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British Airways agrees pay deal with Unite for 24000 staff, reverses ‘fire and rehire’ pay cuts

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Whilst nothing has been publicly announced by British Airways, union Unite has announced that it has negotiated a substantial new pay deal for around 24,000 BA staff.

The deal reportedly includes a guarantee that anyone who was subject to ‘fire and rehire’ during the pandemic will have their pay restored to its 2020 level before the new increase is applied.

British Airways agrees a pay deal with Unite

The terms of the deal are:

  • a pay increase worth 13.1% over 18 months, plus
  • a one-off payment of £1,000, plus
  • a mechanism to re-open the deal if inflation remains higher than currently expected, plus
  • additional increases for ‘specific groups of workers’

The deal has been accepted by employees following a ballot.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:

“This is a sizable pay increase which has been achieved by the hard work and dedication of the union’s reps and officers, hammered out in detailed negotiations.

“The fact that Unite has reversed the fire and rehire cuts while also securing a large increase in pay, underlines how the union’s relentless focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of members, is delivering for workers financially.”

Further details are on the Unite website here.


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Comments (63)

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

  • Swifty says:

    That is great news. I am happy that their job security and wages have improved.

  • MPC says:

    Good for them, hopefully the majority of appreciates this agreement!

  • Mark says:

    They had to. It was the only way they were going to retain and recruit CC. They’re having to cancel dozens of flights a day, CS is a joke. BA is fast becoming an airline to avoid based on the comments I’m reading on various travel (agent) groups.

    • Nick says:

      Cabin crew retention is strong, they have plenty now. Current cancellations are down to aircraft serviceability, there’s a shortage of aircraft parts and engineers. Brexit is making it worse as the parts that do exist are being prioritised by vendors for countries where there’s no customs bureaucracy.

      Delivery delays don’t help either – Boeing is massively behind on 781 deliveries due to QC issues, which means the 789 and 772 fleets are having to work extra to compensate.

      • Catalan says:

        Can always rely on Nick for sensible information. Thank you.

      • Ben says:

        Can you explain further what you mean by “ Brexit is making it worse as the parts that do exist are being prioritised by vendors for countries where there’s no customs bureaucracy”?

        So are the USA, Japan, Korea, Chile, China, India etc suffering the same issues? You think the EU has no customs bureaucracy?

        • David says:

          Narrator: Ben returns to burying his head in the sand.

          • Ben says:

            Go and research REACH to discover the bureaucracy of importing into the EU. (The UK is in fact being sloppy endlessly delaying UK Reach)

            Of course parts made within the EU have freedom of movement, but every country, EU or not, has the same sort of bureaucratic import rules – and parts for aircraft come from all over the world. Wing parts are made in the UK, we roll aluminium for 737s and 320s in Kitts Green, it’s a worldwide business and there is a worldwide shortage of parts everywhere not just affecting the UK airlines. I didn’t vote for Brexit , it’s a massive disaster exporting to the EU, but the UK is no more bureaucratic than anywhere else – I might even argue we are more sloppy than most places.

        • Marcw says:

          But if a part is at DLH technic in FRA…

          • Danny says:

            As the Time Traveller said to the Morlock ‘What if….’

            The world isn’t built on ‘ifs’

          • Nick says:

            Exactly. Few AOG aircraft need entire new wings, but yes we could supply those in the UK (at least for Airbuses).

            LH Technik holds the biggest volume of aircraft spares in Europe, and most smaller companies in this space are also located within the EU. They’re in high demand, and if they get two requests they prioritise the one with the least bureaucracy. This isn’t theoretical, it’s a real daily occurrence. Even when they do send the part, it takes a day or two longer to get into the UK than it used to – fine if planning in advance, but not if you have an aircraft in the casualty hangar that can’t fly while it waits. It’s hard to overstate how difficult any friction is in this scenario – particularly when only a few years ago there was freedom of movement of goods.

            Getting hold of things from the US isn’t much easier, largely for other reasons, but export restrictions are an issue there too.

        • His Holyness says:

          It’s much worse than this. Any day now Airbus will quit the UK as a result of Brexit. I presume they’re already packed up, just waiting for Pickfords. Boy George Osborne was very clear about that back in 2016 if there was a vote to leave.

          • Danny says:

            Airbus is hardly a golden egg or a paragon of efficiency. It’ll be hurting from the A380 for years to come

          • His Holyness says:

            Exactly. Good riddance. It does nothing to help us reach Net Zero by 2050.

      • Sean says:

        The engineer part is not helped by United buying the ex-BMI hangar at LHR and poaching many BA engineers (offering them according to reports more than double pay they were previously getting).

  • Elaine says:

    Note this doesn’t include BA Cityflier staff at London City Airport. Cabin crew there have been offered 2% pay increase whilst BALPA didn’t even put BA’s offer to pilots to them as it was so appalling. Very soon we won’t have any crew to operate flights at LCY

  • will says:

    Further evidence of inflation embedded into pay rises.

    Base rates post the 1940’s pinning down of them are an interesting thing to ponder for sure.

  • LittleNick says:

    Great news for BA staff but presumably this does not apply to Euroflyer Staff at Gatwick as this is technically a different airline? They’re probably on far worse pay than their Heathrow counterparts doing the same job?

    • Rob says:

      Yes – but Euroflyer crew retention is terrible by all accounts so change will come. They will still be cleaning the aircraft though.

  • Chard Onnay says:

    I find this rather positive, albeit too late.

    I’m a frontline Rail worker, and without saying which major brand I work for (whom a certain previous owner may own Necker Island), we are in a similar predicament.

    The government has ordered the Train Companies to start firing people. The government are still paying the bills for these companies so they have to oblige. There is no plan, and it’s turning into chaos.

    Why I’m posting here is it’s like a version of what BA did with mixed fleet, but worse. So much worse. The media are barely reporting it and has the facts all wrong.

    The ‘ticket office’ thing is a smoke screen. In London Euston alone, there are 60 members of the ticket office – 70 people at Euston are being fired. Despite “more staff being available to help” Despite ‘no one losing there job and staff available to help’. It’s the normal BS – “our customers tell us…”. There are now potentially 10k about to lose jobs, which the government will realise they do need, and they’ll go to minimum wage agency workers providing poor service (no disrespect – they work hard but they have no training – do they know what to do with a suicide, violence, fights, etc). All decided by some analyst creating an FTE spreadsheet, who has no idea of the real world and has never been on a train.

    Anyway, you have been warned. How BA is now – unless people actually grow a pair and do something, the railway is going to be horrific. I can’t post a link here but there are lots of places to make you feelings known. The Rail Delivery Group has a good form to fill out. Please don’t let railways get even worse, and turn into BA…

    • Logan Roy says:

      ‘…I’m a frontline Rail worker, and without saying which major brand I work for (whom a certain previous owner may own Necker Island)…’

      I’m stuck on this. Has the bearded one recently sold his island? Is it First Group by any chance?!?

      LNER are OK. But when I go to London I always take the LNER train up to Edinburgh to fly down south, because a 6.45am brekkie and four seats and a table is far more pleasant than a bus and a Metro ride to NCL. Plus it is fun to intentionally make Greta and people like yourself cross. More seriously: if the railways in the UK were as efficient as BA is, then they’d actually be on a positive trajectory. And that is saying something. If that means ‘…firing 70 ticketing people at Euston’ then so be it. And before I come across all ‘Logan’, I was thoroughly appalled by the fire and rehire tactics at BA, and am thoroughly an advocate of this new pay deal. It is just people like yourself who can’t seem to find a balance between ideology and progress. If you were in charge of things, I suspect there would be no trains or planes to travel on, or cars, because we would not have been allowed to progress to trains, cars, and planes, in the first place!

    • G says:

      Rail workers are incredibly overpaid with then more shocking service than airlines.

      They’re already worse than BA and no fares, even with railcards, can justify if.

      I have no sympathy for the railway workers or unions.

      • G says:

        Why should commuters have subsidise the rest of the country’s jollies?

    • G says:

      And finally, if the Rail Unions had accepted the offer (in line with other public sector organisations) put to them by the RDG, rail redundancies wouldn’t be on the cards as you put it. The only people I find to be actually against ticket office closure (or rather, a reduction in their opening hours) are RMT/ASLEF lackeys.

    • John says:

      Sorry but all the Avanti/former Virgin staff who do the “manual barriers” at Euston deserve to be fired, they collectively have an extremely poor understanding of rail ticketing which has been well documented on railforums for over 10 years with no sign of improvement despite numerous vindicated complaints.

  • Alex Sm says:

    My colleague’s mum was the 1st class cabin crew, the elite one, also subject to this treatment. She found a new job since and said she would not return to BA

    • G says:

      To be fair to her, why would she? Especially if she is on a better salary/benefits or even with a similar package, a better work/life balance.

    • Rob says:

      BA doesn’t have First Class cabin crew, that’s the problem. Someone I knew did an F to Cape Town and the person serving him was on her first day with BA, having joined from Tui. You can imagine how it went.

      • Abc says:

        Very strange and not my experience since joining BA last year.
        New crew are not trained to work in LH premium cabins until 5/6 months in.
        The way working positions are allocated at briefing would mean that the new crew would not be able to chose the F position as they are not trained in it, even if they were first to pick.
        Must have been a very odd day on the CPT.
        Also there are now First Specialists currently working the JFK route.

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