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Seniority

Old 12th Oct 2019, 10:55
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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There might certainly be disadvantages in the seniority based systems but coming from a company without a seniority system or just looking at friends and family members outside aviation who work for the big 3 consultancy firms I have to say seniority is the better system. No nepotism, no elbows out, no matter the colour of your passport.

I guess it is mostly the pilots who work for the likes of RYR, Norwegian, EK etc that are opposing the seniority system whereas the likes employed by AF, KLM, LH, BA/Virgin and other “decent” employers are pro seniority.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 11:26
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SaulGoodman View Post
There might certainly be disadvantages in the seniority based systems but coming from a company without a seniority system or just looking at friends and family members outside aviation who work for the big 3 consultancy firms I have to say seniority is the better system. No nepotism, no elbows out, no matter the colour of your passport.

I guess it is mostly the pilots who work for the likes of RYR, Norwegian, EK etc that are opposing the seniority system whereas the likes employed by AF, KLM, LH, BA/Virgin and other “decent” employers are pro seniority.
Could one of the seniority opponents, tell me how Command upgrade, fleet change request, Leave, Base allocation pay increments, roster requests weekends off, etc. etc. would be fairly and transparently allocated.
What other systems are in use that do not use seniority?
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 11:38
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Just remember that seniority per se does not necessarily imply greater capability.................
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 12:06
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by cessnapete View Post
Could one of the seniority opponents, tell me how Command upgrade, fleet change request, Leave, Base allocation pay increments, roster requests weekends off, etc. etc. would be fairly and transparently allocated.
What other systems are in use that do not use seniority?

Command upgrade: on ability and experience.
fleet change: queue system. Apply. take a ticket and then wait your turn
roster requests: set number of days per year per person
weekends: split equally amongst staff.

I think the comment regarding 'decent' airlines using seniority is not reasonable. If you are referring to legacy airlines the reason they have seniority is they are by nature quite old. Just so you know I am employed by an airline which uses seniority, but am very much against it, because, as I have stated a few posts up, it is actually capping terms and conditions across the industry.

I suspect you'll find the ones supporting it are more than likely the ones who are either close to command/fleet change or at the top of the tree and it now it doesnt matter. Who does seniority benefit more industry wide? The few or the many?

Obviously some resistance comes from the fact that people have invested in this ludicrous system and to now remove it means their investment has gone to waste

Last edited by TACHO; 12th Oct 2019 at 12:25.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 12:13
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TACHO View Post
Command upgrade: on ability and experience.
fleet change: queue system. And then wait y
how do you measure experience? hours, years, sim sessions, landings? How do you factorize long-haul, turbo prop, military or wide body hours?

Ability also plays a major role in seniority system. You still have to pass....

Which companies offer the best T&C’s? Ones with or without seniority? Why would that be you think?
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 12:27
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SaulGoodman View Post


how do you measure experience? hours, years, sim sessions, landings? How do you factorize long-haul, turbo prop, military or wide body hours?

Ability also plays a major role in seniority system. You still have to pass....

Which companies offer the best T&C’s? Ones with or without seniority? Why would that be you think?
Hours... which by default should mean if someone has been in a company longer they have more hours which would achieve exactly the same thing without restricting pilot movement, and someone junior still has something to work towards... I'm not sure what your getting at with factorisation, what has that got to do with seniority? Sim sessions, well of course, good grades in the sim is normally an indicator of whether one is suitable for a role no, regardless of seniority.

which companys offer the best Ts and Cs? Well I can think of one big one who's pilots all downed tools for the day not so long ago, which would leave me to believe they arent as amazing as you are portraying...

A couple of other operators I know in the UK have no seniority and I believe their staff are more than happy on the whole.

Seniority is an antiquated and flawed system and the only reason people are clinging onto it for dear life is due to their own personal investment into the system. If it didn't exist it would be better for ALL pilots. And as I've stated before, with regards to redundancy etc... it isn't worth the paper it is written on. Even WITH seniority there is all sorts of underhand maneuvering going on. If you like I could give you examples.

Last edited by TACHO; 12th Oct 2019 at 13:03.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 13:15
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TACHO View Post
Hours... which by default should mean if someone has been in a company longer they have more hours which would achieve exactly the same thing without restricting pilot movement, and someone junior still has something to work towards... I'm not sure what your getting at with factorisation, what has that got to do with seniority? Sim sessions, well of course, good grades in the sim is normally an indicator of whether one is suitable for a role no, regardless of seniority.

which companys offer the best Ts and Cs? Well I can think of one big one who's pilots all downed tools for the day not so long ago, which would leave me to believe they arent as amazing as you are portraying...

A couple of other operators I know in the UK have no seniority and I believe their staff are more than happy on the whole.

Seniority is an antiquated and flawed system and the only reason people are clinging onto it for dear life is due to their own personal investment into the system. If it didn't exist it would be better for ALL pilots. And as I've stated before, with regards to redundancy etc... it isn't worth the paper it is written on. Even WITH seniority there is all sorts of underhand maneuvering going on. If you like I could give you examples.
So let’s say you take only hours into account. Then guys coming from military, cargo or executive ops are putt in line behind the guys flying 900 hrs a year LoCo (or even 1000 hrs if they come from the likes of Lion air) whilst there operation might be more demanding. The person who does 5 years in Ryanair is not necessarily more experienced then the person flying in one of the above mentioned operations for the same amount of time. Also total time doesn’t say much about ability.

Your reference to AF “downing tools” has no relationship with seniority whatsoever. By your reasoning the above mentioned Indonesian loco should be the pinnacle of t&c’s.

there are plenty of operators to choose from that do not have a seniority based system. In fact, maybe even the majority and by your reasoning they should have better T&C’s. While I do know certain operators without a seniority system have good t&c’s I would like to believe that on average the ones that do have a seniority based system have better t&c’s. I also would like to believe they achieve a higher grade of unionization which leads to better t&c’s in general.

Edit: For management it will always be cheaper to hire DEC on CPT scale 0 then to do a command course (especially with horizontal movement) and to train a brand new FO at the same time.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 14:00
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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total time doesn’t say much about ability
But the fact that someone has sat in the same company for years does?

Your reference to AF “downing tools” has no relationship with seniority whatsoever
I mentioned the downing of tools as a counterpoint to your statement that seniority based airlines have better terms and conditions. I didn't say it was because of seniority... A seniority based airline has recently gone on strike in an attempt to gain better terms and conditions, thats a fact. It doesn't sound like the promised land of utter bliss and contentment to me.

So let’s say you take only hours into account. Then guys coming from military, cargo or executive ops are putt in line behind the guys flying 900 hrs a year LoCo (or even 1000 hrs if they come from the likes of Lion air) whilst there operation might be more demanding. The person who does 5 years in Ryanair is not necessarily more experienced then the person flying in one of the above mentioned operations for the same amount of time.
i'm not quite sure I understand what you are getting at? It all depends on the airline and their type of operation. If the entrant lacked the experience of that type of airline operation then a non seniority system would promote those who were therefore better at the job. A Ryanair pilot flying 900 hours a year at Ryanair is more experienced in that airlines operation than a cargo guy with the same number of hours, so therefore at Ryanair he would probably be a more suitable candidate for command... Easyjet employs a system where hours in other companies are taken into account which contribute towards 'easyjet' experience, lessening time to command if one is deemed suitable.... which I believe is based on performance in simulators and checks. No problem there, those who are suitable get to be a captain and are promoted on merit, not because 10 years ago they happened to apply for a vacancy.

Edit: For management it will always be cheaper to hire DEC on CPT scale 0 then to do a command course (especially with horizontal movement) and to train a brand new FO at the same time.
So its cheaper for a company, allows free movement, and saves training time? Before it is suggested that this blocks FO's from ever getting a command, I know one company (funnily enough that didn't have a seniority list) that allowed experienced FO's to join and gain fast track promotion if they worked hard, showed they could adapt to the company operation and ticked the boxes in the sim...

Last edited by TACHO; 12th Oct 2019 at 14:13.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 15:04
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TACHO View Post
But the fact that someone has sat in the same company for years does?

I mentioned the downing of tools as a counterpoint to your statement that seniority based airlines have better terms and conditions. I didn't say it was because of seniority... A seniority based airline has recently gone on strike in an attempt to gain better terms and conditions, thats a fact. It doesn't sound like the promised land of utter bliss and contentment to me.



i'm not quite sure I understand what you are getting at? It all depends on the airline and their type of operation. If the entrant lacked the experience of that type of airline operation then a non seniority system would promote those who were therefore better at the job. A Ryanair pilot flying 900 hours a year at Ryanair is more experienced in that airlines operation than a cargo guy with the same number of hours, so therefore at Ryanair he would probably be a more suitable candidate for command... Easyjet employs a system where hours in other companies are taken into account which contribute towards 'easyjet' experience, lessening time to command if one is deemed suitable.... which I believe is based on performance in simulators and checks. No problem there, those who are suitable get to be a captain and are promoted on merit, not because 10 years ago they happened to apply for a vacancy.



So its cheaper for a company, allows free movement, and saves training time? Before it is suggested that this blocks FO's from ever getting a command, I know one company (funnily enough that didn't have a seniority list) that allowed experienced FO's to join and gain fast track promotion if they worked hard, showed they could adapt to the company operation and ticked the boxes in the sim...
Let’s agree to disagree as we both don’t have to convince each other. If you are in favour of seniority just apply at companies who use it and if not than just don’t.
There are plenty of options.

However, you do not get a command just because you did apply 10 years ago. This will only give you a command assessment. At the end of the day, one still has to pass the command course.

This company that did go on strike. Did they get better T&C’s or did they not? Being united has its advantages. I would like to believe there is less unity in companies without a seniority system. I have seen that in my previous company.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 16:50
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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valid points, fair enough.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 18:31
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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"What other systems are in use that do not use seniority?"
Brown nose systems
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 18:41
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TACHO View Post
Command upgrade: on ability and experience.
fleet change: queue system. Apply. take a ticket and then wait your turn
roster requests: set number of days per year per person
weekends: split equally amongst staff.

I think the comment regarding 'decent' airlines using seniority is not reasonable. If you are referring to legacy airlines the reason they have seniority is they are by nature quite old. Just so you know I am employed by an airline which uses seniority, but am very much against it, because, as I have stated a few posts up, it is actually capping terms and conditions across the industry.

I suspect you'll find the ones supporting it are more than likely the ones who are either close to command/fleet change or at the top of the tree and it now it doesnt matter. Who does seniority benefit more industry wide? The few or the many?

Obviously some resistance comes from the fact that people have invested in this ludicrous system and to now remove it means their investment has gone to waste
Command upgrade: if you refuse to fly on your days off you might never upgrade, not enough "ability".
Without a seniority system you are at the mercy of management.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 10:01
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by beachbumflyer View Post
Command upgrade: if you refuse to fly on your days off you might never upgrade, not enough "ability".
Without a seniority system you are at the mercy of management.
Yes but without seniority you are free to move and not start at the bottom again. Seniority benefits companies far more than pilots.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 10:19
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TinFoilhat2 View Post
Yes but without seniority you are free to move and not start at the bottom again. Seniority benefits companies far more than pilots.
But then most pilots don’t want to move from seniority based airlines, as in most cases they offer better T&C’s than the airlines that people tend to come and go and freely move around in.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 10:29
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TinFoilhat2 View Post
Yes but without seniority you are free to move and not start at the bottom again. Seniority benefits companies far more than pilots.
why would you want to move when
your T and C are much better with a legacy? Plus none of the stress and angst caused by a “performance” based system which provides smoke and mirrors to ensure only class brown noser gets the cream?
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 12:02
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Legacy airlines? Seniority systems? Why does that imply better Ts&Cs?

Swissair was a 'legacy' airline with a seniority system (could someone confirm that last bit?). I wonder what their Ts&Cs were like on 1 April 2002?

Don't take anything for granted in this industry. Many, many, many top airlines are now 'has beens' with absolutely no Ts&Cs for their plots.

"What other systems are in use that do not use seniority?"

A first-come-first-served system.

If you bid for something and someone else bids for it a month (or even an hour) later, you are first and they are second. Once someone meets all the criteria for something (say a command) then they are on the list and someone who meets those criteria a month later, they are second on that list.

Let me give you some examples:
Pilot B is a junior pilot but is really keen on a base move, so he bids for it. It takes a year for a vacancy to come up and just before it does so Pilot A, who is an old timer in the company, decides to bid for that base. On the first-come-first-served system, Pilot B gets the base move. However, on a seniority system, Pilot A (who had absolutely no interest in that other base for all of the last year) can play his last-minute trump card of seniority and get that base that Pilot B had been longing for for the past year. Which one is fair?
Pilot B is very experienced and had a command (on the same aeroplane) in his previous airline but could only get a position as an FO in this airline; he meets every single criteria for a command but command vacancies are still a long way off. However, Pilot A is a newby straight out of flying school (and with a long career still ahead of him) is still a long way short of the hours for a command but meets all the other criteria. As a command becomes available, Pilot A just 'sneaks' over the barrier on the hours required. In the seniority system Pilot A has the trump card of seniority to take that vacancy In the first-come-first-served system Pilot B, with vastly more experience but has had to wait for ages, gets the command. Which one is fair?

I have seen exactly that base move 'seniority trump card' used in a previous airline. Everyone thought it was unfair.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 12:21
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Trossie View Post
Legacy airlines? Seniority systems? Why does that imply better Ts&Cs?

Swissair was a 'legacy' airline with a seniority system (could someone confirm that last bit?). I wonder what their Ts&Cs were like on 1 April 2002?

Don't take anything for granted in this industry. Many, many, many top airlines are now 'has beens' with absolutely no Ts&Cs for their plots.

"What other systems are in use that do not use seniority?"

A first-come-first-served system.

If you bid for something and someone else bids for it a month (or even an hour) later, you are first and they are second. Once someone meets all the criteria for something (say a command) then they are on the list and someone who meets those criteria a month later, they are second on that list.

Let me give you some examples:
Pilot B is a junior pilot but is really keen on a base move, so he bids for it. It takes a year for a vacancy to come up and just before it does so Pilot A, who is an old timer in the company, decides to bid for that base. On the first-come-first-served system, Pilot B gets the base move. However, on a seniority system, Pilot A (who had absolutely no interest in that other base for all of the last year) can play his last-minute trump card of seniority and get that base that Pilot B had been longing for for the past year. Which one is fair?
Pilot B is very experienced and had a command (on the same aeroplane) in his previous airline but could only get a position as an FO in this airline; he meets every single criteria for a command but command vacancies are still a long way off. However, Pilot A is a newby straight out of flying school (and with a long career still ahead of him) is still a long way short of the hours for a command but meets all the other criteria. As a command becomes available, Pilot A just 'sneaks' over the barrier on the hours required. In the seniority system Pilot A has the trump card of seniority to take that vacancy In the first-come-first-served system Pilot B, with vastly more experience but has had to wait for ages, gets the command. Which one is fair?

I have seen exactly that base move 'seniority trump card' used in a previous airline. Everyone thought it was unfair.
how is this unfair if you know these conditions when you apply?

There is a really simple solution: don’t apply for these companies. Do you really believe you can convince the complete pilot body, management and unions involved to overthrow a system that is used all along, that is transparent, and that have a majority approval within these companies just because you believe it to be “unfair”. How do you think to achieve this?
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 14:10
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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I was part of a Squadron which had a nuke strike mission. At the end of the certification process we were asked if we were willing to perform the mission. One pilot responded no. He was grounded. What did he think our job was, dropping pixie dust?

Each pilot joining a company knows what the rules are in advance. Each pilot makes a cost/benefit analysis. Some have chosen poorly. Some have had an excrement sandwich served up to them through no fault of their own.

We live in a world as it is, not as we wish it would be. At the majority of carriers, seniority is that world.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 14:43
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TACHO View Post
Command upgrade: on ability and experience.
fleet change: queue system. Apply. take a ticket and then wait your turn
roster requests: set number of days per year per person
weekends: split equally amongst staff.

I think the comment regarding 'decent' airlines using seniority is not reasonable. If you are referring to legacy airlines the reason they have seniority is they are by nature quite old. Just so you know I am employed by an airline which uses seniority, but am very much against it, because, as I have stated a few posts up, it is actually capping terms and conditions across the industry.

I suspect you'll find the ones supporting it are more than likely the ones who are either close to command/fleet change or at the top of the tree and it now it doesnt matter. Who does seniority benefit more industry wide? The few or the many?

Obviously some resistance comes from the fact that people have invested in this ludicrous system and to now remove it means their investment has gone to waste
Your answers....
Command Upgrade, same as Seniority. When your Sen No. allows, Command opportunity, then past ability and experience checked, and if suitable and competent enough, pass the Upgrade Course. Who decides which Fleet you get Command on? Short Haul/Long Haul . A320 or perhaps you prefer A380 or 777/787 for lifestyle . Your system again just allocated by the "office " with no personal preference between new joiner and a 15 year service pilot in the Company?
Fleet Change. Queue system = Seniority.
Roster preferences, Who in your system decides allocation of good/bad destination ie lots of Lagos or lots of Sychelles.Lots of USA Nightstops usually unpopular, perhaps longer West Coast with days off, or 3/8 day Far East Australia etc, more popular,. and financially superior.
Which weekend? Can be Birthdays, Holidays, Family outings. In your system just allocated by an office person,with no requested preference??

Doesn't sound very equitable, or the making of a happy workforce!!
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 14:57
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VinRouge View Post

why would you want to move when
your T and C are much better with a legacy? Plus none of the stress and angst caused by a “performance” based system which provides smoke and mirrors to ensure only class brown noser gets the cream?
None of the stress and angst of a performance based system? Heaven forbid one would have to actually achieve a high level and prove he was worthy of the position. Don't know where this 'brown nose' nonsense is coming from... frustrated ex military guys I expect, where I believe it is prevalent. Your argument makes no sense, without seniority you would still have to perform, except theres one less hurdle, namely having to wait behind people who may be less able and are eligible for the opportunity only by virtue of that they exist in a company prior to you.

If you work out how much you lose by waiting in the lower rungs of a seniority based system, even though you might have a great deal of experience, then I wouldn't say the ts and cs are all that great...

As several have pointed out seniority is for the good of the company, not for pilots. I'll take my chances in a performance based system any day of the week thanks, I've seen seniority be abused as well and it was FAR from fair, make no mistake it's an old boys club, and if you think it guarantees you anything, you are in for a shock... lots of institutionalised people here, with a severe case of stockholm syndrome, or having invested a lot of time and faith in it, couldn't possibly admit that for the pilots as a collective it is harmful....

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