On Friday afternoon Qantas issued a notice to all staff offering the ability to apply to have 20th days that are held in your balance to be paid out. The notice explains that the offer is open until March 9th and contains an authority form that needs to be signed including an explanation sheet that confirms that anyone who signs the form understands that the days will be paid only at your base rate (single time).
This offer is straight out of the manual of dirty tricks. The ALAEA highlighted several weeks ago that all RDOs that are paid out should have overtime rates applied as the hours worked to accrue the RDO time was all above the standard 38 hour week which are the base hours in the LAME EBA. Qantas have not responded to our demand to have this time paid properly other than tell us that they are looking into the matter and refuse to tell us how many RDOs they have already paid to LAMEs at base rates. We think it no coincidence that they have addressed a “waive my rights” authority form on a Friday afternoon to all staff including LAMEs whilst pretending at formal consultation meetings that they don’t know the answer to our question.
Members should not apply to have RDOs paid out. If you already have the application should be withdrawn until confirmation is received that the wages will be paid at the appropriate rate.
ALAEA Executive members who work on the tarmacs are noting an increasing trend by Pilots to not log defects that they consider minor in nature. Matters such as windscreen cleans, ACARS paper changes, seat cushion and cover changes are now often only verbal reports. On several occasions members have entered debate with crew to determine why they are not documenting these defects and it appears that some Engineers in blue shirts have been advising them that it is not necessary to report these minor matters. We suspect that the AMEs who are passing on this misinformation are being driven by Ops managers who do not want maintenance recorded because it cuts back the need for LAMEs on the tarmac.
The ALAEA are disappointed in the push to treat Qantas as a Congolese carrier flying 727s into Kinshasa and ask members to report any occurrence where crew give verbals on a form 500. Please ask the crew why they aren’t putting the item into the Tech or Cabin log and record on the 500 the reasons given. The issue does not appear to be one of Pilots trying to cut corners, it appears to be more systemic and establishing the reasons why Pilots are not recording defects will help identify the culprits behind this underhanded practice. Please take a photo of 500s submitted for this purpose and forward them to the ALAEA as it is now an ongoing issue we are raising with CASA.