Thu 18 Sep. 2014

Visit to BALPA

Educational visit to BALPA on Thursday 18 September 2014.

This five hour visit to BALPA‘s office at Heathrow offered a behind the scenes look at the professional association representing over 80% of the UK’s commercial pilots. BALPA’s vision is to “Make every flight a safe flight” and the visit hosted by Captain Mark Searle (easyJet and BALPA Chairman) included seven separate presentations which provided a comprehensive review of this 10,000 plus membership trade union.

The initial presentation by Nicola Smith, Head of TUC Economics, covered TUC ambitions on worker representation which looked at the benefits unions bring for the employees and businesses, but also examined areas of mutual benefit with the insurance industry.

The next topic covered the industrial relations agenda which was delivered by John Moore, Head of Industrial Relations and Wendy Pursey, Head of Membership and Career Services. Wendy’s presentation reflected not only on how to become a pilot, the time and costs involved but also the sort of rewards a pilot can anticipate, while John looked at what BALPA do to protect members employment and the negotiation and enforcement of collective agreements.

The presentation on communicating and influencing was given by Richard Toomer, Head of Communications & External Relations, which was followed by Dr Rob Hunter, Head of Flight Safety reflecting on the challenge of keeping aviation safe and getting the ear of decision makers. Rob highlighted BALPA’s recently launched Flight Safety Plan which challenged the industry and regulators increasing use of Performance Based Risk Assessment. Rob’s presentation also included reference to recent air crashes such as MH17 and insurers use of risk assessment.

The final presentations were by Darren Williams, MD of BALPA Financial Solutions and John Stembridge-King, Head of Organisation. Darren talked about the financial services BALPA provide, the big pension challenges members face and the Loss of Licence insurance scheme, while John covered how BALPA run its business. This included finance & HR, governance, member support service and legal.

By the end of the visit, members will have gained an insight into the benefits of belonging to the major UK airline professional association and registered trade union. Members will have also gained an insight into the major themes affecting the UK airline industry and the steps BALPA was undertaking to address these.

Please click on the titles below to download each presentation (pdf):