British Airways reaches agreement with its pilots on job protection package

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After nearly three months of negotiations over British Airways’ proposals to make up to 1,255 pilots redundant and change terms and conditions by “fire and rehire”, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has opened a consultation among 4,300 BA pilots on a package to protect jobs.

The package involves these key elements:

  • Voluntary part time working, voluntary severance, voluntary external secondments.
  • A holding pool of the equivalent of 300 pilots employed on reduced pay ready to return to flying as demand picks up.
  • These measures funded by pilot pay cuts starting at 20% and reducing to 8% over the next two years then further reducing toward zero over the longer term.
  • Despite these measures, BA pilots are devastated at the prospect of around 270 compulsory redundancies although we expect this number will fall further as voluntary mitigation measures continue to be taken up.
  • There will be no “fire and rehire” of pilots.

BALPA is recommending its members accept these proposals as the best that can be achieved in these incredibly difficult circumstances.

Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary, said: “It is hugely disappointing that during our extensive negotiations British Airways would not accept the full package of mitigations we put forward which would have avoided any job losses at all, and at no cost to BA.

“As a result there will be some compulsory redundancies amongst the pilot community and that is a matter of huge regret. Given BA’s intransigence we have put together the best package we can to save as many jobs as possible.”

On this news, International Airlines Group (IAG) said to welcome last night’s announcement by British Airways’ pilots’ union BALPA that it intends to hold a consultative ballot of its members in relation to the proposed restructuring and redundancy agreement reached between the union and the airline. This is in response to the COVID-19 crisis affecting the aviation industry.

The ballot is due to close on 31 July 2020. IAG will provide a further update at that time.

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