Reply To: 83.2% Vote for Industrial Action

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Nice thoughts re: boosting the salary for Mixed Fleet to be on a par with the starting salary for the older contract crew. But it all falls apart when you look at the reason behind Mixed Fleet salaries.

In the vast majority of organisations the single largest cost is employee pay, pension and NI costs. You can do a certain amount with renegotiation with suppliers over cost of raw materials, but there is a finite limit on that. You can undertake economy drives to reduce overheads, but again, there is a point at which you can go no further and you hit it pretty soon. On the profit side, the market will only stand price rises for so much before you start to see sales tail off. No, if you can reduce your employee costs, you are on to a real winner.

In BA’s case it is abundantly apparent that the ‘old’ fleet cabin crew are paid vastly more than the industry average in the UK. The introduction of a new fleet with pay, terms and conditions that are closer aligned to the market rate will do a lot to redress the balance. To continue to pay over the odds is foolish. Do you believe it makes business sense to pay more than you need to for staff ? Forget the claptrap about experience, these are people who are new to your organisation. They have the requisite skills and competencies, do you see any justification for paying say 30% over the market rate for them ?

As far as integrating them with the other fleets at BA goes. I thought that one of the key differences (aside from pay) between this new fleet and the others is that they work both longhaul and shorthaul. To integrate them would mean placing all cabin crew on the same terms and conditions – shorthaul, longhaul and those at LGW. Would the Unite agree to that ? Can’t see it happening.

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