Terms and Endearment The forum the bean counters hoped would never happen. Your news on pay, rostering, allowances, extras and negotiations where you work - scheduled, charter or contract.

Seniority

Old 15th Oct 2019, 12:49
  #101 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: uk
Posts: 309
Originally Posted by Daddy Fantastic View Post
It means spots open up everywhere because all pilots are free to come and go to any airline depending on the offer at hand and the package offered. It oens up proper merit based competition for positions and keeps management on their toes knowing they cannot abuse their pilot workforce anymore.
Or
it means pilots undercutting each other, getting sacked for minor infractions because management know there's always a pilot willing to work for less. It means pilots would feel obliged to compete in fuel league tables and working more for less reward to jump the queue to avoid losing their jobs, or to to get ahead in the race for promotion.
eg BA requires P1s for the A350 so they go to the market and get the cheapest captains willing to work outside of Bidline rules. The 744 is now overcrewed so they get laid off despite many having been with the company for 10 years.
eg BA starts a new route to an exotic location but are only willing to offer a 1 star hotel and no allowances. Junior guys sacrifice pay and standards in the quest for time on a beach.

How do you determine this "merit" based system? Sim scores, overtime rates, departure times, lowest sickness levels, pilots willing to become trainers for no extra comp?
The Blu Riband is offline  
Old 15th Oct 2019, 13:15
  #102 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,025
Bottom line is there are no UK Longhaul operators that donít operate a seniority system. I would suggest that is for a reason.
VinRouge is offline  
Old 15th Oct 2019, 20:42
  #103 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: LFPG
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by The Blu Riband View Post
Or
it means pilots undercutting each other, getting sacked for minor infractions because management know there's always a pilot willing to work for less. It means pilots would feel obliged to compete in fuel league tables and working more for less reward to jump the queue to avoid losing their jobs, or to to get ahead in the race for promotion.
eg BA requires P1s for the A350 so they go to the market and get the cheapest captains willing to work outside of Bidline rules. The 744 is now overcrewed so they get laid off despite many having been with the company for 10 years.
eg BA starts a new route to an exotic location but are only willing to offer a 1 star hotel and no allowances. Junior guys sacrifice pay and standards in the quest for time on a beach.

How do you determine this "merit" based system? Sim scores, overtime rates, departure times, lowest sickness levels, pilots willing to become trainers for no extra comp?
+1

This and exactly this is the reason not to do away with seniority, management don't look at pilot performance or ability, as long as you're not actively endangering the aircraft then management don't know who you are, they don't hire/care about good/great pilots, they hire compliant/competent pilots, competent pilots of which there are many, the only names they know are the ones that don't budge on working conditions/T&Cs, who go fatigued, that won't work days off so I don't know how those could argue that this makes for an improvement in working conditions.

Perhaps the case could be made that in a pilots market seniority holds us back, but the majority of the time over the past 30 years it's been an airline's market with an oversupply of pilots happy to outbid and undercut each other, which means seniority protects those of us actually working to our agreements and protecting our T&Cs, calling fatigued when required, not working days off just because a company couldn't plan adequate sick-leave cover, not accepting less when it comes to HOTAC etc.

Let's not kid ourselves, we all know there are better and worse pilots, we all go into work and see folks who shouldn't be there, we go in and see others that put our own skills to shame, there is a variety of skill level but none of that really matters because 99.99% of the time, all that's needed is someone who meets the minimum requirements, who can pass two sim checks a year and a line check, and there's plenty of those out there. There is a place for meritocracy in certain areas, where it comes to training appointments etc, but for the average pilot on the line all that's needed is acceptable levels of competence, which is where seniority excels in providing order and transparency.
EI_DVM is offline  
Old 15th Oct 2019, 20:51
  #104 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Atlanta
Age: 52
Posts: 15
Originally Posted by The Blu Riband View Post
Or
it means pilots undercutting each other, getting sacked for minor infractions because management know there's always a pilot willing to work for less. It means pilots would feel obliged to compete in fuel league tables and working more for less reward to jump the queue to avoid losing their jobs, or to to get ahead in the race for promotion.
eg BA requires P1s for the A350 so they go to the market and get the cheapest captains willing to work outside of Bidline rules. The 744 is now overcrewed so they get laid off despite many having been with the company for 10 years.
eg BA starts a new route to an exotic location but are only willing to offer a 1 star hotel and no allowances. Junior guys sacrifice pay and standards in the quest for time on a beach.

How do you determine this "merit" based system? Sim scores, overtime rates, departure times, lowest sickness levels, pilots willing to become trainers for no extra comp?
Or: Lowest diversion levels, lowest fuel burns (by departing min fuel), lowest level of cancellations due to MX write ups or fatigue calls, it is a VERY big can of worms you open. Seniority is the worst system, except for all the others (W. Churchill)
hans brinker is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2019, 13:12
  #105 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: FLSomething
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
Or: Lowest diversion levels, lowest fuel burns (by departing min fuel), lowest level of cancellations due to MX write ups or fatigue calls, it is a VERY big can of worms you open. Seniority is the worst system, except for all the others (W. Churchill)
What youíve just said has pretty much sealed the seniority argument for me. Not sure if you think what youíre saying is a good or a bad thing though, tone doesnít really come through in text

As an FO, I donít want to fly with the person who is trying to be at the top of the fuel league table by never taking any extra, who never stops to get the aircraft checked by engineers and doesnít put in fatigue reports. The person youíve just described sounds way, way too punchy. That sort of task focused mentality Iím sure works great in the military when there is a genuine mission that must be achieved. It has no place in commercial aviation.
VariablePitchP is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2019, 18:36
  #106 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: where I lay my hat
Posts: 84
If you think your captains are so easily corruptible, then you may be more comfortable in a desk job, and also presumably have little faith in managers/training dept to pick a "safe pair of hands", which to put it in a nutshell, is almost invariably the criteria (although I can see that in very very large airlines, it is difficult to form an impression of a crew member, as there are so many).

The most incompetent new captains I have seen, by a mile, were in a seniority airline, where you wait for your number to come up, most people pass the command assessment and almost all eventually pass the course. The sharpest and safest were where most of the trainers were ex Lightnings, out of the blue they would grab Bloggs, telling him,"you're ready get in the sim", about 3 in six pass the assessment, and about 3/4 pass the course.
midnight cruiser is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2019, 20:25
  #107 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Under the table
Posts: 186
where most of the trainers were ex Lightnings
For all its faults and foibles, give me a seniority system over this sort of setup every day of the week!
Stocious is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2019, 21:32
  #108 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: where I lay my hat
Posts: 84
You mean unashamedly meritocratic?
(bearing in mind few of us copilots were ex military, so there was no "jobs for the boys".

But upgrade to command is something of a side issue - it's main iniquity is the way seniority distorts free movement of labour between companies, favouring those who have stayed at just one company over those who have had to change companies, and for no better reason than that.

Last edited by midnight cruiser; 16th Oct 2019 at 21:53.
midnight cruiser is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2019, 22:42
  #109 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: uk
Posts: 309
Originally Posted by midnight cruiser View Post
most of the trainers were ex Lightnings, out of the blue they would grab Bloggs, telling him,"you're ready get in the sim", about 3 in six pass the assessment, and about 3/4 pass the course.
It doesnít sound like a very professional or equitable method of selection to me!
Especialliy when you then state that only about 30% of those chosen (so randomly) actually pass the course!

The Blu Riband is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2019, 23:20
  #110 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Between a rock and a hard place
Posts: 1,083
But upgrade to command is something of a side issue - it's main iniquity is the way seniority distorts free movement of labour between companies, favouring those who have stayed at just one company over those who have had to change companies, and for no better reason than that.
Negative! You are free to apply and join any seniority list you like, if that suits your lifestyle. But expect to join at the bottom. There are many of us that have waited for our time for a command slot, long haul, part time, whatever seniority is used for... If you can't take the salary cut or demotion that's a burden you have to carry. Choose your career path wisely.I admit, some fall short on luck for whatever reason, life circumstances, timing in the pilot market, bankruptcies. Still, it would be grossly unfair to undercut those who've waited their time. In my outfit there are 20+ year FO's.
172_driver is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 00:20
  #111 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Above and beyond
Posts: 67
Originally Posted by 172_driver View Post
In my outfit there are 20+ year FO's.
Sounds like a great system.
TACHO is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 05:53
  #112 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Between a rock and a hard place
Posts: 1,083
Originally Posted by TACHO View Post
Sounds like a great system.
Sounds like a place where people want to work.
172_driver is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 09:08
  #113 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: A
Posts: 32
Originally Posted by 172_driver View Post
Sounds like a place where people want to work.
SAS is the only real option for a stable jet job in Sweden. A long period in the right seat may be a price worth paying for a stable home base. That said, the time to command should reduce at SAS due to retirements in the coming years.


C195 is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 09:18
  #114 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 112
Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
Or: Lowest diversion levels, lowest fuel burns (by departing min fuel), lowest level of cancellations due to MX write ups or fatigue calls, it is a VERY big can of worms you open. Seniority is the worst system, except for all the others (W. Churchill)
Scaremongering. None of this happens at my non-seniority airline and any plans to introduce such nonsense could be easily stopped by a united workforce and a decent union. Also, such an airline would become a crap place to work and, with true free movement of labour, would struggle to maintain staff levels.

Originally Posted by 172_driver View Post
There are many of us that have waited for our time for a command slot, long haul, part time, whatever seniority is used for... If you can't take the salary cut or demotion that's a burden you have to carry. Choose your career path wisely.I admit, some fall short on luck for whatever reason, life circumstances, timing in the pilot market, bankruptcies. Still, it would be grossly unfair to undercut those who've waited their time. In my outfit there are 20+ year FO's.
But itís OK for the gross unfairness of pilots spending 15+ years on a seniority list and having to start again at the bottom because their company went bust? Our companies are run by senior executives who have fundamentally different (and shorter term) incentives to those of pilots on long seniority lists. The executives donít have to worry about starting at the bottom if it all goes wrong.

It would be interesting to see the true numbers, but considering more companies have folded over time than exist now, itís a reasonable assumption to say seniority has screwed more of us than it has benefitted.

The future is so unpredictable with many, many unknowns. Trying to plan around a 20 year wait in the queue at one company seems more like an exercise in oneís luck than ďchoosing wiselyĒ.
flyer4life is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 09:28
  #115 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by The Blu Riband View Post
Or
it means pilots undercutting each other, getting sacked for minor infractions because management know there's always a pilot willing to work for less. It means pilots would feel obliged to compete in fuel league tables and working more for less reward to jump the queue to avoid losing their jobs, or to to get ahead in the race for promotion.
eg BA requires P1s for the A350 so they go to the market and get the cheapest captains willing to work outside of Bidline rules. The 744 is now overcrewed so they get laid off despite many having been with the company for 10 years.
eg BA starts a new route to an exotic location but are only willing to offer a 1 star hotel and no allowances. Junior guys sacrifice pay and standards in the quest for time on a beach.

How do you determine this "merit" based system? Sim scores, overtime rates, departure times, lowest sickness levels, pilots willing to become trainers for no extra comp?
Never hear such rubbish in my life, just like remainers with their 'Off a cliff edge' project fear 3.0 nonsense!!
TinFoilhat2 is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 11:05
  #116 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Between a rock and a hard place
Posts: 1,083
But it’s OK for the gross unfairness of pilots spending 15+ years on a seniority list and having to start again at the bottom because their company went bust? Our companies are run by senior executives who have fundamentally different (and shorter term) incentives to those of pilots on long seniority lists.
I did acknowledge that there's always a chance of falling short in luck. That could happen in the property market, or an unexpected disease. Really anything. Your bankruptcy is unfortunately something You have to live with, just as I'd have to live with My bankruptcy. Having waited a long time, I am not going to stand down my career opportunities in pity. And I am not expecting you to stand down yours.
172_driver is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 11:30
  #117 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Aust
Posts: 49
Seniority is not perfect, I just don't know of a better system that is not open to abuse.
deja vu is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 12:27
  #118 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by VinRouge View Post
Bottom line is there are no UK Longhaul operators that don’t operate a seniority system. I would suggest that is for a reason.
I would argue that that reason is 'inertia'. It is a huge mass not necessarily going the correct way, but too much effort is needed to change its direction. Inertia is often one of the biggest 'obstructions' to improvement.

There are some very entrenched views here. With the extremes of "that is the way it always has been" and "pilots will be able to move equally and freely". Neither are logically valid.

The "first come first served" (let's call it FCFS) system has been mentioned. That would be the same as arriving at a counter to buy something and taking a 'numbered ticket' for your place in queue. For the next thing that you want to buy you get a similar numbered ticket. A base move? Put in your bid and you get your place in the queue. Fleet change? Put in your bid and you get your place in the queue. Command? Meet the criteria then put in your bid and get your place in the queue. As with any queuing system anyone 'arriving' after you is behind you in the queue.

In a seniority system you get that 'numbered ticket' for your place in all of those queues, even for queues that you could never have dreamed would exist, the day that you join the airline. With that 'number' you can change your mind about which queue to join as your whim takes you and 'trump' others who have been in another queue for a long time already with your 'number' and queue-jump towards the head of that queue.

As regards commands, both systems are equally capable of having good systems for meeting the criteria for command or of having 'brown nose' or 'best buddy' systems for 'meeting' that criteria; all that is at question here is which queuing system you use from then on.

As regards Direct Entry Captains, they should be in the equivalent of that FCFS queue. If there are no suitably qualified candidates immediately available for promotion then there is an immediate position at the top of that 'queue' and a DEC position is justified.

I have worked for airlines that have used both systems and for me the straight seniority system is the by far the least preferable.

Seniority lists and final salary pension schemes have always been the shackles that have been hugely detrimental to pilot job mobility. With an airline failure (and they happen irritatingly often and not even 'legacy' airlines are immune) both those shackles shatter the pilots' careers and futures. Final salary pension schemes are now almost gone as one of those shackles and seniority lists need to be the next.

Losing pilots and having to replace them is one of the huge costs of maintaining a pilot force. Seniority lists and final salary schemes have been one of the best tools available to management to block pilot mobility. Without those shackles, terms and conditions will have to be the method of maintaining a stable pilot force. Those terms and conditions are not always just "money, money" but often lifestyle matters like basing options, work patterns, etc. One of the biggest 'legacy' airlines in this country is losing some pilots to one of the biggest LCCs, so pilots are starting to look at more than just the 'headline' terms and conditions.

Seniority list systems are on the start of the way out, but due to that huge inertia it is going to take a long time. Airline failures have been one of the biggest 'culls' of seniority lists as the last two to fail used seniority lists. But in doing so they have highlighted the serious shortcomings of that system. Seniority lists, like final salary pension schemes, are going to disappear from pilots' employment conditions. Seniority lists are going to take a bit longer to go.

About the "20 year FOs", I have know someone who retired from a "seniority list airline" as an FO by choice and entirely due to that seniority list: as a very senior FO he was near the top of the FO 'list' and could ensure a good lifestyle and acceptable earnings; if he was promoted he would be at the bottom of the Captain 'list' with a crappy lifestyle and hardly improved earnings. So, because of the seniority list he chose to remain an FO up to his retirement. So don't blindly quote "20 year FOs" to 'support' seniority lists!!

Last edited by NoelEvans; 17th Oct 2019 at 12:31. Reason: Spelling
NoelEvans is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 12:40
  #119 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Above and beyond
Posts: 67
Originally Posted by NoelEvans View Post
I would argue that that reason is 'inertia'. It is a huge mass not necessarily going the correct way, but too much effort is needed to change its direction. Inertia is often one of the biggest 'obstructions' to improvement.

There are some very entrenched views here. With the extremes of "that is the way it always has been" and "pilots will be able to move equally and freely". Neither are logically valid.

The "first come first served" (let's call it FCFS) system has been mentioned. That would be the same as arriving at a counter to buy something and taking a 'numbered ticket' for your place in queue. For the next thing that you want to buy you get a similar numbered ticket. A base move? Put in your bid and you get your place in the queue. Fleet change? Put in your bid and you get your place in the queue. Command? Meet the criteria then put in your bid and get your place in the queue. As with any queuing system anyone 'arriving' after you is behind you in the queue.

In a seniority system you get that 'numbered ticket' for your place in all of those queues, even for queues that you could never have dreamed would exist, the day that you join the airline. With that 'number' you can change your mind about which queue to join as your whim takes you and 'trump' others who have been in another queue for a long time already with your 'number' and queue-jump towards the head of that queue.

As regards commands, both systems are equally capable of having good systems for meeting the criteria for command or of having 'brown nose' or 'best buddy' systems for 'meeting' that criteria; all that is at question here is which queuing system you use from then on.

As regards Direct Entry Captains, they should be in the equivalent of that FCFS queue. If there are no suitably qualified candidates immediately available for promotion then there is an immediate position at the top of that 'queue' and a DEC position is justified.

I have worked for airlines that have used both systems and for me the straight seniority system is the by far the least preferable.

Seniority lists and final salary pension schemes have always been the shackles that have been hugely detrimental to pilot job mobility. With an airline failure (and they happen irritatingly often and not even 'legacy' airlines are immune) both those shackles shatter the pilots' careers and futures. Final salary pension schemes are now almost gone as one of those shackles and seniority lists need to be the next.

Losing pilots and having to replace them is one of the huge costs of maintaining a pilot force. Seniority lists and final salary schemes have been one of the best tools available to management to block pilot mobility. Without those shackles, terms and conditions will have to be the method of maintaining a stable pilot force. Those terms and conditions are not always just "money, money" but often lifestyle matters like basing options, work patterns, etc. One of the biggest 'legacy' airlines in this country is losing some pilots to one of the biggest LCCs, so pilots are starting to look at more than just the 'headline' terms and conditions.

Seniority list systems are on the start of the way out, but due to that huge inertia it is going to take a long time. Airline failures have been one of the biggest 'culls' of seniority lists as the last two to fail used seniority lists. But in doing so they have highlighted the serious shortcomings of that system. Seniority lists, like final salary pension schemes, are going to disappear from pilots' employment conditions. Seniority lists are going to take a bit longer to go.

About the "20 year FOs", I have know someone who retired from a "seniority list airline" as an FO by choice and entirely due to that seniority list: as a very senior FO he was near the top of the FO 'list' and could ensure a good lifestyle and acceptable earnings; if he was promoted he would be at the bottom of the Captain 'list' with a crappy lifestyle and hardly improved earnings. So, because of the seniority list he chose to remain an FO up to his retirement. So don't blindly quote "20 year FOs" to 'support' seniority lists!!
one of the most reasoned and articulate posts here, talks sense
TACHO is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2019, 12:58
  #120 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Runcorn,Cheshire,England
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by TACHO View Post
one of the most reasoned and articulate posts here, talks sense
ahhh but threat 20 year FO was a direct beniciary of seniority, in that his lifestyle as that senior FO was so good because he was so senior on his status list.
3Greens is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.