system allows the members to express their wishes on the matter.
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 13:49
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It is all part of the package....

We all know of "strange" rules that local councils seem to shoot themselves with, but the local government pension scheme is part of the overall package, as it is for all of us.

When I was 18, and intended to become an accountant, I was interviewed by Durham County Council, and their view was pretty straightforward; you won't make as much money here as you will in commerce, but you will retire early on a good pension, and be a pillar of the community in the meantime.... and I know a couple of chaps who took this route, over 30 years ago.

And they did fine until a few years ago, when they were "re-organised" out of a job, albeit with a good pension provision.

So it isn't as clear cut as some people think.... the pension is part of the overall package, and you can choose whether you want it, but if the employer changes the package then they need agreement from the employee, one way or another.
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 15:17
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It may have been acceptable to provide local authority staff with index linked pensions when their pay was demonstrably lower than in the private sector, but now this is not the case and local authority pay is comparable to the private sector, so the main plank of justification for better pensions than workers in the private sector has now vanished. Instead, homeowners and council charge payers are paying a quarter of their council charge to provide far better pensions to local authority staff than they can provide for themselves. It has to stop. What has Brown done to this country?
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 17:21
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deep south

Exactly DS, it's about agreement. None of us would accept our Ts & cs changed arbitrarily, nor should we & nor should anyone else. Negotiation is the required route.
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 23:29
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Notso Fantastic, Peter Sellers in I'm Alright, Jack had nothing on you, did he?

I don't think Brown did anything directly to ruin our pensions, but he did introduce 'light touch regulation' that let the City boys get their greedy mits on our funds at one end and find excuses for not putting any more in at the other when members at large took eyes off balls...

Now if you like being a City boy in the sky thesedays i.e. enjoy living from one hunk of dosh to the next, for as long as it lasts, then I can see how you so easily dismiss FS pensions as something left behind when the world moved on and maybe even spawned you with it. However, none of that changes the fact that it just ain't a reasonable state of affairs for us reasonably minded types surveying their personal heap of busted promises. And in the UK aviation domain at least, how do you square that the world has moved on for so many pilots, but that the ATCOs still have one FS scheme for all?
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