* 83% vote for new enterprise agreement
* Job security clause, career progression, engagement clause, credit system and pay increases form backbone of new agreement
The pilot union for Virgin Australia (VIPA) today announced that Virgin pilots have voted overwhelmingly for a new enterprise agreement, which includes a job security clause and represents a “quantum leap” from the 2007 EA.
The new EA, which was endorsed by 83 per cent of Virgin Australia pilots (96.5 per cent participation rate) includes a job security clause, despite a similar clause being at the centre of the recent Qantas industrial dispute.
“This agreement represents a quantum leap from the previous 2007 EA,” said Simon O’Hara, VIPA’s Executive Director.
“Virgin Australia pilots now officially have a job security clause in their agreements, which will help ensure their jobs stay in Australia and cannot be cannibalised by future airline acquisitions or other outsourcing.”
“This is exactly the sort of clause Qantas Group has been refusing to offer its pilots, and we are extremely satisfied to be able to secure it.”
As well as job security, VIPA was able to secure a number of other key advancements for pilots including a more clearly defined career progression system, which replaces the old piecemeal system and will apply to the entirety of the Virgin Australia Group.
Starting from today, Virgin Australia pilots will also receive pay increases averaging 15 per cent, with some First Officers to receive up to 28 per cent over the life of the agreement. Travel standards for pilots flying as passengers have also been improved, with priority seating in the front rows to protect against fatigue risks.
“The overwhelming support for this EBA lies in stark contrast to its 2007 predecessor, which limped over the line with just over 50 per cent of the vote,” Mr O’Hara said.
“This is a giant step forward for Virgin Australia pilots, not just in terms of job security but in multiple other areas as well. Career progression, for example, was a piecemeal mess under the old agreement, but will now apply coherently to the entire Virgin Australia Group.”
“VIPA has secured a credit system for the first time, meaning pilots will be able to achieve a better work-life balance by receiving credit for simulator training, medicals and the like. Travel standards have been improved and clearly defined, while pay rises between 13 and 28 per cent will kick in for all pilots starting from today.”
“VIPA is really gratified by this agreement, both in terms of what has been achieved for pilots and in the support it has received from pilots.”
In the last four years, the Virgin Independent Pilots Association (VIPA) has grown from 150 members to 600 members, covering over 50% of Virgin Australia’s pilot workforce.