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B.A.d feeling allround

Old 20th Dec 2002, 10:34
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Unhappy B.A.d feeling allround

From a share trading bulletin board:

Terminal 4 at Heathrow is the place of work for more than 900 BA staff who take care of departing and arriving passengers. They work for the "Customer Services Unit" and many are employed on a part-time basis. Duties include manning check-in desks, where they have assumed the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that travel documents are in order (now that Home Office staff are no longer available) and where they are exposed to frequent abuse as a consequence of the stress caused by delays and overcrowding, arguments over seat allocation and baggage allowances (and just how do you go about explaining to a Club or First passenger that he or she has been bumped because the over-booking policy has come unstuck?). These people (whose work is considerably more demanding than that of cabin staff but are paid less)have recently been forced to accept a 1% salary increase.

Their union - the T&GWU - fails generally to properly represent the interest of the Customer Service Unit employees. Simply, this group of staff is not as high-profile as cabin crew or, naturally, as the pilots. However the union has recently been prevailed upon to obtain the opinion of a major law firm about BA's plans to curtail the rights of their employees. The plan is to reduce the number of days-off in lieu which staff can take for being required to work on public holidays. The professional opinion received last week allegedly says that BA's plans are unlawful.

To this must be added a comment concerning "excess baggage vouchers". BA earns considerable sums from passengers checking in with more than their permitted baggage limit - a typical day has been producing additional revenue of 30,000 to 40,000 per day at Terminal 4. That's 1 million in a month! As an incentive to CSU staff at the check-in desks, the airline has shared these spoils with them for some time in the form of Capital Bond vouchers (although a rough and ready calculation suggests that the airline was keeping 85% of this straight-to-the-bottom line income). However since 1 November, frequent travellers are noticing an apparently much more lenient approach to charging for excess baggage. In fact this 'nice little earner' is now producing only a quarter of the 1 million per month. Why? Well, BA's management evidently decided that this was too good to share with its staff and the voucher scheme was discontinued at the end of October. Result? Such is the bad feeling among staff that there is much less enthusiasm for collecting excess baggage charges, often a cause of abuse.

So, BA makes the same mistake as many service industries have made in the past and while the accountants, statisticians and managers generally are ensconced at Waterside, a safe distance from the paying customer, those in the front line are paid least and suffer working conditions which their management colleagues would not tolerate. Here is a major publicly-owned business which recognises that it treats badly those people who have most contact with the customer - and it does not seem to care.

The management have demonstrated their ability to mis-read the business many times in the past. They are doing so now and the signs of serious discontent are there. Over last week-end, managers could not find anyone willing to work overtime for love nor money. That's why passengers trying to check-in were queued up and down the Terminal and along the tunnel to the Hilton Hotel - First Class, Club, World Traveller - no difference. Duty Managers had to allow some flights to depart without passengers - and others were cancelled or delayed.

Shareholders would do well to consider the possibility of a strike at Terminal 4. That would have an effect equal to a pilots' strike. We should challenge the Company - look at the opulence of the Terraces passenger lounges and the delighful surroundings of Waterside and then begin by asking why it is that they will not even provide paper or plastic cups in the cramped staff rest-rooms at T4.

Accept my promise - I have no personal axe to grind but I am in a position to know that BA is regarded widely as a bad employer (ask a pilot) and until it changes its ways and allows people to feel valued, it should not claim to be a World-class business.
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Old 20th Dec 2002, 13:48
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Whilst I agree with much of that written, but when you say, " ask a pilot" - whilst having worked for several other airlines in the past, I would not agree entirely with your statement that BA are a bad employer.

They try their best, but with the company the size that it is, and as slow as a large dinosaur when it comes to change etc., I think i would be correct in saying that many, if not most of the pilots within BA, feel that overrall, their lot is a fairly good one when you take into account job security ( if there is such a thing ), perks and other benefits - compared to many other companies, be it an airline or otherwise.

Passengers pay our wages at the end of the day, and if they are well looked after, hopefully they will keep returning, particularly now that much lower fares have been introduced across the network.

Unfortunately, you cannot please everybody all of the time.

Try not to regard BA as 'bad' - 'cos the grass isn't always greener elsewhere.
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Old 20th Dec 2002, 18:10
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Sorry Ivan but

BA is regarded widely as a bad employer (ask a pilot)
As the flight crew have just agreed a pay increase that makes them the best paid pilots in Europe I don't think that you will find many of them agree with you.

As to your other points - yes the management are generally incompetant and morale among most staff is poor and going down but there are still an awful lot of people outside BA who want to join (I think they may have certain misconceptions about the outfit) and if you read the other threads about different airlines it seems that everyone is winging at the moment.

I don't expect BA management to change, but hopefully, if the industry picks up, then we may all (every airline) start to make some money and claw back for the staff some T & C's that have been erroded.
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Old 20th Dec 2002, 18:31
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Someone commented .."that makes them the best paid pilots in Europe"
Well that's simply not true!
The money is only mediocre...
Just for (thread) accuracy ....F/O's take home (even year 2 DEP's) less than year six/seven cabin crew. ( yes I agree the basic is higher - but nett pays the mortgage)
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Old 20th Dec 2002, 19:00
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BA a bad employer-
WHAT ABSOLUTE B*LL*CKS!!!!

Grass isn't always greener elsewhere.

As for the proposed pay settlement-best thing since sliced bread
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Old 20th Dec 2002, 19:16
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Harry Blighter
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Someone commented .."that makes them the best paid pilots in Europe"
Well that's simply not true!
The money is only mediocre...
Just for (thread) accuracy ....F/O's take home (even year 2 DEP's) less than year six/seven cabin crew. ( yes I agree the basic is higher - but nett pays the mortgage)
Wait and see Shuttleworth.
 
Old 20th Dec 2002, 20:21
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In my experience, when things really get bad, BA is exceptionally good - I'm thinking of illness, family bereavements etc.
To some extent, that's part of the problem - the unscrupulous aren't averse to taking advantage of this!
However, much depends on the quality of the local management, which is enormously variable.
With reference to a pilot's forum, I can count on the fingers of one foot the number of pilots who I know directly that have left.
The grass.............
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Old 21st Dec 2002, 18:41
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Jet II

I don't where you got your info about the flight crew accepting a new pay deal - the votes ain't been counted yet
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Old 22nd Dec 2002, 22:22
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I work for BA and have also worked outside in other businesses and other airlines.

BA may have its share of poor management (don't all big companies?) but as an airline to work for in the UK it would be hard to find better. My personal opinion of course.

What BA does of course suffer from, still, is the baggage of the nationalised industry mentality. We will struggle until that is addressed. Motor Transport being a prime example.
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Old 23rd Dec 2002, 07:22
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Jet II,

"As the flight crew have just agreed a pay increase that makes them the best paid pilots in Europe"

You obviously don't have a clue what you're talking about! The deal has not been agreed yet, and if it does go through, BA pilots will for the first time in ages be paid exactly the european *average*. The entire deal has been based around 'Benchmarking' to the european rate for the job.
If anyone thinks that makes us over paid, you're wrong. I wonder how many BA cabin crew would like to be benchmarked to their peers in other airlines?
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Old 23rd Dec 2002, 09:03
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Oh dear, the winging 'nigels' are out again.

The flight crew pay deal has been agreed by the reps and is now out to the members for the vote (result on 6th Jan I think)

The comment about the deal making the pilots 'the best in Europe' was, I understand, made by a negotiator to a reporter on the local paper.

Quidnunc

I never made any comment about whether the flight crew at BA were over paid or not.

I am rather concerned about the continuing slagging - off of cabin crew by certain members of flight crew, it is not very professional. Slagging off of management is perfectly acceptable as they decide to put themselves in the firing line.
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Old 23rd Dec 2002, 10:38
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I think we can do without abuse of this kind on this forum! Why don't you adequately identify what your involvement in the industry is rather than fire off false facts and abuse?
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Old 23rd Dec 2002, 13:14
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Notso

Not sure what your talking about

Fact - deal is agreed and gone to membership for vote

As for abuse, we continually see flight crew pleading poverty and stating that cabin crew are overpaid - if you feel that you are underpaid do something about it but don't blame another group of hardworking colleagues.
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Old 23rd Dec 2002, 15:27
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Shuttleworth, or anybody who knows.
Is it really true a Flight Attendant can earn more than a junior pilot?
And are you talking about the Number 1, or an ordinary F/A?
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Old 23rd Dec 2002, 18:25
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Bronx,
In BA longhaul it is perfectly possible for the junior F/O to be in the lowest third of the crew on board as far as pay is concerned. I'll defer to my longhaul colleagues for the details.
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Old 24th Dec 2002, 17:46
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quote :
"These people (whose work is considerably more demanding than that of cabin staff but are paid less)"

Ivan , this article is under some strange misapprehensions thinking this to be true.
How many years have they operated as cabin crew????
Or was their transfer to crew not accepted???
We both work in very different environments and our common ground is the passengers we serve.

We often work for 12 hours (Moscow and back) without even 1 minute for a break in that time as cabin crew.
Like yourselves under Future size & shape we have lost much needed crew onboard (at least 1 off each a/c).

We have many ground staff who have just come over to cabin crew and they are a great group of people.

Also cabin staff have out of pocket downroute allowances to account for.

I think what they mean't to say is that they work equally as hard as cabin crew - but tend to get more flak- > although we do have their company for the next 1-14 hours .
And believe me , it is hard work.

Ground staff do have statutory breaks in the day (we don't) and my mate (ex cabin crew) who's on CS says it not as bad as made out on here.


regarding cabin crew vs f/o's pay , yoiu would of course be comparing a senior cabin crew member with many years renumeration with a pretty new pilot.
Cabin crew start on 9,100 , and we all get the same allowances.
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Old 24th Dec 2002, 18:48
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Guys, those of you who work outside BA probably think I'm exagerating...BUT, a long haul CSD can NETT 4000 per month!
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Old 24th Dec 2002, 19:32
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......BA is widely regarded as a bad employer. (Ask a pilot)
........obviously knows very little about the genuinely bad employers in this industry.
 
Old 24th Dec 2002, 23:07
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Yes shuttleworth,and those of us in BA know you are exagerating.

That would be a CSD with 35 years service and 4 Naritas on their roster .
Stop trying to fan the flames.

Most crew at BA are on 8-12k (well below the average wage)
plus allowances of which we all get the same.
(Don't get too excited, i got 41 for a 12hr15 double the other day.)

I don't know what your point is exactly,maybe you don't think we are worth the money, but believ me , since FSS(future size and shape) it is hellish behind that f/d door.

Alot of cabin crew couldn't dream of ever owning a home on that salary scale (and many even a car), so think yourself lucky with what you have.

I wouldn't dream of criticizing your job/salary because i've never done it , likewise you with that of cabin crew.

It's the cappucino brigade at waterside you want to look, at and the extortionate box-payments l/h crew demand.
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Old 24th Dec 2002, 23:43
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Well its a small but important point, but most crew aren't on 8-12K, only the 5000 or so on the new contract. The remaining 8000 are on the old contract and, having been in since 1997, are on a considerably better basic. Plus for the benefit of the un-BA-initiated that 12:15 double usually includes 2.5 hours turnaround between aircraft changes at the crew report centre, or if they agree to do it in 1:45hr then a bonus CAT payment of 35ish for main crew and 50 for CSDs! Thats the reason most short haul old-contract pursers have a better car and house than I do!

Long haul, well thats a different story. Its no secret that the average gross earnings of main crew on long haul last year was around 36K, with CSDs getting around 56K! All that for a job which is nowhere near as demanding as short haul, includes bunk rest, long Min Base Turn Rounds, back-to-back premiums, box-payments, etc etc. Plus if you don't fancy working Xmas then just phone in sick, perhaps from the aircraft if you're really miffed. Then we can cancel dozens of Xmas flights, just like last year, whilst BASSA rant and rage about how hard done by they are!
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