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Old 10th Sep 2012, 14:27
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I am not a pilot, but i have followed this thread with interest because I am the father of an Easyjet Flexicrew pilot, and some of the posts here are simply outrageous. It is the never ending call of "prostituting", "pay as you fly" pilots upsetting the supply / demand balance and forcing down the T & Cs of you comfortable '4 stripers' that has finally pushed me to adding my contribution to this debate.

I hold a senior position within a construction company and it isn't uncommon to have 25 plus applications for every post I have available to fill. But we don't slash the pay rate and put them on peace work simply because there are a surplus of applicants, indeed the successful candidates will receive the T & Cs deemed appropriate for the position regardless of the how many applied.

The Flexicrew contract must remain as one of the only Dickensian employment arrangements in place in 2012 because it is truly inhuman and degrading. For all the responsibility my son faces sitting in the RHS of a jet aircraft carrying some 150 PAX, his take home pay (after loan repayments) must be amongst the lowest of anyone working in the airline industry and I am including the staff cleaning the terminal building! The guy waving the tug pin at him after the push, and most of the cabin crew will all have greater net pay than he does. And yes the bank of mum & dad has to step in each and every month he gets less than 50 hours.

There will be many who slag off the CTC training option with its inherent training debt, but as with BlackandBrown, my son received his HSBC loan & started training weeks before the world caved in financially. And whilst CTC has been heavily criticised, he is doing what he always wanted to do (flying jet airliners) where many others who followed alternative training routes are not. Many of the posters here seem to feel that as responsible parents we should be telling our 10yr, 12yr, 14yr old children not to pursue their career ambitions because some grumpy old men wish to retain their 6 figure lifestyles and there is no way they want any young upstarts rocking the boat. Well sod you all, I am not a rich man, but very proud that I have done everything in my power to help my son achieve his ambition and will continue to do so until your industry feels he ought to receive a fair reward for his job.

At 36, Guy of Gisbourne may not have any children old enough to express any interest in following their father's career, but i hope for family harmony his children choose to be doctors, lawyers & bankers!

So for all Flexicrew pilots and their parents lets hear no more blame for them wanting to fulfill their ambition. And using the language of the building industry please, ALL of you in LHS, get off your a**es and render this bl**dy Flexicrew contract a thing of history. And yes i believe that will involve you withdrawing your labour because it is the only language the airlines will understand. So 'man-up' and get on with it.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 10:45
  #222 (permalink)  
 
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I completely agree that current employees taking a stand against this situation is a way to stamp it out.
However, speaking as a parent of 4 ambitious kids, having a dream and continuing to persue that dream when all that awaits is a 6 month temporary contract which doesn't even cover your loan, is ridiculous. I guess it's too late for your son but I hope many budding self financing pilots read your post and realise what a dreadful industry it is ( not being able to pay the bills if you don't get 50hrs a month).
I always tell my kids that they can do anything with a little talent and a bucketful of determination but, if they told me they wanted to be pilot in today's airline industry I'd say they had a better chance of earning a living on Xfactor!
Having said that, little boys will always want to be pilots and as long as airlines are willing to take advantage of those dreams this situation will never end.
Plus your comparison of applicant numbers, try 1000 applicants for every post!! Then you would soon realise you could reduce your package!
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 11:36
  #223 (permalink)  
 
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I completely agree that current employees taking a stand against this situation is a way to stamp it out.
How should current employees do this? Any action taken by current employees, about the terms and conditions from the new pilots would be deemed illegal by any court in the UK.

2 parties have agreed on a contract and the existing employees are not being disadvantaged by it.

I share your sentiment and most permanent employees in easyJet do and totally agree with previous posts, but at the moment it is a difficult one to just taking a stand against these practices.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 12:10
  #224 (permalink)  
 
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Dear Zordon,

I am afraid you are missing the point.

Your son may have started before the world caved in, for that, he has my sympathy.

But, hundreds, if not thousands have started training since the downturn in the full knowledge that they will only ever get a Flexi contract. And there is the problem. The terms and conditions are effectively dictated by the lowest bidders in desperation to sit in an Airbus.

I wouldn't go on strike for anyone other than myself.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 12:15
  #225 (permalink)  
 
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zordon

You can come on here and scream and rant all you like, but you are the problem I'm afraid. These schemes only exist because people are prepared to pay it and accept it. It's no different to why ice creams cost more at summer attractions, or why your flowers on Valentine's day cost the earth.......why? Because people are prepared to pay it. If nobody accepted these deals, they wouldn't exist. We all know in an ideal world everyone is out for themselves, so if you don't accept it then someone else will, but you can't come on here whinging at the pilots on the old contracts just because you were prepared to let your son "follow his dream" and accept degrading terms and conditions. You must have known what you were letting yourself in for? You did do research, didn't you? Your son made his bed chasing that "shiny jet", and now you don't like it and you want to blame everyone else. You & your son are part of the problem, if he wanted to fly "shiny jets" and this was all that was on offer then why even do the training in the first place? I, along with many others are stuck on turboprops with nowhere to go, largely thanks to CTC, but I chose my career path and chose not to be raped by the CTC flexicrew sausage factory. Whilst it would be nice to move on I am quite happy with my lot now, because I can go to bed at night knowing I am not on one of those God awful contracts. Your son is a victim of his own choices, and now he's going to have to live with it, because thanks to people like that, these contracts are going nowhere for a very long time, if ever. Nobody forced him into it, and the empathy is running thin from most pilots who are not on a like contract.

Last edited by Deano777; 11th Sep 2012 at 13:35. Reason: changes
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 12:47
  #226 (permalink)  
 
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Not sure Zordon deserves quite the flaming he's getting here. Any CTC guy who started training before the Global Financial Crisis hit has my sympathy (and indeed for clarity, I was one of them). HSBC were merrily throwing near-six figure sums of essentially free, unsecured money from a tiny branch near Southampton at kids as young as 18, with CTC screaming "Live the Dream" at them from the rooftops whilst sending out their SIA tickets to NZ, promising guaranteed jobs at the end of it all in a shiny new EZY Airbus on full, standard, FO contracts. Indeed many of these guys were in possession of a letter signed by the EZY Chief Pilot (many iterations of the post ago) guaranteeing that full, permanent contract when the rug was pulled from under them in 2008. Similarly to 9/11, these guys were in the wrong place when the world changed. Nothing they could have done.

My sympathy runs out for those starting training from mid-2008 onwards. These people knew the score when they started training - flexi jobs, no permanent contracts, no guarantee of work every month. These people pressed on anyway, and are idiots. The free money supply had of course run out by then, so in most cases the Bank of Mum and Dad ponied up the cash - often, unbelievably, remortgaging the family property to do so. These parents, too, are idiots. Harsh, but IMHO true.

As to what is to be done now - as many others have said, supply and demand rules. BALPA may be able to start poking away at agency workers regs, but any court case could take years to come to fruition by which time a new, 'exciting and innovative' way of continuing the slave labour will have been found. The only real way of protecting terms is to cut off the labour supply.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 13:29
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Just out of interest I called CTC and inquired about TR training. I said I was looking to join a UK operator and had heard they had links with EJ. CTC said I was overqualified to join their cadet scheme. So I asked if I could just pay for the TR training but was told EJ will only take pilots from the cadet scheme!
Why would they freeze out experienced pilots willing to pay for their own TR?
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 13:35
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Ah yeah? so why in Italy Spain France etc etc there is no such cut off but these contracts do not exist?
Different labour laws....
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 13:39
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As pilotsince99 has said, our Continental colleagues have more robust labour laws at their disposal.

Thank you Maggie.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 14:08
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The Flexicrew contract must remain as one of the only Dickensian employment arrangements in place in 2012 because it is truly inhuman and degrading
That maybe so, but there are plenty of people STILL queuing up for it! Should you and your son not direct your attention to them?

Well sod you all, I am not a rich man, but very proud that I have done everything in my power to help my son achieve his ambition and will continue to do so until your industry feels he ought to receive a fair reward for his job.
EZY has given your son a start on the RHS when there were/are 1000s of more experienced and better qualified candidates out there. The reason they have done that is to save money. Why is that a surprise?


All this talk of fair reward does not factor in the huge supply of candidates able and willing to commit 100k to achieve the RHS. The industry has fundamentally changed and we need to stop making comparisons to legacy T&Cs and ultimately accept where the market now sits.

lets hear no more blame for them wanting to fulfill their ambition
It's great that people are able to fulfil their ambition, but you have to accept that this profession has declining T&Cs that bear no relation to that of 5/10/20 years ago. If anyone TODAY is going to become an airline pilot to make $$, they're living in a dreamworld.

Flexicrew is here to stay as long as there are enough suitably qualified people out there. We're no longer talking about being superhuman/superlucky to meet the tests of BA's cadet schemes of old, and there is a massive supply still out there.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 14:26
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because that is what easyjet may have asked for from them? experienced pilots on the airbus (even the those maligned from the meditterean etc) and/or ctc cadets only? I'm no supporter of them as a business but surely ctc would be pleased to take your x grand for the rating if given half the chance but if easyjet arent going to take you afterwards then they yes you would be over qualified and ineligible, saving you 35k? Criticism for criticisms sake IMO.

Sorry Guy, failed to quote you and read wrong.

Last edited by goosemaverick; 11th Sep 2012 at 14:30. Reason: response to Guy of Gisborne
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 14:31
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Have easyJet striked, er...No..! And they never will for two reasons.

1. The old contractors have it good.
2. They will never risk 'having it good' and strike to fight for full time contracts for the flexi-crew. The're all-right Jack
Old contractors? I assume you mean those of us on the 'normal' contract, and your second point doesn't make a lot of sense to be honest. You say we have it good, but we will never risk having it good?!

Craggenmore what you and numerous other posters seem to have missed (even though it has been explained many times), is that the labour laws regarding strikes are very different in the UK to most of the rest of Europe, so when you mention Lufthansa going on strike, well good on them but we can't do that

Options are being explored by BALPA though as recent communications have shown.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 14:48
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They do not care that someone called John from Watford who loves flying and has 80k of debt is not earning to his colleagues potential. They simply see John as cannon fodder for their 4-5 year plan before they go and manage the next 'blue-chip' company.
The snag is that suitably qualified Johns keep queuing up and beg to be used as cannon fodder. Until that stops, I can't see why any Board should not go down that route.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 14:49
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How on earth are the regular/original Easy contract line pilots and BALPA ever going to fight this kind of corporate culture (apart from the fact that they won't)
It feels like I am talking to a wall on this forum.......let me write it in bold.

At this moment there is nothing that Balpa or the current easyJet pilots legally can do to stop these sort of practices of entering the company. It is the labour laws in the UK that allow these practices, so don't compare the UK with the rest of Europe where these practices aren't allowed.

The only fight that can be done, is to try to change the law with regards of being self employed and working for only 1 company etc, but this can be a long battle.

so stop this "I am alright, Jack" nonsense, because most pilots in easyJet do see this as a big threat for future terms and conditions for everyone.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 15:31
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Zordon,

You sound like a very nice but unfortunately very misguided gentlemen...

Your son took the Integrated full time route to pilot training... as opposed to the Modular route. This is the part-time route which is usually followed by those of us who generally cannot afford to go to CTC/OAA etc. but would love to fly commercially one day...

In a word, you have helped to push me and those other Modular candidates out of the running almost completely...

Whilst the well being of complete strangers is not your concern, I thought the impact of your selfish misguided actions were worthy of a mention.

Some of us don't have a 'bank of mum and dad' to turn to - so I may never be able to get a start in this profession...

In the course of fulfilling your son's dreams - you have destroyed mine and those like me...

Last edited by Poose; 11th Sep 2012 at 15:36.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 16:46
  #236 (permalink)  
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Bloody Hell

Can this thread be closed as it is full of the whining whinge'ing and self-obsessed.
 
Old 11th Sep 2012, 18:17
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Craggenmore - you are wrong on so many issues that it is difficult to know where to begin, but I too have big concerns on the temporary contract issues. This is, at last, centre stage between BALPA and the management - by February you will know if there is going to be a change or not on the contract front. It is my belief that there will be a strike if not.

I would not knock Emirates (Does that stand for English Management, Indian Run, Arabs Taking Europeans' Salaries?), as they are a great company. Nonetheless, you will be aware that there is a distinct shortage of union representation and if you ever feel hard done to by your employer, you will find that you are dead wrong and they are dead right. Try and make a fuss and see how secure your job is, but you probably know that already. Also, easyJet gave you a great start you would never otherwise have had, so don't knock them. It is therefore disappointing to see your growing personal crusade against them from your Middle Eastern enclave. Nonetheless, you are of course entitled to your view and I to mine.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 19:40
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I tend to agree with the words of our Zimbabwean friend that this thread appears to have nowhere to go. However i have enjoyed the reaction to my first post.

There are clearly several contributors to this thread that are permanent EJ flight crew (some of whom appear sympathetic to the plight of Flexicrew), but it would be very interesting to hear the regulators side of this debate. And at the same time do we have anyone from BALPA who would like to add their comments?

It would also be very intersting to hear from any of our French & German neighbours to understand how they manage to balance supply & demand without descending to the likes of a Flexicrew contract. I suspect it isn't simply employment law, and there must be a more structured relationship between Airlines, regulators and FTOs.

And finally the very valid IR35 point raised by one of my fiercest critics, Poose, ought to be pursued with some vigour. It was the abuse of the self employed status in the construction industry that was a major factor leading to the creation of IR35, and there appear to be valid parallels in the Flexicrew contract.

As an engineer, problem solving is my daily bread & butter but everyone here appears (perhaps reluctantly) to accept stalemate, status quo, call it what you will, and as such is there any point in continuing the discussion? Rants, whining, slagging off those that have no power, but at the end of the day it isn't achieving anything.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 19:48
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Zordon,

I sympathaize with much of what you say, and can easily see things from your perspective. However, it is important to make one distinction here. Cadets are apprentices. They have been fast tracked into a part of the industry that traditionally wouldn't (and still largely doesn't) normally host pilots with such low levels of experience. Therefore the supply & demand rewards of the labour market, should not be (but usually are) confused with those that apply to experienced first officers in these seats.

Just as in your industry, it would not be uncommon to have 25 well qualified (and short-listable) candidates for every right seat vacancy. In fact the numbers are usually much higher than that. Here I am not talking about candidates with a few hundred hours, but those with thousands of hours including medium/heavy jet transport experience. This includes applicants from domestic and foreign airlines as well as military career changers.

You cannot equate an apprenticeship in that seat with an experenced pilot in that seat, although the former will eventually become the latter. Without any cost and flexibility benefit to the airline there would be no reason to provide such apprenticeships, and the opportunities afforded by them would simply evaporate.

Whilst I am not advocating or defending flexicrew, the fact (as you acknowledge) that "the world caved in," placed a set of realities on both the FTO and Customer that ensured something was salvaged from this collapse. The option would simply have been nothing at all! Many well established FTO's lost their airline customers and in turn their respective cadet programmes. This one managed to keep the throughput alive albeit on significantly reduced T&C's to those that had existed previously. Despite this, the lack of end user demand simply caused supply to build up. Until the beginning of this year hold pools of prospective cadets were finding people swimming for up to a year or more.

As other airline cadet programmes start to come back on stream, so the scope of opportunities improves. Many easyjet cadets (or those still on flexicrew contracts,) have found opportunities with such airlines. In other words as they emerge from their apprenticeships, so the basic laws of supply and demand start to become a factor again.

Hopefully your son is able to benefit from either new opportunities, or as his apprenticeship period ends, is able to benefit from better terms & conditions where he is. Either way, the future is a lot brighter than the alternative would have been, in that he has been able to fulfill all of the early stages of his fast track apprenticeship.

That you and your wife are still having to support him, is little different from parents who also suppport their offspring through education, training and apprenticeships in many other industries and professions. Which is again why I say that is important to make the distinction.
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Old 11th Sep 2012, 21:08
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Craggenmore,

Old contractors = normal contractors. You make it sound like a divided workforce Maz..!
You do not get my point, I am on the regular easyJet contract, I am NOT a contractor...... The contractors are the CTC/Parc guys that we want to help!

And....

Why can't you strike? You can do whatever you like. What seperates you from BA, the Tube drivers or the Teachers Union?
Why do you find this so difficult to understand, despite so many people telling you. The funniest point is that you have answered your own question when you run through the list of things that have to be satisfied for a strike to be legal.

There must be a trade dispute a dispute between workers and their own (not another) employer, that is wholly or mainly about a specific matter like pay and conditions.
The CTC/Parc guys do not work for easyJet, they are employed by either CTC or Parc (well self-employed) and contracted to easyJet, because of this it is illegal for us easyJet employees to go on strike over their pay and conditions!

Hence why Balpa are exploring different avenues!

Hopefully you'll get it this time because I'm starting to feel like I'm
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