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Members of IALPA have previously rejected a Labour Court recommendation of 9.25% Alamy Stock Photo
Pay dispute

Aer Lingus accepts Labour Court 17.75% pay increase recommendation for pilots, IALPA to consider

A spokesperson for Aer Lingus has said the company will “carefully review” today’s recommendation.

LAST UPDATE | 8 Jul

AER LINGUS HAS accepted a recommendation by the Labour Court today to increase their pilot’s pay by 17.75%.

On 29 June, pilots who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IAPLA) took part in an eight-hour strike and the group have also been working-to-rule since 26 June after a lengthy pay dispute between them and Aer Lingus.

The Labour Court intervened once IAPLA threatened further industrial action would be taken last week. Today, it recommended a 17.75% pay increase for pilots.

After a review of the decision earlier this afternoon, Aer Lingus decided to accept the recommendation by the Labour Court.

The company will also consider “the longer-term implications of implementing the recommendation and of this dispute which has been enormously damaging both financially and reputationally”.

Previously, Aer Lingus said any increase over 12.25% should also include an agreement on increased productivity and flexibility in return – something the company says has been agreed with other workers at the airline.

A spokesperson for the company today said: “Aer Lingus encourages Fórsa / IALPA and pilots to accept the recommendation of the Labour Court and end their industrial action.

“We would like to thank the Labour Court for its work in issuing both its interim and final recommendations,” it added.

Members of IALPA rejected a previous Labour Court recommendation of 9.25%, as they argued that Aer Lingus pilots should receive an increase of an almost 24% in their pay.

IALPA pilots have said their desired increase was to take account of inflation since their last pay rise in 2019 and was in line with similar increases to pilots in other airlines.

The representative body also pointed to Aer Lingus’ profit growth during the period since their last pay rise as well.

The union will commence preparations for a ballot of IALPA members, the association said today. The President of IAPLA, Captain Mark Tighe, said the union will contact the Labour Court to confirm its understanding of some elements of the recommendation.

It is understood that the IALPA governing body will meet within the next 24 hours to decide on whether to put the recommendation to a ballot. If that is agreed, the ballot will be conducted electronically.

“In advance of preparations for a ballot – and during which the current work-to-rule is set to continue – the union will ensure pilots are fully apprised of the details of the Labour Court’s recommendation,” Tighe said.

“Pilots will have the opportunity to consider its terms and to carefully consider our next steps. This has been an exceptionally complex dispute, reflected in the Court’s decision last week to utilise its legislative powers to investigate the matters in dispute,” he added.

The Labour Court ‘s decision looked at previous and projected inflation rates, as detailed and researched by the Central Bank of Ireland to determine it’s recommendation of 17.75%. increase be awarded as follows:

  • 2% with effect from 1 January 2023
  • 1.75% with effect from 1 July 2023
  • 2% with effect from 1 October 2023
  • 3.5% with effect from 1 January 2024
  • 1.5% with effect from 1 October 2024
  • 3% with effect from 1 January 2025
  • 3% with effect from 1 January 2026
  • 1% with effect from 1 July 2026

Aer Lingus has had to cancel over 500 flights as a result of the industrial actions taken by its pilots, which has severely disrupted its operations in Ireland and in other parts of the world.

The Labour Court intervened again after IALPA warned that it will consider escalating its industrial action if no agreement is reached, a stance which it still holds.

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