On 13 July 2022, Qantas contacted the ALAEA and informed us that they were about to start communicating with approximately 100 LAMES (Affected Members) who are either currently or were formerly in Division 1 of the Qantas Super Defined Benefit Plan. The purpose of this contact concerned how superannuation was calculated on the EASA Recognition Allowance and EASA Conversion Allowance (EASA Allowances). Affected Members may recall that the EASA Allowances were first remediated by Qantas in late 2019, and at that time the ALAEA disputed the figures that Qantas were then presenting.
As part of this contact, Qantas provided the ALAEA with copies of the template letters (without figures) that Affected Members were going to receive. Ultimately, Qantas went back to the drawing board and did a review of their calculations and as a consequence, in or around late July 2022, Affected Members received their respective abovementioned letters with updated figures.
The ALAEA has had the opportunity to peruse the letters of several Affected Members and we believe that the figures Qantas has presented to them could be correct. Nevertheless, the ALAEA still has several questions concerning the figures (e.g., the calculation of interest etc) and for that reason we requested a meeting with Qantas. Even though Qantas have agreed to meet, the ALAEA is still awaiting a time and date.
A couple of days ago the ALAEA was made aware of another letter that Affected Members were receiving. This letter was not provided to the ALAEA in a template format. This letter is effectively a ‘Letter of Waiver’ and contains the following bullet points:
- the amount outlined in this letter represents a payment in lieu of the additional superannuation contribution amount owing as a result of the LAME EASA allowances;
- the amount calculated includes a component of interest on the underlying principle superannuation amount owing;
- in receiving the amount outlined in this letter, I waive any and all future entitlement to an additional amount of superannuation related to this EASA allowances matter:
It should come as no surprise to anyone that when the ALAEA was made aware of this letter we contacted Qantas and informed them of our disappointment at their lack of transparency and fairness. It might perhaps explain why it is taking so long for them to meet with us. Additionally, the ALAEA also requested that any Affected Member who has signed a letter of waiver should not have it held against him/her until the ALAEA and Qantas have met and the ALAEA’s questions are adequately answered.
Most importantly, if any Affected Member has received a letter which includes the above content, and you are yet to sign and return the same to Qantas, the ALAEA urges you not to do so until the ALAEA has met with Qantas. To that end the ALAEA will provide members an update once we have met with Qantas.
Assistant Federal Secretary
Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA)
Ph: +61 419 494437