Dear ALAEA Members,
What an extraordinary year! For some of you the opportunity to receive a VR package is very much welcomed and culminates a great career in aviation. For others, the decision to take VR has been very challenging. For those leaving the aviation industry as you rescind your membership, on behalf of the ALAEA, we wish you all the very best and thank you for your many kind words.
For those of us remaining in the industry, we will continue to do all that we can to uphold pay and working conditions despite many belligerent companies taking great liberties to undermine the Union.
The team at the ALAEA have been working above and beyond to serve you as our valued members. The ALAEA Executive has been meeting twice weekly via ‘Teams’ video meetings to ensure that they are across the large number of matters impacting the industry in order to be best positioned in dealing with evolving and complex issues. Unfortunately, a number of Executive members have resigned for various reasons this year. I would like to (belatedly) thank Simon Locke who served as Technical Salaried Staff Councillor and his successor Brian Taber, who has now resigned after taking VR. They both did a tremendous job representing the TSS group. Our previous Assistant Federal Secretary, Luke Murray resigned earlier in the year, Luke will be missed at the ALAEA. He was always the consummate professional. More recently, Qantas Councillor, Craig Hyde resigned. He always carried out his roles diligently and with the best interests of the members at heart. Four months ago, our long serving Jetstar Councillor, Bob Toovey resigned as JQ moved their operations from Newcastle to Melbourne. Bob was extremely vigorous and unwavering in his commitment to JQ members. Early in 2021, we will lose three further Qantas Councillors – Chris Burleigh, Brett McClenahan and after 11 years of dedicated service and a short stint as Assistant Federal Secretary, Brad Cox. They have all have been invaluable contributors to the Association and have committed a great deal of their personal time and expertise over the years and they never resiled from holding management to account. I will give them a special thank you early next year.
I would also like to thank all the ALAEA Representatives from the hangars to the tarmacs who play an integral role in representing our members in the best way possible.
In such a challenging year, our roles have been extremely onerous. Despite this, there have been some good outcomes: there have been a relatively limited numbers of compulsory redundancies and the biggest achievement was no doubt the new Virgin EA, which realised no forced job losses, no loss of pay rates or conditions and the acceptance of a roster pattern that sets new standards for our industry. I would like to recognise and thank the efforts of Steve Purvinas, ALAEA Virgin Councillors Chris Tamblyn and Mike Davies, and the Virgin representatives from the various workplaces. They worked collaboratively and respectfully to achieve a terrific outcome for the majority of Virgin members during a very tough period.
An enormous thank you must also go to our wonderful staff who have been dealing with everything from court cases, JobKeeper issues, disciplinary matters and VR and CR redundancy issues to name just a few of the continuing matters. Despite the increased workload and the loss of a staff member early in the year they still managed to keep on top. A big thank you needs to go to Yusuf, our part time Industrial Associate, for the extraordinarily valuable contribution he makes. It’s contributions like his that provides the valuable support that underpins everyone else. Below is an excerpt from our fulltime team to give you an insight into just some of the issues happening in aviation.
From our magnificent membership team, Erin and Deb, on the front desk whom you would normally have first contact:
“It’s been a big year. COVID has really impacted the work we do and we’ve been helping many members affected by stand downs and redundancies. These are emotional and stressful times for everyone and it’s been a pleasure to help so many of our members when they need us most.”
Noel Speers- ALAEA Senior Industrial Officer
- In addition to these points below, there have also been numerous JobKeeper and other individual member representation issues at the various companies.
- Babcock Mission Critical Services – variation done for a 1 year extension to the current EA with a back dated pay increase applying from March – negotiations for a replacement EA to start early 2021
- Bristow Helicopters – ongoing consultation regarding a number of redundancies – rejection of recent inferior EA offer from the Company with ALAEA recommendation to not support proposed EA
- Emirates – pandemic impact saw redundancy consultation due to outsourcing of engineering at Perth base and reduction in size of engineering group at Melbourne base
- LifeFlight- replacement EA negotiations paused due to pandemic but recently resumed
- Cobham – redundancy consultation due to Qantas acquisition of National Jet 717 operations and subsequent decision to cease using Cobham engineering for maintenance operations – pending organisational restructure in 2021 arising from Cobham ownership change
- QantasLink – replacement EA completed for Eastern Tamworth – negotiations for a replacement EA for Eastern Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne members went on hold due to the pandemic – regular consultation on stand down and roster changes at Eastern and Sunstate caused by the pandemic impacts
- Toll Helicopters – EA negotiations for a replacement Agreement resumed a few months back and the parties have now reached agreement in principle on the new EA – a vote is expected shortly
- Toll Aviation Engineering – as part of the Japan Post Office sell off of the global express division, this business unit was recently acquired by Alliance Airlines
- Regional Express – ongoing consultation on stand downs and roster changes due to pandemic – successful thwarting of the Company proposal to cancel a 2.5% pay increase from July 2020
- Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service – worked with members and other unions to convince the Company to back away from a proposal to defer the July 2020 2.0% pay increase under the current EA
- RFDS Mascot – consultation on impacts of Company losing the long-term NSW Air Ambulance contract from 1 January 2021 – negotiations for a replacement EA are continuing
- United Airlines – EA negotiations for a replacement EA were put on hold due to the pandemic – consultation on roster changes due to pandemic
- Cathay Pacific – new EA negotiated and approved by the FWC with backdated pay increases applying for 2018, 2019 and 2020 – consultation on stand downs
- CASA – the ALAEA and other unions have been involved in regular ongoing consultation on the various organisational changes being implemented by CASA and impacting on AWI members
Brad Stewart – ALAEA National Union Organiser
The following EAs are going out for a vote by members over the next week or so:
- Alliance Airlines ADL; and
- Hawker Pacific East Sale RAAF Base VIC.
- CHC Helicopter: ALAEA has an Agreement in Principal with CHC Australia for the EA. The EA is currently under review by parent Company in Dallas for approval.
Work in progress
- Numerous Jetstar matters, including
- stand up/stand down matters; and
- payment problems
- Network Aviation WA EA with Pete Gill is at the beginning of the negotiation process with the last meeting held on 16 December 2020.
Steve Re – ALAEA Technical Affairs and Trustee
- Part 66 Licence review consultation
- Ongoing participation in CASA Technical Working Groups to produce advisory material for Part 66 licences and MOS amendments
- Part 43 discussions
- Held discussions with CASA regarding their proposed introduction for General Aviation maintenance standards
- Helicopter Type Ratings
- Working with CASA and industry to find solutions to Type Training and ratings for Helicopters reclassified as “Large” after Part 66 introduction
- Regional Express Safety Investigation
- Holding CASA to account for deficient safety investigations
- Assisting with anti-bullying and disciplinary matters involving maintenance errors/incidents
- Providing advice on the technical aspects of maintenance error reduction and investigations
- Assisting with Member licence exemptions
- Aeroskills training reviews and consultation
- Reviewing and making recommendations on changes to the underpinning training for AME’s/LAME’s via the Aeroskills Industry References Committee
- General Aviation Senate enquiry submission
- Preparing extensive submission for the Australian Senate enquiry into Civil Aviation legislation and its effect on GA
- Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition in relation to CASR Part 66 Licencing
- Assisting members with rejected TTMRA applications
- Policy rewrites
- Assisting the update of ALAEA internal policies and procedures
- Employment Website development
- Creation of a dedicated Australian based website designed to provide a no/low cost option for aviation employers to advertise job opportunities to benefit the entire industry
- Implementing COVID Safe office and procedures
Sean Morgan – ALAEA Legal Officer
In terms of key activities (leaving aside the numerous day-to-day matters) they were:
- QF and JQ – Federal Court and FWC Stand Down matters
- Heston MRO – FWC Stand Down matter
- Federal Circuit Court LAME Underpayment case (Magnificent 20)
- JQ 2IC/Supervisor FWC matter (JQ have appealed)
- 2 FWC Bullying Applications (both are still on foot)
- FWC Unfair Dismissal Applications (Babcock, Marker Aviation, and Airwork)
- Several FWC Disputes (involving formal Form F10 Applications)
- Coordinating post-employment hearing tests
Glynn Sowter – ALAEA Industrial Officer
- Numerous underpayment disputes (Toll Helicopters, AirAsiaX, Heston, Sharp Aviation, Heston, Bristow, and Airwork) – all were resolved except one (being Bristow) as the member did not provide the information to press the matter
- Numerous disciplinary matters (Airwork, Babcock, CASA, Eastern, FedEx, Heston, Jetstar, Panasonic, Pel-Air, Qantas, Sharp Aviation, and Toll Helicopters)
- 2 EA negotiations (Heston and FedEx)
Further work this year:
- Airbus Oakey averaging of hours matter – ongoing
- Airbus Oakey EA negotiations – ongoing
- Airbus Darwin EA negotiations – ongoing
- Hawker Pacific MRO – rostering – ongoing
- Hawker Pacific restructuring – many enquiries – still ongoing
- Hawker Pacific underpayment License payments – ongoing
- Hawker Pacific MRO EA negotiations – ongoing
- HNZ contract variations – ongoing
- HNZ Karratha site issues – ongoing
- HNZ Broome – MPT issues – ongoing
- Various disciplinary matters – some still ongoing
- VARA – some minor matters and spot fires
- Qantas TSS redundancies – – many enquiries still ongoing
- Qantas LAME redundancies – – many enquiries still ongoing
- Various Qantas overpayment enquires and matters – many enquiries – still ongoing
- Qantas JobKeeper payment issues – many enquiries – still ongoing
- Qantas LAME annual leave loading underpayment – ongoing
- Qantas LAME Superannuation underpayments/issues – ongoing
- Qantas TSS AST issues – many enquiries – still ongoing
Qantas receipts compliance member issues – many enquiries
- Qantas Medical matters (IMEs etc) – some still ongoing
- Qantas – various other matters
- Assisting with Qantas Stand-down dispute
- Qantas TSS EA negotiations – ongoing
- Virgin Tech Jobkeeper payment issues – many enquiries
- Virgin Tech PNS issues
- Virgin tech
- Virgin Tech – various other matters – some ongoing
- Various Qantas Workers compensation issues – some still ongoing
- Sunstate – various minor issues
As you can see, there is an unprecedented amount of work going on at the ALAEA. There are no signs that things will ease up in 2021. With many court cases (such as the “Useful Work” case) and the ongoing challenges within the aviation industry as a whole, we may just get a chance to catch our breath before launching into 2021. Amongst the myriad of issues, concerns and immense change, it remains crucial that we have a professional and collaborative Executive who continue to strive for the best working conditions possible. This professional collaboration remains my goal as we move into the new year.
I wish you all a very restful and Merry Christmas. Here is hoping you have an opportunity to spend much valued time with loved ones. While COVID-19 has changed our lives and lifestyle, I would like to think it has provided an opportunity to reset our values. For those working over the Christmas and New Year period, let us continue to uphold the professional standards we all pride ourselves on.
Take care, best wishes
ALAEA Federal President
Just a quick note that the ALAEA Sydney office will be closed for phone service between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The ALAEA@alaea.asn.au email address will be monitored and requests requiring immediate attention will be actioned. For urgent matters call the office number and an emergency contact detail will be supplied.