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Cabin Crew Union Claims Victory Against Ryanair with “Inflation Busting” Pay Deal for UK-Based Staff

Cabin Crew Union Claims Victory Against Ryanair with “Inflation Busting” Pay Deal for UK-Based Staff

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One of the UK’s largest trade unions has claimed a major victory against budget carrier Ryanair with a bumper pay deal worth as much as 17.8 per cent for some senior cabin crew. The agreement that the Unite union managed to hammer out with Ryanair executives will be backdated to last September and extends over the next three years.

“This pay deal, that has been overwhelmingly endorsed by members, means that pay at Ryanair is now comparable with other airlines, and strong progress has also been made on improving terms and conditions,” explained Oliver Richardson, Unite’s national officer for aviation.

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“Our members will see a real and immediate financial benefit from this pay deal which is heavily front-loaded,” Richardson continued.

Surprisingly, Unite said the negotiations had been “conducted in a highly positive manner.” Unions representing Ryanair cabin crew in some other European countries have complained about the airline’s refusal to negotiate or stay true to its word.

Ryanair only started to recognise unions for the very first time in 2017 but the path to becoming a unionised company hasn’t always been plain sailing. Warnings of potential job cuts over the Boeing 737MAX grounding, for example, were branded as a method of “intimidating its workforce” and as an “opportunistic attempt to undermine collective bargaining.”

Other concerns have been raised about Ryanair’s employment policy for cabin crew at its Buzz operation in Poland where staff were forced to sign self-employment contracts without union representation.

But there’s better news for Ryanair’s UK-base cabin crew. Under the new deal, senior cabin crew employed directly by Ryanair and who are known as Customer Service Supervisors will receive an immediate 9.5 per cent pay rise, backdated to September 2019.

Then, over the next three years, these cabin crew will receive pay rises of between 2.9 and 3.4 per cent. For some crew members, the total award could be worth as much as 17.8 per cent over three years.

Yet the majority of Ryanair’s cabin crew aren’t actually employed by the airline but rather by one of two third-party recruitment agencies. Generally, pay deals don’t apply to these workers but there’s good news to share on this front as well.

Depending on length of service, crew members employed by either Crewlink or Workforce will see an immediate uplift of between 0.6 and 10.8 per cent. Over the next three years, pay will rise by 5.3 per cent for all agency cabin crew.

New starters should also see an immediate pay rise of at least £1,000 under the deal.

Unite the union said it hoped this deal marked the beginning of developing a strong working relationship with the airline. Ryanair has three cabin crew recruitment days scheduled to take place in the UK and Ireland in late February. More details can be found here.

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