snba pilot troubles ???

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dolfke
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snba pilot troubles ???

Post by dolfke » 11 May 2004, 12:44

I just read the article about the pilot troubles with SNBA.

I for one am one of the pilots of SNBA (or rather DAT as it says on my contract), and I can confirm that we are indeed going red hot with the way the managment treats us.

I was therefore not surprised that they decided to flog the dead donkey again by dragging up the spectre of Sabena. These problems have nothing to do with that!

We indeed have a flat rate of 75h which doesn't seem much if you compare it with some other airlines but with our little avro we only do short (ahem kinda) legs who take about 1h30 per leg, meaning you have to do a lot of them to get to the flatrate. Charter flights (like thomas cook) do a lot more hours but if they do 2 stretches they have about 7+ hours (I think this is a rather safe calculation, please correct me if I'm wrong).
We calculated that for every hour that we fly you should multiply this by 3.6 to get the real number of hours we're away from base (so not counting transportation from/to home).
There are multiple pilots who fly about 78 hours this month (and still have some days where they are reserve), please count out how much hours they are away from home.
If they say we do less than 60 hours then that's because they also count those pilots who're on holiday and don't forget that 2 times a year we have a few days of simulator, medical check, other courses which of course don't count as flight hours either.
This month I fly about 50 hours but then again I was on holiday for 10 days also.

Indeed our pilots used to fly a lot more a few years ago (during the time of Sabena) without complaining, so maybe the management would actually like to go back to the sabena era ;-) But then again we were at least treated with respect and they didn't steal 35% of our salaries.
And for those people who still think we earn 10000euro's net a month, please open up your eyes :roll: , I don't earn a lot more than everybody else.
(if counted per hour away from base about 7 euro's net)

Every last one of the pilots wants this company to work and we do our darn best to get it up and running. So please don't treat us like dirt. :cry:

If you want more info about any of it just ask and I'll give it to you (at least the things I can/am allowed to say)

Have a nice day you all and remember to fly SN
Dolf

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Post by Comet » 11 May 2004, 12:48

Dolf - you have my sympathy and pilots should not be treated like dirt. I do fly SNBA and have more SNBA flights booked this year (all I presume on Avros - I hope so!!)

I also hope that I do not lose these flights owing to strike action! Hopefully you can find a solution without going on strike.
Sabena and Sobelair - gone but never forgotten.
Louise

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Post by killerwhale65 » 11 May 2004, 13:18

Dolf, i am very sorry to hear about the way you pilots are treated.
I also hope that you will not go to strike, cause we all know to what that will lead.

I do have a question for u: what is that "flat rate" of 75 hours you talk about?

thanks,
Matthias Thoen
MicroWings - Aviation Hobby Store

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Post by Sabena_690 » 11 May 2004, 15:59

I would like to comment about a few things into this topic...

First of all, I'm quite surprised to see AGAIN the word "strike" in the news article posted on this website. Why is it always necessary to mention the word 'strike' BEFORE negotiations?

SNBA has an imago based on high quality, full service AND on-time flights (they get you from A to B without problems).

By striking, you affect a lot of frequent fliers who take SN for their reliability. It is in your importance not to upset those passengers. No passengers = no job at all.

Secondly, I understand the points you summed up above. But...
x didn't Sabena pilots receive a LOT of money?
x all airlines lowered the salaries of their staff to cut costs

The competition in the market is too high to give too much extralegal advantages etc.

As far as I know, the Management of SN has announced that a profit is expected in the financial year 2004. Wasn't 50% going to be divided between the staff of SNBA? Something nice to look forward to I think...
We indeed have a flat rate of 75h which doesn't seem much if you compare it with some other airlines but with our little avro we only do short (ahem kinda) legs who take about 1h30 per leg, meaning you have to do a lot of them to get to the flatrate.
Let's not compare apples with pears, let's compare SN with simillar airlines in the EU.
I would be very interesting to see a comparision with other regional airlines (with the same short stretches as SN ARJ pilots):
x BA Citiexpress
x LH Regional
x KLM Cityhopper

Let's take these 3 as an example. Can you please provide accurate figures for those 3 airlines?
Charter flights (like thomas cook) do a lot more hours but if they do 2 stretches they have about 7+ hours (I think this is a rather safe calculation, please correct me if I'm wrong).

I would not underestimate the life of a charter pilot. Winters are maybe calm, but in the summer they have to work hard. Don't forget that they often make stops on their way too (for example BRU-FNC-TFS-FNC-BRU)
We calculated that for every hour that we fly you should multiply this by 3.6 to get the real number of hours we're away from base (so not counting transportation from/to home).
I would like to see the same calculation made by the management. Not that I don't trust the one who calculated this one, but both the management and the Unions like to calculate in their own advantage. It's interesting to compare both, to hear the story of both sides.
If they say we do less than 60 hours then that's because they also count those pilots who're on holiday and don't forget that 2 times a year we have a few days of simulator, medical check, other courses which of course don't count as flight hours either.
When this is true, you have every right to complain. The same way of calculating of other airlines has to be used before a fair and honnest comparision can be made.
Indeed our pilots used to fly a lot more a few years ago (during the time of Sabena) without complaining, so maybe the management would actually like to go back to the sabena era But then again we were at least treated with respect and they didn't steal 35% of our salaries.
I don't know what's happening 'behind the screens' in the crew rooms etc, but I have to say that a lot of SN staff tell me that there is a good atmosphere. The fact that paycuts have been made is necessary to runn a profitable operation unfortunately :(
Were Sabena pilots treated with more respect? I have to say that I heard a lot of complaints about this during the last years of Sabena.
And for those people who still think we earn 10000euro's net a month, please open up your eyes
Those times are over indeed, but isn't it logic? SNBA is not a state-owned airline anymore. Making profits is necessary, otherwise they will go bust.
Every last one of the pilots wants this company to work and we do our darn best to get it up and running.
That's a spirit I like! I'm glad that you guys care so much about your airline.

One final thing before you think I'm defending the SN management: I just made some points because I like to hear both sides of the story. I'm not taking a pro- or anti-SN pilots stance into this situation. The first thing we have to get is more information.

Kind regards
Frederic

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Post by Avro » 11 May 2004, 16:45

This is a total surprise, I didn't knew that there were tensions between the pilots and the managment :cry:

Dolfke,

I totally understand your point of view, but remember one thing: DON'T GO ON STRIKE, this will affect very badly SN's corporate image, which all employees have built in the last 2 years. And as Frederic allready stated: No pax = no money at all.
There are multiple pilots who fly about 78 hours this month (and still have some days where they are reserve), please count out how much hours they are away from home.


Well, again I understand your point. But are pilots really angry that they need to fly more or less 3 hours more during a month without getting more money ??? I mean it's not 20 additional hours !!! And if all employess of SN do some hard work, and sometimes a litlle bit of overtime, you can be sure that SN will be profitable this year :arrow: part of the profit goes to employees, and you'll be sure to have a job in the future.
But then again we were at least treated with respect and they didn't steal 35% of our salaries.
But therefore, you are working for a company, which makes profit and has a bright future ahead. But are you really treated without respect ??? I thought that it was worser with Sabena.
Every last one of the pilots wants this company to work and we do our darn best to get it up and running. So please don't treat us like dirt. :cry:
I really hope that the pilots and the managment will be able to find a peacefull solution. Because striking isn't the solution at all. Everybody will loose if the pilots will go on strike. The customers won't be happy and the image of the company will be destroyed, SN will loose a lot of money etc .... And with such actions you can be sure that it'll be more difficult to receive a bigger salary.
SO please don't make this affect the running of SNBA.
and remember to fly SN
I sure will :thumbsup:

Greetz
Chris
8)

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Post by Vonsmalhausen » 11 May 2004, 17:02

hoi Dolfke,
i'm verry sorry to hear there are some dark clouds gattering over the SNBA building :cry:
i realy hope you can solve the problem without having to go on strike (i now, ... sadly it's the only languige some managers understand :oops: )
SN is doing just great now, keep it this way :wink: :thumbsup: going on strike would be probably the worst thing that could happen to SN now.
i have a lot of simpathy for all the SN employes, not only the pilots ; you're all needed to keep this company growing :waving:

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Post by dolfke » 11 May 2004, 18:12

First of all I would like to state that going on strike would be the last thing on our mind, none of us would like to do that as it isn't fun for us either. But as you all know sometimes this is the last resource because the management doesn't want to listen to you otherwise.
So rest assured we will not go on strike anytime soon, we love our passengers a lot, you guys pay our salaries. But there are other ways (which I will not list here ;-).

First of all:
*flatrate: this is the maximum number of hours we are allowed to normally fly, any extra is counted as overtime.

* Yes during the time of Sabena our pilots (DAT) were paid more (35-40%) which was still less than sabena and we flew more (amounts to about 20% less). I say we but count that as DAT pilots, I wasn't there yet at the time ;-)
For those who want the numbers: I earn 3000Euro's before taxes meaning about 1680 after taxes. From this you have to retract about 750 euro's a month to pay my loan for my formation (and that for the coming 7 years). This is still more than those guys from VLM and such I know but don't compare apples with pears ;-)

*Not all airlines reduced salaries: lufthansa, Air France, Iberia got raises and they already earned more than full sabena pilots.
By the way our salaries don't have a very big impact on the SNBA budget (as the management likes to make appear), it's about 5% (give or take a few prercents)

*I'll not start about those incentives because that is one of the reasons we're so pissed off. Let's just say that all employees are equal but some are more equal than others. (about double ;-) and taht copilot and ca2 don't have any impact on the passengers or company.

*Sorry I have no clue about the hours other airlines fly :-( (nor about their salaries)

*I, under no circumstance want to say anything bad about charter pilots, I did some observation flights with Sobelair and that were really great flights and crews. And I know their kind of life is really hard also.

*I calculated with just my roster for tha last few months but of course as I don't have access to anybody else's roster this is a rough calculation (but also confirmed by some captains, but they said about a factor 4)

*as said earlier, our salaries won't make the difference between going bankrupt or flourishing (I can try to get the right budget numbers but I don't think I am allowed to share them as this is a private company, sorry :-)

* As said earlier we do about 65 hours a month at the moment but they want to raise it to 75 at least (and preferably more because our overtime doesn't cost them too much), but remember to use the factor 3.6 (or even 3) and that makes a huge difference.
And if you go back up you'll see that I said that we used to fly a lot more without complaining so we can do it but it has to remain a bit human.

Let's just say that al lot of pilots in the crewroom are dead tired and some don't even remember the names/faces of their children (this is a JOKE) :lol: we're just never home anymore, people start calling it nightstop Brussel. I don't mind as I don't have children but that's not the case for everybody.
This is going to sound hard but we're just waiting for the first serious incident to happen before the management will finally open their eyes to the unsafe situation brewing. :cry:

Ok this was enough negative talk: the reason nothing happened is because we are good pilots 8) who are well trained and very motivated to make our company work. So yes you are all in very safe hands and our cabin crew are probably up there with the best of the world (ok ok some of them aren't but you get the picture :P )
I love my company and I guess most of us pilots do so we really don't want to have anything happen to her and we will do everything in our power to make it.

So fly SNBA and you'll never want to fly anywhere else anymore.

Sees you on one of our flights.
Dolf
Last edited by dolfke on 12 May 2004, 11:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Comet » 11 May 2004, 18:19

dolfke wrote:
So fly SNBA and you'll never want to fly anywhere else anymore.

Sees you on one of our flights.
Dolf
I am flying SNBA - the only airline I am flying this year!!! I have three overseas trips, all to Brussels and all on SNBA and I want them to go ahead. I hope you are not on strike in September and November.
Sabena and Sobelair - gone but never forgotten.
Louise

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Post by dolfke » 11 May 2004, 18:24

Ah yes,
If some of our management are reading this and you find something that I'm not allowed to say please tell me and I'll edit my messages.
Or, even better, if I'm telling some faulty information please correct me. We all like to get the correct information. (and I wouldn't want to spread misinformation about our company).
If this seems lame to some of you other readers, please don't see it that way. I have absolutely no problem with our high management (except maybe about the bonus but that's another case ;-) and I think they are doing a great job (it IS a difficult market out there).

Nice flying you all.
Dolf

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Post by Avro » 11 May 2004, 18:34

Hey Dolke,

I'm happy to see that you (pilots) don't intent to strike in the near future or even at all ;) It just seemed like that.

Thanks to your second post I really see your problem :( and I really hope that you'll all be able to find a solution as soon as possible. :?
I love my company and I guess most of us pilots do so we really don't want to have anything happen to her and we will do everything in our power to make it.


That's one of the great things about SNBA. Everytime you fly with them you really get the feeling that the employees (in this case FA's and pilots) do their job with a lot of motivation and because they like their company.
I really hope that the current situation won't affect this.

Greetz
Chris
8)

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Post by Sabena_690 » 11 May 2004, 18:36

Dolf, I like your kind way of posting! Keep it up...

I will not take a stance pro or against the pilots/management, since I do not have enough correct figures (e.g. comparisions with other regional airlines), but I hope that you guys will negotiate with the management in the same positive spirit as you do now, and I'm sure that a solution will be found without those ugly strikes.
I have absolutely no problem with our high management (except maybe about the bonus
As far as I know, about 50% of the profit of the financial year 2004 will go to all SN-staff. So you get a bonus too ;)
Sees you on one of our flights.
Will do, I'm flying BRU-MAN, BRU-MXP and FCO-BRU in July :mrgreen: Will come to the cockpit to say hello when I hear an annoucement of 'Captain Dolf welcomes you on board of SN flight xxxx to xxx' :mrgreen:

Frederic
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Post by sn26567 » 11 May 2004, 18:57

Wow! When I posted the news (https://www.aviation24.be/article4329.html) in Barcelona this morning, I knew it would raise controversy, but I didn't know it would bring such an enlightening discussion. Thanks for all the details, Dolfke.

Not much time to discuss now. Coming back with SN tomorrow. Meanwhile, one piece of advice: be strong in your negotiations, that is the best way to get in part what you want without upsetting management and going to a strike. Management will respect people who come with a strong opinion.

But remember Sabena days, and make sure not to go too far before it is too late!

From Barcelona,
Last edited by sn26567 on 14 May 2004, 09:59, edited 2 times in total.
André
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Fiero

Post by Fiero » 11 May 2004, 21:15

Dolfke somehow I understand your problem...
The life of the technicians in the company ain't exactly a daisy also... Same problems as the f/o's and CA2's + the shifts that are a mistery...
It ain't a big help to keep employees motivated ...

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Post by 1V1 » 11 May 2004, 22:07

Dolfke,
I fly for Thomas Cook, I'll give you some exact figures.

Flatrate: 80h

In winter I flew each month between 70h and 90h. In winter most of the flights are indeed quite long so 14h duty is not an exception. Somethimes we go till 16h (3cockpit crew). We do a lot of nite flight, you check in in the afternoon, do a Bru-Luxor-Hurgada-Bru and land in the morning. Rest times are legal minimum. The destinations have somethimes difficult app., mountains, no ILS, bad ATC, short RWY's, perfo problems etc...

In summer we fly more short stretches, Spain,Italy,Greece,..... But shorter duty = shorter rest. It somethimes happens you check out in the morning and have to check in the same day in the afternoon. Most of the time I fly early flights, check in between +/- 02.45 and 03.30Z (check in earliest this month I have is 01.55Z). In summer when we fly 90h+ (even 110h), I go to bed around 08.30L (with the kids) to keep going.

You think "that guy must be crazy!" Well the pay is good, the spirit is good and the flying is much more fun than with SN. But most of all I was lucky to find a job in Belgium.

Ps I flew also for DAT,great spirit in those days.

Greetz

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Post by TCAS_climb » 11 May 2004, 22:14

In case you didn't know these websites before building your defense, here they are:

Airline Pilot Pay (USA only)
Professionnal Pilot Job Network (worldwide database, but mostly European)

Pilots should be paid for what they can do, not for what they do every day. Reducing the pilots' pay or increasing their productivity for the same salary, with the strong belief it will make an airline more profitable, is quite dumb.

The weight of the pilots' salary in the total operating costs of an airline is different from the major carriers and the low-cost, that's no surprise. Ok, but how much, do you think ?

Roughly 4%.
Wooooooooooooow, big deal...
:roll:

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Post by pilatus » 12 May 2004, 08:58

I think there is no problem. The pilots in our company always (95%) fly at night, are always at day stop out of Brussels and as far as I know earn the same as you. The monthly hours max is also 75 hours. Also if you tell me that you have 3000 euro/month but after taxes only 1600 I think it is not correct. In my job I have about 2300 a 2500 euro(not a pilot) and after taxes it is still 1600. Can be wrong off course but don't think to quick it is better in other companies.

Greetz,

DiverDriver

Fiero

Post by Fiero » 12 May 2004, 10:09

Dolfke !
What about the premiums?
Don't you get extra's when you have night stops etc?
And isn't it a lot more than...?

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Post by dolfke » 12 May 2004, 11:16

Hello Everybody.

First of all I would like to stress AGAIN that I am AGAINST a Strike!!!!!!!!!!
Second I am 300% FOR our company and the first one to tell me otherwise please come tell me that to my face.

So anyone thinking that the idea for a strike is mine because I started this topic please recall that I wrote this one because of an article that appeared here on luchtzak.

This is a great company and I love working here, but yes there are some problems and certainly some room for improvement. That is a project we all have to undertake together (unions as well as the management) and we need all the positive energy we can get. I started this topic to point out some problems so that we can work everything out without some hidden agenda or grievances.

So keep on flying SN, you all deserve it. :D

Sees ya all.
Dolf

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Post by dolfke » 12 May 2004, 11:30

about the premiums,
yes we get extra for nightstops and indeed it can amount to a nice amount. But remember that to earn the big money you won't be sleeping at home a lot. I don't mind to be in a hotel room 10 nights a month but some people do and yes of course I miss a lot of social occasions but this is the job I wanted to do so I won't complain about it. And as we have a lot of longer nightstops the spending goes up (I for one don't take my homemade sandwiches with me on nightstop :lol: ), let's just say that my budget for nighstop spendings almost doubled the last few months (Sweden is very expensive for example and I don't like to go to McDonalds every 2 days). But once again I don't complain about that as I don't mind at all!!!!

For those who don't believe me about the 1600euro's net, I looked it up and changed my message accordingly, it's about 1680. Believe me I know it's strange but remember this is belgium. I used to work at a desk also and I got about 1000net with a brutto that wasn't much higher (1500 or something I believe). For more explanation please go see Verhofstadt ;-)

Nice flying you all.
Dolf

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Post by A318 » 12 May 2004, 11:34

@Dolfke and 1V1, okay so you complain about your long duties and low salaries and you complain about €7,-/hour when you are away from your home base.
Now get some things clear, €7-, away from your home base means all hours, sitting in a taxi, sleeping in a hotel, jumping to another hub groundtime, etc, not too bad in my opinion since I get only paid when I work and not while I rest in a bed with my office job!
2nd, what do you mean with 70 to 90 hours a month flying? Are we talking about FDT or CFDT???
This would make a big difference and also the number of legs you fly are not really relevant since starting from the 4th leg you can add a 45 minute penalty on your WRR, which means when you fly 7 legs you already have 3 hours CFDT duty time extra.
No intercontinental pilot can add those kind of penalties since they fly from A to B in let's say 10 or 12 hours. Besides that can every pilot on intercontinental flights have extra rest time on board of the plane when there are rest areas in the plane which give them even longer duties!
So don't complain to much since it is not really a honest picture you are trying to show here.

Greetz,

Erwin
A Whole Different Animal

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