Comments to be attributed to a Qantas Group spokesperson:
“We’re disappointed the ALAEA has taken this step given we’ve been negotiating in good faith on the agreements. This action from the union is completely unnecessary.
“With the industry still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, the last thing it needs is the threat of industrial action.
“Should the union proceed with industrial action, we have contingency plans to minimise any disruptions.
“The latest claim by the ALAEA was for a one-year agreement with a 12 per cent pay rise for Qantas engineers. That’s something we simply can’t afford and is well above wage increases for other employees across the Group.
“Negotiations for Jetstar and Network Aviation’s engineers agreements recommenced in May, so it is completely unreasonable to take this step given we’re still early in the process.”
In addition to 2 per cent annual wage increases following the wage freeze period, engineers covered by the three agreements are eligible for:
- One off boost payment of $5000
- Recovery and Retention Payment of 1000 share rights, currently worth around $4500
- 2018 Record Results Bonus of $2000
The Qantas licensed engineers agreement opened for negotiations in 2019. During the height of the pandemic when our operations were mostly grounded, negotiations on the three enterprise agreements paused. Negotiations re-opened in December 2021 and we have met on nine occasions, including most recently on 27 June 2022.
The Jetstar agreement opened in April 2021, with negotiations paused until May 2022. Since recommencing negotiations, two meetings have taken place in May and June, with the next meeting scheduled for mid-July following the school holiday peak period.
The Network Aviation agreement opened in May 2020. Negotiations commenced in late 2020 with four meetings held throughout 2021. After a pause, negotiations recommenced again in May this year.
Over the course of the pandemic the Qantas Group has lost more than $23 billion in revenue and post more than $6 billion losses. Our Group-wide wages policy, which includes a two-year wage freeze and two per cent per annum wage increases after that, reflects the damage COVID has done to the Group and the steps we need to take to recover.
Since it was put in place in June 2020, more than 4000 employees across 10 work groups have agreed to new enterprise agreements in line with the Group’s wages policy.