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This month the Ryanair pilots voted in favour of establishing a democratic process that would allow them to collectively bargain while strongly rejecting the current pilots’ representation system set up by their management. The vast majority of them, both employees and contractors, had registered for this ballot through the ‘Ryanair Pilot Group’ (RPG), an independent group of pilots, supported by ECA Member Associations (ballot results).

The mandate to negotiate on behalf of Ryanair pilots has been democratically allocated to a panel of experts from ECA Member Associations. On the table will be urgent issues such as developing a common basic contract for all pilots within the company, ensuring adequate social security protection for employees, clarifying the taxation regimes, as well as making arrangements for a fair leave system. A majority of 92.4% of the RPG have voted in favour of this process and the outcome of the ballot will be communicated to their company. This is an important vote of confidence and a strong basis for moving ahead.

This issue of Cockpit News also highlights two important issues: pilot training and occurrence reporting. Pilot training is a life-long learning process which requires training programs which pay equal attention to fundamental flying skills as well as the advancements of technology. ECA’s latest publication, “Pilot Training Compass: Back to the future”, goes deeper into the requirements of pilot training programs. The second highlight of this newsletter covers our need to learn from our past mistakes and mishaps to prevent future air accidents. The new Occurrence Reporting Regulation proposal by the EU Commission offers a way to properly do this now. 

Further you can read about the outcome of the Global Dialogue Forum of the International Labour Organization (ILO) where ECA staff and Board members participated together with IFALPA. We welcome the recommendations of the Forum and hope they will be taken forward by ICAO, the national authorities and social partners.

by Nico Voorbach