From the ST report, it seems that basically SIA wants its pilots to fly bigger planes and get less resting time, and still receive the same pay. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it.
ST Sep 25, 2006
SIA and pilots quarrel over pay once more
By Aviation Correspondent, Karamjit Kaur
THEY are at it again. Barely a year and a half after they mended fences, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and its pilots' union are at loggerheads again, this time over salaries and benefits for flying the new Airbus 380 aircraft, expected to enter service next year.
SIA and the Air Line Pilots Association - Singapore (Alpa-S) - agreed last week to refer the dispute to the Industrial Arbitration Court (IAC), after six months of wrangling.
It is believed to be the first serious dispute since both sides inked a new collective agreement last year, providing increased annual leave, and introducing monthly and annual variable components into the pay packet.
That episode prompted Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew to step in, urging both sides to set aside their two decades of acrimony.
The Straits Times understands that the latest breakdown in labour relations has to do with whether pilots who will fly the new Airbus A380 super-jumbos should be paid more than a Boeing 747 pilot.
SIA has ordered 19 of the A380s and the airline will be the first to fly the new plane next year.
According to pilots interviewed, the general rule of thumb is, the bigger the plane, the higher the pay.
So a B747 captain, for example, starts at about $10,000 a month excluding allowances, compared to $9,300 for a B777 captain.
Alpa-S, which represents 1,600 pilots, is upset because SIA is proposing to pay the pilots less than what a Boeing 747 captain now makes, although the new aircraft is bigger and will carry more passengers.
SIA's A380s will have just under 480 seats - about 100 more than the existing B747s.
Sources said SIA is proposing that pilots flying the A380 get the same as B777 pilots. The gap between what the airline wants to pay its A380 pilots and what the union is asking for, is between $3,000 and $5,000.
Contacted by The Straits Times, both SIA and Alpa-S president Captain P. James confirmed the deadlock but neither would reveal details.
SIA's spokesman said: 'The company is seeking to have some differences with Alpa-S over proposed pay scales for A380 pilots adjudicated. We hope that the outstanding issues can be resolved quickly.
'As is always the case when we use these sort of dispute resolution processes, we do not intend to negotiate the differences in public.'
She added: 'To date, our discussions with Alpa-S have been constructive and have resolved some of the issues, but there are areas where we do not yet have common ground.'
Captain James confirmed that SIA had proposed a lower starting pay for A380 pilots compared to B747 pilots.
The airline is also seeking to revise rules that stipulate the number of rest days owed to a pilot after a flight, he said, without giving details.
According to SIA pilots, this currently depends on the destination rather than the type of aircraft.
So a pilot who flies from Singapore to London for example, gets two nights of rest in London and three days off when he gets back. On the third day, he can be recalled if necessary.
Captain James said: 'We do not see any need to introduce a new set of guidelines for the A380 since the rules already exist.'
He said: 'Since we cannot come to an agreement, both sides have jointly decided that we will go to the IAC.'
Let's wait and see what happens next.
Technorati: Singapore; SIA; airlines.