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British airways pension to close.

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British airways pension to close.

Old 20th Oct 2017, 19:38
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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No cash

Well said grahamo, no matter what we do, someone will fudge the figures to give us less. Damned if we do Damned if we dont.
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 01:04
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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I don't have a dog in this fight, but this very recent video from the Canadan parliament about recent defined benefit pension change legislation and the finance minister (Bill Morneau) just came up on my radar. I though gives some background to how corporations view and think about pension plans and trends. Apologies if I have interjected beyond my remit, just a few breadcrumbs I have found.

The ease of of companies switching out of UK DB plans was specifically noted at about 3:07.




Source document from the 2013 speech:
PPF National Summit on Pension Reform - Bill Morneau remarks
But we spend much more of our time helping defined benefit plan sponsors manage the risks of these plans for their organization’s financial health.

A significant number of our clients have parent companies or sister companies in the United States or the United Kingdom. Since the movement away from defined benefit plans has been earlier and quicker in these countries, those clients are challenged to either defend their continuing defined benefit plan, or find a way out at the earliest financially plausible opportunity.

Those Canadian organizations that are master of their own destiny are regularly asking whether this trend away from defined benefits is appropriate for their organization.

Human resource leaders recognize that a relatively small percentage of their people expect to spend 30 years in one place – meaning that defined benefit plans may not be as beneficial for employees in practice as they are in theory.

Last edited by CurtainTwitcher; 21st Oct 2017 at 01:14.
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 07:59
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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If you act together, i.e. With other unions within the airline such as the cabin crew and engineers, you stand a better chance of having this overturned. Or at least getting a better deal! As a Balpa rep myself for another UK airline, I'm urging them not to act alone as you are stronger together.
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 08:39
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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Marvo. If the unions save NAPS they do so by ensuring there is no improvements made to BARP. BARP members are now the majority and it is acknowledged by all sides that the DC scheme could be better, is no longer flexible enough and frankly in need of improvement. The focus should be on securing the best pension deal for all rather than maintaining the DB scheme for some at the expense of the DC scheme. The general view I see is less and less support for the pilots union from new, young or junior pilots.

Last edited by bex88; 21st Oct 2017 at 08:52.
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 08:59
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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Marco

If you act together, i.e. With other unions within the airline such as the cabin crew and engineers, you stand a better chance of having this overturned. ...........I'm urging them not to act alone as you are stronger together.
Don't disagree for one moment...but as bex has righly said there are err..."issues" within BA BALPA membership- only one of the pension schemes is under review, NAPS, and TBH some poorly judged comments in the initial Union comms didn't exactly help solidarity from the BARP contingent. Certainly that and the slightly differing post NAPS deals the company seems to be offering to the various employee groups has definitely provoked an air of "divide and conquer" if the posts on company yammer are to be believed.

Add in a bit of recent history plus cultural memory and it will make a coordinated campaign between BALPA, Unite and other unions somewhat tough to achieve.......I'm sure it could be done, but some hatchets would have to be buried and some with egos would have to be kept in a box somewhere.

Last edited by wiggy; 21st Oct 2017 at 10:17.
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 10:06
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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I loved the condescending bit suggesting those 600 SFOs could already have commands if they wanted them, so they have brought it upon themselves. Oh really? So we have got 600 below NAPS juniority Captains have we? What a daft argument to make.
The letter actually stated, there are around 600 First Officers in NAPS, all of whom have held the required seniority to have achieved command at LGW or LHR since 2015.

He’s not saying everyone could have achieved a command. He’s saying anyone could. (Rather than for example, moving from one longhaul RHS to be frozen in a different longhaul RHS.)

I guess you don’t like it, but SG’s statement is absolutely correct. It is an oddity of BA that some prefer the easy, well paid, life of a senior copilot over being a junior captain. How often have I heard the refrain, “you only have to be junior once”? It has been obvious for years that BA would close NAPS. The precise terms of that closure have always been much less than certain.

Having said all that, I don’t want to see anyone’s pension trashed. However, I suspect it would be far easier to galvanise the membership had people been caught out through absolutely no choice of their own. Is that a fair comment?

Last edited by 4468; 21st Oct 2017 at 10:21.
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 10:51
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Marvo View Post
If you act together, i.e. With other unions within the airline such as the cabin crew and engineers, you stand a better chance of having this overturned.
Acting together will not make money magically appear in the pension fund through.

Flogging a dead horse there IMO
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 11:17
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Dead horse or not I certainly think it is worth "flogging" some of the assumptions BA have made in their attempts to paint a picture of NAPs heading for Armagedon.

BA for years have had an SOP of always, always pleading poverty when the employees want or need anything, but I'm darned sure there's at least some more money to be had, maybe not for a complete restoration of NAPS, but there's certainly room for improvement on BAs proposals, without any need for any magic.
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 16:16
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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I think that's it Wiggy. NAPS is going to close the question is on what terms for the NAPS members. The union need to try to minimise the transitional pain if you will and I don't think any BARP memeber would argue to much about that as generally they will have less time to make adjustment to their contributions. What I hope we see is a focus on an improvement on the new BARP offer over a protection of NAPS members at the detriment of BARP members. At some point it's best for everyone and the union going forward if they can show they are at least making an effort to look after a wider demographic. As I said it's easier being 30 years away from retirement to make changes but it's amazing how even the extra 2% and flexibility makes a big difference that far out.
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 22:40
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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However, I suspect it would be far easier to galvanise the membership had people been caught out through absolutely no choice of their own.
That is simply a convenient excuse to use, to ease the consciences of the majority who are happy to see financial gains at the devastating expense of their colleagues. Half of the BACC did not go for short haul commands, choosing instead to hold out for their long haul commands. If you had had to wait as long for the seniority for a short haul command as the group of SFOs in question, you'd be holding out for a long haul command too (unless you just don't like long haul). There have always been those who wanted the first possible command, and those who prefer long haul and so want to wait for a long haul command. You honestly hand on heart wish short haul commands were always taken at the first possible seniority? You'd still be an FO. You'd happily forego that 33% pay rise for me? I'm touched.

It was your own choice to join BA on a BARP pension and yet you feel NAPS pensions should be sacrificed to improve BARP pensions... So it goes around and around. Unless we start protecting something, we will eventually be left with nothing. BA simply target a small enough group at every stage. They have got their tactics well worked out, because they know BALPA cannot galvanise the pilots who will never stick together, and so the minority being targeted is just trashed every time. The majority are looked after at each individual attack, at the expense of the minority group of the moment. It's short-termism at its worst. In the long run, everyone loses.

Sadly this particular attack on the minority is truly devastating. They most certainly did not choose it, and I think it's fair to say they expected a little more support. I didn't expect to keep my currently projected pension - I was never that naive, but I didn't expect anyone to be happy to raid the pensions of 600 pilots to be divided out to all the rest. That is simply not on.
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Old 22nd Oct 2017, 10:04
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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I think Bex has made a good point re voting power of BARP membership. I'll just add one concern I have. I'm a BARP member. The thing that concerns me is voting away colleagues old terms to increase the lower terms. Nothing to do with an emotional response, more what I've seen happening before.

I've witnessed this at other companies. One in particular, was like viewing what is happening at BA but wound on a few years. I'm sure the technique is the oldest trick in the industrial handbook. It's the two tier step down approach. Even though this is pensions and not pay scale being discussed, using "A scale" and "B scale" is easier.

For example - Create a poor by comparison B scale, recruit people onto that and in a few years the voting power will be weighted towards the B scale. Then create a vote to improve the B, whilst abolishing the A. You can see what happens later on. Next it's the B scale that is the target.

In the instance I recall, A scalers at a company were offered to keep their terms at the expense of creation of a lower B scale. I remember one union head did his upmost to warn voters that this is short sighted as a few years hence the disgruntled B scalers, tired of hearing the woes of the A scalers would vote down the terms of the oldies at the next collective bargaining milepost when offered a carrot.

Always ensure the workforce is completely out of concert then divide and concour using 2 steps each time. It's as old as the hills.

On the face of it, it could be argued I'm disagreeing with giving myself a pension improvement (which I'd say we need). However, I hesitate as I would be concerned that the next move a few years hence when the next step down occurs would be far from an improvement to my pension. Say all the young cadets were to be offered a new lower pension - then the process will be set up for a repeat.

Sometimes it pays to show solidarity and pause in the face of rushing temptation. Which comes back to Bex's point that the focus should be on improving the pension for all.

Last edited by Wireless; 22nd Oct 2017 at 11:03.
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Old 22nd Oct 2017, 11:31
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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Sometimes it pays to show solidarity
I couldn’t agree more.

‘We’ should have shown solidarity when the first BARP pilots were recruited. Sadly we did not. ‘We’ should have shown solidarity when 34pps were proposed. Sadly we did not. ‘We’ should have shown solidarity when shorthaul was trashed. Sadly we did not. Etc.

Well played BA.
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Old 22nd Oct 2017, 15:03
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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I think it's fair to say the solidarity ship set sail a long time ago.
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 08:51
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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4468, How would BALPA convinced BA to reopen a closed scheme to newly recruited pilots when it had been closed for a time? I'm guessing the new recruits to other parts of the airline would also want to join NAPS too?
BA were never going to reopen the scheme. That would have meant striking at the time of closure. This would have meant we would be striking for people that hadn't even joined the company yet.
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 09:31
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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I think thats the point. If you don't look out for the pilots yet to join then you can't then expect them to look out for you after they join.
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 09:48
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by hunterboy View Post
... This would have meant we would be striking for people that hadn't even joined the company yet.
Which if I recall things correctly was one of the issues that plagued matters during the run up to the Open Skies dispute......
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 10:06
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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Ron

When the company announced closure of NAPS to all new entrants, the pilots were up in arms! People wanted to strike, but BALPA told us it would be illegal to strike when the company had not even recruited a single pilot on the lesser terms and conditions. There were no pilots recruited for many years. Meanwhile lots of other employees were recruited into BARP. Eventually the first BARP pilot was recruited. I cannot remember for sure whether a ballot was actually issued, but I think one was, and BALPA recommended we just accept it. Ballots always go the way BALPA recommends because too many people cannot be bothered looking at the facts and thinking about them. They consider their BALPA subscriptions to be a means to offload that hassle, and as a result, BALPA have way too much power. The reps always say we the pilots are BALPA, but it is not true because the majority always vote the way they are recommended to vote. There is no point in ever actually having the vote really. So BALPA blame the pilots because they are BALPA, and at the same time, BALPA pretty much always recommends accepting the deal however bad it is.

Open skies had everyone marching down the Bath road and building up strike funds because that is what BALPA recommended. It turned out that was the wrong fight and BALPA are just too scared to stand up to anything now. I do not blame them for being afraid because BA/IAG are a formidable opponent. However, that fear has rendered them useless. The pilots pay their fees and live under the illusion that they will be protected if they cock up, and that their terms and conditions will be protected as much as possible. As I say - it is all just an illusion.
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 11:16
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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There is so much mistrust in BALPA now that a lot are not even members and a significant number who are members recently voted against the latest JSS bid because BALPA recommended to vote in favour. What is the membership demographic I wonder. If BALPA is to recover going forward it needs to win back trust of pilots it has lost. That starts with the correct representation and we need reps who are LH/SH, senior, junior, captains and FO's. I don't see a board that is reflective of the pilot workforce.
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 11:59
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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I really believe that the only reason for distrust in the BACC is that far too many colleagues have hugely over-optimistic expectations!

The guys on the BACC are pretty smart and have access to information that members do not possess. Before the doom-sayers start up - this information is often based on info released under confidentiality agreements.

BA pilots are taught to use the T-DODAR model for solving problems. The first D is diagnosis and that is where a lot of the mistrust occurs because the members do not have access to all the info that the guys on the BACC have access.

4468 (in post 107) makes a very good point that any of the 600 P2 guys in NAPS COULD have had a command, but CHOSE to stay L/H RHS. There are all sorts of arguments that have been voiced one way or another, but it was always a CHOICE!
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Old 23rd Oct 2017, 17:59
  #120 (permalink)  
 
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. That starts with the correct representation and we need reps who are LH/SH, senior, junior, captains and FO's. I don't see a board that is reflective of the pilot workforce
True, but that is not BALPA or Company Council's fault...take a look at just about any election at any level at BALPA and the manifestos are stuffed with the same names ( and good grief there are a few names who have been secure in post for years yet producing stuff all noticeable output).. Followed by these exciting manifestos we then have unsurprisingly low turn out at elections ( what was it recently, just over 20% for the last NEC ballot) as a result there's been stuff all "churn" at CC level for a long time.....and that is where I think the real problem lies.

BALPA at BA has slowly morphed back into much the same beast as it was 20-25 years ago......IMHO the junior cadre need to get some of their number onto the BACC, and that means being elected.....which means standing for election....etc...oh..and when it comes to elections you don't have use all your votes .....you don't have to pick "5 of the above".....just the one or two you want....here endeth the lesson....
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