Social actions at air navigation service provider skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

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Passenger
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Passenger »

Tweet from senior aviation journalist Luk De Wilde, after last Thursday's strike started and before the court ordered the end of the strike:

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by jan_olieslagers »

Well, talking of "telling only half the tale", this is a strong example. Is this really from a "senior" journalist? Who gave him that title/rank? Good for The Sun , HLN, Dag Allemaal and more such.

SR20
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by SR20 »

Passenger wrote:
18 May 2019, 14:36
Tweet from senior aviation journalist Luk De Wilde, after last Thursday's strike started and before the court ordered the end of the strike:
Is this guy still credible ? He' has been bashing controllers from day one. And he is a very good friend of De Cuyper, skeyes CEO !

Furthermore, what he says is not true :
- 8000 EUR netto a month ? No way !
- 32 hours a week ? 35 so far. Much more in reality. I agree 32 is on the table, but so is tijdsregistratie. Why only keep the most interesting part for his statement ?
- extra legale voordelen : what are they ?
- pension at 58 ? Another lie. Ask minister Bacquelaine who can get retired at 58 ! Nobody any more.
Last edited by SR20 on 18 May 2019, 16:06, edited 1 time in total.

mvg
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by mvg »

Hi SR20,

Although i don’t agree with the tone of the tweet, I can’t agree with your statement.

- 8000€ netto is indeed incorrect, it is more around 6500€ for a radar controller (as discussed many times before)
- 35 hours per week is what is supposed to be worked on paper. Before being short of staff, when it was respected, controllers were working around 30 hours per week as they are leaving 1 hour before the end of their shift. No problem with that but let’s not deny it.
The units fully staffed still do that.
There is no time check by the employer when you start and end a shift.
- extra legal advantages are possibly the free train tickets, the premium medical insurance paid by Skeyes, the money given to people with kids (up to 250€/kid/year), the duty flights which count as a day of work, the paid time spent for a medical check (ask pilots if they are paid for that), and so on. All those little advantages quickly add up to quite a good amount of money and comfort.
- retirement at 58: controllers don’t have to work anymore and are paid 80% of their salary to stay at home as soon as they reach 58 years old until their pension (for a full career). Those who elect to stay (purely voluntarily) get an additional 2500€ (before tax) above their salary as long as they agree to work further.
Pension is 3500€/month after tax.

This is reality or...have I forgotten anything?

Phoenixx
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Phoenixx »

mvg wrote:
18 May 2019, 15:42
Hi SR20,

Although i don’t agree with the tone of the tweet, I can’t agree with your statement.

- 8000€ netto is indeed incorrect, it is more around 6500€ for a radar controller (as discussed many times before)
- 35 hours per week is what is supposed to be worked on paper. Before being short of staff, when it was respected, controllers were working around 30 hours per week as they are leaving 1 hour before the end of their shift. No problem with that but let’s not deny it.
The units fully staffed still do that.
There is no time check by the employer when you start and end a shift.
- extra legal advantages are possibly the free train tickets, the premium medical insurance paid by Skeyes, the money given to people with kids (up to 250€/kid/year), the duty flights which count as a day of work, the paid time spent for a medical check (ask pilots if they are paid for that), and so on. All those little advantages quickly add up to quite a good amount of money and comfort.
- retirement at 58: controllers don’t have to work anymore and are paid 80% of their salary to stay at home as soon as they reach 58 years old until their pension (for a full career). Those who elect to stay (purely voluntarily) get an additional 2500€ (before tax) above their salary as long as they agree to work further.
Pension is 3500€/month after tax.

This is reality or...have I forgotten anything?
You forgot a few things and while most of this is at least partially correct (let's not start again), I would like to ask you for caution in continuously pointing out the good sides and pretending they justify everything and anything.
Ask any air traffic controller if they are willling to give up these extra legal benefits in the negotiations and over 90 percent will instantly reply yes.
They are not the issue on the table, and while it's easy to randomly drag them in a discussion to make your point seem stronger, they have nothing to do with the issues at hand.

This is a perfect example of sad use of journalistic 'power' because I could write a tweet that is equally correct but draws a whole different image. It's an extremely one sided and simplistic approach and the perfect example of the misinformation our management loves to use.

SUDDENLY URGENT SINCE SKEYES IS NOW FACING MASSIVE FINES AND OUR CURRENT STAFFS GOODWILL IS SOLD OUT : European citizens with preferably no knowledge of Belgian and European law, who don't care about their rights whatsoever, must be available 24/7/365 for a highly responsible job.
Internationally competitive wage with extra's everyone you meet will make you feel bad for.
Extralegal benefits include mistakes in your payslip which might be in your advantage, a 2 yearly medical check for which you receive 1 hour overtime and a VIP restaurant for your CEO that you are not allowed to enter.
You will be brought into a challenging environment with tired colleagues, a management that does not answer your questions, and over 10 million angry Belgians the management has turned against you.
Strong preference for optimistic adventurous types with a thick skin as your workschedule will be a continuous surprise, all working and safety conditions are subject to the situation from a management point of view and you never really know what is going to happen next.

There are less lies in this block of text than that tweet.
I still try to be honest and clear about the full story, but people like passenger or De Wilde (and some atcos too, I admit that), focussing so insanely on one side, remaining quiet about the full picture should be called out for what they are, not supported.

mvg
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by mvg »

Hi guys,

I was only replying to SR20’s post. Reality is not like in the tweet, neither like in his post.

We are not forgetting that the management is doing a very poor job and that being an Atco means having responsibilities.

Btw 737MAX, if you know an Atco who has ever worked after he has turned 60, please let us know. They stop working long before that in Belgium (and this is understandable). At what age will you retire as a pilot?

Last but not least, yes you have 10 millions of angry Belgians against you, yes you have been screwed up by your management, by the way the company is functioning. But this is your (the controller’s) fault: controllers think they are the best, that they could fly better than pilots, that they are untouchables, that they can handle any situation (even a negociation at a high level) but they just can’t! They are not capable of that! Not because they are stupid but because it’s not their job! Even your CEO knows that! He has lawyer and skilled people next to him, he has political support, media support, and so on! You are fighting an army with weapons made of paper! And there you are!
Using the system and behaving like that had to come back to your face at some point. It does now. It’s painful for guys like you Phoenixx, who still seem to be moderate, reasonable and who like their job. But we both know that there is a bunch of guys there who don’t deserve to have this job, who have nothing to do there, some are leading you into the wall. It might be late but it’s time to wake up and all those who really want to move forward and who love their job should gather and find solutions. It is still very possible.
All the best, by the way, because Skeyes could be a wonderful company to work for.

Phoenixx
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Phoenixx »

mvg wrote:
18 May 2019, 17:54
I was only replying to SR20’s post. Reality is not like in the tweet, neither like in his post.

We are not forgetting that the management is doing a very poor job and that being an Atco means having responsibilities.

Last but not least, yes you have 10 millions of angry Belgians against you, yes you have been screwed up by your management, by the way the company is functioning. But this is your (the controller’s) fault: controllers think they are the best, that they could fly better than pilots, that they are untouchables, that they can handle any situation (even a negociation at a high level) but they just can’t! They are not capable of that! Not because they are stupid but because it’s not their job! Even your CEO knows that! He has lawyer and skilled people next to him, he has political support, media support, and so on! You are fighting an army with weapons made of paper! And there you are!
Using the system and behaving like that had to come back to your face at some point. It does now. It’s painful for guys like you Phoenixx, who still seem to be moderate, reasonable and who like their job. But we both know that there is a bunch of guys there who don’t deserve to have this job, who have nothing to do there, some are leading you into the wall. It might be late but it’s time to wake up and all those who really want to move forward and who love their job should gather and find solutions. It is still very possible.
All the best, by the way, because Skeyes could be a wonderful company to work for.
No worries, I was not trying to attack you, I have read your other posts, I know you are moderate and reasonable and I understand your point.

I don't agree on your last paragraph though.
We honestly don't think we're the best at all.
Sometimes we get frustrated with pilots maybe, same way pilots get frustrated with us or with their handlers. Doesn't mean we think we can actually do it better. A bit like a guy watching professional soccer on tv.
We don't think we could have handled these handled negotiations better than ACV or VSOA. To express myself simple and lightly, we just really don't like the outcome. Because it means losing bigtime in every issue it was about for us without even getting any solution for our problems in return. The worst possible outcome.
So no it might not be our job, but it is our carreer, our life and our future. It's not De Cuypers, Neyens' or the ACODs future they're talking about here, it's ours.

Depending on what you mean by "behaving like that had to come back to your face at some Point" I will have a different response, but I probably won't agree either way.
- The CEO would have always implemented these measures, the guy wants total control over his company and staff and he doesn't take a "no" very well. ACOD was simply 'our' weakest link.
-The public opinion would have always turned against us with this management, strike or no strike last Thursday.
We are shortstaffed and will be for years to come. That means disruptions and delays either way. An alarm bell like this we don't ring for fun or just because we can.
-Your scenario of us pretending to be better at negotiations and protesting instead of us simply accepting the situation would have meant facing measures and situations that were far more extensive, restricting and affecting our personal lives earlier already. Better numbers, more fatigue and burnouts among atcos, more safety risks, more divorces, more of everything bad basicly.

Like I said, not sure which one you were aiming for, but I don't agree either way.
We now have 2 'agreements' in effect that don't meet any of our demands and that don't solve the actual problems both us and the company are faced with.
As long as De Cuyper, ACOD and the politicians in charge don't realise we will not give in to this one sided, numbers and image based, antisocial, ostrich-approach of this CEO, this 'fight' will continue.
It doesn't matter what lies they publish in the media, what agreements they try to shove down our throats or how hated we are by the general public.
I don't sound too moderate or reasonable here, but what I wrote in this paragraph is the essential truth and it goes for +80% of atcos in skeyes. It's the further interpretation, conclusions and solutions where we differ, but as long as this shared core message is not understood, this situation will not be resolved.

I agree it could -once again- be a wonderful company to work for though. Every company and every person has it's flaws and problems, that's normal. But acknowledge them free of blame, and try to prevent them from happening again, that's what just culture is about isn't it?

SR20
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by SR20 »

A little taste of "deja vu" ?

Air traffic controller shortage in Germany :

"Delayed flights because air traffic controllers are missing: The German air traffic control wants to prevent this scenario in the holiday season. It offers lavish payments for special shifts - but employees do not just want money."

https://m.spiegel.de/karriere/flugsiche ... 67982.html

Some quotes :

- It is questionable whether the parties to the dispute will find a solution by the beginning of the holiday season at the end of June. If there is no agreement, everything stays the same at DFS - at the expense of the airlines and passengers.

- Europe suffers from a significant airspace capacity problem. Since the beginning of the nineties intra-European air traffic has tripled. The European air traffic control Eurocontrol expects the number of flights, which start with up to two hours delay, to increase by a factor of seven by 2040.

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by sn26567 »

SR20 wrote:
19 May 2019, 11:16
A little taste of "deja vu" ?

Air traffic controller shortage in Germany :

"Delayed flights because air traffic controllers are missing: The German air traffic control wants to prevent this scenario in the holiday season. It offers lavish payments for special shifts - but employees do not just want money."

https://m.spiegel.de/karriere/flugsiche ... 67982.html

Some quotes :

- It is questionable whether the parties to the dispute will find a solution by the beginning of the holiday season at the end of June. If there is no agreement, everything stays the same at DFS - at the expense of the airlines and passengers.

- Europe suffers from a significant airspace capacity problem. Since the beginning of the nineties intra-European air traffic has tripled. The European air traffic control Eurocontrol expects the number of flights, which start with up to two hours delay, to increase by a factor of seven by 2040.
There is a simple solution to alleviate the problem: the SES (Single Europen Sky) promoted by the European Union. But the selfishness of the national governments wanting to keep absolute control of their airspace is a major roadblock, although the minds are slowly (too slowly) changing.
André
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PttU
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by PttU »

jan_olieslagers wrote:
18 May 2019, 08:34
Extensive analysis, quite correct as far as I can judge:
https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2019/05/17 ... angsommen/

* comparison with Netherlands: they have long-term planning AND a flag carrier with international fame; on the contrary Belgium has no long term planning, the current government has decided nothing during its five-year tenancy, and Belgian assets have been sold abroad, often for peanuts; including SN and Brussels Airport
I'm not sure if the term "flag carrier" is relevant here. It's a term I think means different things to different people, and holds a large emotional meaning, which isn't where vrtnws hinted at. In other threads there's often discussion whether or not Air Belgium is more of a "flag carrier" than SN, but I don't think that's relevant: There could be even two companies thriving in Belgium, as long as they're supported by the government and by a long-term vision of it. Whether that makes them a "flag carrier" doesn't really matter I think.
Vergelijk dat eens met Nederland. Waar ze tienjarenplannen opstellen rond luchtvaart, waar ze afspraken maken rond wat wel en wat niet. Waar een groot publiek debat is rond de toekomst van die luchtvaart. Dat Nederland een maatschappij in handen heeft die wereldwijd bekend staat, is heus geen toeval. De KLM is er gekomen niet op basis van wat geluk, maar is het resultaat van een visie en een "drive" om iets te betekenen op mondiaal niveau.

Wij? Wij hebben de boel doorverkocht aan het buitenland. De Duitsers kregen onze nationale trots Brussels Airlines, gebouwd op de assen van die andere trots Sabena, in handen voor een appel en een ei. Brussels Airport is het succesvolle speelgoed geworden van Canadese en andere pensioenfondsen. De bagage-afhandeling, ooit in handen van een Belgische familie, is deel geworden van een multinational die niet weet wat te doen met die verdomde Belgische tak waar elk jaar wel "miserie" is.
According to Wikipedia (for what it's worth): a "flag carrier" can be defined by:
  • "enjoys preferential rights or privileges accorded by the government for international operations" => that goes for neither of them?
  • "aircraft to display the state flag of the country of their registry" => that goes for SN, Air Belgium, but TUI as well.
But nevertheless I agree with the points mentioned: as there is no clear vision by the politics (and the same vision on the different levels that are involved), it is very hard for any company to do something that's supported by that government. The only vision that's easy for politics is "cost savings", but that leads to consequences...


SR20
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by SR20 »

German air traffic controllers receive 2,000 euros per extra shift.

https://www.tijd.be/ondernemen/luchtvaa ... 28743.html

- The discussion in Germany also reminds us of the situation at the Belgian Skeyes. There, traffic controllers have been campaigning for months against the lack of staff and the high workload.

- "We have never again asked for money for air traffic controllers, but respect for the law, solutions for career breaks and sufficient staff," said Christian trade unionist Kurt Callaerts.

Passenger
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Passenger »

Brussels Airport and TUI (.be) have joined Brussels Airlines' court case against Skeyes.

https://www.aviation24.be/air-traffic-c ... er-skeyes/

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by jan_olieslagers »

A separate case has been initiated by the Wallonian regional government, joined by the airport authorities of Liege and Charleroi. Quite understandable that they choose to act, less understandable that they don't join the existing case. L'union fait la force no longer ;) ?

mvg
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by mvg »

SR20 wrote:
20 May 2019, 23:40
German air traffic controllers receive 2,000 euros per extra shift.

https://www.tijd.be/ondernemen/luchtvaa ... 28743.html

- The discussion in Germany also reminds us of the situation at the Belgian Skeyes. There, traffic controllers have been campaigning for months against the lack of staff and the high workload.

- "We have never again asked for money for air traffic controllers, but respect for the law, solutions for career breaks and sufficient staff," said Christian trade unionist Kurt Callaerts.
Have you checked with anyone working at DFS?
No need to say that, like for conflicts in Skeyes, the numbers are heavily hyped in the media. This isn’t the deal that they were proposed.

Surprising that when the media cover something about Skeyes it’s considered corrupted and when it’s about foreign ATC it’s not...

Passenger
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Passenger »

wrote: A separate case has been initiated by the Wallonian regional government, joined by the airport authorities of Liege and Charleroi. Quite understandable that they choose to act, less understandable that they don't join the existing case. L'union fait la force no longer?
Luc Partoune (Sowaer, PS) knows very well that the actual problems at Skeyes were caused by Johan Decuyper's predesessor Jean-Claude Tintin (PS). Tintin refused to charge regional airports, causing a huge cumulated loss for Belgocontrol between 2009 and 2014. Reason: to keep CRL as cheap as possible for Ryanair. Actually, even today only Brussels Airport pays for the Belgocontrol/Skeyes services. The invoices for OST, ANR, CRL and LGG are sent to Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat...

Passenger
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Passenger »

SR20 wrote:
20 May 2019, 23:13
Quite an interesting summary I think !

NL : https://www.solidair.org/artikels/probl ... andigheden

FR : https://www.solidaire.org/articles/skey ... l-humaines
What your Solidair - the magazine from the Belgian communist party PTB/PVDA - of course forgets to mention, is that Belgocontrol/skeyes implements maximal recrutement, as agreed in 2016. From the skeyes press desk:

Het akkoord van april 2016 voorzag in de maximale aanwerving van luchtverkeersleiders. Die inhaalbeweging is nu volop aan de gang. Sindsdien werden al 102 luchtverkeersleiders aangetrokken. Van hen zijn er al 34 aan de slag, 38 zijn nog in opleiding en 30 slaagden niet voor de opleiding. Vanaf dit jaar worden de gevolgen van die aanwervingen ook voelbaar in CANAC. Na hun opleiding van twee jaar doen luchtverkeersleiders immers eerst ervaring op in de torens.

Het akkoord van 22 maart van dit jaar handelde over verschillende aangelegenheden. Het bepaalde onder andere de rechtstreekse aanwerving van luchtverkeersleiders voor CANAC. Die versterking kan vanaf dit jaar al ingezet worden.


L'accord d'avril 2016 prévoyait le recrutement maximum de contrôleurs aériens. Ce processus de rattrapage bat son plein. Depuis lors, 102 contrôleurs aériens ont été recrutés. 34 d’entre eux sont déjà opérationnels, 38 sont encore en cours de formation et 30 n’ont pas réussi la formation. À partir de cette année, les effets de ces recrutements se feront sentir à CANAC. Après leur formation de deux ans, les contrôleurs aériens acquièrent toujours une première expérience dans les tours.

L'accord du 22 mars dernier porte sur différents sujets. Cet accord prévoit, entre autres, le recrutement direct de contrôleurs aériens pour CANAC. Ce renforcement pourra être déployé dès cette année.

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Phoenixx »

Passenger wrote:
21 May 2019, 18:53
What your Solidair - the magazine from the Belgian communist party PTB/PVDA - of course forgets to mention, is that Belgocontrol/skeyes implements maximal recrutement, as agreed in 2016. From the skeyes press desk:

Het akkoord van april 2016 voorzag in de maximale aanwerving van luchtverkeersleiders. Die inhaalbeweging is nu volop aan de gang. Sindsdien werden al 102 luchtverkeersleiders aangetrokken. Van hen zijn er al 34 aan de slag, 38 zijn nog in opleiding en 30 slaagden niet voor de opleiding. Vanaf dit jaar worden de gevolgen van die aanwervingen ook voelbaar in CANAC. Na hun opleiding van twee jaar doen luchtverkeersleiders immers eerst ervaring op in de torens.

Het akkoord van 22 maart van dit jaar handelde over verschillende aangelegenheden. Het bepaalde onder andere de rechtstreekse aanwerving van luchtverkeersleiders voor CANAC. Die versterking kan vanaf dit jaar al ingezet worden.
To the user with probably the least right to start about "forgetting to mention", i have a question.
Your point is what exactly with this good-news-show-information?

That staffing is suddenly all fine because they are recruiting?
That because of this people just have to suck it up for as long as the management demands it and the company needs it?
That a few new atcos in canac are going to solve everything, because starting from this year the effects of training are "detectable'?
That we will not be shortstaffed for another five years because management and the pr division forgot to mention that little detail?

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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by sn26567 »

Even if Solidair(e) is the magazine of the PTB/PVDA (and we try to avoid politics in our forum), the interview in itself is non-political and has its place here. Furthermore, the study centre of PTB/PVDA is known for its sharp analysis of the financial statements of multinational corporations and their tricks to avoid paying taxes in Belgium.
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Phoenixx »

737MAX wrote:
22 May 2019, 13:26
I'm afraid you won't get any answer.
The answer is nowhere to be found in the media, I think ;)
I know. His silence says more than his words could though.

On that note: For the next 10 days management is still doing their visite of the units to clarify the agreement and their intentions and to answer all questions (they say).
We are hoping for a constructive talk where our concerns are heard and actually taken into the decisionmaking this time.
It is high time for this situation to be defused a bit.

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