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Pay Inequity for Air New Zealand Pilots to Continue

Pay Inequity for Air New Zealand Pilots to Continue

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association (NZALPA) expressed its disappointment today at the decision of the Supreme Court of New Zealand to uphold the Court of Appeal’s jurisdiction to overturn the contractual right of all Air New Zealand’s Second Officer and Boeing 737 (B737) First Officer Pilots to be paid the same increase in remuneration regardless of union affiliation.

An earlier judgement by the Employment Court found that the specific 12.6 per cent increase in remuneration of Second Officers and B737 First Officers negotiated by the Federation of Air New Zealand Pilots (FANZP) effectively should also apply to the much larger number of pilots in NZALPA. This was set out in the NZALPA Collective Employment Agreement with Air New Zealand, negotiated in 2002. Term 24.2 said that:

24.2 During the term of this Agreement any agreement entered into by the Company with any other employee group which is more favourable than provided for in this Agreement will be passed on to pilots covered by this Agreement on the written request of the Association.

Air New Zealand then successfully appealed against the Employment Court’s decision, leading NZALPA to take the matter further to the Supreme Court.

“Taking this series of legal actions is not an easy decision for any membership organisation, but this issue is fundamentally important for our pilots, particularly when it comes to issues of fairness and treating all pilots equally regardless of what membership group they belong to,” NZALPA President Tim Robinson said.

Eighty four per cent of Air New Zealand’s pilots are NZALPA’s members.

“All pilots, whatever group they belong to, work hard and are highly dedicated. It is only fair that they are all treated as valued employees in the workplace.”

Robinson said that Air New Zealand pilots are proud of working for the national carrier and playing their part in the success of the airline as a global brand.

“Such is the loyalty members feel to the company, a continuing two-tier contractual approach remains an upsetting issue for many pilots, who feel they are treated differently to their colleagues just because they choose to belong to a highly supportive professional organisation.

“Further, since the Supreme Court has stressed that it has not found that Air New Zealand’s interpretation of the contract is, in fact, correct we will be considering our options for having the contractual interpretation issue re-examined by the Employment Court.”


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