The Flight Attendants Association of Australia (FAAA) has achieved agreements with Qantas on longhaul flight attendant conditions for the next three and a half years.
Flight attendants, who will vote on the agreement during March, will retain their current entitlements and receive a three per cent annual increase totalling 12 per cent over the life of the agreement. A previously-agreed cap on offshore-based crew will be retained.
The FAAA’s international division secretary, Michael Mijatov said: “This is an outstanding result in terms of the conditions facing Qantas internationally, especially compared to the miserable outcome for unions like the TWU for their Qantas members.”
Mijatov, in an interview with Australian Aviation late last year, said the FAAA would rather adopt a co-operative rather than combative approach to negotiations with Qantas.
“We have a philosophy of engaging actively in negotiations,” he said, adding “It can make a difficult situation somewhat more palatable. We are proud of that the industrial relations strategy we have adopted has delivered results for our members despite the difficulties of the environment we are operating in.”
This is no small win – for flight attendants or Qantas management.
At a time the company is seeking to revitalise its reputation and brand in international markets, the accord between Qantas and the FAAA will do a lot to imbue these vital customer-facing staff with encouragement. It will have a positive effect on customer service and management needs to ensure this is harnessed to good effect. This will be all the more important as Qantas flies alongside Emirates from March 31, a carrier that has a strong reputation for consistency, reliability and a proud customer service culture.
If Qantas can reach industrial harmony with this key group of employees – and sustain that harmony – Qantas is on the way to achieving the stability it sorely needs in order to reassert itself internationally.