Czech reaches pilot deal

Czech Airlines has reached agreement with the Czech Airline Pilot Association, CZ ALPA, on the wording of the 2008 - 2010 collective agreement.  The Airline has therefore concluded collective agreements with nearly all union organisations.  Presently, agreements have been signed with eight of the nine unions, accounting for approximately 90 percent of all of the airline’s employees.  Negotiations with the Union of Aircraft Mechanics continue.

“I must very greatly praise the attitudes of the union organisations, which appreciate the airline’s actual financial situation and have approached collective bargaining very honestly all year.  The outcome of the process are collective agreements for the next three years that guarantee reasonable salary increases, on par with inflation, increased by one or two percentage points in relation to the airline’s financial performance, which reflects precisely what our company can afford,” said Czech Airlines President Radom’r La?ák, in commenting on the results of collective bargaining.

Czech Airlines’ management commenced negotiations with the union organisations on 1 April 2007, discussing the wording of the collective agreements that cover the next three years, 2008 - 2010.  The basic principle on which the airline’s management insisted in negotiations was a comparable salary increase for all professions.  That has been successfully achieved in all of the collective agreements that have been signed thus far.  All eight central union organisations agreed to a salary increase on par with inflation, increased by one or two percentage points depending on the airline’s financial performance. Unlike in the past, there are no major differences in salary increases among individual professional groups.

“The unions are well aware of Czech Airlines’ financial situation, and the management has taken into account that there are legitimate interests of our employees, which need not be questioned.  I consider the fact that these negotiations were not “cut-throat”, but that we always reached the compromise required, to be the greatest achievement of the collective bargaining.  Social peace has been preserved and no party used any high-pressure tactics in bargaining.  Collective agreements have been concluded for three years, i.e., going beyond the potential privatisation date,” said Vice-President for Human Resources Du?an Ryban.

The first four collective agreements for 2008 to 2010 were concluded by Czech Airlines in the last ten days of September.  Namely, these were agreements for the professions of air traffic controllers, Load Control, aircraft technicians and engineers, and cabin attendants.  The signing of the first collective agreements meant for all Czech Airlines employees that, as of 1 January 2008, Part I of the collective agreements would take effect on 1 January 2008, with all their benefits, including supplementary pension insurance contributions, one-time social assistance, conditions for the provision of employee tickets, language courses, and other employee benefits.


Another three collective agreements were signed in late October and early November, when the 2nd Local of the Aviation Staff Union, the local of the Transport Union Organisation, and another local of the Aviation Staff Union put their signatures next to Czech Airlines’ on the documents.  In mid-January, the representatives of CZ ALPA also signed their collective agreement.

A collective agreement has not yet been signed with the Union of Aircraft Mechanics.  Negotiations will continue.  Thanks to an agreement with all unions, including aircraft mechanics, the common part of collective agreements already applies, which regulates the labour conditions and basic benefits for all Czech Airlines employees, such as the fifth week of vacation, etc.  As for the specific requirements regulated separately by each profession’s collective agreements, aircraft mechanics are subject to the regular conditions set out by the Labour Code.