The BALPA pilot strike threat has been pushed down the news agenda this week because of the threatened (and then postponed) strike by UNITE members at Heathrow and yesterday’s IT meltdown.
A pilot strike is still a very real risk, however.
I spoke to a BA pilot yesterday who is up to date with the current negotiating position. This is where things stand:
British Airways is claiming that it has no money, effectively, despite reporting impressive Q2 results and expecting another year of substantial profits, and despite finding a few pounds to take BALPA to court last week – and whilst this was not reported at the time, British Airways has been told by the court that it must pay BALPA’s legal costs as well as its own.
Progress at ACAS late last week and earlier this week was described as “minimal”
BALPA has agreed to another, potentially final, round of ACAS discussions which will start today (Thursday)
Here are the current sticking points:
The current pay offer is not linked to RPI. Whilst British Airways has sold this – and it was accepted by cabin crew – as an ‘above RPI’ offer, this is not guaranteed to be the case. BALPA wants an RPI+ pay agreement.
BALPA is insisting on a profit share arrangement, similar to the one KLM recently introduced for its pilots. Jet2 has also just awarded its pilots a bonus equivalent to 4-weeks pay. The current bonus scheme, which has ten different triggers, is seen as one which is designed to stop payments being made. BALPA would like a scheme based on a fixed percentage of profits.
The ‘gain share’ proposal on cost cutting, which has been accepted by cabin crew, is not acceptable. (For what it’s worth, I agree.) Employees do NOT share in the gains from cost cutting programmes – they only share in the additional gains over a random ‘base case’ figure put in place by management. With no control over the ‘base case’ figure it is easy to see why this is not attractive.
BALPA has concerns over the governance of British Airways. IAG, the parent company, refuses to get involved in negotiations because it claims that BA, Iberia etc have the freedom to operate at arms length. BALPA believes that this is not the case and that the BA negotiating team is uncertain as to what it can agree without facing the wrath of IAG.
Let’s see what happens at ACAS today.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards. You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)