British Airways will pursue some more small concessions from its staff next month despite the ending of the dispute with cabin crews which left both sides declaring a satisfactory outcome.
BA chief executive Keith Williams secured the deal yesterday in his first attempt at negotiations after taking over from former BA boss Willie Walsh, now chief executive of the International Airlines Group. Ending the two-year dispute, which cost BA approximately Ã‚Â£150 million in lost business, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said the agreement “recognises the rights and dignity of cabin crew as well as the commercial requirements of the company”.
The agreement overcame the big obstacle, the reinstatement of travel perks for staff who had taken part in strike action, something which Walsh removed. BA also conceded that staff who had been dismissed during their dispute to appeal through ACAS and to restore sick pay for those who were genuinely ill during the strike.
Staff will be given a two-year pay deal back-dated to February, worth 2.9% this year and up to 3% next year, below the 5% inflation rate estimated for the end of this year. However, BA has insisted on unspecified productivity concessions from staff to be agreed by July 1. Staff will get a further 1.1% this year and 0.5% next year if these savings are agreed.
BA will claim a victory in getting a major concession from the union in that new Heathrow-based employees will be employed on poorer pay and conditions, similar to those at Gatwick, although existing Heathrow-based crews will keep their current contracts. This is already saving BA Ã‚Â£60 million a year.