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Pilot shortage? Go for DEPs and DECs!

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Pilot shortage? Go for DEPs and DECs!

Old 21st Apr 2011, 00:39
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 2,263
Fair enough Billy one sock, you don't have to agree. However the carrier you work for now already employs the practices you advocate, and in all honesty your posting history doesn't hold them up as a shining beacon for the path forwards. For example:
I too am tired of paying for bloody ID's. This lot are really testing my patience. I am now seriously thinking of moving on. You really don't know what is going to come next with this silly company.
The example you quote of the BA captain isn't really valid in that it was quite a complicated combination of post accident events that caused the captain to resign. It was a resignation and not a dismissal. The matter was resolved with the captain being reinstated to his previous rank by mutual subsequent agreement. The captain concerned ran up against problems with certain overseas carriers in respect of DEC employment simply by virtue of the fact he had been involved in an accident, rather than the circumstances of how that accident had occurred. The example is therefore fairly meaningless. However if he had applied to an airline that adopted the same seniority and promotion practices as his own employer of choice, then yes he most certainly would have assumed a seniority and rank that initially placed him behind a new cadet. In fact that is what he would have expected and no doubt accepted had he chose that particular course of action.

For almost any experienced pilot in work, the four or five major proponents of the schemes you advocate (including your own employer,) would almost certainly rank near the bottom of a list of employer preference. The reason being that the terms and conditions are so appalling.

If you want to jump ship to another employer, you need to pick and choose carefully. The best ones will nearly always require you to join at the bottom of the list and work your way up. Failing that, there is always contract work.

Do I think that is fair? Yes I do. Do I think loyalty should be recognised and rewarded? Yes I do. Do I think that those who have served time with an employer and shown themselves to be capable should be promoted in order of their place in a queue? Yes I do. Do I have "half a brain"? The requirement my employer lays down is twice that level.

I have worked for my present company for 26 years. If I were to leave or be made redundant tommorow the best I could hope to expect working for a non-seniority based operator in this country would be around 50-60% of my current salary even if I were taken on in the same rank. For employment with a desirable operator, I would expect to be earning less still and to be at the bottom of their seniority list. It would be only right that longer serving employees would have a salary and promotion opportunity benefit commensurate with their own length of service.


Terms and conditions have not suffered in the airlines you referred to because of a lack of a seniority. The conditions have eroded due to a lack of union representation. Two very different things.
I think you are torturing your own argument? Most of the better carriers allow and encourage union representation. However that hasn't stopped the downward spiral in terms and conditions across the industry. The reason being primarilly, that those new carriers whose practices you advocate have forced costs down to rock bottom. In order to compete on anything like a level playing field, the better employers have also had to make cuts. It is now much harder to reward loyalty. It is much harder to offer good retirement, medical, health, insurance and lifestyle benefits.

I am guessing you knew what you were getting into, when you made the career choices that you did? I certainly did. If you aren't happy, then look for something better, but don't suppose that others (who were luckier or made better choices than you,) should move aside to allow you to assume some perceived queue jumping strategy that you feel you should be entitled to.

Seniority and internal promotions wherever possible, are the hallmarks of the better employers. The lack of them is but one of the tools employed to drive down costs. It is hard to see why you (or me or anybody else) would be entitled to the rewards that loyalty might afford with one carrier, when that same person has contributed nothing directly towards them.

I think you want your cake and eat it.
Bealzebub is offline  
Old 21st Apr 2011, 01:21
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Nick is wrong for a number of reasons. His friends in other professions may laugh - I frankly do not think they do, but that is another story. The fact is that these other professions are nepotistic and corrupt - in many cases who you have round for dinner is what determines your future. They have the same problem, particularly with doctors where many high calibre candidates exist for the same jobs. I never want work for an airline where the chief pilot decides who gets promoted this week. Seniority is like democracy - it is full of flaws, but a million times better than the alternatives.
Norman Stanley Fletcher is offline  
Old 21st Apr 2011, 16:29
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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the captain being reinstated to his previous rank by mutual subsequent agreement
Shock horror!, doesn't that go against the seniority regime
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Old 21st Apr 2011, 19:58
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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I never want work for an airline where the chief pilot decides who gets promoted this week. Seniority is like democracy - it is full of flaws, but a million times better than the alternatives.
Exactly.

The seniority system does work on merit btw - when your time for command comes you'll be rigourously assessed. If you meet the high standards required then you get a command. If you don't, you don't.

The training department ensures that only people who meet the required standard get commands. The seniority system ensures that meeting the required (high) standard is the only criteria used, not whether you play golf with the chief pilot.

The system is completely fair and has existed for decades and everyone knows about it. If you choose to pursue other career options before joining a 'seniority airline' then that's fine, I hope you enjoyed it. But don't now bitch about a perfectly fair system, that many made sacrifices to join earlier in their career.

As has been said by many, the airlines with the best Ts&Cs seem to be the seniority based ones.
BusDriverLHR is offline  
Old 21st Apr 2011, 21:21
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Shock horror!, doesn't that go against the seniority regime
I doubt anyone complained! However in that case it simply re-established the status quo that had existed previously, rather than contradicting the seniority system. I believe there were special and extenuating circumstances, that most sensible people fully appreciate and understand.

Do you have a point to make, that doesn't involve this unrelated event?
Bealzebub is offline  
Old 21st Apr 2011, 22:47
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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The whole argument regarding seniority for pilots versus merit with doctors, lawyers and other office-wallahs usually misses the point. In most hospitals you have some doctors. In a law firm you'll have a couple of partners. In an airline you have hundreds if not thousands of pilots.

This is the difference!!!!!! Numbers!!!! Oh poor lowly F/Os who are bitching here about the system... It's life. Accept that this is how aviation works. Personally, as a XX,000hr Captain I would expect (correctly) to join the bottom of the list if I went to CX or SQ... End of story!
White Knight is offline  
Old 22nd Apr 2011, 03:43
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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White Knight, hypothetically if this was a world without airline seniority in so much as you could join CX / SQ / QF / EK / VS / BA etc in your current position would you? Plus there's the possibility of going back to your original airline in the future if they are hiring.

(Airlines I'd imagine would have a DOJ system by default to sort out staff travel rosters etc so you may take a hit there etc).

My point being movement costs money, A/C ratings are a huge investment and your current airline might like to keep you so even if you left for a paycut for lifestyle they will have to train someone to replace you.

Jo Bloggs might say his kids are all grown up he's done with this airline, time to chase some $$$, his current airline for the same reasons don't want him to leave as it will cost money to train the new guy/girl.

Plus a lot of legacy carries aren't going to be happy having an unknown come in and fail to meet the standard.

Airlines love stability and they have it by default with a seniority system without it the only way to get it is to $$$.

And pilots who say it makes them feel warm and fuzzy is an airline accountants wet dream.

People leave pay goes up. Seniority prevents people leaving.

I only disagree with the fact that seniority restricts movement and therefore $$$.

One final thought if airlines thought seniority cost too much would they not try and remove it, every airline aims to have a system of seniority.

As a joke let's get all the major unions together to suggest dropping seniority and allowing direct entry it would be mayhem applications would fly out everywhere the airlines and training depts would 5hit themselves.

Crews may not leave but might not the fear that they could drive $$$ up?

Last edited by SMOC; 22nd Apr 2011 at 04:28.
SMOC is offline  
Old 22nd Apr 2011, 03:58
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Both systems have merits in theory. In practice, they lead to very different airlines. Luckily, we have the option of which type of airline we want to work for. On the non seniority side we have Ryanair and Easyjet. On the seniority side we have BA and Virgin.

Your choice!
Dan Winterland is offline  
Old 22nd Apr 2011, 04:05
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Do Ryanair and Easyjet take DECs? Just out of interest because Virgin Blue (Australia) and Jetsatar don't.

But do pilots have a choice anymore? Airlines that hire MPL/Cadets get applications because of the job and less so the pay, but once they have enough experience they are now in a seniority airline and can't leave because of the paycut at the bottom of the other airlines seniority list.

I'd be interested to know where BAs recent -400 DE F/Os came from.

Last edited by SMOC; 22nd Apr 2011 at 04:19.
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Old 22nd Apr 2011, 09:31
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Terms and conditions have not suffered in the airlines you referred to because of a lack of a seniority. The conditions have eroded due to a lack of union representation
Union membership is fine as long as long as it not compulsory to join and you have level headed commonsense people running it. Because of the nature of trade unionism, historically it is the loud-mouth heavyweights that get to the top of the union executive and the rot starts from there.

The Australian Pilots's strike of 1989 is an example of this. 1500 pilots were given bad advice by the highly militant union heavies and lost their jobs for good. The problem in Australia at the time was it was compulsory to join the pilots union otherwise no job. Competely illegal of course but the government was also cowed by the militants and looked the other way. Union representation might get you better pay and conditions initially but that's not much good when your job is later lost because of union militancy..
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Old 25th Apr 2011, 22:44
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Nikle. : In short. many airlines still do take DEC's, just look around... maybe not the ones YOU wish for do it but you can't be choosy, until you have considerable experience/flying hours backing you.

Companies kill internal morale by doing so and in turn distance themselves further from their key workforce. It is also a very poor reflection on that airline's management, for failure of planning future training and neglect of forward outlook... ie their finger isn't on the pulse! That's their job!

In the meantime, enjoy what's out there as jobs are on the move again!
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 03:03
  #32 (permalink)  
Nemo Me Impune Lacessit
 
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below standard and would not pass the interviews of today are merely protected by the seniority system.
A flawed argument. If they are that bad they won't pass a command course either.

The argument that a 10,000 pilot shouldn't be placed behind a 250 hour pilot is also flawed. When selecting a pilot for command they have to be qualified with the correct number of hours, so the 10,000 pilot will win by several years, but it would be quite wrong to put a 10,000 new joiner into the seniority list ahead of FOs who are qualified and waiting, meritocracy counts for nothing if we are all, as we are supposed to be, of the required standard. One instructors idea of an 'ace' will be another instructors 'average at best'.

Interesting how these threads continue to emerge from the yet to be promoted!
"Seniority list should be abolished", "Captains should not be called captain", "Captains can't tell me how to fly", "I have to tell captains how to fly" and so it goes, the list must be quite long!

Remember, it is a Pride of Lions, a Flock of Sheep and a Moan of First Officers.
parabellum is offline  
Old 26th Apr 2011, 19:48
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Remember, it is a Pride of Lions, a Flock of Sheep and a Moan of First Officers.
I thought it was a whinge of first officers?
757_Driver is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2011, 04:09
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Actually, I think it's "A whinge of Pilots"

I'm in the left seat and I still catch myself complaining about rosters, back of the clock flying, no bid system etc,etc.

See, we're all a bunch of complainers, really. Only difference is, we get paid less to complain now than we ever did... Oh wait, I'm doing it again...
Honkozzie is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2011, 09:18
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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All this thread proves is that Seniority, like Democracy, is the 'least worst system'.
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Old 27th Apr 2011, 15:02
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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a pilot complaining about rosters?! surely not?!
170to5 is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2011, 18:38
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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perhaps we can have a referednum for the "alternative seniority system" whereby everyone gets screwed apart from some third rate protest group of pilots, whom for arguments sake we will call the LIBerty DEManders
757_Driver is offline  
Old 27th Apr 2011, 22:06
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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People leave pay goes up. Seniority prevents people leaving.
Oh really does it, So all the ryanair lot have just had a huge payrise have they because 300 odd pilots have left?!

Your post is so wrong its shocking.

Seniority is the best system, it's there for all to see. End of.
HidekiTojo is offline  
Old 28th Apr 2011, 14:08
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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What about the BA first officers leaving to Emirates!
What about them?
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Old 28th Apr 2011, 15:02
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Hedeki Tojo, shouldnt you be happy, they're probably hiring and you can finally get that jet job, as you said the 737s won't fly themselves!
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