Air Jamaica Holdings and JALPA sign agreement

Air Jamaica Holdings and the Jamaica Airline Pilots Association (JALPA) signed an agreement earlier today amending the 1998 Collective Labour Agreement. The signing took place at Jamaica House and was witnessed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson and the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, BITU.

Under the agreement which will last for three years (2005 to 2008):
” Pilots will take a 5.6% cut in their basic salary
” Overtime will be paid at 1.5 after 80-hours instead of 1.7 after 72-hours each block month
” Pilots will no longer receive overtime pay during vacation and sick leave
” Meal allowances per duty period will be reduced from $75US to $60US for North American and Caribbean flights and from $105US to $90US for UK flights
” Pilots will no longer be paid meal allowances if they do not operate flights
” Midnight duty allowance has been eliminated
” Navigation pay has been reduced by 20%
” Air Jamaica Holdings can hire new Pilots without reference to JALPA
” Air Jamaica Holdings will no longer pay for any US health insurance for pilots
” Air Jamaica Holdings will no longer pay the expenses of pilots while they are on JALPA’s business
” Air Jamaica Holdings will assign pilots to operate open flights instead of JALPA, thereby reducing overtime costs

Executive Chairman of Air Jamaica Holdings, Dr. Vincent Lawrence says he is pleased with the agreement as it brings pilot costs more in line with international trends and is an important step in our continued efforts to achieve economic viability. He says the new arrangement gives Air Jamaica more flexibility in pilot scheduling and day-to-day operations and will therefore reduce overtime and other costs significantly. “In many ways, this arrangement strengthens the ability of management to direct the affairs of the company and control its costs,” says Dr. Lawrence.

The management of Air Jamaica Holdings and the Jamaica Airline Pilots Association have held discussions on the need for changes to the terms and conditions of employment for pilots for more than two years.

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