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BALPA recommends British Airway’s pay offer – but will the pilots accept?

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As you have probably seen in the mainstream media, the British Airways pilot union, BALPA, has agreed an amended three year pay deal after lengthy talks at ACAS.

At first glance, it doesn’t seem to offer much.

British Airways has reportedly agreed to inflation-proof its original offer of a 11.5% pay rise, spread over three years.  This means that pay will rise further if inflation is higher than expected.

Will BA pilots accept the revised BALPA pay offer?

There are also unspecified ‘improvements to working conditions, rostering and flight bonuses’.  Staff travel benefits will also be returned immediately.

All of the media comment to date has assumed without question that the pilots will accept the recommendation from their union.  I wouldn’t be so sure.

As I have written before, I believe that BALPA has handled the strike badly.  The ‘cold war’ period of threatening strikes went on far too long.  When strikes finally came, the first was deliberately announced far enough in advance to allow BA to escape its liability for EC261 compensation.

The second strike was cancelled in the hope that it would encourage the airline to re-enter talks (see our story here).  I can’t remember any other strike which was called off because the employer REFUSED to sit down and talk!

In reality, the offer now being proposed seems little different to what was originally on the table.  There is no sign, of course, of the profit sharing deal that was a key part of the pay demand.

BALPA’s lack of progress comes despite the fact that British Airways management has been on the back foot since IAG CEO Willie Walsh stated publicly that he felt the negotiations had been badly handled.

The long and short of it is that, based on feedback I’ve had, there is no guarantee that the pilots will accept this deal.  BALPA may have misjudged the strength of feeling among its members.

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Comments (76)

  • Craig says:

    OT Bits: A while back there were some recommendations for boutique hotels in Hanoi? We have 2 nights there either side of a trip to Halong Bay and have decided that not staying at the Hilton will force us out of the hotel to eat and drink which I think would be preferable.

  • Doug M says:

    If I was a BA pilot that backed the strike I’d be taking a long hard look at BALPA, it’s as if they’re more protective of IAG than the pilots they suppose to represent.

  • ChrisC says:

    The ‘cold war’ went on too long partly because of BAs actions in going to court twice and BALPA took the high ground of not announcing strikes until the courts had ruled.

    They also believed that BA were negotiating in good faith’ when clearly they wern’t. Was that a mistake by BALPA? Quite possibly but please don’t give the impression that BA are total innocents.

    I really don’t think BALPA should be critised for giving more than 14 statutory days notice of the strike. It enabled BA to avoid significant EU261 compensation costs.

    That BA them made a total cluster fluff of the rebookings was 100% down to BA and it’s poor planning and poor management. The incorrect email was unforgivable not only in terms of it being wrong but because of the unnecessay worry it caused passengers. Did any heads roll at BA for that costly error?

    • Doug M says:

      Do you understand the point of a strike?
      It’s purpose is to create as much discomfort and disruption to their business for the employers as possible, with the least possible loss of earnings to the employees. It’s effectively a battle of wills, if you see the other guys point of view and ‘take the high ground’ you’ve already blinked.
      BALPA are a joke.

      • BJ says:

        Too many years of mortgage- and credit-dependent post-Thatcherite society has made everybody too soft!

  • Amit says:

    O/T Amex referrals, appear to have stopped tracking for me. One rep said person has to activate the card for it to work, which has been done, and online chat say tough have to wait for 8 weeks. Guess have no choice but to wait ☹️. These were not self referrals

    • BJ says:

      Lot’s of people reporting issues recently.

      • Shoestring says:

        If there’s a perceived problem of gaming it on referrals/ self referrals, first thing I would do is get an intern to do a quick & dirty appraisal of referrals coming in for a few weeks to assess how bad the problem looked, maybe it’s nothing much & can be ignored

      • Lady London says:

        Hum. Wonder if the reason could be that for now, “some sort”of manual handling has been introduced for “some reason”?in lightof recent reports from elsewhere.

  • BBC says:

    There may be a public relations side to the last strike being cancelled, falling as it did, during the collapse of Thomas Cook.

  • Rob says:

    Coincidentally I was just reading this in Pret. Queen’s Gate is about 115th in private schools, although it would be top 50 if it was a state school. More relevant to us is ‘value add’ – last year Queen’s Gate was 5th in the UK for ‘improvement’ based on testing at 11 and testing at 16. Is it worth the money? Dunno.

  • BJ says:

    OT: if anybody is considering booking flights on Sri Lankan before the end of this month there is a promotion giving double points in economy and quadruple points in business for travel by the end of this year. Thus, possibly worth crediting to FlySmiles although I found them very difficult to redeem.

  • Crafty says:

    OT: Any way to force my browser (Chrome on Android) back to mobile view for HFP? It randomly switched to desktop view a few days ago, now uses this for every article, and has made the site almost unreadable.

    • BJ says:

      Are you using Android 9? Not sure why some of us are having this problem and some not. Anyway, scroll to the bottom of the page until you see mobile view and click there. Alternatively, repeatedly click desktop under the gears menu top right and see what happens. In the latest version of android that now gives me weird results with some sites such as hotmail. It is also possible simply clicking on the HFP main page header will do the trick.

    • Rob says:

      We are speaking to the hosting people today. It is to do with your phone not being recognised as a phone and so desktop being served.

      HFP is 2 separate sites – mobile and desktop. It is not 1 site that changes shape based on device.

      • BJ says:

        I’m sure it is to do with the settings, or a conflict, some people have on their individual phones so there may be little that can be done about it. I’ve never had a problem and I am sure if the problem was more widespread you would have had more comments than you have.

        • Lady London says:

          I just expand it so the left hand column fills the phone screen.

        • Crafty says:

          Thanks. Mine changed from mobile to desktop about 4 days ago without obvious reason. No change of device or browser settings.

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