In a few months the current Virgin Tech Enterprise Agreement will expire. This means it is time to negotiate a replacement agreement. Your Reps have been discussing the upcoming negotiations and some submissions were received from the membership late last year detailing the priorities of what you want to achieve through the process. A negotiating committee has now been formed and the first meeting with the airline will take place on January 23rd.
I will be the main negotiator from the ALAEA office ably assisted by the two Virgin Councilors on the ALAEA Federal Executive; Chris Tamblyn and Mike Davies. The other committee members are:
Torben Cohrs – Bne
Mike Davies (2) – Bne
Sam Spiteri – Bne
Luke Irwin – Syd
Paul Kennedy – Syd
Mitch Gallagher – Per
Michael Moyle – Per
Melbourne – TBA
Outstations – Reps as required from Ool or Cbr
Although there will no doubt be numerous matters raised and discussed during the process one issue will certainly feature; the future of our VT members in Perth. With the airline proposing to merge that VT workgroup with that of VARA it is imperative that we stand by these blokes and make sure that no negative precedent is set in the West. I suspect that this issue will be hotly contested between the airline and us. This may lead to a situation where protected and legal industrial action is required by members to let the airline know that they can’t just re-brand a workgroup and bypass a fairly negotiated Enterprise Agreement. We need to let the airline know that we will stand together if any portion of our membership is attacked.
Today about 85% of Virgin LAMEs are ALAEA members. This means that 15% are not. It has been reported that some former members are concerned about rejoining because they may owe the ALAEA money for one of a number of reasons, the main one being that they may not have properly resigned in the past and just stopped paying fees. Because of the gravity of the Perth issue (and other matters that may arise during discussions) it is now more important for us all that every LAME be a member in case industrial action is required. Those LAMEs who are not with us would not be able to take part in any industrial campaign and would, effectively, be used as strike breakers.
For this reason, the ALAEA Executive has imposed a moratorium for former members seeking to rejoin and no back fees will be applied when rejoining between now and the end of March.