Whilst redundancy notices have or are currently being issued to British Airways staff working in engineering, cabin crew and on the ramps at Heathrow, the airline has made a deal with Heathrow terminal staff. There will be no compulsory redundancies.
The deal is complex and the two sides still remain £4 million apart in terms of the total cost savings required. They are near enough, however, for both sides to agree that the difference can be bridged through further talks.
The situation was helped by, apparently, a strong demand for voluntary redundancy.
The need for additional compulsory redundancies has been removed by a package of measures which include:
An 11% reduction in pay and hours, to be reversed as conditions allow
For some staff, an additional and permanent reduction of 10% in pay with no reduction in hours worked
Five weeks of unpaid leave to be taken over Winter 2020/21
No pay rises until 2023
Introduction of variable shift lengths
Reduction in the notice given to workers of their shifts
Ability of BA to shorten or extend shifts by 30 minutes on the day
This deal clearly requires a major sacrifice by staff. Some will see their pay cut by 21%, albeit with an 11% cut in hours, with no prospect of a pay rise for many years. They will also have less flexibility in how their days are scheduled.
All staff who wish to stay with the airline will remain, however, which is more than can be said for other departments. The deal needs to be approved by staff but is being recommended by GMB, which agreed the deal in consultation with Unite.