Wages - Operators have your say

What's a job in helicopters pay? Does it pay? Why do you get paid more than me?
Wheels
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Wheels » Tue Feb 24 2009, 04:47

BennyG wrote:Wheels are you confused as to the meaning of CP, and CPL(H).

CP - Chief Pilot
CPL(H) - Commercial Pilots Licence (Helicopter).


Appoligies again Pilots

BennyG I did mean CPL(H) 105 hour shiney pilots licence.

point taken.
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CYHeli
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby CYHeli » Tue Feb 24 2009, 04:57

Thanks Benny. Good question. Had me confused as to what he was trying to say.
It really doesn't make any of his earlier posts any clearer. :?:
Although he still doesn't get it. You need 105 hours before you attempt the exam.
By the time you finish it's probably closer to 107 hours. But that's just being pedantic...
Plus his 3 hours of fixed wing, that makes 110 :lol: Be a Chief Pilot in no time.
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Rusky » Tue Feb 24 2009, 05:15

Firstly, lets all strive to make a fair and equitable market for all Helicopter pilots.

SOME OBSERVATIONS
The vast majority of operators I suggest would pay at or near the award wages for a low time entry level pilot.
Very few operators will exploit low time pilots by offering pittance or subjecting that employee to conditions far far below what could be deemed fair and reasonable. If so, they are trading with a marked dollar bill and someone will catch up with them sooner or later. Exploitation of workers is a world-wide non-industry specific phenomena and should be investigated at every instance. But....
A few employees will accept being exploited with conditions far below what they even consider fair and reasonable, doing so in the knowledge that they are gaining hours, experience etc. In some ways this is a mutually beneficial trade, the operator knows the employee wont stay around too long after gaining hours, and the employee wont hang around longer than necessary to prop up a business, who if per employee are screwing say, 10-20k out of each to maintain a profitable business, then we all know how fragile this business model will actually be. So who should be protected from who? In some ways then the employee should be protected from themselves. Ponder that thought.

HIP said “ And because you have just spent $60,000 doesn't mean you can demand a specific wage”
An there-in lays a problem. We all jump in following the dream knowing that we spend $60k to earn, um $42k to start with! For that, we wash helicopters, toilets, load pax, answer phones etc. That just doesnt make economic sense does it? So the $18k deficit must be the “always wanted to dream / fun factor job therefore I will forgo some income to start with”
We go in heart first knowing this, and if our circumstances are such that we cant survive on this amount, some other personal decisions need to be made. Starting to use the head. If you are good enough to sell yourself to an employer low time for $60k well done to you. If you arent and will accept something far less, well done to you as well, may it work out for the best.

A POSSIBLE SOLUTION!
Maybe we are all focussing way too much on the magical $42k award issue. Maybe treating the whole pilot training/'exploitation' issue should be considered more like a brick layer, plumber etc. through an apprenticeship type set-up (yes, for some the job they left). The employer, government and employee all share in the cost and responsibilities of training one up to a line pilot stage. I am sure most would agree that, the similarity between traditional apprenticeship roles and low time pilots is uncanny. However, earning 'decent' money after an apprenticeship is an one incentive to learn. Compare this to a pilot having to stump up $60k before the beginning of their 'apprenticeship', that is a bitter pill for trainee pilots to contemplate swallowing. That in itself leads some to an attitude of “I am a pilot now, I spent $60k, I want a return on my investment asap” In some respects you cant blame them. If people think about what a low time pilot is subjected to in his/her daily responsibilities then an regulated apprenticeship system is a closer fit than you may realise. As far as pilots go, it would be far more equitable for all concerned.

FOOTNOTE
Market forces ultimately dictate how much everyone gets paid. An award is one mechanism to protect what on gets paid, but it is not necessarily the true price the market clears at and nor should it be considered the only figure one should utilize. Competition for training, results in a churn out of pilots far in excess of demand given low natural attrition and also considering the average annual growth in the helicopter fleet. The results will continue to place downward pressure on rates of pay for pilots and ensure (if nothing else changes) that low time pilots get paid low wages, it really is as simple as that.
In a competitive market, the helicopter business is a high cost, marginal business and a pilot is just one necessary but variable cost to that business.

Said my piece. I would be happy to engage in constructive and respectful debate on the merits or lack thereof in what I have said, however excreta, spewing green men, and other frivolous antics will be ignored! Lets lift the bar.
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hand in pants
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby hand in pants » Tue Feb 24 2009, 08:57

Guts - thanks, love your work as well.............

Izzy, he needs to get the wife out to work. She needs to support him while he is moving up to support her. Just like mine did.
If she can't/won't, rethink the change of profession.

No one seems to have anything to say about Aladinsane's post. The wage is getting lower by the minute, down to $30,000, looking good.............
Hand in Pants, I'm thinking, my god, that IS huge!!!!!!!!
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Twistgrip » Tue Feb 24 2009, 10:37

Re Awards and Federal min Wages.......

My basic research confirmed what I thought was the case. The only GA helicopter pilot award I can locate dates back to 1999 and was only valid for 12 months. I also recall that there was something about being a signatory to the award and seeing a list of those companies.


Aladaninsane, i think you may find its valid from October 08 http://www.afap.org.au/files/OB8CY7G9XI/Heli_Award_as_at_30_Oct_08.pdf
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Pear Head » Tue Feb 24 2009, 11:18

But if you read the document...

4. DATE THE AWARD STARTS
This award comes into force on 5 March 1999, and will remain in force for twelve months.

Aladinsane - You're stretching the bounds of "basic" there. :wink:

CY et al: Wheels is making some valid points from a business owners point of view and should not be admonished because he is not yet in the industry. He has an interest in the industry and his take on things deserves as much space as anyone elses. From a business pov an asset is an asset and a driver is a driver. I suppose Steve Jobs would get the same treatment if he put his twopenneth in. :roll:
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Freewheel » Tue Feb 24 2009, 22:33

Twistgrip has provided the link to the current amendment of the Award.


Rusky,

You are blessed to have found a majority of employers willing to pay the award and not exploit brand new pilots. My experience, and the experience of most of my own era is about 3/1 against.

That percentage is reversing slowly, but it still persists. There are operators who have seen the light and changed their practices - but not many. In a couple of cases, operators have been discovered, action taken and STILL they continue to exploit new pilots.


The importance of the operator's perspective is that there are lots of pilots who fail to realise that they only make money if the operator makes money. Salary is often a small percentage of the total cost of an aircraft, but most operators will tell you it's the little things that count.

As mentioned previously though, if you can't afford to maintain the aircraft, pay the pilot and the other bills and have a bit for yourself at the end, you need to change your business model. Something that numerous operators seem particularly reluctant to do.
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby droptmcguts » Wed Feb 25 2009, 01:40

Yawn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :roll:
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Freewheel » Wed Feb 25 2009, 05:20

droptmcguts wrote:Yawn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :roll:


Guts,

We know.

Why no follow CY's links and tell the people on the other end?
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Aladinsane » Wed Feb 25 2009, 06:28

From the 1999 award (it's only 10 yrs old..........)

4. DATE THE AWARD STARTS

This award comes into force on 5 March 1999, and will remain in force for twelve months.

5. PARTIES BOUND AND COVERAGE OF THE AWARD

This award applies in all Australian States and Territories and will be binding upon the
employers named in Schedule A, and upon the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) as
to Helicopter Pilots, whether members of the AFAP or not


The ref to 08 appears to be no more than saying it was the last time it was checked....
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CYHeli
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby CYHeli » Wed Feb 25 2009, 07:31

Sorry to keep you up or to bore you DMcG, I'm only giving the operators the chance to have their say.
The pilots (including me) often have a go at operators for under paying and operators come up with excuses why they do.
This was a chance to move goal posts, legally.

Aladinsane try this extract from the Award wage;
6. RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER AWARDS
The award supersedes the Helicopter Pilots’ (General Aviation) Award 1987 including roping
in awards and will not reduce any benefit or entitlement to which an employee was entitled
prior to the operation of this award.
7. AVAILABILITY OF AWARD
A current copy of this award will be available for inspection by each pilot at his/her place of
business.


This part allows for an EBA;
9. ENTERPRISE FLEXIBILITY PROVISIONS
Where an employer or employees wish to pursue an agreement at the enterprise or workplace
about how the award should be varied so as to make the enterprise or workplace operate more
efficiently according to its particular needs, the following process will apply:

So there can be flexibility within the work place, but it must abide by particular rules; min wage for example.

If you are not sure whether or not the award is binding, ring the Workplace Authority and ask.
You can be anonymous.
If you don't think that it can be enforced, ask the guys at Ski Safari.

Times are a changing.
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Kwyjibo » Wed Feb 25 2009, 08:00

OK guys, im interested to hear, what's the LEAST you've been paid?? I'm happy to start -

$18 an MR hour.

Was working 6 Days on, One off. Of the 6 on, three were flying three were ground/loading/driving.
Average 12 hour days.
when the calculations were made, based on hours worked, hours flown, pay worked out to just over $2 per hour.

Funny thing was, I knew that before I started, and quite enjoyed the work, and the location. left because of the operator.


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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Aladinsane » Wed Feb 25 2009, 12:04

Hey CY, not quite sure what you were getting at with the extracts you posted?

My reading, FWIW, is that it was all irrelevant 12 months after 1999.

I only posted the extract to highlight that the 'award' people talk about appears to be long past its relevance.......

Time for a new one I suggest.
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby bol-kowboy » Wed Feb 25 2009, 13:15

Yes the award is dated 1999, it has regular updates the lastest I think you will find is Oct 2008...

This thread has been done to death on this forum and many others.. Pilots want more pay, operators what more profit..

Piece of p!ss really..

If you work for under the award your a d!ck.... and you are giving an economic advantage to the people who least deserve it...

Wheels.. I don't know what you are thinking when you post on this site. Bladeslapper is, and I quote " A meeting place for the Australian Helicopter Community". I'm sorry but plumber who has seen a helicopter doesn't qualify. Get a licence, be it pilot, LAME or a AOC then comment, until then stick to sewerslapper...
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby hand in pants » Wed Feb 25 2009, 18:32

BK boy, yes it has been done to death, but it's still a subject dear to everybodies heart. Money always will be.
There are always going to be people who sit back and look at what an operator has and want some of it. They won't want to put much into it, but they will want what they consider their fair share. They won't want to borrow and invest hundreds of thousands of dollars on aircraft, hanger, AOC, equipment, office, insurance and all manner of things required, no they will see someone who has and then they will assume that he is making a truck load of money and that he should share it around. They see that his Bell 206 (example only and prices are NOT accurate) is earning $1,000 an hour, does 3 hours every day on a contract he worked his arse of to win at a good price for the aircraft. Great, three grand a day coming in and I'm there helping around the hanger because I've only got a bear CPLH and haven't yet been GIVEN my endorsement in the jetty. But I want $42,000 a year to be there. Yes, pilots are an important, very required part of a company, but, they are only a small part and when they first start, they don't bring much to the table. Some of them don't see that at all. Some of them think that just because they have decided to change jobs and allow this industry to be graced by their presence, that this industry must at all cost support them.
What I don't understand is why these people don't take that attitude to CHC or Bristows or any other BIG company. Or maybe the bigger companies won't cop attitude.............
Hand in Pants, I'm thinking, my god, that IS huge!!!!!!!!
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby The Kiwi » Wed Feb 25 2009, 18:48

Well, although I'm probably going to cop some flak over this, I thought I'd chip my two cents in. Hoping to be the holder of a freshly minted license in a few years time, this debate intrigues me.

HIP, if I was in a position to start work with you and you had the room for a fresh pilot, I would start tomorrow. I say this because I want to learn how to become a self-sufficient pilot. That means from the time the phone rings for the initial quote, until the time the chopper is back in the hangar, I want to be apart of it. For me to be proficient at this, it's going to take you time, which takes money, which means less profits in your pocket. I'm not saying that I'll work for free or $2 an hour, but as long as I can have a roof over my head and feed myself and perhaps some left over to grab a couple of cold stubbies, then great. As long as I continue to develop new skills, then I'll expect that you'll look after me accordingly. A two way street.... I'm able to do more for you, your able to pay me more.

For those of you who disagree, then have a look at it this way. HIP could quite easily hire a receptionist to answer phones, load the choppers, help with quotes etc. He trains them once, and they stay on for a few years. In the mean time his insurance premiums have probably gone down as he has higher time pilots flying for him, he's not handing out endorsements, he's got more time to spend greeting new clients etc etc. What's more beneficial to low time pilots, HIP giving 3 of us a go and quite probably setting us up for a career or hiring the one chick?

Anybody who chooses to enter this industry needs to realise that they are in the same as situation as most others with a new degree/license; start at the bottom and start working up. I actually thought the award was quite high, I've lived on less before and know of people living off less.

Skywork also has some valid points, a happy, well oiled, low turn over team will return more profitable dollars in the long run. Which I'm sure HIP agree's with as well?

Rusky you also make some very valid points, especially regards the 18k deficit. Most of us who choose to go down this road don't do it for the money, I think it's normally related to either love of aviation, lifestyle, challenge etc. Eventually, after enough time behind the stick then the bucks will come.



Looking forward to seeing some more contructive talk,

TK
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Ray McCooney » Wed Feb 25 2009, 21:10

Kiwi, Good post.

The reason some operators don't hire a receptionist is they would need to pay them more than a new pilot. The pilot can pick up reception duties in a week or so easy. Most pilots also have other useful skills. Truck Licence/trade/Degree, whatever that they can bring to the business.

I started on $20,000, a receptionist would have cost about $30,000.
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby droptmcguts » Wed Feb 25 2009, 21:38

I started on $20,000, a receptionist would have cost about $30,000.


And I bet the Receptionist was much better looking........ :D
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby Wheels » Wed Feb 25 2009, 23:12

100% Kiwi
But will they understand ????
Not ticketed yet and a good attitude towards the industry!!! Me to!

note the want to learn from start to finish the whole job,

So what your saying Kiwi is, the boss will be able to leave the office and work the other chopper he is trying to pay off and have multiple in the air and make a profit so one day he can maybe put another low houred pilot on?

oops a bit of sarcasim there!!

Guys as stated earlier if you think it is so easy go get the tools for the job and have a go from the other end of the stick!!
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Re: Wages - Operators have your say

Postby hand in pants » Thu Feb 26 2009, 00:22

Kiwi, thanks, you can work for me anytime.
But I must say that a 20 year old big titter will get a start with me as well as a hairy arsed pilot with minimal quallifications.......................
The HA pilot can go flying and I'll keep the BT happy (or just me happy more likely)
Hand in Pants, I'm thinking, my god, that IS huge!!!!!!!!

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