Virgin Australia’s long haul pilots and cabin crew have voted overwhelmingly in favour of their respective Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBAs), after reaching a decision on the matter last night.
Eighty-five per cent of pilots and 93 per cent of cabin crew supported the new EBAs, with the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) pleased with the high voter turnout for pilots after negotiations originally began in March 2010.
“One hundred and forty-six pilots were eligible to vote and 144 voted. This is an extremely high voter turnout and showed the high level of interest this pilot group had in this, their first collective agreement,” the AFAP said in a statement.
“This agreement furthers the relationship between the pilots and their management and we expect further improvements as Virgin Australia grows,” noted AFAP executive director, Terry O’Connell.
“The Virgin long haul pilots have earned this improvement in their conditions and salaries some of which will increase over 25 per cent immediately. Annual increases of four per cent upwards will keep the pilots salaries in line with inflation. This pilot group now sits in the mid-range of pilot terms and conditions in Australia,” he added.
According to Virgin Australia, the EBAs will operate for three years, with Fair Work Australia still to approve the proposed agreements.
“Engagement with our staff is a priority for our business. We are looking forward to Fair Work Australia approving the EBAs. This outcome is the result of a very good and fair process for Virgin Australia, the unions and our staff,” Virgin Australia group executive people Richard Tanner said.
Meanwhile, the AFAP will now begin renegotiating the Enterprise Agreement covering Virgin’s domestic pilots operating Airbus A330s, Boeing 737s and Embraer E-Jets before its expiry in November.