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NATS Redundancies

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NATS Redundancies

Old 12th Jun 2020, 09:23
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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may work if they return to their previous unit/sector, but an experienced ATCO going to a busy new unit will take around a year to qualify and many years to be experienced. You can’t just switch on the taps and train all of the shortfall either only one trainee at a time can be in position and the qualified ATCOs also need to have a go sometimes to keep their recency. A 10% staff shortfall could take a year or two to replace even using experience trainees. If we’re looking at traffic returning towards capacity then we’d better start recruiting now before redundancies have even been “offered”. Most ATC units were quite short-staffed before COVID19, relying on overtime to make up the shortfall. See also units with a change of ANSP contract taking years to return to safe staffing levels. NATS also has a retirement bulge looming in part caused by a historic short-sighted staffing cycles.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 09:26
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by T250 View Post

Out of interest, what do ATSAs do since Swanwick switched to EFPS?
FIS on "London Information" for starters.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 10:17
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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may work if they return to their previous unit/sector, but an experienced ATCO going to a busy new unit will take around a year to qualify and many years to be experienced. You can’t just switch on the taps and train all of the shortfall either only one trainee at a time can be in position and the qualified ATCOs also need to have a go sometimes to keep their recency. A 10% staff shortfall could take a year or two to replace even using experience trainees. If we’re looking at traffic returning towards capacity then we’d better start recruiting now before redundancies have even been “offered”. Most ATC units were quite short-staffed before COVID19, relying on overtime to make up the shortfall. See also units with a change of ANSP contract taking years to return to safe staffing levels. NATS also has a retirement bulge looming in part caused by a historic short-sighted staffing cycles.[/QUOTE]
Completely agree with all of this - but; do not rule out fundamental changes by the "authorities" to what are mandatory requirements, in order to make the system work - if it suits them to do so. I have seen a lifetime of what were absolutely essential rules, regulations & requirements go out of the window when it suited !
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 13:11
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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I do wonder if that "retirement bulge" is likely to be flattened as many of those considering leaving are probably the same people who transferred their pensions out of CAAPS and now find their "pots" are considerably smaller and they are invested in companies who will be paying smaller or even no dividends.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 15:03
  #45 (permalink)  
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I visited one of the financial companies, prior to drawing my pension and the nervousness of the agent made the hair on the back of my neck stand to attention. Being reasonably fiscally savvy, that was enough for me to walk ( with the paperwork provided ). I’m fortunate enough to have a chartered accountant as a close friend and he literally balked when he read the attached risk. I’m now furnished with the news that one ex colleague has lost 130k from his LTA and another 60k. Bearing in mind the management fees are between 80/100k over a decade, that’s a substantial risk in anybody’s book. I also understand certain individuals were coercing members of staff to “jump ship” and join them for a finders fee for the firm in question. I hope they are “outed”, but it didn’t help that NATS set the ball in motion, by incentivising staff to leave CAAPS for a 25% pay rise !
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 15:46
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Anybody know what percentage of staff are left in CAAPS? If it's now below 50% I'd be amazed if it survives this mess.

Out of interest, what do ATSAs do since Swanwick switched to EFPS?
FIR and Flight Plans. They also man certain sectors but not all like in days gone by. When on sector 95% of the time they're say twiddling their thumbs. However, on the days the [email protected] hits the fan they're invaluable and worth their weight in gold. It would be extremely short sighted for them to disappear.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 16:14
  #47 (permalink)  
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According to a press release by CAAPS ( as of last December ), it services 5700 current and retired NATS employees. It’s anybody’s guess how you could break that number down ?
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 16:45
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Not including retirements, before people starting taking their money out of CAAPS I know the split was about 80% in, 20% in the DC scheme. I've no idea how many took their money out and thus what the current figure is though... Worth remembering there's also been a lot of new trainees joining the company since so the balance will be significantly different.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 16:52
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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I'm not sure where the losses could have accrued-can you explain please. If what you mean is their SIPP has lost 130k, then in the recent turmoil that's pretty good!
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 17:29
  #50 (permalink)  
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I frequently meet some of the retirees and they loved ( past tense ) throwing in the odd “made 30 grand last month alone” , which always came across as being very superficial as it’s the traders who make the profits and the players get a dividend. My understanding is that , it’s the value of the life time allowance ( LTA ) - now in a SIPP or equivalent- that is being increased/decreased ? Could be wrong.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 18:04
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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The LTA amount will always remain largely the same, I believe it increases yearly by a small amount equivalent to inflation.
The money that was withdrawn and reinvested in a sipp will go up and down with the markets. Certainly in the last few months this will have been dramatic, I know mine has scared me!

Its all relative though. I heard stories of some ATCOs cashing in their pot with upwards of £1.5mill, a fall of 130 thousand on this amount is less than 10%, probably par for the course with any personal pension at the minute. However someone losing £130 thousand is not leaving them destitute if they have started with a huge amount. Plus a savvy financial advisor will be buying in again at a much lower cost thereby hopefully recouping the losses. The small print is always there though, the value of your investment may go down as well as up and you are not guaranteed to get your original amount back - or words to that effect!
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 18:47
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Plus a savvy financial advisor will be buying in again at a much lower cost thereby hopefully recouping the losses.
Only if they sold investments at the right time and/or a significant amount of the pension was being held in cash.

Just about all of those I know who took their CETV out of CAAPS were very near or above their LTA already, so putting more in may not be tax efficient.
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 19:15
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Those that I know off did exactly that, they were approaching LTA some years ago and took the money. That amount invested since will have made a good return, a few months hit will not, or should not, have taken them below that initial amount. I know of several IFAs that cashed out pensions recently when things started to go wrong and that has proven to be the correct call., they are now waiting the right moment to go back in to the markets again - fortune teller territory! Again a good IFA will keep you right on tax implications, I am sure there are lots of people within the industry, particularly those newer members of staff who probably see this in a different light. I don't know what the industry accepted pension standard is these days, I'm guessing anything above 7% and 7% would be seen as generous?

However, we have digressed from redundancies into financial talk! Apologies for that!

How long before NATS show their hand and announce a "business review"?
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Old 12th Jun 2020, 19:19
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by escaped.atco View Post
... and as such has to return a profit to the shareholders
And that is the problem. the aviation industry is busy firing the people they'll need in 2 months time.
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Old 13th Jun 2020, 00:23
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Airports and airlines right now: we need to lay off thousands of staff.

ATCOs: hold on, let me check my 1.5 million pound pension pot.


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Old 13th Jun 2020, 09:11
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Blueskythinking65 View Post
ATCOís could be fairly easy to obtain and train if there are plenty that have been made redundant. Just like a pilot that doesnít have to go back to their basic training and do a PPL an ex ATCO returning to the same unit perhaps would take a relatively short time to revalidate after a year or so off. I sincerely hope it doesnít come to this but letís not be too complacent and letís try to be prepared for all the arguments and possible threats that may come our way.
ATCO training doesn't work like that.
The controller will have to do a certain number of hours depending on the complexity of the task and then only 4 hours per day will be 'claimable' against the minlmum number required and that will be subject to that unit's SRATCOH breaks which could mean anything between 1 and 2 hours 'actually controlling before taking a mandatiory break.
Assuming an MER reduced to (say) 60 hours/4hours per day is a total of 15 days; ATCOs can only do operational task for 6 consecutive days then there must be a 60 hour break between ...
Sod it you work it out.

Last edited by chevvron; 13th Jun 2020 at 10:37.
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Old 13th Jun 2020, 09:17
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 250 kts View Post
I assume that LVNL is not a "for profit" business?

NATS have learnt nothing over the years about staffing. It has always irked the management that the staff they have in the summer are still there in the winter when the traffic is down by 50%. Everything is so short term in NATS and this knee jerk decision to give notice on the key agreement on redundancy is no different. Get out and borrow at a low rate and get all of the projects done that are usually constrained for 8 months of the year because of the operational staffing requirement.
They thought of that one back in the '50s.
'Why not detach all the winter surplus ATCOs to Australia to service their summer' they said.
Then someone asked how many were likely to return to the UK the next summer.....
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Old 13th Jun 2020, 09:26
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Chevron

As a current ojti, initial board examiner , uce and ojti assessor I am fairly Au fait with how the training system works. People need to realise that all of the current and past rules from our rosey past may well change significantly because of this.

As I said I sincerely hope they donít but as our airline colleagues are finding out if the executives decide to go for our terms and conditions we may be in a fairly precarious position. Itís no good keep chanting about how different we are from pilots etc etc when the reality is we are just as expendable short term and thatís all our management have ever cared about , the short term gain they can make to improve their cvís. Itís someone elseís problem what happens 5 years down the line when we are short of ATCOS.
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Old 13th Jun 2020, 09:30
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mike current View Post
Airports and airlines right now: we need to lay off thousands of staff.

ATCOs: hold on, let me check my 1.5 million pound pension pot.
I can assure you not all ATCOs have that sort of pot, its the lucky ones that were in the old NATS scheme that benefitted from that. Those staff probably now in their late 40s are without doubt financially secure beyond the dreams of the average UK worker. I know a lot of ATCOs with only a fraction of that amount and they will have to save hard and invest wisely to even get to half of that amount over a long career.
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Old 13th Jun 2020, 09:57
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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And anyone who took the CETV whilst still in their 40s were probably poorly advised to do so anyway. I know an IFA who advised a number against leaving the scheme, only for them to go elsewhere to get the answer they wanted to hear. Giving up the security of a DB scheme so far out from retirement would be taking a massive risk-especially with regard to widows benefits etc
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