Aer Lingus pilots to vote on deal over pay dispute

The pilots’ trade union maintains that the Labour Court proposals fail to resolve core issues but says members will ultimately decide if recommendations should be accepted

Aer Lingus pilots are likely to have completed voting on interim Labour Court proposals meant to broker a deal with the airline in a dispute over pay by Monday.

The court last week recommended that Irish Airline Pilots Association (Ialpa) accept pay increases totalling 9.25 per cent and that the pair restart talks on deadlocked issues at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Ialpa’s executive recommended that members reject the proposal in a ballot due to start on Tuesday and will close on Monday.

The pilots’ trade union maintains that the Labour Court proposals fail to resolve core issues affecting its members, but says they will ultimately decide if Ialpa should accept the recommendations.

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Aer Lingus said on Friday that it accepted the recommendation and would look to take the interim steps that it set out.

A crunch issue between the pair is calculating the cost of extra summer leave flexibility for pilots that Ialpa agreed with Aer Lingus in 2019, the Labour Court’s recommendation indicates.

The court notes that the sides “agreed that a ‘debt’ arises” as a result “which is to be discharged in the context of pay increases over time”.

Aer Lingus calculated that factoring in the cost of flexible leave would bring the increases that Ialpa sought to 27 per cent, while the union maintained it would be 23.88 per cent.

Ialpa is seeking pay increases of more than 20 per cent to compensate members for the severe rise in the cost of living since 2019, among other things.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas