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easyJet Morale Rock Bottom

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easyJet Morale Rock Bottom

Old 23rd Oct 2002, 09:34
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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NTE

Discretion, by it's very nature, is the exception rather than the rule. You cannot 'plan' to work into discretion and you must justify in writing each time you do.

If payment were to be offered as an incentive the whole system would be a mess.

How long do you think it would be before some people 'arranged' to extend a day into discretion to earn an extra bob or 2?

How long do you think it would be before an individual (or indeed crew) chose to work on into discretion, despite being genuinely too fatigued to safely continue, simply because there was a financial 'carrot' being offered?

Let's be absolutely clear, you should only work discretion if:

a. Unforseen circumstances have caused a delay
AND
b. The whole crew are fit and willing to complete the duty
AND
c. The duty can be carried out safely


..........NOT because there is particularly heavy telephone bill that needs paying!
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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 10:14
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst we as pilots & cabin crew cannot plan to go into discretion, rostering and Ops rely on us doing it to get the schedule flown.
There are several notorious lines of flying with 4 or 5 short and 'long' sectors that are planned to go within 30 mins of max duty. We are all aware of easyjets on time performance problems particularly in the second half of the day, yet crews still go into discretion and so these lines of flying still get given.
If we stop doing discretion (even when it suits us) the company would have to address the issue eventually.
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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 10:27
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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FlapsOne

Hear, hear!

Absolutely ridiculous to expect to be paid for discretion and as you point out would send completely the wrong message to crews. Can't see the CAA being particularly enamoured by that idea either.

If some of the foregoing arguments and suggestions are expected to be taken seriously by management, then God help us!

We must remember that, fundamentally, we are seeking to improve our terms and conditions based on our EXISTING contracts of employment. This round of pay negotiations cannot be an exercise, as some people seem to promote, where we re-write the rule book in an attempt to improve our lot as professional pilots on the back of easyJet's commercial success.

Commercial pilots have suffered over the past few decades, in common with a number of professions, in that their overall wealth has been eroded over time. This is a fact of life - not easyJet's fault nor their responsibility to remedy in isolation. That said, there is a long way to go it seems before management come anywhere near satisfying the improvements to the existing contracts of employment of their pilot workforce.

I may act as Devil's Advocate from time to time but I will support wholeheartedly any fair and reasonable effort to provide an equitable improvement to our working conditions within the tenets of the terms and conditions of employment to which we are all bound. Unfortunately with a management team in place who seem to be colour-blind to the 'orange' principle, I see a long and winding road ahead.

I also think that in view of the confidential nature of the impeding pay negotiations that this thread be moved to the easyJet private forum - or a new thread be continued there out of public gaze.

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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 13:00
  #124 (permalink)  

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Discretion should not be used on a regular basis. There is a Notice to AOC holders somewhere that suggests that if a particular roster goes into discretion more than 30% of the time (I think) it is deemed unreasonable. CAP371 also states that published rosters should have reasonable block and turnround times.
At the end of the day if you are working hard and asked to go into discretion just refuse; but give crewing a reasonable time to find someone else.
At the end of the day contact your FOI ( he might even be reading this thread)
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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 14:58
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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AirBrake

No ops or crewing department should 'rely' on crews going into discretion and they most certainly do not at easyJet. The schedule is not constructed with discretion as part of the program and there is buffer provided to protect against this.

There is a very clear understanding that it is ONLY the Commader who has the discretion to extend an FDP. If a rostered duty exceeds the FDP then Ops/Crewing have a problem to solve if the Commander is not able to exercise discretion. Contrary, to what I have read here, easyJet's the use of discretion, in terms of minutes per month versus duties flown is in fact very low.

In September as an example, easyJet flew 8142 sectors and we had a total of 24.9hrs of discretion on 48 occasions = average 0.5 per extended FDP. Or, of 2700 crew duties, a Commander exercised discretion on 48 occasions or 1.77% of duties resulted in discretion.

Hardly, excessive use of discretion considering the scale of the operation
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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 15:12
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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No sig, interesting statistics......do you have figures on how many times Commanders refused to exercise discretion?

I understand that Ops cannot "rely" on Commanders to exercise discretion, but they do tend to "expect" them to do so, in my experience!
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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 16:57
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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Let's just clarifiy 1 important fact please:

The commander will only agree to exercise discretion if ALL CREW MEMBERS are fit and willing to carry out the duty.

It may be small point, but it's darned important.
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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 17:15
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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Why move it Spanner?? Have you got something to hide?

Perhaps if easyJet moved to an hourly rate (per DUTY hour, rising in 5 hour blocks for example) rather than sector pay it might be an incentive to the company not to plan such long duties and perhaps cut out some of the uneccessary positioning, particularly after a FDP has finished.
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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 17:51
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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Rocket Ron

Actually, for the most part our crews are supportive and OK contrary to what might be presented here, there are a few who might not be quite ready to exercise their discretion, but they are in the minority. Of course, Ops and Crewing hope that Discretion will be used when things are going wrong, but they are perfectly clear that it can never be assumed, nor asked for.
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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 17:58
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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No Sig,

Interesting stats. Could you give us the figures for June, July and August? I gather last month and this month we are overcrewed by some 30 skippers. Is this true?

The Grim Reaper has it. We should certainly fight for an hourly rate. e.g. last week I did over 13 hours for GLA-LTN-GLA.
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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 18:46
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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NTE (NBS!) - I like your style

Spanner - The reason that pigs are flying past your window is because people like you are quite happy to cower behind the parapet. If you have a backbone then use it to stand up and be counted!

And yes, I realise that in the real world that people have suffered from detriment as a result of disagreeing with the management. This is just another good reason to stand up to them.

Bring on the custard pies


nosig - what planet are you on? just remember we are on the same side. Crews don't choose to refuse discretion in order to **** off crewing and ops, but because we feel that it would not be safe to continue. These points being raised are not directed at those departments, but the reprehensible and incompetent management who are responsible for this mess.

Last edited by The Grim Reaper; 23rd Oct 2002 at 21:30.
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Old 24th Oct 2002, 00:30
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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Red face EZY shafts the BFS boys

Heard a nasty one today about up to 15 guys destined for BFS and most already on notice now being told they have to be based elsewhere. Can they do this if contracts have already been issued with BFS on them? Great way to welcome new staff.
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Old 24th Oct 2002, 00:52
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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Wink

I'm a bit surprised about this, because most of the people who are currently in Belfast (especially the new Captains) were drafted there on pain of death and would rather be at almost any other base! Given that most can't wait to be on their way elsewhere around the network, there should be lots of room for the newcomers at Belfast.
Unfortunately, this sort of thing is all too common at easyJet(Don't mention "Amsterdam" here!!!). If you are interviewed for a base, and /or it says it on your contract, then that is where you should be. Otherwise, what is the point of a contract at all, if it is so easily changed, and without prior knowledge?? This really gets people's nose out of joint, and makes it hard to concentrate on a forthcoming technical course, as you then have to spend weeks getting it sorted when you have far better things to do.
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Old 24th Oct 2002, 12:06
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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Have a few friends just about to move and have been told LPL or Bust.

Good Luck

Rgds K.I.L.
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Old 24th Oct 2002, 15:28
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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So sorry WORK&RANT, maybe with all this time available,another dossy month for November, I will update my profile!
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Old 24th Oct 2002, 20:35
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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Easy come easy Go. Bring back Harry at least he was Fun!
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Old 24th Oct 2002, 23:48
  #137 (permalink)  
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Discretion:

On no occasion at easy have I have ever been put under pressure to go into discretion. When I have I have been treated like a god! This summer I vowed never to do it as a result of rostering/carmen/poor decisions above my pay scale, but did anyway when you have the option of a)going home at 11pm on a saturday night rather than flying the night ATH and ruining the holidays or business plans of 149 pax or: b) going into a few minutes of discretion waiting for a cc to be air taxied from another base.

Because? On the day these problems were unforseen, although strategically avoidable. As a result, I got professional pride, probably at the expense of my pay negotiating position, and recieved a great deal of reciprocal support from our ops teams as a result.

As for recieving financial reward for discretion, that of course is unthinkable; it is a get the job done option only and should never be encouraged by financial gain.

A soon announced, fair, and appropriate pay and conditions deal would more than do the trick!
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Old 25th Oct 2002, 00:44
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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BTB et al,
The purpose of my provocative post was twofold, albeit somewhat tongue in cheek but highlighting a very serious problem.

First to demonstrate that no issue is sacrosanct in easyJet. All things are just a matter of money. If it is 'Legal' you are expected to be compliant with the companies demands, REGARDLESS of common sense or what an individual thinks is safe.

Second and most importantly, and BTB highlighted it very well, was that ANY incentive to exercise discretion is WRONG!

The length of days we work here at easyJet are ridiculous and I am sure that soon to be released research on microsleeps and 'sleep inertia' will bear this out (Australia leads the push on this and you wonder why it is the safest country in the world to fly on RPT). But back to the main point; we already are too tired at the end of any rostered duty (read here long multisector, short turnaround duties, broken sleep patterns, irregular hours, constantly changing rosters, management attitude induced stress and so on) that gets near to discretion being required to complete it, regardless of cause.

Yet you deny my request to be paid for exercising discretion simply because it is a financial incentive to extend beyond an already marginal safe fatigue level yet you are willing to go into discretion to get home at 11PM on a Saturday night or to save inconveniencing passengers! How loud must I say that these are both oft quoted causes of fatigue induced errors. I don't care if you ARE superman BTB ( I have seen you do strange things although I have yet to see you wear your undies on the outside ) neither I nor you are fit to extend duty periods AFTER 11 or 12 hours of continuous duty, without a break of any real kind, to continue flight let alone depart an outstation KNOWING that you can't make it inside currently permitted maximum duty periods let alone use of discretion, otherwise the maximum legal duty periods would include those discretionary hours as standard.
Another thought, if legally permitted discretion is safe then why is it a 'hanging offence' to quote an eJ management pilot, to use discretion more than 2 hours when the legal limit is 3? Has the CAA seen a trend in easyJet rostering practises they don't like and put a flea in an ear somewhere?

The issue here is one of SAFETY nothing else!

On another note BTB has never been pressured to exercise discretion by Crewing, there areand were pilots in easyJet who were denied/refused Command ooportunities because they complained about rostering and so on.. imagine the personal cost if they said no to the Captain who wanted to get home on Saturday night! I am not saying the Captain will give the crew a hard time but when management find out that it was another crew member who said NO then the may as well start looking for another career! If people were not afraid of punitive action here at easyJet I am sure there would be louder complaints about individuals in Crewing pressuring crews quite strongly to exercise discretion "you are the only ones we have" "you WILL go into discretion" "if you don't then we have to cancel several flights" "are you refusing a duty" etc etc. This has ALL got to stop. Crewing should never even mention or refer to discretion .. if the Crew and Captain don't volunteer then that is the end of it!

It is high time the rostering and other people management issues at easyJet were given a good hard safety based assessment by qualified people other than those within the eJ system.

There's a challenge 'Ray'. Get some fatigue researchers in to have a good look at us during or towards the end of summer!
Then publish the results openly.

All of the issues I have highlighted in my posts bear directly on the topic of this thread:
'easyJet morale at rockbottom'
I have got to say that it wasn't there at the time of the original post..and we still aren't there.. but I am sure I can see it through the murk just below our toes.

Last edited by Nils Taurus Excretus; 25th Oct 2002 at 00:54.
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Old 25th Oct 2002, 07:11
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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NTE - I'm afraid you are mis-quoting me, and whilst the debate is interesting, distortion adds nothing to it.

The Notice you refer to discussed the use of discretion and highlighted some existing CAA rules, and made it categorically clear that any decision to use or not use discretion was entirely the commanders. A commander is required to justify any decision to use discretion but does NOT have to justify a decision not to use discretion. Can I make it any clearer?

Secondly, I reminded everyone that you must NEVER exceed 3 hrs discretion, and suggested that if you did the CAA would have the CP's whatsits in a vice very quickly, and he would then probably want to share the pain with you.

The comment about the use of 2 hrs or 3, was highlighting existing CAA rules which only permit a commander to plan the use of a 3rd hour of discretion for the last sector of the day.

Kind Regards,

Andy
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Old 25th Oct 2002, 13:21
  #140 (permalink)  
 
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Unhappy AndyL my apologies

Sorry for misqutoing you and thank you for taking the time to clarify the point in a civil manner. I am glad you find the debate 'interesting' and I hope you see more in it than that!

Perhaps you would like to comment on the percieved pressure placed on personnel generally not to 'complain' about errors and poor practises here at easyJet? Do you deny there have been people refused Command opportunities for arguing with Crewing and other incidents, or called into a 'well-being' meeting because they are off sick? Since when is easyJet a qualified medical authority to issue advice and guidance on health matters? And please don't trot out the 'people oriented company' line, it is patently false. If you want people to supply a Doctors Certifcate of Absence that is reasonable, but it is NOT reasonable to pressure them into working when sick for fear of being called into the office! Besides all they do is make the rest of us sick too... false economy and poor practise in one!

Perhaps you will volunteer your honest opinion of the current rostering practises here at easyJet. I wonder if anyone is game to make you really aware of the current problems and feeling amongst the troops. We are not lazy and are not complaining about a minor issue here Andy. Here's hoping that just because winter has arrived it isn't all swept under the carpet. Didn't this all happen just 3 years ago? Read the old memos.

Do you personally feel that we are sufficiently well rested given the factors outlined in previous posts?

I also put it to you that it is not only the Captain who can decide on discretion.. it is not Commanders Discretion but an individuals decision regardless of the slant easyJet or any other company may put on it. Only one person can responsibly decide if they are fit to continue outside maximum legally rosterable duties. To state otherwise places undue pressure on junior crew members and cabin staff to comply with your get-home-itis Captain. In the event of an unfortunate happening where the individual makes a fatigue induced error THEY not the Captain will be held legally liable for their actions.
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