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British Airways to cut legacy cabin crew base pay by no more than 20%

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British Airways has published its pay proposals for legacy cabin crew today.  The plan is that no-one will see their base pay fall by more than 20%.

The aim is to ensure a soft landing between current pay scales for legacy (pre 2010) crew and the new, much reduced, pay scales.  The new reduced pay scales are very similar to what post 2010 employees currently earn.

Put simply:

No legacy cabin crew member will receive a pay cut (base pay only) of more than 20%

Crew members will receive NO future pay rises until inflation lifts the level of Mixed Fleet pay to the 80% level

British Airways to cap legacy crew pay cut to 20%

Here are three examples – the numbers are from BA:

Cabin Service Director (Worldwide or Eurofleet crew)

Typical current base pay: £56,000

Base pay for the new equivalent Manager role:  £32,000

Pay of CSD is cut to (£56,000 x 0.8) £44,800 with no future increases

Purser (Eurofleet crew)

Typical current base pay: £46,000

Base pay for the new equivalent Manager role:  £32,000

Pay of Purser is cut to (£46,000 x 0.8) £36,800 with no future increases

Main crew (Worldwide or Eurofleet crew)

Typical current base pay: £31,000

Base pay for the new equivalent Cabin Crew role:  £17,000

Pay of crew is cut to (£31,000 x 0.8) £24,800 with no future increases

It is important to note that this analysis ignores any comparison of allowances and bonuses.  Legacy crew will lose their existing bonuses and allowances and will move to the new merged crew package.  It is not clear how these packages compare and whether the difference in allowances is greater or less than 20%.

Will these proposals be enough to persuade enough legacy crew to sign the new contracts and not accept redundancy?  The new contracts also require a move to a mix of short-haul and long-haul flying which will not suit many legacy crew for personal reasons.  Other contractual terms, such as the number of nights legacy crew get to stay away before a return flight, will also change.

As we’ve said before, with 60% of cabin crew on legacy contracts, British Airways needs at least half of them to stay.


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Comments (78)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Catalan says:

    CSDs no longer operate on Eurofleet. They are seen on Worldwide only.

  • Nick G says:

    It might take years to ‘retrain’ existing staff but I would imagine new starters can be trained a lot quicker and cheaper.

    I still think BA have, and are being shady but I also think that if the airline is losing money and will continue until things get back to normal they have to do something to cut costs. It can’t be right an airline could go under and yet still have staff on these kind of packages.
    Going by these figures I really am in the wrong job though

  • David S says:

    Just wish the UK Govt had a plan ready in the box for when the opportunity or disaster occurs (Coronavirus). Good for BA for at least having a sound plan even though everyone won’t like it

  • Jlock says:

    Rob, I don’t see why you feel the need to report on this when it has nothing to do with points or customer facing experience. You have obtained an internal company document, not a press release. It is irresponsible to put this out when it is not even a final agreement, especially when it is clear to read from the comments that all it does is stir up bitterness and entitlement. You are putting out a one sided agenda, with no counter balance from a union. Why is it any of our business what people are being paid? If British Airways generates nearly €2billion in operating profit, and the staff are doing their job, then I don’t care what they are being paid. A contract you sign up for shouldn’t be scrutinised by others when it is under threat. I am fortunate to be in a business where I’m not in this position, however I would love to see the reaction of other readers if they were under threat of having pay and terms slashed all while it is hung out to dry for others to ogle and make ill-informed comment on.

    • Rhys says:

      It was widely leaked to the press.

    • letBAgonesbe says:

      Thanks for reporting this Rob.

      Since the whole BA paycut/redundancy fiasco was widely reported (and criticised) in the press, it is totally fine that any developments are also reported.
      Also since your readers are very much interesting in aviation related news, I am sure most of us appreciate it.

      Thanks again!

    • Rob says:

      Have you seen the papers today? Every major newspaper was supplied with the details of this deal. I doubt that they all got it from under the table sources ….

    • Mawalt says:

      This is a legitimate interest story and it is in the public interest (and interests of HfP readers) to see what BA and its employees have achieved so far, even if it’s not final yet.

      • Michael Jennings says:

        Very few of us are actually flying, going to lounges, staying in hotels etc at the moment. These sorts of stories are what we have.

    • Rachael Bhella says:

      It is easy to see a nurses pay, just put agenda for change and everyone can see, so why not publish flight crew salaries ?

      • C77 says:

        One is paid from the public purse and is therefore of public interest. The other isn’t. It’s none of our business quite frankly – unless it is your name on the PAYE slip.

        • Doug M says:

          Individuals and the Union use pay as a tool to won the PR battle. Hardly fair to do that if you really think pay is confidential. If you put numbers into the public domain then you can expect people to try and verify that information from other sources.

    • Mikeact says:

      @Jlock. Sadly, you’re wrong. It is very much in the public domain and is of considerable interest to the vast majority of readers on this site.

    • letsflyaway says:

      I disagree, I don’t work at BA but I’m very interested. The amount of comments justify these articles. If you don’t like what you see, you are not obliged to read.

      vote with your feet!

    • Bert says:

      @Jlock, you are wrong on so many levels. Staff provide the customer service, it is intriguing to see this develop, if there are too many new recruits customer service goes down, if the legacy staff have too big a cut morale and atttitude probably goes down. This is not to mention the threat of industrial action when a fuller schedule returns. In a few months Rob reports about potential strikes because of a pay deal that was proposed a few months ago but was not reported on as Jlock didn’t want to read it.

      I am a shareholder of IAG and Gold Member so have 2 angles of interest. The legacy staff contracts are severely out of date, it makes it much more difficult to BA to compete in an international market. We have seen a steady decline in the level of quality in the BA product to run leaner. People are the first to complain when their product experience declines, all the time there is a significant number of expensive and inflexible staff contracts there will need to be further cuts in product. It is not to say they will not continue to cut product as competition continues. There seems to be a lot of indignation for the legacy staff, also remember the new staff are probably on a disproportionately low salary for doing a similar job with fewer perks, perhaps if the legacy costs were lower the new staff may, in time get slightly better pay.

      The last point Rob has never been one sided in my opinion most of the article is the numbers, he points out they lose their bonuses and benefits. Arguably, he is even favouring the staff. He then propose questions for informed readers to make their own judgements with really no opinion of his own. If the informed reader thinks these are unfair, they may be more sympathetic if strikes happen or more tolerant to crew that maybe are not as enthusiastic. You don’t have to read an article or you could be mature read the information and make your own informed decision rather than relying on PR battles between Unions and BA

  • Jonathan says:

    So if 24,800 is a 50% pay cut then currently you make a shade under £50k presently? What portion of the £28k on top of your basic salary is taxable ie. essentially salary & what portion is expenses to cover food down route?

    The new deal presumably offers the tax free per diem on top of the £24,800?

    I think the issue with the figures both sides are quoting is that there is a substantial element of legacy crews salary on top of expenses that is based on flying hours. The only way to strip this out is to look at the median & interquartile range of take home pay. As with anything involving negotiation, the truth will lie between the two sides figures.

  • Tony says:

    In all honesty is this the sort of stuff which should be discussed here?
    I guess with the demise of Flybe and the downsizing at Easyjet and Ryanair, for the next couple of years plenty of cabin staff will be available so even if 75% of the legacy crew take redundancy BA will not struggle to fill any vacancies.

    • SWWT says:

      Why not? It’s topical and mildly interesting.

    • Rob says:

      None of those crew are licenced for long haul flying. And none of the fired Virgin crew are licenced for short haul flying.

      • C77 says:

        Nothing to do with long and short haul flying. The licence relates to the aircraft type on which you’re licenced to fly (to which there is a maximum).
        More pressing I would say is the fact all crew who haven’t flown in the last 90 days will need to undertake refresher training in order to be legal before they can take to the skies again. I’m being advised by a SEP instructor at BA this is a mandatory 3 day training in line with CAA requirements. Would explain why business is suggested as being ramped up from August as more and more crew complete training in July to satisfy that requirement.

        • p says:

          Seems strange that cabin crew would need a 3 day refresher course when if I read this CAA notice ( ORS4 No.1383) although easily misinterpreted air crew have been given an exceptional waiver through at least October/november. With so many cabin crew furloughed how could BA even complete 3 day refreshers for August even less likely would think given social distancing ..

          Anyway all off topic now from the original subject.

  • Brixon says:

    I am full time main crew LHR, at the top of my pay scale and my basic pay is a good few thousand less than you’re stating. Makes me question the accuracy of all the other figures. Bear in mind ex BMI crew are on different pay rates too.

    • insider says:

      obviously everyone’s salary is slightly different, depending on when you joined, the type of contract etc.

      The article states ‘typical current base’, there will be some who earn more, and some who earn less. It’s come from an internal document, so I suppose the purpose is to be illustrative, rather than a statement of fact.

      If you think there’s misinformation then post your salary here so we can compare it. There’s enough anonymity

      • Brixton says:

        I joined 15 years ago, so no more increments. My salary is £27,023. That’s post 1997 contract.

        • insider says:

          therein lies the problem. Even within WW and EF there are the pre ’97 and post ’97 contracts so it makes all of this even harder to follow!

  • Rose says:

    There are quite a few things don’t add up and remember they always make it look more money

    • Blacksmith says:

      Good comments Insider and Rose. As the pre and post ‘97 contracts are vastly different in terms of pay (with post ‘97 crew earning significantly less) but yet both are classed as legacy crew.
      The amount of people on the above salaries (which are the top of the scales) are very few. As most would also be part time by now and have worked 25+ years and given their lives to the company; including having missed decades of Christmases plus family events etc.

      • Josh says:

        Given their lives to the company? They aren’t slaves.

        • Lady London says:

          At the time some legacy staff joined that was the sort of employer-employee relationship in a lot of places (just).

          More recent recruits would be right to have a much harder less loyal relationship to their job and their employer. Given the way employers have behaved and do things now, that’s perfectly reasonable. But very longstanding staff would have joined and given on a different basis.

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