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BA Direct Entry Pilot.

Old 14th Jun 2017, 09:26
  #3721 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 1,079
You might remember the EASA alleviation obtained for roster publication by BA...
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 15:02
  #3722 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 339
20 days before the end of the month is the roster production deadline. It's all in the paperwork we've been sent.

(Plus probably 2 days extra for shorthaul due to the bmi bubble vote this week)
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 16:05
  #3723 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Uk
Age: 38
Posts: 403
It's blind lines. It will be seen to that those at the bottom get the rubbish and work every weekend. The biggest problem with British Airways is the pilots themselves
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 19:44
  #3724 (permalink)  

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No later than 20 days for rosters under JSS. bex88, why do you assume that all of us want weekends off? What about commuters, who want to go to ACC, LOS etc so they can back-to-back? They would be rubbish trips for me.
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 20:34
  #3725 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: London
Posts: 236
I would quite like a weekend off! Most senior bidders seem to alway take the weekends on blind lines you are almost guarnetied to work weekends, that's if your not on reserve which seems to happen every other month.
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 21:38
  #3726 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Uk
Age: 38
Posts: 403
Why do I say that? In the last year I worked all but two weekends excluding leave and DFW. Look at the lines and you will easily see the pattern. Seniority is a simple system that works but it should not be used for rostering when it directly effects your quality of life so drastically. The disparity is huge and when there is stagnation or if your one of the ex BMI guys then your junior for a long time......for some it's permanent
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 14:43
  #3727 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,517
Fast forward to 2017 and we now have an ever increasing population of female pilots, as well as a majority of dads who want to be as involved as possible with raising their children. To have them work most weekends and be on reserve every other month on short haul, so that those at the top can have it all, seems extreme.
Warning: Controversial Post...!!

I suffered the above, both on joining (Blindlines for >> 5 years, if it's Sunday it must be Harare...) , and again when I changed seats so I understand where you coming from..I also do agree that someone shouldn't be stuck on weekends for seemingly perpetuity....but...(here we go, takes deep breath) I have to point out that the argument that often gets rolled to counter the "unfair" accusation is that the longer served pilots ( male and female) have already done their chunk of weekends/ frequent reserves, both as junior P2s and for some again as junior P1s... Equalising weekend working now could be seen as being unfair to them.

I think some would be willing to "take one for the team" to some extent in the interests of improving the fairness factor because we do recognise times have changed, but any attempts to completely equalise weekend working with no recognition for the weekends the more senior have already worked/"banked" over their careers is going to encounter push back. It's certainly going to be interesting to see how BALPA/BA start manipulating the inhibitors tied to that aspect of bidding when JSS arrives

IMHO I'd also say the ability to completely avoid weekend working is sometimes overestimated, it's actually not that easy to do it, even when on page One...but I'd agree it can be ***** annoying if you do fly with one of the "I don't work weekends" brigade...

Anyhow if you think it's bad now someone will probably be along any minute to talk about how lucky we are now and tell horror stories about the days when the junior pilots were on permanent reserve....( no, even I'm not that old )

Tin hat on, retires to safe distance....

Last edited by wiggy; 15th Jun 2017 at 16:28.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 16:18
  #3728 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 47
On long haul it can be hard to avoide working weekends even with decent seniority. The length of trips is the factor:

5 days trips, only a trip starting on Monday has a clear weekend, the other 6 days impact the weekend, so only 1/7th of 5 day trips have a clear weekend.

For 4 day trips its 2/7ths that have a clear weekend.

For 3 day trips its 3/7ths..... but... if you did a Mon-Wed trip, its reasonably likely that you'll then be doing another trip starting on Saturday or Sunday thereby impacting that weekend.

Believe me, seniority does not mean you get all your weekends off! If someone says they don't work weekends, they must be top 2-3% of seniority, or part time, or going sick, or exagerating, or very very very lucky.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 16:27
  #3729 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,517
If someone says they don't work weekends, they must be top 2-3% of seniority, or part time, or going sick, or exagerating, or very very very lucky.
I'd agree Dave, as you point out you've only got to look at tripline construction to see how hard it is to consistently avoid weekends, for all the reasons you mention.
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 19:58
  #3730 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Straight Outta Compton
Posts: 18
but any attempts to completely equalise weekend working with no recognition for the weekends the more senior have already worked/"banked" over their careers is going to encounter push back.
I agree wiggy, there has to be fairness both ways. Which is why I like the concept behind the Virgin system, where you still get rewarded for time done but the juniors don't get hammered all year long. Surely there is a middle ground. But nobody will ever agree where that is
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Old 15th Jun 2017, 21:58
  #3731 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: London
Posts: 236
I would say the problem is slightly more than just weekend work. BA has a very particular ethos and it can be quite depressing as a junior pilot. Basically it seems at times like our only job is to make life better for everyone above you. We get paid less so they get paid more, we get a 34 year pay scale whilst they get 24, our pensions are shit to pay for their massive ones, we work weekends so they don't have to, we do reserve 4 times a year so they don't have to do any, Christmas and school holidays we work so others can spend time with their family etc etc etc. I fully appreciate the "we had to do it argument" but many of us have worked for decades before joining so the idea of being everyone's scivie is a bit hard to swallow.

I knew seniority rules before joining but It been harder for me to accept than I thought, it litterally rules every single aspect of your life at BA and being at the bottom is not great!

All that said it's not going to change and I did kind of know what I was joining, generally it's a decent place to work and I could be worse off.

As for the JSS/Bidline argument I could not care less and I don't suppose many aspiring BA pilots will either.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 07:17
  #3732 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,517
I'll conveniently leave pensions and pay out of the debate (the pensions change was wrong but I'll leave it to others to debate the ins and outs of it because I can't remember the details).but otherwise I'm not convinced it's as polarised as you are making out.

I've been very senior as a P2 and am fairly senior as a "P1" - until I went part time even as a top band Long Haul P1 I did Longhaul reserve probably once every 18months (some was down to bidding, due in parts to the points system) certainly still worked and continue to work during school holidays (again in part the points system) and have worked, mainly by choice, the vast majority of my Christmases- and again, there's a points system to prevent someone permanently avoiding working over the festive period. FWIW the aspirational part timers are pretty much forced into weekend working in their Part Time months by virtue of the hotspots, regardless of seniority.

There's a gradient, sure, whether it is too steep or not is rightly up for debate and has been forever, but it has flattened over the years. I can't speak for Short Haul roster patterns but as far as Long Haul goes anyone thinking that BA junior Long Haul pilots just do all the *****ty work while the senior pilots work 7AM to 5 pm, weekdays only, only do beach trips, never do reserve and never work over a holiday is just a bit wide of the mark....
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 08:04
  #3733 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Home of the Gnomes
Posts: 364
A system a la Virgin where pilots rotate between three priority groups, with seniority applying within each group, seems like a decent compromise (although I don't actually know how well it works).
How about those who want to rotate seniority do it between themselves and leave the ones who don't with the status quo.

I'm a serial Blindline holder on longhaul and seem to get at least one weekend off a month generally. As I see it, JSS will mean in theory I work a bit harder (difficult to see how and not hit limits) but I'll get more choice over what I do.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 09:12
  #3734 (permalink)  

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Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Stratosphere
Posts: 622
I suffered the above, both on joining (Blindlines for >> 5 years, if it's Sunday it must be Harare...) , and again when I changed seats so I understand where you coming from..I also do agree that someone shouldn't be stuck on weekends for seemingly perpetuity....but...(here we go, takes deep breath) I have to point out that the argument that often gets rolled to counter the "unfair" accusation is that the longer served pilots ( male and female) have already done their chunk of weekends/ frequent reserves, both as junior P2s and for some again as junior P1s... Equalising weekend working now could be seen as being unfair to them.
Wiggy,

I've read your posts for a long time as you can see from my join date.

I've not been interested in employment with BA for a LONG time but am always curious as to the state of play in the organisation.

But the argument above is pretty mean-spirited isn't it?

I mean, we never had a washing machine or dishwasher whilst growing up, but I don't wish my children have to learn to use a mangle and a tea-towel because it'd be unfair on me if they didn't.

They're already suffering from some pretty extreme inter-generational inequality which has all kinds of ramifications for me as their predecessor...
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 09:43
  #3735 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,517
I've not been interested in employment with BA for a LONG time but am always curious as to the state of play in the organisation.
Well first point I would would be that the claims that:

Basically it seems at times like our only job is to make life better for everyone above you..... the idea of being everyone's scivie is a bit hard to swallow.
Don't really accurately portray the state of play. I've no doubt that's what the poster feels but they are in for a shock if they think that this is all down to the nasty b**** above them and as they move up the senority system they are suddenly going to be free of weekend/holiday/Christmas working. I never escaped, even when being almost top of the P2 list ....I know it can be extreme at the bottom but as Tay Cough has pointed out it is possible to get a weekend a month off as a Blindline holder, even when quite senior I've been on runs of no weekeds off for months, sometimes fortunate/lucky to get two clear weekends off in a month...but usually it was just the one.


the argument above is pretty mean-spirited isn't it?
Possibly OTOH how do you think this would go down."Hey honey, you know all those weekends/holidays/school plays I missed in the past? Well what do you think about me doing more weekend/holiday working from now on so that the junior guys don't have to do as much" .................

I mean, we never had a washing machine or dishwasher whilst growing up, but I don't wish my children have to learn to use a mangle and a tea-towel because it'd be unfair on me if they didn't.
Not really the same situation though is it, since no there's real limit on the supply of domestic appliances - everybody can have one. It would be great if nobody had to do weekend working but somebody has got to do it ( and I'll reiterate despite previous comments the senior pilots do weekend work - some actually by choice), and I'll happily state again that outside the top 1-2% the seniority lists are not as polarised when it comes to weekends at work as some seem to think.

Edit to add, Long Haul POV: Senior or junior anyone working full time at BA is increasingly up against it when it comes to getting real solid control of time off and lifestyle control...the final assignment process is no respector of seniority, you only have to look at the demand for part time working, even from the supposedly blessed senior pilots, to see that the case. Personally I only got some degree of control when the kids were at school by going part time, but these days now they've grown up I don't care that much whether I'm working over a weekend or not, I certainly don't avoid weekend working. I do tend to like Christmas trips so i don't avoid those either and have spent the vast majority of the last 25+ Christmases "out", and I know for certain I'm not the only senior pilot who thinks the same. TBH I get slightly grumpy when I see claims that the seniors simply don't work anti social days/hours and dump it all onto the junior pilots...FWIW If do have to choose work/lines I tend look at destinations ...each to their own, but I know some think even having that degree of choice is "unfair".

Last edited by wiggy; 16th Jun 2017 at 10:27.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 10:30
  #3736 (permalink)  

Mach 3
 
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Stratosphere
Posts: 622
Possibly OTOH how do you think this would go down."Hey honey, you know all those weekends/holidays/school plays I missed in the past? Well what do you think about me doing more weekend/holiday working from now on so that the junior guys don't have to do as much" .................
So why wouldn't the argument that it is unfair that new kids on the block get a 34 Year PP deal whereas the older kids get a 24 Year PP deal get any traction? What is good for the goose is good for the gander, no?

I've got some sympathy for Grandfather Rights type arguments in certain instances but I'm not sure this is one of them. If it is, it seems hypocritical for recompense not to be equivalent...

In my Company the difference between getting a Command after 2 years (a substantial number of our senior Captains did) and getting your Command after 12 years (the present running average) over a 20 year career is a difference of almost 600K in career earnings. If you dilute the pay scale in the interim, the figure presumably increases beyond that.

In addition, you can easily calculate the added benefit of money in your hand now compared to 15 years time, which allows you to save on mortgage interest etc etc This figure is also significant.

As posters here have already alluded to, the demographic of your average candidate joining BA has changed. These people tend to be experienced pilots with responsibilities commensurate with that experience and with their age, and are therefore less inclined and/or possibly genuinely less able to deal with the intra-organisational unfairness.

Whether or not there is enough critical mass behind this sentiment to get things changed will be interesting to see....
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 11:00
  #3737 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 1,751
Pardon my unqualified intrusion. I'm interested in this. If we do some maths involving the number of trips covering a weekend and the number of available pilots (FO, Captain separately) for that fleet, what would the result look like over a period of let's say 3 months? How many weekends would the "average" pilot be working? I agree, it would be a complex calculation factoring in length of trip/leave/sickness/training but I would say something like a third would be reasonable if it was to be averaged out? (After all, the weekend is only 2 out 7 days long).
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 15:19
  #3738 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,517
As posters here have already alluded to, the demographic of your average candidate joining BA has changed.
Errr - well I'd agree it changed in about 1988 or 89, but since then, not much.

There were experienced ex-Forces DEPS and experienced other airline DEPS joining BA in vast numbers from the very late eighties onwards, as were the Prestwick cadets ( equivalent of the FPPS), so there's nothing new about the demography of the more recent recruits. I can promise you BA and some soon others, especially in BALPA, found out those DEPs needed no lessons on how to be "less inclined and/or possibly genuinely less able to deal with the intra-organisational unfairness."......it wasn't long before the term "Whinging Wing Commanders" was coined.

As for the more general stuff:

Change in Payscales/pensions - I'd agree it was wrong.

The current Senority gradient and specifically weekends: - we're obviously at an impasse. Over the years we've all worked lots of them, kids at home or not. 2 out of every 7 days are weekend days, the Longhaul program doesn't reduce at weekends and being blunt somebody still has to work them, I don't think every weekend for months on end (and I have done that) is fair but despite the claims the vast majority of pilots, even those quite/very senior don't or can't avoid weekend working.

Leave, Christmas, Reserve - there's at least an an element of fairness/flattening of a pure seniority gradient built in by virtue of the various points systems.

Anyhow as far as roster patterns and weekends are concerned talk about how it works under Bidline is all a bit moot and it will be interesting to see how fair JSS is.

Last edited by wiggy; 17th Jun 2017 at 08:08. Reason: Tinkerman
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 17:02
  #3739 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: london
Posts: 13
Same old same old, junior pilots moaning about their lot. Life isn't fair get over it. if you want weekends off and want your career to progress based on something other than a number then work in an office or something.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 17:49
  #3740 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: London
Posts: 17
Very interesting reading indeed. Wiggy as ever presents a very balanced and fair argument.

Chaps and chapesses - it's simple. If you don't think something is 'fair' then try and change it. If you can't change it, change your expectations. I joined BA in full knowledge of the conditions and never considered it unfair. It's just the way it is. I didn't like a number of things but never was it 'unfair' - so I left and have no regrets or complaints whatsoever. BA is a business and is doing its best to perform strongly in a challenging competitive environment and I wish it all the very best.

No one is forced to join BA or indeed forced to stay if unhappy. Complaining things are unfair is somewhat naive I feel. It's a seniority based system and you have to take the rough with the smooth if you're junior!

Last edited by tommytailwind; 16th Jun 2017 at 18:03.
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