To pay or not to pay??????????

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Spellbound
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Spellbound » Sun Oct 2 2011, 12:18

Quite interesting reading though this post must admit I did skip through a few for obvious reasons.
I guess the question has to be asked what has changed over the years? I have been working in this industry for a long time, and as far as I see it from getting your licence to getting your first roll in the industry, be that flying or as ground crew, not a lot has changed it is still very hard and is costs every last dime we had, be that just lately 5 years ago, 10, 20, 30 and so on.
One thing that I have noticed that has changed, Is what a low houred pilot seems to think they are worth, and what they are prepared to put in to get somewhere in their chosen career and I’m not forgetting that I was one myself once!
We as a company are all for giving newcomers a start, mainly for the reason that someone gave us a go once and just maybe we might get a energetic hard working person that would fit our role well and then be loyal to us for awhile for giving him a start. On saying that we are just about done with it, it would be a lot easier for us to get someone with a little more experience say around the 1000-1500 hour mark.
Now for my reasoning and to the low houred folk out there looking for work this maybe worth reading, if you are in this for the money, not much has changed on that front it’s got to be all passion, the grass is always greener over the fence and there will be someone always better off than yourself, the company that takes you on would be better off not because you will more than likely cost him money (takes longer to get to B or do the job, stripped ring gear/starter motors, over speeds, insurance, don’t want them flying turbines yet, having to have someone around to supervise and the list could keep going. So when you get that first role please bare this in mind and don’t think you are doing your employer too many favours, he is doing you a BIG favour.
As for being just about over new pilots, we seem to be finding that the attitude of a lot of the guys that we give a go, is that they are not interested in starting at the bottom, just want that big pay cheque and as many hours as they can fit into their big boots, can’t seem to be told anything or remember what they were told, most will agree that have been around for awhile, we have made enough mistakes’, just remember that you won’t live long enough to make them all yourself so listen and learn for others, and the other big thing I notice is the lack of work ethic with some of the younger generation now days.
For the guy’s out there that have the passion put their head down a#se up and are not worried about how big that pay cheque is going to be will always get there in the end, the money will get better with time and these are the guys the industry needs, hell I got a mate through his exams years ago who was illiterate even had to write his cheques out when we went to the pub, now days he is flying some very nice machinery in a nice part of the world, but all he wanted the do was fly helicopters and he worked bl##dy hard to get there.
“ So to pay or not to pay” as long as you get enough to eat and get you to work the next day when you start out i think you are doing well and it will only get easier.

Spellbound
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Hugh Bosh
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Hugh Bosh » Mon Oct 3 2011, 10:58

If it is generally accepted that newbies offer very little to a business, and it is also generally accepted that a lower wage might be acceptable in return for 'valuable training' and experience, is an industry traineeship the way to go?

Some interesting info I found on the QLD Government webpages (http://www.apprenticeshipsinfo.qld.gov.au/apprentices/difference.html)...
What's the difference between an apprentice and a trainee?

Apprenticeships and traineeships combine training with working in a real job, for a real boss, with a real wage.

There are two main differences between an apprentice and a trainee. An apprentice is trained in a skilled trade and upon successful completion will become a qualified tradesperson. Trades such as electrical, plumbing, cabinet-making and automotive mechanics are just a few that are a part of the apprenticeship scheme.

A trainee is someone who is being trained in a vocational area. These vocational areas include, but are not limited to, office administration, information technology and hospitality. Upon completion of a traineeship you will be eligible to receive a minimum of a certificate II in your chosen vocational area.


Some points to note here are that real training is required ie to Certificate level, not just sucking up whatever you as the boss thinks might be useful.

Some other interesting stuff I found was a QLD Government initiatives to assist small business owners improve their businesses (http://www.smallbusinesssolutions.qld.gov.au/content/sbs-standard.asp?) and Skills Queensland

Skills Queensland is an industry-led statutory authority established to strengthen Queensland's economic base by providing a skilled workforce that meets the current and future needs of industry and the community.
http://training.qld.gov.au/industry/skills-qld.html

Some really good stuff on training and developing your workforce was here: http://training.qld.gov.au/employers/training-staff/index.html

Training your staff

Train to retain - improving support to apprentices during their training
Details about this new action plan to build safe, supportive and productive environments for apprentices and trainees.

The benefits of training
Read more about what how training can benefit your business such as improved quality and increased productivity.
Assess your training needs
Five simple steps to identify your business and employee needs and implement the right training for your business.
Choose the right training
How to find a training provider and choose the right training including negotiating the content and scope of the training that your staff will receive.
Training options
Learn more about training options which depend on your reasons for training, the type of training you need, and the resources available.
Training tips
Tips to get the most out of training staff.

Developing a training culture
How and why to develop a training culture for your business.Details about the Train to retain program.

Training costs
Learn more about thedirect and indirect costs that should be taken into considerationwhen developing a training budget.


Now if your organisation was offering a genuine, industry traineeship which offered the attainment of valid, relevant and formal units of competency which would really make you more employable - then I doubt too many people could object to the trainee wage concept. This sort of system is a long way from "You're new so not worth earning the minimum legal wage until I say you're entitled to it" argument Oc:= , which I think the majority of people believe is exploitative, unfair and illegal.

Industry engagement with organisations such as Skills QLD and training providers would be required to develop a traineeship. The links I've sourced are QLD related because that's where PJ is based but there are national bodies which also advise on the Australian Qualification Framework. Aviation business operators would need to be clear about exactly what competencies they would want their trainees to achieve. These might include for example, tourism-related competencies, retail competencies, small-business competencies, enterprise-specific aviation units of competency etc.

There has been some comment on the work ethic of younger generation in previous posts. My thoughts are that the younger generation might just be a bit more than prepared to do the hard yards (and accept a trainee wage) in return for real training outcomes, not just the random stuff that their current boss thinks is important.



Thoughts?
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Pegs
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Pegs » Mon Oct 3 2011, 11:13

Agree with you Hugh, I employed many trainee's in my businesses in QLD under that act, both school based and full time, it was very successful and there is plenty of support for both the employee and employer. Trainee ships can also be broken or moved to another business should either party decide its not for them. I had one girl who already had the skills a trainee ship would have given her for the role that she took, so we moved her into a full time position for instance, and another that decided she wanted to work in a different area than my business specialized in (same field) so we arranged for her to move across to another employer in the area who was able to offer that training. It has worked very successfully across a range of industries and there is also a written contract detailing what is expected of both employer and employee, which must be adhered too. Training obligations have to be met, supervision obligations have to be met, and they do check. It would be very interesting to see something like this introduced to the helicopter industry not just for pilots but perhaps one for crewies and winch/rescue operators as well.
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Hugh Bosh
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Hugh Bosh » Mon Oct 3 2011, 11:19

Now, it's merely a matter of getting everyone in our industry to come together to work out common ground, form an industry representative body, put in place a strategy to train newcomers effectively and stop the race to the bottom for wages and conditions. No worries ! :cry:
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Pegs » Mon Oct 3 2011, 11:42

it all starts with a single step mate, and having employers like PJ who want to do the right thing and want a fair business playing field for all are a good place to start drumming up support. The problem has often been in the past that employers would not get behind it, but these days there have been a few stung for not doing it, and there are quite a few now that pay above award wages not just award, as they have realized the benefits in retaining loyal staff, and happy staff make happy customers. Whether companies that operate on EBA's (but still governed by awards) Such as the Offshore guys would come on board would be something well worth looking into, as their names alone speak volumes, everyone knows who they are, and their agreeing to such an idea would add a lot of weight to it getting approved.

An application would need to be made at a federal level to have a nationally approved trainee ship set up, but while an industry Representative body would help in doing that, its not absolute necessary either. Offers for submissions of input into such a proposal could be invited and given say a 3 month time frame, with the proposal put about in the helicopter magazines, flight safety, Av Trader, and these forums, you are going to get a fairly good base coverage. Something along the lines of a drafted proposal put to the helicopter community to comment on, make suggestions on, approve, amend or reject, based on a votes system, similar to rule changes in constitutions for Associations.

There will always be more pilots wanting to fly then jobs available, blame that on man's insatiable quest for flight, however at least something like this can ensure that those that do have a job are getting paid for it appropriately, not exploited. I am wondering if Peter Holstein would be interested in commenting on this, being his push earlier in year to create more jobs through the grade 3 instructor rating? Perhaps that would be one of the things that could come under a special traineeship for more advanced houred pilots who want to get into it, but lack the money to pay for their instructor rating outright? Throwing idea's around, Peter if you are reading your thoughts would be appreciated.


I'll just add to that that by submissions I don't mean open debate on a public forum, I mean signed, sealed, named, addressed, submissions sent to a board who are put in place to review them and decide the best way to proceed.
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Hugh Bosh
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Hugh Bosh » Sat Oct 8 2011, 00:08

pj wrote:I have another blog re low time pilots , so I will respond to some other questions Monday or Tuesday.


PJ - interested in reading your other blog. Could you post a link?

How did you go with thinking about some of the posts over the last week?

HB
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby dmfoqs » Sat Oct 8 2011, 04:24

I have over 20 responces, work is hectic at present so I will blog next week.
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Ag-Rotor » Wed Oct 12 2011, 11:01

Spellbound has summed it up very well indeed.
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Twistgrip » Wed Oct 12 2011, 23:36

Great post Spellbound, must say i have to agree
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Bootsmadeforwalking » Thu Oct 13 2011, 01:30

Spellbound and others inclined to agree with your way of thinking.
Firstly, yes, you are correct. New employees to any company have to start at the bottom and 'learn their trade.'
The big difference here is, in 'normal society' when you first gain employment, you're employer knows that you have limited experience and training. They take you on and 'GIVE' you on the job training, starting small and working your way up as experience grows. Even Mcdonalds uses this system to great effect. Employ kids straight from school who didn't pay upwards of 60k on a qualification to cook fries. They are paid the award wage and trained and progressed.

My latest job as a labourer for a concrete firm gave me a job with no experience or knowledge by that matter. They taught me a few tricks of the trade as it were and pay me $200 a day. And get this......they are great full to me for working so hard and making their lives a little easier. WOW. Not once have they said, "you don't know anything, how about you work for nothing and be great full for the opportunity. oh yeah and can you pay us for the training we've given you!" WTF......

As for not wanting to employ new pilots. Well, that is one of the most idiotic statements of the century........
Why? you ask.

If every one had the same simplistic attitude as this, then where are you going to get your pilots in 10 or 15 years???????? This is how the world turns. Replace the old with the new.

If big operators like Heliwest (only operator who comes to mind with small piston to big twins) employed low time pilots AND offered progression as experience increased, then I'm pretty sure that a lot of pilots would hand around.

If you treat new employees like crap, then of course they're going to move on ASAP.

I agree that some people want everything for no effort (I have two young sons). But, making someone sweep hangers for nothing and dangling a carrot in front of them is slave labour. Something that was abolished over 100 years ago.

Speaking for myself, I don't expect the world, a six figure salary or a guarantee of a job. I just want to be considered on my merits and paid for my time and effort. If I wanted to get F!@ked up the A!se then I'd become a male prostitute and make a hell of a lot more money and actually admit to prostituting myself.

)appologises for typos, just got back from a marathin ride in the heat.....)
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Hugh Bosh
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Hugh Bosh » Fri Apr 13 2012, 12:20

Bump.

Discussions about wages (and paying less than the minimums) seem to raise their head with monotonous regularity. http://www.bladeslapper.com/content/bb/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6347&p=45433#p45433

Time to merge threads?
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Twistgrip
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Twistgrip » Fri Apr 13 2012, 13:46

Just recently ive heard that fulltime pilots having to pay for thier own BFR's in certain companies Oc:= .....im certainly sure the big 2 dont do this!, and im pretty sure most GA companies dont do this, our compay has always paid for our full time guys recurrencies, asics and Bfr's, etc etc. I was actiually quite shocked when i head this was still going on. to me it spells a poor ethics and total disrespect for the guys at the coalface of these companies and part of an industry that isnt profitable and still expoliting the junior guys as all they want is a descent flying job..

Sorry for the rant but this really Pi$$es me off GA in some areas is really scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of operators.......
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Vidman » Fri Apr 13 2012, 16:44

I am not a pilot but had an experience about 5 years ago that shocked the hell out of me.
I was making a video for a helicopter company here on the Gold Coast over Indy. One of the pilots ran a helicopter service in NSW.
He saw the video I made and decided he wanted me to do one for his company at another major event. (I won't say which one as knowing you guys
it wouldn't take you long to work out who it was and that is not my intention)
By the second phone call I realized that this man wanted me to fly to the event (anyone who has ever flown with broadcast gear knows that there is no such thing as a cheap flight), find my own accommodation 2 weeks before a major event and do it all for free. My wife would have killed me if I had of accepted and rightly so.
To be honest if he had of covered costs I probably would have done it for him. This showed me that some companies use and abuse. But if both parties are gaining something from the arrangement and it is not being abused then I see nothing wrong with it. Unfortunately some people seem to start that way and start to use people more and more until it is not very fair.
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby UnObvious » Fri Apr 13 2012, 23:04

Twistgrip wrote:Just recently ive heard that fulltime pilots having to pay for thier own BFR's in certain companies Oc:= .....im certainly sure the big 2 dont do this!, and im pretty sure most GA companies dont do this, our compay has always paid for our full time guys recurrencies, asics and Bfr's, etc etc. I was actiually quite shocked when i head this was still going on. to me it spells a poor ethics and total disrespect for the guys at the coalface of these companies and part of an industry that isnt profitable and still expoliting the junior guys as all they want is a descent flying job..

Sorry for the rant but this really Pi$$es me off GA in some areas is really scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of operators.......


I worked for a company where you were expected to pay for your BFR (aircraft and instructor). Because it was a remote location, you also had to pay for your flights to and from civilisation, as well as accommodation. It all added up. Mightn't have been so bad if we were getting paid the award.
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby NotHomeMuch » Sat Apr 14 2012, 05:26

Sadly I think this state of affairs is being brought about by too many lower time/younger pilots trying to hang onto jobs and please bosses. I am working with a guy at the moment who thinks it's OK to pay for his medical, use his phone for company business etc and not claim it back. The excuse being that if he can absorb the cost then why should I have an issue with that. What he fails to realise - or even grasp when it was explained to him - was that it sets and expectation amongst company owners. He doesn't understand that once we are expected to pay for the medical it will follow that we are going to be expected to pay for other things eventually. It was always the case that companies met certain operational expenses [BFR's, medicals etc] and I do not see why that should change and impact pilots whose salries are decreasing rather than increasing. You never see the boss selling his Merc/BMW to buy a Kia but we are being expected to do so [sell our Kia's to buy a bicycle] as we are "always living above our means".
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby havick » Sat Apr 14 2012, 05:45

I don't think it's unfair for a pilot to be expected to pay for their own medical. Should an employer be forced to pay the bills for someone that may lead an un-healthy lifestyle that requires extra blood tests, hearing tests blah blah blah... when the DAME or CASA picks something up on a renewal?

BFR - well that's a load of crap. That being said it's all about context, does the above pilot only fly one day a year (casual) or are they fulltime?
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby angrywasp » Sat Apr 14 2012, 07:10

It is highly likely that many of us over the years have worked for employers that do pay for medicals, flight checks etc and those that do not. For those that are required to pay their own, all is not lost.
It becomes a legitimate tax deduction if it relates to your employment or profession and that applies to both parties, employer and employee.
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby CYHeli » Sat Apr 14 2012, 09:20

I seem to recall that check rides and BFRs are covered under the award, but don't have a copy here right now.
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby SuperF » Sun Apr 15 2012, 09:57

I can't see anything wrong with pilots paying for their own medical. If they get a medical, then walk the next day they have a year of flying for free. It's no different to getting your cpl to start with, you need it to be a pilot.

BFR's, operational flight checks, business phone calls, travel, vehicle expenses, all business related should certainly be covered by the company tho.
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Re: To pay or not to pay??????????

Postby Outofwhack » Sun Apr 15 2012, 17:40

I think pilots should expect to pay for both their medicals and BFRs and retain the choice of where they do them.
Its self maintenance to ensure you remain a legal, employable pilot.
I think any company that pays for these is being generous.

Look at the extremes:

Tiny employer: They cant be expected to provide those things for multiple part time workers. If the pilots flew for multiple companies it would get complicated.
Large employer. They most definitely can afford it,probably operate expensive machines and to avoid having to charge one hour at mega dollars they swallow the cost.



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