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Joining Balpa

Old 7th Sep 2012, 14:32
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: somewhere in the clouds
Posts: 41
Joining Balpa

Hello everyone,
I am considering to become member of Balpa as I will start working for an UK company.
I am not british and I don't have a civilian background that's why I would really appreciate some advice regarding this Union from more qualified and senior colleagues.
Is it worth to join?

Last edited by HF13; 7th Sep 2012 at 16:37.
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Old 7th Sep 2012, 18:03
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: east midlands
Posts: 55
They are ok at some things but on the whole useless unless you fly for BA or Virgin. Smaller operators are there to subsidise the bigger ones.

That's my experience.
sps1013 is offline  
Old 7th Sep 2012, 18:11
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: uk
Posts: 177
If the company you are joining has balpa recognition, or is working towards recognition, then your membership would be helpful to your colleagues, as well as yourself.
Best foot forward is offline  
Old 7th Sep 2012, 19:04
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: north
Posts: 20
Joining BALPA

HF 13,

My advice is join. I have been in the business 25 years, give or take and my experience has been that people(members) who have needed assistance have had a satisfactory result. You will never be able to please everyone all the time but from what I have seen I would not recommend you go without the appropriate representation and that is an absolute if your company has a recognition agreement with BALPA. Dont forget that one person's view of a just or unjust cause can be very different from the reality as seen by the BALPA lawyers so it is important to understand that the union are careful with their members subscriptions, so they should.

I recommend you join.
capt ronweb is offline  
Old 7th Sep 2012, 19:12
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 513
I would recommend you join as well.
RHINO is offline  
Old 7th Sep 2012, 22:17
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2011
Location: FL400
Posts: 398
Agreed Busta.
Secondly - it all depends on which company you're joining. If it's Ryanair, you'd be better off joining IALPA.
If its anyone else, well I know several people from BA who have left BALPA because they feel that as a junior pilot, the union does not act in their interests but just pockets their subscriptions every month. However, without knowing more, its difficult to give you advice.
Secondary to that, ask the guys who worked for Buzz if they feel their subscriptions to BALPA were worth the money when the airline got bought up by Ryanair.

Last edited by Al Murdoch; 7th Sep 2012 at 22:19.
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Old 7th Sep 2012, 22:39
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Sunny side of the street!
Posts: 36
Useless IF you fly for Virgin!!
Bigbus330 is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2012, 08:17
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: uk
Age: 55
Posts: 72
B - British
A - Airways
L - Longhaul
P - Pilots
A - Association
Jockster is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2012, 09:43
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,931
B - British
A - Airways
L - Longhaul
P - Pilots
A - Association

Maybe, given recent events, the BMI pilot collective are the one's best placed to comment on BALPA's effectiveness.

To the OP: I'd suggest you join whichever pilot body has the most leverage/clout at the company you intend to work for.
wiggy is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2012, 10:20
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 886
BALPA's not perfect and you'll find plenty of pilots from years ago that carry a massive chip from being let down by what really was the" BA" LPA. It has modernised somewhat and if you have a good CC and negotiating recognition then membership allows you to vote on issues that effect your own T&C's. If you are not in then you can't vote. If you are in an airline that does not recognise BALPA then it is worthwhile for the representation if you get yourself in trouble. Just remember that the Union is not there to bail out your own negligence. IALPA do much the same thing for less money, but remember that you get a reduced emebership for the 1st. year and that a proportion of the BALPA subs are tax deductible.
On balance, worth joining for the strength in numbers argument.
macdo is offline  
Old 9th Sep 2012, 22:22
  #11 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: somewhere in the clouds
Posts: 41
Thank you all for the replies, I will check If the company has Balpa recognition and if that's the case I think I will give it a shot so that I can make my own idea about their job.
HF13 is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2012, 01:01
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Europa
Posts: 612
Angry spend your 1% carefully!

BALPA (and others) have allowed pilots T&Cs to drop like the proverbial and now all new pilots are expected to pay to join an airline - just read the latest LOG on how bad things now are for new comers (and no mention of experienced pilots unable to progress careers eg: Flybe pilots stuck on Q400s as EZY only take cadets/MPL/Flexi). The very same magazine that advertised pay for your own type ratings.........
angelorange is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2012, 09:31
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 44
Angel O Ė sympathise with your comments about TP pilots unable to move on as EZY only take P2F cadets/Flexi, (which I think is appalling) but to be fair on BALPA, apart from making the representations that they have done, what else can they do?
The airlines have far more clout as they keep the CAA afloat through the fees they pay, so the regulators arenít going to step in unless something like Colgan occurs. The Easy pilots arenít going to go on strike or refuse to fly with P2F/Flexi guys Ė lets face it would you if your airline started employing them? And the public arenít going to stop getting on aircraft with P2F/Flexi guys at the controls as they donít understand the issue, and even if they did, as Mr OLeary says; ďthe European consumer would crawl naked over broken glass to get low faresĒ.

HF13 Ė was going to reply earlier but macdo got there first and made a number relevant points. In a represented company how good BALPA is depends on the competence of the CC, and the willingness of the membership in the company to support them. If they are good; great join, if theyíre not good itís only going to get better if you join and be part of making it better.
In my company, when people have screwed up (Iím talking about genuine mistakes not recklessness/deliberate wrongdoing) and have been subject to disciplinary action, the outcome for those who are BALPA represented has been noticeably better than for those who arenít.
Anodyne is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2012, 10:12
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: uk
Posts: 549

Absolutely spot on!

At least one CC is actively trying to break the P2F cycle and has a negotiated mechanism in place to do so. It hasn't been tested yet as recruitment has been for TR guys only and yes, the pilot does have salary sacrifice some training costs but they will be a very different P2F pilot, PAID to fly.

I will no doubt get slaughtered for the next statement by some of those who recognise me but we are also working with a reasonably enlightened employer in relative terms to some other airlines. That doesn't happen by accident either. It comes from having a strong membership and a sensible approach which forces an employer to be sensible.

Compare that with another company who fought tooth and nail to avoid accepting recognition of BALPA and despite the necessary legal hurdles being cleared still fight tooth and nail. Reps from other companies gave up their time to assist the new reps in that company find their feet in what was truly a very brave stand against bullying and intimidation. They are now making progress.

To give you an idea, BALPA was billed by one company for te redecoration of an entire crew room because ONE BALPA sticker appeared on a door frame! The members of CCs can only push back against such stupidity and aggressive corporate greed at the expense of the employees if those same employees are prepared to stand behind them.

Join. Please, join.
yeoman is offline  

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