Message from the Chair
We attended a meeting in the Labour Court on the 15th of December, the outcome was that IMPACT and Aer Lingus were to give the court comprehensive written submissions on all matters still in dispute by mid Jan 2015.
By the end of January 2015 the Labour Court is to re-convene with IMPACT and Aer Lingus to hear further arguments based on the written submissions. Following this hearing the Court intends to make final recommendations on the dispute. The priority for cabin crew is the roster and working agreements. Cabin crew deserve to have a working agreement in book form, be it Black Yellow or Green, that sets out in clear language what exactly is agreed on rosters, roster policies and agreements. You deserve to have an agreement so that when the roster is published you will know what time you will be in work and what time you can tell family and friends that you will be home. The company's Green Book has failed cabin crew, it is not an agreed document. We will not accept a document that lacks clarity, is contradictory and only serves the interests of one side.
I would like to thank you for refreshing the ballot with an overwhelming majority 87% of Cabin Crew voting in favour of Industrial Action. It is so important to keep the ballot live as we enter a New Year with old issues and new challenges on the horizon.
Our colleagues on Fixed Term Contracts will be off the roster from November to March and the remainder from January to March. This is as a result of the Winter Schedule being reduced. We wish you all the best for your time off, and hope that you return to us in March 2015.
Finally on behalf of the Cabin Crew Committee I would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year. We need to keep our resolve, to stay united and to support each other at all times.
United we achieve, divided we are on our knees.
Chair of the Cabin crew
Floats are counted on board and returned to Cashiers post flight. There is no agreement to wait in Cashiers while your float is being counted by the staff there.Counting of stock on board
We do not count stock on board flights.
Trials on board A330
Members of the Cabin Crew Committee were invited by the Company to observe recent trials on the A330 aircraft on flights to and from the USA. Our agreement is for eight crew on board, 2 crew in Business Class (Cabin Manager and a Senior) and 6 crew in the Economy Class Cabin, 2 Seniors and 4 cabin crew).
Galley curtain on A330
No information on the removal of the curtains has been given to the Committee, we will be asking for the immediate refitting of these curtains at our next meeting. Please copy all reports to us and deposit them in the IMPACT box in the Operations Area.
Line standards leader (LSL)
We have an agreement that no new grades of cabin crew will be introduced without agreement. There is no agreement for LSLs. The Crew and Operations Supervisors were directed into this role and are there under protest while the case for the re-instatement of the Supervisory Grade (an agreed grade) is before the Labour Court. The latest SVN for LSL's is in direct conflict with the current situation and cabin crew are strongly advised not to apply for a position that is not agreed, and is not a promotion. We all need to protect the promotional grades for cabin crew be it Cabin Manager Supervisor or Senior now and for the future.
In the meantime, and in line with Labour Court Recommendations, two cabin crew Supervisors will shortly take up their posts as Team Managers on collectively bargained contracts.
Days off following TA flights
All TA flights must be followed by at least two free days. These must be shown as FF on your roster. SFO must have 3 free days.
Labour court: The background
For some time your Committee has been involved in negotiations at the Labour Court over many issues including breaches to agreements, the introduction of a 5:3 roster and the Green Book. This process predates my involvement in the committee and the beginning of many careers in Aer Lingus. It's has been long drawn out, tedious and draining of all enthusiasm but requires explanation every now and again especially for those of you who have joined cabin crew since 2011.
The Greenfield process of 2008-2010 saw enormous changes to our working conditions. The agreements around Greenfield were defined, interpreted and re-interpreted through the intervention of the Labour Relations Commission and Rights Commissioners. The Black Book Working Agreement was to be substantially rewritten in its operational section but its essential parts were not the subject of any re-negotiation. The operational section was to have been rewritten by agreement. This did not happen and the company issued their Green Book in April of 2011.
This Green Book (roster policies document) is difficult to interpret, restrictive, punishing and very unfriendly to workers rights. From that day on it was imposed on Cabin Crew as their only working conditions document. The Committee from then until now has denied that this document is a valid working agreement and the fact that the company can produce no document of agreement, no signature and name no Union Official responsible for its production only reinforces that the Green Book does not constitute an agreed working conditions agreement.
In 2014 we recommenced flights to the West Coast of the USA, San Francisco. There are any amount of agreements that cover its operation, however the Green Book has a clause that declares it replaces all other agreements so the company steamrolled over all objections. This is a plainly ridiculous assertion. The clause is full of self importance, but is not valid no matter how management wish to interpret it. This is the essential problem that exists between us and the company and why the Labour Court has been asked to make a ruling. We believe our case has great merit and that the company's case is full of bluster and slight of hand. The process by which we recover the original Greenfield Agreement has been long drawn out and requires patience to see it through to its proper end. We believe we are approaching a major turning point in the process and with the hard work and diligence of so many members of many committees over the last few years the Labour Court have been presented with a true and factual presentation. The Court has declared that it will hear from us in mid Jan '15 and make a final ruling before the end of January '15.
The above is a potted history but I hope it explains the state of where we are at. Our Agreements were hard won over many years. They involved sacrifice, strife negotiation and conciliation. They cannot be written over or erased so easily. It's not that we won't allow it but that you will not allow it. Remember, you are the guardian of your rights, always protect them; only together can we do that.
Minimum time off for ff days following delayed TA flights
There have been a number of substantial delays on TA flights and we have been asked by crew what is the minimum rest time.
Crew can be expected to work up to 23:59 on a Work Day (W/D) without a replacement day but cannot resume duty before a clear two days off which is defined as 55 hours operationally. San Francisco would be 55 + 24 (the extra day) and that is 79 hours. If your duty time goes beyond 23.59 you are due another day off.
Two days off is rostered at a minimum of 57 hours, with each additional day of 24 hours.
Only Aer Lingus cabin crew can operate on our flights
Cabin Crew should be aware that there is absolutely no agreement that permits direct entry Seniors or Cabin Managers on any Aer Lingus flight. Aer Lingus Cabin Crew and Seniors must apply for promotion through the normal promotional process. To be eligible for promotion you must be an Aer Lingus CCM or Senior. Any CCM who is put in the position of working with a direct entry Senior or Cabin Manager is advised to immediately contact a member of the Cabin Crew Committee or IMPACT. It should be noted that the company are aware of these regulations as they are part of our agreements. The agreed promotional positions for Aer Lingus Cabin Crew are:
- Cabin Manager
- Crew Supervisor (CPS) Operation Supervisor (OS)
- Training Supervisor
Health and safety representative elections
IFS Management issued a notice last August of its intention to run an election to appoint H&S Reps from the Cabin Crew.
A process to nominate interested CCMs followed and a list of names was subsequently published on the portal. A number of people whose names appeared on that list withdrew from the election process as they were unaware that they had been nominated. To date we have been unable to establish who nominated them. In addition the existing H&S reps were not contacted and advised that there was to be an election and that they were eligible to reapply. For this reason your committee are unhappy with the nominations process the company used to initiate the selection of your H&S representatives.
The Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act (SHWW Act) 2005 indicates that employees may use the normal process for selecting employee representatives within their organization or they may ballot all employees. As you know, Cabin Crew representatives are normally selected by a ballot process organized by your unions.
Last September we met the company to raise our concerns about the nominations process, the running of the election and the facilities we believe your H&S Reps should have to enable them to fulfill their role. Your committee wishes to establish a Joint H&S Agreement with the company to cover the practical arrangements for your H&S Representation. This is provided for in the SHWW Act 2005. We have repeatedly asked the company to meet with us to establish such an agreement and we asked that the election process not be run until an agreement was in place.
On three occasions since last September the company has initiated an election process. On each occasion we asked that the election process be deferred as inadequate notice had been given to crew and there was no agreement in place. We do not yet have a date for a meeting to work on a Joint H&S Reps agreement for cabin crew.
We have decided to seek expressions of interest from cabin crew for the role of H&S reps and a notice will be issued following our next committee meeting to advise you of the selection process.
We have had a number of complaints from crew regarding the OBB day being rostered to senior crew. Many of you told us that your voices were not being heard, that you felt that your comments were unwelcome to the facilitator and that you were being censored. Your committee urges the company to allow all Cabin Crew to express themselves without fear of censure. It is a mark of a properly functioning company that such is the case. Never be afraid to speak your mind to anyone. Being asked to vent your feelings into a survey deflects proper discourse. Have your say? Absolutely! But have your say when and where it makes a difference.
A meeting was held in December and IFSM are to revert to us before inviting applications for IWSL. We have a number of serious concerns regarding the Company’s proposal. We intend to defend the IWSL agreement and only agree to improvements that are a win win for both sides. When we reach agreement and are satisfied that crew who opt to go into IWSL are fully protected, we will advise you.
Aer Lingus decided to have a canoe race with another airline on the Liffey. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.
On the big day the other airline won by a mile. Aer Lingus, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat.
A committee made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was that the other airline had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while Aer Lingus had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing. So Aer Lingus hired a consultancy firm and paid them a large amount of money for an expert opinion.
They advised that too many people were steering the boat while not enough people were rowing.
To prevent another loss to the other airline, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganised to 4 steering Doms, 3 steering team managers and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder.
It was called the "Rowing Team Quality First Programme", with training days, dinners, free pens and flashy brochures for the rower. There was discussion about getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra annual leave days for training and bonuses.
The next year the other airline won by two miles. Humiliated Aer Lingus management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles and cancelled all capital investment in new equipment. The money saved was distributed to Senior Management as bonuses and the next year's race was outsourced to Asia.
Secretary for the Cabin Crew Committee.