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

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

Post by jan_olieslagers »

Welcome to aviation. Either you stay and you accept, or you leave. Like many pilots, cabin crew, maintenance people have done. We all work 30' extra before and 30' extra after the flight compared to our rosters, we all have to give the last minute flexibility to the company
To the last point I am afraid I must add that I see the same kind of thing happening in many professions, my own IT trade not least. On the one hand a race to the bottom on rates and conditions, on the other hand a lack of professional ability in management. There might a point to the opinion that ATCO's will have to learn to live with it, just like everybody else.

But as I understand things from a distance, that is not the point right now. At present, there is gross discontent among ATC staff because they have shown great patience and lots of good will, only to see the problems they thus "solved" grow worse and worse; i.e. no structural solutions arriving. That is all the difference between a solution and a work-around.

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

Post by mvg »

Reality is somewhere in between what has just been posted.

- Management is doing and has been doing a shitty job: no doubt! It's the main issue, we all agree. But there is now a situation to deal with and until now, no acceptable solution has been put on the table.

- Atcos in Belgium have the best working conditions in Europe (and even further than that) WHEN they are not short of staff (IF the rules are followed): best roster flexibility, little time on position per shift, low traffic load, and so on. Not even talking about the salary which is very comparable to other countries (if not more) IF you take everything into account. There is not only the money: dispo age, unlimited sick leave, pension age, working hours and so on also matter. Not complaining or bashing, but it's reality.

- It's indeed ok to do everything to protect your job and the advantages that you have but you have to realize as well that things have been changing around you in the aviation world while nothing has changed in Belgian ATC. Pilots and airlines are complaining about costs (from ATC) and delays (from ATC). What is the only way to lower the costs and decrease the delays? Rationalisation and flexibility. Of course there are limits and safety has to be guaranteed. But if most of the airlines have been able to do it, why not ATC?
A bit of automation would help as well. Why are planes still flying procedures that date back from 50 years ago?
All these Belgian airlines that disappeared were unfortunately not viable. Should they have kept on flying and lose money?
ATC's problem is not money: they are paid enough (the company). But huge improvements are possible (even only at Belgium's level).
In other European countries, radical solutions have been implemented: ATC has been sold to private companies and Atco's earning less (sometimes much less) and working more are running the business... There are many controllers in Eastern Europe that would come to work for way worse conditions. Some airlines have made that mistake: don't you fear that the same could happen with ATC if no quick solution is found? Isn't it going a bit too far?

There is a huge staffing problem and it seems that whatever is proposed (even here), it's not acceptable. I can understand the reasons but at some point someone is gonna have to accept to change.
Putting restrictions on the traffic and working with less staff is for sure part of the solution and management will have to accept it but that's not all! One day, competitors will show up and say that they can do the same job, guarantee a continuous service, with decent salaries (hopefully not the extreme low ones as some other countries have done) and it's all gonna be over!

It is high time to start from the beginning, compare with what is done elsewhere (all aspects of it) and find a path that will bring the costs at the same level as others. It will mean a different life than what has been happening till now. But it has been like that in any sector over the last 20 years. You can't stop it...

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

Post by SR20 »

Not directly linked, but still relevant !
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Bracebrace
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Re: Social actions at air traffic control service skeyes (Belgium) - possible air traffic disruptions

Post by Bracebrace »

Phoenixx wrote:
05 May 2019, 14:23
Sounds like you're reverting to immature logic there, 'we can't have it so you can't either'. So you're blaming us for not rolling over and playing dead when the boss says we should because the others do it?
To answer in that same logic, if everyone jumps off a bridge, would you do it too?
No not really, I never jumped of a bridge. I got faced with salary cuts because of fleet changes, temporary salary protections (to cover short term changes) but was given the opportunity to grow inside the company so I never "lost". I have a good package, not an AF/KLM package but a good one.

A couple of years ago I was flying with a retired KLM guy who complained his initial signed contract with my company was a gross salary of 4 digits, he was used to 5. He wasn't happy. It is this "ivory tower standard" that needs to get a good reality check. There is a difference between bending over and being realist. On BOTH management and lower levels, so I don't want to take position here to be clear. My knowledge of the case is too limited.


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

Post by Phoenixx »

An open letter was sent from the atcos to the press today.
Google translate produced this English version:

Dear reader,

Dear traveler,

In recent days, various media have reported on the jamming of social consultations with skeyes, ex-Belgocontrol. The management, however, wants to find a solution very quickly and is now putting an ultimate proposal on the table that will be discussed and voted on in the joint committee on Friday. The current form of the proposal leaves too much room for interpretation and contains uncertainties that need to be discussed.

We especially regret the fact that no solutions are offered to the current problems, in particular the staff shortage of 25%! Now say for yourself, introducing a reduction in working hours to solve a shortage of personnel seems dubious to say the least.

You are bombarded with press releases and tweets about the financial picture that we as air traffic controllers would be offered, but this deliberately removes the focus from what should be the absolute priority, namely ensuring the safety of our air traffic.

No financial requirements were set: we ask for an acceptable work-life balance! There is a need for peace that is welcome after many years of understaffing, with gaps being voluntarily closed and a lot of overtime beating. However, the limits have been reached and the high understaffing can no longer be compensated. Structural continuous series of up to 12 performances, followed by 1 or 2 rest days, are no longer acceptable. To function optimally, sufficient rest is an absolute must! Maintaining the current work schedules is detrimental to safety, ours and yours!

Our foreign colleagues are also confronted with shortages, but they are accommodating: there, the capacity of the traffic is adjusted to the available staff. Skeyes sees it differently and goes for 100% capacity with 75% staff. They even refuse to admit that there is a shortage ...

There is a regime of confrontation instead of dialogue. Repeatedly referring to sick leave as hidden actions (despite the findings of the own control doctors) belong to the "fake news" category. Similarly, unilaterally changing schedules to claim colleagues in their free time does not in any way promote the goodwill of staff.

Moreover, it is not only the air traffic controllers who criticize the current policy, but the non-air traffic controllers are also moved. Technical and administrative staff are understaffed and are pushed aside by the many consultants who come to do their work, without any knowledge.

An official mediation to find short-term solutions was our last hope. Unfortunately, the CEO of skeyes single-handedly pulled the plug to put this ultimate proposal on the table, without solutions!

We would like to emphasize once again that the safety of air traffic and passengers is our absolute top priority and will not allow it to be deviated from. However, we hope that reasonableness and dialogue prevail, and the future of the company is not determined by an ultimatum.

Thank you for understanding,

The traffic controllers

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

Post by luchtzak »

Ongoing social conflict within Skeyes, the company in charge of air traffic control in Belgium, has affected some 188,500 passengers at Brussels Airport since February, Arnaud Feist, the airport's CEO, said on Thursday.

http://www.brusselstimes.com/belgium/15 ... um-flights

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

Post by jan_olieslagers »

Ongoing lack of management ability at skeyes has affected .... &c &c

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

Post by Passenger »

jan_olieslagers wrote:
09 May 2019, 20:04
Ongoing lack of management ability at skeyes has affected .... &c &c
Nonsense (or nonsens, whatever - trust you will correct it, as you allways do).
An official mediation to find short-term solutions was our last hope. Unfortunately, the CEO of skeyes single-handedly pulled the plug to put this ultimate proposal on the table, without solutions!
The mediators agreed with the trade unions not to continue with their sickess notes during the negociations. The union(s) didn't respect that, hence it was obvious for management that further negociations were just a loss of time. For atco's, "negociations" means "you have to give us everything we demand".

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

Post by jan_olieslagers »

as you allways do
s/allways/always
:)
Men moet me ook niet uitdagen, hé / you asked for it!

But - to remain on topic - please elaborate about the "nonsense" bit? Surely it is a manager's job to make the company deliver to promise? Surely that didn't work out, over the last few months?

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

Post by Phoenixx »

Passenger wrote:
09 May 2019, 20:31
The mediators agreed with the trade unions not to continue with their sickess notes during the negociations. The union(s) didn't respect that, hence it was obvious for management that further negociations were just a loss of time. For atco's, "negociations" means "you have to give us everything we demand".
I think you would do very well in the hln comment section if you're not there already.
At what point did the mediators and unions say
"Sure, we will get the people at home with a burnout some xanax so they feel fit again, people receiving treatment for long term serious diseases we will let them control from home and for someone with a broken limb -put at home by an aviation doctor-, we'll just remove their cast, then they're as good as healed right, nobody gets to call sick anymore!" ?
I think I missed that internal memo.
Also missed the secret memo after where the unions advised us to call sick.
Didn't notice how there were no reports of fake illness in the last two weeks? Odd how that suddenly disappeared while closures and delays continued.
And now management is suddenly even denying a staff shortage in general.

For atcos, "negoTiations" means having something to say and decide, same as the guy on the other side of the table. Together.
Finding a workable compromise that ensures both parties see at least some of their intrests met.
I suppose the CEO always knew they were a waste of time since he had no plans of giving in, but he had to play the part.

I imagine negotiating with the CEO is a bit like trying to talk to you.
No matter what is presented to you, you just keep your fingers over your ears and stick to what you think you know.

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

Post by luchtzak »

According to the management of Belgian air navigation service provider Skeyes an agreement has been reached with the unions representing the air traffic controllers. An agreement with one union (ACOD) only as the two other unions (ACV-Transcom and VSOA) still disagree.

https://www.aviation24.be/air-traffic-c ... one-union/


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

Post by SR20 »

luchtzak wrote:
10 May 2019, 15:52
According to the management of Belgian air navigation service provider Skeyes an agreement has been reached with the unions representing the air traffic controllers.
I'd rather rephrase it this way : an agreement has been reached with one union (ACOD/CGSP) representing nearly none of the air traffic controllers ! :roll:

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

Post by nordikcam »

SR20 wrote:
10 May 2019, 16:47
luchtzak wrote:
10 May 2019, 15:52
According to the management of Belgian air navigation service provider Skeyes an agreement has been reached with the unions representing the air traffic controllers.
I'd rather rephrase it this way : an agreement has been reached with one union (ACOD/CGSP) representing nearly none of the air traffic controllers ! :roll:
Surréalisme ! We are in Belgium !

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

Post by sn26567 »

SR20 wrote:
10 May 2019, 16:47
luchtzak wrote:
10 May 2019, 15:52
According to the management of Belgian air navigation service provider Skeyes an agreement has been reached with the unions representing the air traffic controllers.
I'd rather rephrase it this way : an agreement has been reached with one union (ACOD/CGSP) representing nearly none of the air traffic controllers ! :roll:
RTBF said in its TV news last night that the agreement had been signed with unions representing 2/3 of the Atcos. Fake news? If so, what's the origin of such news?
André
ex Sabena #26567

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

Post by KriVa »

ACOD represents hardly any ATCOs, hence the disgruntlement. ACV and VSOA, representing the vast majority of the ATCOs, did not agree with the terms set out in the proposal, since it contained hardly any, if any, of the demands made.
Thomas

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

Post by jan_olieslagers »

Yes, I think that is now generally understood by all who follow the matter. It only makes André's question more poignant: What is the origin (or "source") of such "news"?

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

Post by Passenger »

sn26567 wrote:
11 May 2019, 08:35
RTBF said in its TV news last night that the agreement had been signed with unions representing 2/3 of the Atcos. Fake news? If so, what's the origin of such news?
Fake news indeed.

The agreement hasn't been "signed by the unions". The agreement has been accepted/voted during a meeting of the relevant Paritair Comité / Commission Paritaire (think it's PC 315.02).

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

Post by Phoenixx »

jan_olieslagers wrote:
11 May 2019, 12:48
Yes, I think that is now generally understood by all who follow the matter. It only makes André's question more poignant: What is the origin (or "source") of such "news"?
When this PC meets, there are 12 people voting the offer on the table.
- 6 from the employer side
- 6 from the employee representation side.
For the employee representation, they use old numbers of union membership where ACOD has 2 votes, VSOA has 1 and ACV has 3 votes. This is based on a company union membership count, so the administrative staff, meteo, technicians, atcos, ... are included.

For any vote to be succesfull, they need a 2/3 majority according to Belgian law, so 8/12 votes. They have 6 from the employer side at any moment, all they need is 2 more. The union votes are not changed based on the employees they are voting for, so to vote on this proposition involving 98 percent atco arrangements, ACOD keeps their 2 votes even when they represent less than 5 percent of all air traffic controllers in a union.

In 2016 ACOD had more atcos in their members when there was an offer on the table involving the change in dispo age from 55 to 58. None of the three unions wanted to accept the offer as it was, so the CEO approached ACOD outside of the official negotiations and made a back alley style deal with them: All company staff get a yearly financial bonus if he sold these 3 years for atcos. They came back in the room and signed immediately, ACV and VSOA were speechless. While it may have been a deal that would be accepted by a majority of ACOD members (non-atcos), I don't think I have to explain what a rat move this was. Most air traffic controllers that were acod member before, obviously cancelled their membership. But the damage was done, a 'correct and valid vote was held'.

After this, acod kept their 2/6 votes, surely still representing employees from different departments, but now with only an estmated 10 air traffic controllers in their members.
So in this whole matter, that has been ongoing for years, the unions now agreed (and let's say they had a lot of pressure from all sides to do so too) to not have 1 party sell off the CEOs request for a bit of gain for their members, to stay on one line and to only sign when they collectively agreed on the offer on the table.
Negotiations lasted for years and nothing came out.
Untill recently, beginning of the year when the ACV strike announcement was filed, the cracks started showing in this 'united front'. ACOD did not agree on the strike and they felt their spine bending a bit under the weight of the CEO.
De Cuyper saw he finally had the chance to force himself in there again, all he had to do was put a text on the table ACOD would accept. And he managed, twice already this year, to have a text that sells off atco rights accepted by ACOD, the last one yesterday.

Both of them don't give a damn about the demands and the rights of the atcos, they just push their agenda through in this very questionable way.
That's how you come to 'an agreement' that the actual party involved does not want and will not accept.

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