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Old 15th Jun 2017, 18:58
  #3741 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Straight Outta Compton
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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, 20:58
  #3742 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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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, 06:17
  #3743 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
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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, 07:04
  #3744 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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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, 08:12
  #3745 (permalink)  

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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, 08:43
  #3746 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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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 09:27.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 09:30
  #3747 (permalink)  

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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, 10:00
  #3748 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 1,723
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, 14:19
  #3749 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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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 07:08. Reason: Tinkerman
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 16:02
  #3750 (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, 16:49
  #3751 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: London
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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 17:03.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 19:22
  #3752 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Button Moon
Posts: 282
Originally Posted by thewisealderman View Post
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.
What a delight you must be to fly with!
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 21:32
  #3753 (permalink)  

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He has a point though.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 07:12
  #3754 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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No he doesn't.

And to be summed up in such a way shows a very clear lack of understanding of what's going on at the bottom. This isn't a bunch of children whinging about their pocket money. It's real guys and girls with real families trying to make it work. I don't wish to sound melodramatic but some people really don't get it and "I'm alright jack" isn't a pleasant way to go through life.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 07:19
  #3755 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: France
Posts: 175
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.
Just about sums up what's wrong with the pilot profession really. Progression based purely on numbers, no chance to move on because you're trapped by "seniority", those at the top who are alright, Jack. What a bizarre and depressing industry this really is.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 07:20
  #3756 (permalink)  
 
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You do realise you're not the first generation of "guys and girls with real families" to have gone through this (regardless of whether "this" is right or wrong), so please do at least credit some of us with the ability to understand " what's going on at the bottom" ...

Out of interest and for the sake of debate, since a lot of this recent argument has been about weekends can I ask what ratio of "weekends worked" to "weekends not worked" over a year would you find acceptable?

( By "weekend not worked" I mean neither the Saturday or the Sunday containing any duty period or element thereof)

Last edited by wiggy; 17th Jun 2017 at 07:33.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 07:51
  #3757 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Posts: 282
Absolutely I understand that struggling at the bottom is nothing especially new. However, I would argue that the decline in T's and C's in recent times has been sharper than ever and has meant that the current struggle is somewhat different to previous times.

I'm not referring to weekends off in my comments. Being a junior chap myself, I joined BA whole heartedly accepting that for the first few years working weekends, zero or very little roster control and working xmas was the norm. Anyone walking into such a large and complex seniority system has to either make peace with this concept or spend their first few years miserable trying to fight something they can't change. That being the case, I work the vast majority of weekends and personally don't have a big issue with it because I accept my place in the system. Sadly, the other recent changes have made life at the bottom tougher than ever both financially and lifestyle wise. Reserve every other month is not much fun I can tell you!
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 08:03
  #3758 (permalink)  
 
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However, I would argue that the decline in T's and C's in recent times has been sharper than ever and has meant that the current struggle is somewhat different to previous times.
Fair point.

I think financially some of the recent changes, not just the PP change, but the agreement back step on variable pay wasn't the cleverest move ever made and I don't have a solution to that.

As for lifestyle, I think there are issues other than senority that have worked against folk here ( dare I risk mentioning EASA in shorthaul?) certainly the demand for Part Time Working (PTW) would perhaps indicate that rostering is not a bed of roses, even at quite senior level. I found PTWing was the only way I got reasonable element of control back for at least some of the time, but I can understand why for financial reasons that is not an option for the more junior.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 08:34
  #3759 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: London
Age: 40
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I find it interesting to read that most of the posters arguing about the suposingly unfairness of the seniority system in the previous posts are direct entry pilots who joined straight onto longhaul.

I would argue the seniority system would be the only fair system to allow pilots to be recruited directly onto Longhaul without disadvantaging the shorthaul pilots who would love to go longhaul but who are still in their engagement freeze. With the current system an unfrozen shorthaul pilot who has done the 5 years of hard labour and who gets released onto longhaul would be more senior to anybody who joined after him directly onto his/her new longhaul fleet resulting in a higher roster satisfaction.

The above posters complaining about the unfairness of the seniority factor in the current rostering system could have joined Shorthaul and would have been around 30% fleet seniority within 3 years of joining. (And before there is the feeling of entitlement of going direct entry longhaul because you make the hour requirements to go LH, on my SH joining course a few years back the most inexperienced pilot had twice the minimum hour requirement to go direct entry longhaul)

Last edited by Jumbo2; 17th Jun 2017 at 08:49.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 09:52
  #3760 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Please don't confuse the issue by coming up with examples of situations in BA where seniority doesn't determine absolutely everything....
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