Reply To: BA: ‘Mixed Fleet’ Debuts

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CallMeIshmael, I know of some very good cabin crew who were not accepted for Mixed Fleet and your comments are largely conjecture.

You paint current cabin crew as a paradigm of excellence. In truth, this isn’t true. Yes, there are some excellent BA crews. The majority do a very capable job of delivering the company’s products in an efficient and professional manner. But there is also a minority crew who do their colleagues a huge disservice and should have either been performance managed out if the company or recognised for themselves that it is time to move on.

However, the current system of performance management (or lack of it) and pay increments giving guaranteed pay rises for doing the same job to the same standard and at the same level of productivity actually discourages that. There is also a fundamental cultural problem whereby cabin crew is a seperate mini-empire within BA (and no doubt explains in part how events have evolved over the past couple of years) with no career path from cabin crew to senior management, and ensuing complaints from crew that their managers have no flying experience. Mixed Fleet addresses this in the long term.

The point about additional payments for languages (now gone) is also telling. The current system of scheduling and remunerating crew at BA is so absurdly complicated with notoriously inflexible scheduling agreements with limited scope to adapt to situations as they evolve (thus drastically limiting the company’s scope to respond to and recover from disruption) and a byzantine system of allowances and other types of payments (destination payments, one-down payments etc) which must cost an inordinate amount of money to administer and audit as well as providing a perverse incentive of encouraging a culture of trying to extract the maximum amount of cash from the company.

When faced with a complete unwillingness to engage in sensible discussion about reasonable reforms (see High Court and Court if Appeal judgments) you can hardly blame the company for starting over with a blank sheet of paper on its own terms.

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