Virgin Australia B737 pilots have voted strongly in support of a new Enterprise Agreement (EA) negotiated by the AFAP (that represents 70% of the B737 pilot group).
Of the 94% of the pilot group that voted, almost three-quarters (73%) voted in favour of the proposal. This vote followed the pilots having rejected a first offer in December last year.
The deal concludes a drawn out period of negotiations following Virgin’s exit from administration in November 2020. During this time pilots have faced periodic stand downs and the AFAP has worked to ensure flying and incomes are shared.
The key benefits in the package for pilots are three increases to the hourly rate throughout the agreement representing a 4.9% increase on the current EA at equivalent hours by the final year of the agreement and a minimum of 12 days off in each 28-day Roster Period.
The agreement also provides key structural changes for the Company, that supports the airlines recovery from administration and assists Virgin in navigating through the current volatility in the industry.
The Company has also made a commitment to no compulsory redundancies until the end of 2022. This provides pilots with job certainty during the current period of reduced flying until domestic borders permanently reopen.
“The approval of the agreement delivers certainty for Virgin B737 Pilots during a challenging period. While the deal isn’t perfect it represents a solid platform to build on in the future,” said AFAP Senior Legal/Industrial Officer Deanna Cain.
“Pilots have taken a pragmatic view in the circumstances and voted to secure certainty over their working conditions. The deal locks in greater time at home and increases to their hourly rates over the next two-and-a-half years”.
“The agreement also provides for a guarantee of no redundancies until the end of 2022 and a strong baseline of income throughout the current period of instability,” said Ms Cain.
“The AFAP and Virgin Australia have both made compromises and reached a balanced outcome that assists both the Pilots and Company to manage the current instability in the industry until domestic borders remain permanently open.”