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How Valuable Are We???!!!

Terms and Endearment The forum the bean counters hoped would never happen. Your news on pay, rostering, allowances, extras and negotiations where you work - scheduled, charter or contract.

How Valuable Are We???!!!

Old 24th Apr 2010, 22:09
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: On a foreign shore trying a new wine diet. So far, I've lost 3days!
Age: 72
Posts: 395
Never forget that by definition half of all pilots flying are below average.
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Old 24th Apr 2010, 22:11
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: through the door, left
Posts: 111
I can see 3 main factors contributing to the pay situation:

Governments pulling out as shareholders: in the good old times, most major airlines were government backed and subsidised. For most airlines, those times are over and they have to operate more or less profitably. Who's salary shall we cut first? Management? Don't think so...

Low cost airlines: if they sell the same amount of seats for less money, they have to save somewhere. Since they are 100% private companies, someone wants to see a profit. Who's salary shall we cut?

Compared to 30 years ago, a much broader spectrum of the population is able to afford to push their sons / daughters through to frozen ATPL with 737 rating. Prices for that are almost comparable to that of studying at university. And you save a lot of time, so the kid will earn money a lot earlier...
And banks grant loans so easily these days. With more and more people becoming pilots, more and more people know someone who has just started to fly and want to do the same.

Since the pilot's job is to about 95% passion driven, the companies can get away with pushing down the conditions & salaries ever further. The MDs and CEOs are in the game for the buck, not because they itch to call 'set max power, please'. In order to get those guys warm and comfy in your company, you have to fork out the appropriate amount of money. If not they go and become MDs of some toothpaste brand...

Unite pilots? It's easier to unite factory workers, since so many of them work together on the same floor, every day. In our office, there are only 2 at a time and one sits right there, where the other one wants to be asap. Prime back stabbing ground.

Last edited by DaFly; 24th Apr 2010 at 22:33.
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Old 24th Apr 2010, 23:23
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: way out west
Posts: 124

Much apart from SSTR, P2F and our general inability to agree with one another, let alone unite behind a common purpose, how about coming at it from the bean counters' perspective:

We're paid for what we actually do (when things go according to plan, which, happily, they generally do), rather than what we're capable of (when things go badly wrong, which, even more happily, they increasingly don't). So while things go according to plan we get paid an ever decreasing pile of peanuts. Anyone really want to reverse that trend?
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Old 24th Apr 2010, 23:47
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Over the hill and far away
Age: 73
Posts: 174

Notice I used the word pilots, we are not drivers. Whomever started referring to us as drivers, needs to be exhumed from the grave and slapped.
Quite right! A driver has to actually control his/her vehicle - your aircraft are driven by my software 99% of the time.

To get back on topic. From what I see at work here at the right side of the volcanic ash plume, and from what I used to see when I lived and worked in the UK, pilots are their own worst enemies. (Generalizations accepted).

Younger pilots will do anything, and accept anything thrown at them by the operators, just to get a seat on the flight deck. In the US now, some first-year FOs are barely above minimum wage (and it's a pretty low minimum here compared to the UK).

More experienced ones will do anything and accept anything that the operators throw at them just to move from the right-hand seat to the left-hand seat.

But I don't blame the pilots, I blame the flight schools/"universities" who grab the money and churn out wave after wave of eager pilots into an already saturated market. If you have furloughs at one end of the spectrum, where's the sense in flooding the other end with new talent?

For every new recruit who comes out of ERU and the like, your value, Mr Captain, Mr First Officer, decreases accordingly.

It gets even stickier when you consider the increase in retirement age from 60 to 65, and the fact that the value of pensions have been flushed down the tubes with bankruptcies and the recent economic collapse. Pilots who were looking forward to retirement, now can't afford to retire. So they'll carry on until they reach the mandatory age.

Add to this the fact that aircraft are getting easier to fly (to mis-quote a car insurance ad over here - "so easy a caveman could do it"), and your "value" as a pilot is going down the tubes.

Of course, none of this applies to military pilots, who will never be under-valued. What? Who mentioned UAVs?
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