Pilots working for BMI will meet this week to decide whether to accept a temporary deal with their employer which, earlier this month, was accused of removing a pay increase from their bank accounts.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) agreed with BMI to put the struggling airline’s revised pay offer to its members. After talks last week, the sides decided that BMI pilots would receive their pay rises for January and February – worth up to £500 – but that the rest of the deal would be deferred, largely because the airline can’t afford it.
At the start of February Balpa had accused BMI of taking members’ January pay, which included an annual rise of about £150 to £250, out of their bank accounts then reinstating it a day or two later minus the increases – something BMI denied.
But it has agreed to show Balpa its books so that the union can see the financial difficulties it faces. Union general secretary Jim McAuslan, said: “BMI has agreed to our commissioning an independent analysis of the company’s financial position and will update and consult with our members as the difficult year ahead unfolds.
“We have always wanted to be partners in the venture. That is the Balpa way.”
As regards the January pay rumpus, BMI chief Nigel Turner wrote to Balpa and said: “I accept that it is for the company to organise an orderly and clear payroll run and this did not happen on this occasion. There was confusion and this is sincerely regretted.
“To that extend I apologies to all for any inconvenience causedwe will reimburse any direct costs incurred as result of pay being received on 29 January rather than the 28 January as scheduled.”
Balpa warned that if the draft agreement with BMI is not converted into a legally binding contract it by February 28, it will take legal action to enforce it.