Ryanair inks deal with BALPA

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed January 30, 2018 14:58

Ryanair inks deal with BALPA

Ryanair has signed a formal Union Recognition agreement with BALPA (British Airline Pilots Association), which will now be the sole representative body for Ryanair-employed pilots in the UK.

This agreement follows extensive negotiations with BALPA since Ryanair’s December announcement that it was willing to recognise unions for collective bargaining purposes. While these recognition negotiations were continuing with BALPA, the six remaining Ryanair UK Bases (including Stansted) voted – in secret ballot – to accept pay increases of up to 20%, which had already been agreed by a majority (9) of other UK bases. These pay increases mean Ryanair’s UK pilots are earning 20% more than competitor 737 pilots, says Ryanair.

“Welcoming this UK recognition agreement, we are pleased today to announce this UK recognition agreement with BALPA on behalf of our directly employed pilots in the UK,” says Ryanair’s Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson. “The UK accounts for 25% of Ryanair’s fleet and pilot numbers. This agreement validates the decision of Ryanair’s Board in December to recognise unions, and the fact that we have delivered pay rises of up to 20% and union recognition for our pilots in our largest market, shows how serious Ryanair is about working constructively with unions that are willing to work constructively with us.”

Brian Strutton, General Secretary of BALPA, said: “Given Ryanair’s previous hostility towards unions, today’s agreement is an historic one. While we were initially sceptical about Ryanair’s sincerity in offering recognition to us and other unions, our conversations and meetings with them have shown that they are genuine in wanting a constructive trade union relationship. Our discussions in getting to a recognition agreement have been tough and required compromise on both sides.”

BALPA has opened an election for five Ryanair Company Council representatives to be chosen from amongst the BALPA members employed by Ryanair.  These reps will lead future negotiations on issues such as pay, hours, rostering and holidays on behalf of all BALPA Ryanair members. The union will also be opening an election for an advisory group for Ryanair contractor pilots who are not employed directly by the company.

Ryanair has called on unions in other EU countries to act quickly to deliver 20% pay increases to pilots in February, and conclude formal recognition agreements, which, the airline says, other unions are “presently sitting on”. The press release adds: “Ryanair will not allow these unions to delay pay increases to our pilots. In Dublin for example, where just 35% of our pilots have not yet received this pay increase, we have warned FÓRSA/IALPA that we will offer it to these pilots individually if they refuse / fail to organise a vote among just 35% of our Dublin pilots on this pay increase on/before 31 Jan.”

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed January 30, 2018 14:58