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Pilot shortage? Go for DEPs and DECs!

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Pilot shortage? Go for DEPs and DECs!

Old 13th Apr 2011, 19:29
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Pilot shortage? Go for DEPs and DECs!

High time legacy airlines do away with the archaic and ridiculous practice of upgrading from within. Also do away with all the silly current seniority systems. The pilot fraternity is the dinosaur and laughing stock of all professional groups. My friends from the medical, engineering, legal and accounting communities never fail to point out that pilots are shooting themselves in the feet for sticking to such a stupid system. Small wonder the airline managements are using this to their advantage!
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 20:19
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The thing is, Nicholas Nickle

Unlike any other profession you care to mention, we are paid NOT to be original. In fact, we are paid to be very much the same - repetitious, boring and predictable. The safety of generations of accumulated wisdom, passed on down the line.
That is why the best vehicle for promotion is consistency and ability in the sim, and seniority. It helps discourage the [email protected] trying something unpredictable. No old bold pilots, as they say.

Your first post - I know - but 1 out of 10 for knowing your subject.
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 20:53
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Sorry Nick if you are unemployed at present, but we have all been there at least once. Thats the point, I only want to do unemployment once and I would guess, so do you.
In this hyper-unstable industry, so at the whim of world financial storms, LIFO and seniority is the rock that we cling to in the hope of a decent retirement and combined with a bit of hard work, the only chance we have at promotion.
Beware of what you wish for.......
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 07:53
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There is some, no, in fact a lot of truth in what Nicholas Nickle has proposed. You get where you are in other industries because of skill and experience. In our own, out-dated, system the ones that are below standard and would not pass the interviews of today are merely protected by the seniority system.
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Old 19th Apr 2011, 09:05
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Seniority within an airline merely ensures that an individual will be considered for Command/promotion etc. It does not guarantee they will get it, only that they will at least be considered for the selection. They still have to get through the selection process and subsequent training, and then remain competent.

Seniority should stop mates of the chief pilot just walking in to a company and taking desirable posts that long term employees should be considered for.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 13:14
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Seniority is a policy related to Government and Military neither of which exist in a Private airline. For each post a healthy mix of internal and external candidates should be chosen and the winner should be the one who performs on that day. One cannot allow the company to sink for the whims of a few!

For those who think flying is boring and repetitive ... maybe you need a change in profession....

No hard feelings just my frank opinion.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 13:35
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I'm with you Nic.n seniority is out dated and now used by companies to keep pay down!
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 16:23
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Seniority within a company - yes - once two pilots are employed, the junior should not overtake the senior.

However side entry onto "the list" should be available for outside recognised experience. Employ a 10,000 hour pilot, and that pilot shouldn't be placed in a second officer position behind a 250 hour pilot who joined the day before - now that is stupid.

It's a very old argument, though.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 16:39
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Why? Seniority is about loyalty to the company, not flying hours or experience. Should a 10000 hour pilot be permitted side entry above pilot with 8000 hours in the company? Of course not. Bottom of the list for him. And yes, below the 250 hours S/O.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 16:43
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What is the connection between pilot shortage and seniority lists? A rather peculiar angle to use to launch an attack on seniority lists.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 16:48
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I am with Nicholas on this one. The seniority system is a very antiquated system. I think it should be abolished. I seem to remember that any new start airline, after a certain date, cannot implement a seniority system under EU law due to discrimination. Not having a seniority system promotes free trade. This can only be good for terms and conditions. In a seniority system management know they have the upper hand with regards to very experienced crew because they know they cannot just up sticks and go to another operator (with a few exceptions). Get rid of it I say!
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 17:18
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hate to pee on yer bonfire old chap but
seniority is good for terms and conditions
Best t's and c's in the uk belong to airlines with seniority systems, worst t's and c's to those without.
Anyone who thinks that a meritocracy exists is either very naive or has little experience of working in a professional career in the real world.
I've had a previous 15 year professional engineering career in a very reputable blue chip multinational where promotion was on merit. Except that merit actually meant playing golf with the right people. Staying late unpaid. Being a yes man, etc etc etc. competency had very little to do with anything.
Meritocracys (like many lovely touchy feely concepts) are theoretically great, but practically don't work because of human nature, greed, envy etc etc.
I've also spent 5 years working for a small airline with no seniority list and cannot wait to start in BA next month. I may be going on the bottom of the list, but at least I know, absolutely 100% what my prospects and options are.

Anyway who says the other industrys are better. Medical industry has an 'accident' rate that would kill the airline industry in a week. Finance...so competent they destroyed the entire global economy.'nuff said really. Lawyers - I think you'll find the top city partnerships will work you half to death and do have an informal seniortiy system anyway. Nobody comes in the front door to a partnership.
The only people that generally complain about seniority are those at the bottom who would sell their sole to get ahead and look what that greed has done to t's and c's in ryanair.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 17:44
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nicolas.nickle.

I can't see what you are complaining about? There are plenty of carriers out there who do not employ seniority systems. In the UK alone, two of the three largest carriers don't have such a system. As a result they have been able to offer terms and conditions that have enabled them to pioneer rock bottom headline fares! The trouble is, that from these forums alone, they don't seem to have fostered the utopia you alude to.

Promoting from within a company is entirely a correct and proper concept. For the employer it allows them to select people with a history that they can verify and vouch for, (something else that seems a little woeful from some of the threads on here!) It provides for a career plan and rewards an employees loyalty provided they attain the requisite level of experience and ability.

A seniority system with incremental salary scales, rewards an employees loyalty. Doing away with such scales simply provides one rate for the job. That rate (judging by those companies who have employed this practice) is not only at a median scale, but evidently at a very weak level of industry average.

The only hope for pilots stuck in the mire of the terms and conditions that you find in those companies who have adopted the practices that you advocate, is to move to somewhere better. For example, some of the "legacy" carriers who do not ignore loyalty and domestic talent. Of course there isn't much of an exodus from those carriers, so there isn't any particular demand for non-entry level positions either.

The irony of your argument, is that it is the managements of the airlines who have adopted the practices you advocate, that have used this to their advantage.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 20:15
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Bealzebub, 757 Driver,

I just dont agree with your way of thinking. How would you feel if you had to move on from a company that employs seniority, and please dont say you would contemplate such a move from your so called legacy carrier, look what happen to the BA Captain who crashed an aircraft through no fault of his own and was pushed into resignation. Do you think his level of skill and experience should be disregarded? Do you think it is correct to have him placed at the bottom of a seniority list of another company behind a inexperienced cadet!? Anyone with half a brain cell knows thats ridiculous

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.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 20:21
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The difficulty with not using length of service (seniority) is how do you promote people fairly? Any First Officer that passes their licence check? What if there are a number of pilots all of similar standard? How do you differentiate? Do it by ballot? Or will it be at the whim of the Chief Pilot?
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 21:05
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I'm not sure that the lack of a seniority system is entirely linked to the poor t's and c's in the low cost sector. There are a number of other factors that come into it. At the moment in Ryanair as an FO your pay increases with your JAR25 hours and everyone is offered an interview for command upgrade at 2900 hrs.

Also in airlines like BA where you have a mixed fleet and an unstable roster (ie. not 5/4) there is more need for a system of seniority when you are bidding for days off, trips, fleet change etc. Almost none of this would be relevant in Ryanair. The only time some sort of seniority might be good would be when applying for annual leave and base transfers.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 21:44
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To me this is just a bit strange the whole argument of seniority lists. As far as I am concerned, and this is just my opinion, they are fantastic in the airline business. I quite agree that in other areas of business they do not suit or work but for those of us in the airline business they are a reassuring and comforting thing to achieve.
The airlines are constantly changing and with that comes a lot of uncertainty the idea of a seniority list helps promote loyalty, builds platforms for future growth and provide reward. As someone has already pointed out seniority does not guarantee a better position or financial gain as there are constant assessments and challenges to face in the aim of bettering oneself. They are however there to provide those the opportunity to do those things. It is all well and good to talk about the extremes of position i.e. the 10000hr Capt and the 250hr First Officer but think of all those in the middle. There have been many threads on the supposed experience perception based on hours. Those adamant that more hours equals more experience blah blah but as we pilots all know, yes hours give you experience but it is also based on far more that just flight time: Take-offs, Landings, variety of destinations, hand flying experience and weather but to name a few.
A seniority based system provides large companies with an entry level on which to build and it is then presumed that throughout your time at the company you will gain the experience that is required to take on the next step. Let us not forget that all those in these companies have had to pass a selection process to be there and so are expected to be of a certain competence already.
Seniority systems and T and C's are not indicatively linked but more the work forces representation by union and their own voice. A strong union presence helps control the attempts to degrade T&C's but the industry is significantly harder now than it has been and negotiations have to be made and agreements reached.
Each business is unique and I don't think it is really appropriate to compare the medical, financial and legal world with each other or aviation. As for the heading PILOT SHORTAGE where is that then? Certainly not in the UK. Maybe in the Far East or Middle East but culture then plays a significant part in a companies structure and that is a whole other discussion.
Like I said just my opinion.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 21:49
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billy one sock

it is not rediculous, and people are not 'placed' anywhere. You wanna work for a company you play by their rules. You know what the rules are at BA, you know what the rules are at ryanair - theres no point working for either then complaining about the system they use.
Theres a whole generation of people in this industry and all others that think they have some devine right to have the world work by their rules. It doesn't work like that. you have to play the cards you're dealt, not spend your whole life trying to change the deck and shoot the dealer.
If you don't like seniority systems then go and work for a company without one, but don't complain when another bright young thing wants to short cut the system and cuts in front of you by agreeing to work for less, chatting up the chief pilot, has the right face etc etc.

i'll state again my own experiences - I've worked in a so called meritocracy and it is a deeply flawed system - it is far far too exposed to corruption. Ultimately if you want an uncorrupt system, then it has to be based on a factual, objective (not subjective) parameter. Date of joining is such a parameter. I'm sure there are a few others. But 'merit', 'performance' etc are subjective and corruptable, even if you have a proper system built around them - which most companies don't.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 23:30
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Seniority is not all good and not all bad, however it is based on the assumption that one airline can suit ones whole career, therefore it is something often found in career-airlines, aka legacy carriers. And as showed in the previous posts it can make it easier to defend your terms and conditions or even improve them.

But they can be a major p.i.t.a as well, for one lateral movement is pretty much impossible between seniority based companies, for another it can make mergers quite difficult. At the moment we try to integrate three seniority lists into one, with extreme differences in age and time in company between all three and it proves to be a major issue (and sadly, among other collective agreement issues, reduces my flying time to around 300 hours a year instead of 750). However seniority helped us to improve our working conditions quite a lot and even our wages.
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Old 20th Apr 2011, 23:56
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Operational Seniority

The concept of operational seniority in which an airline repays loyalty etc with the DOJ seniority towards postings, choice of flights etc and keeps the command upgrades based on merit, experience, flying skill etc.

This is as followed by Middle Eastern Airlines and some in India.

Seems to work for them!
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