14 May

Pay Talks 2019 – Unite Update 14th May

Your pay increase is now four months overdue!
People are quite rightly beginning to ask, what’s happening? The short answer is not a lot!  The longer explanation is that there has been some but not enough progress.
All three unions agreed a historic joint approach to pay, in response British Airways have made a further offer, which not only falls considerably short of members’ expectations but which has changed only marginally from their original offer, which was so overwhelmingly rejected across BA . 

Although the Joint unions have continued to explore potential solutions and provided a clear indication of the minimum level that at which the failure to agree over pay could be resolved, progress has been minimal.

Perhaps not unsurprisingly British Airways have largely wasted this opportunity, by again opting to ignore both our advice and the increasing frustration of their own employees and simply producing a rehashed variation of their previously rejected offer.

The offer fell short in a number in three key areas:

  • An expectation that increases would need to be at least partly self-funded by delaying the anniversary date for this and future pay increases (and)
  • A commitment to accept an unspecified programme of “change” in every area. Simply put, Increased Productivity by another name. 
  • That specified workplaces would be excluded from the offer and required to negotiate their own, lesser pay offer.

BA pay offer explained

Over 3 years, the latest offer has the potential to deliver you a below RPI deal. BA’s “headline pay” uplift could be described as disingenuous. We have removed the “smoke and mirrors” from what is a complicated offer and presented the offer in simple, equivalent* terms below.  For additional complexity it includes three different three-year “options”. The “options”, as presented by management, can be found attached.

Click for Document
Basic pay

Taking into account the permanent compound impact of moving the pay review date from Jan to Apr (from 2020 onwards), splitting each year into two separate payments ¨C40C in the additional uplifts, the offer is forecast at around just  8%, (over the entire three year period) significantly below management’s somewhat inflated 11% headline figure.

“Share in success” 

Still no real desire to allow employees to share in profit, with only an additional one-off bonus payment equivalent to 1% of basic salary and subject to BA achieving its operating profit target (as yet undetermined). Payable in March 2020 with nothing tangible thereafter.

Unites Comment

The main problems with management’s revised offer are as follows:

  • The offer, in real terms based on forecast RPI inflation, could deliver an effective pay cut over 3 years. 
  • Permanently moving the pay review date from January to April from 2020 onwards has the effect of reducing the headline value significantly, and the consequences for us compound.
  • There is no proper RPI protection for year three under any of the options.  Protection against inflation in year 3 is important as the rate of inflation come Dec 2020 is hard to predict. 
  • The proposed “share in success” payment – 1% of basic payable in Mar-20, subject to BA meeting its 2019 operating profit target – is woefully inadequate.
  • None of the additional uplifts in each year (payable in September or Oct) apply to the your variable payments.
  • Management has proposed nothing of substance in relation to share save / employee share ownership.
  • The overall offer is also subject to Unite agreeing unspecified productivity “change in business areas” 
  • The offer still excludes specific work areas and staff.

Unite decision

Unite met last week to review BA’s revised offer and unanimously resolved to reject it on your behalf.  We have communicated our decision to the company. The offer has also been rejected by BALPA and GMB on behalf of their members and we appear to be heading in different directions as BA does not appear to be listening to your views. 

We remain open to dialogue and discussion but preparations will shortly begin in earnest for separate ballots by BALPA, GMB and UNITE of the 20,000 plus trade union members within British Airways. This will include members at Heathrow, Gatwick, Cardiff and all other UK based employees.

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