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Aer Lingus Agrees To 17.75 Percent Pay Rise For Pilots

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus has agreed to a 17.75 percent pay increase for its pilots, as recommended by the Republic of Ireland's Labour Court. 

This comes amid an ongoing indefinite work-to-rule protest by the pilots, represented by the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association (IALPA), which began on June 26. 

The protest has already cancelled hundreds of flights and disrupted travel plans for tens of thousands of passengers.

The Labour Court's recommendation, issued on Monday, July 8, covers a four-year period from January 1, 2023, to December 2026. 

Aer Lingus said the recommendation has long-term implications that will need careful consideration, particularly the impact of the ongoing dispute on the airline.

Donal Moriarty, corporate affairs officer at Aer Lingus, told Irish broadcaster RTE: "We've reviewed the recommendation of the Labour Court today and Aer Lingus has decided to accept it.

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"There are aspects of the recommendation that we'll need to consider over the longer term in terms of its implementation and we also need to consider the impact that this dispute has had on Aer Lingus."

"This has been an exceptionally complex dispute, reflected in the Court’s decision last week to utilise its legislative powers to investigate the matters in dispute"

IALPA has announced plans to convene a meeting of its executive within the next 24 hours to discuss the Labour Court’s recommendation. 

IALPA president Captain Mark Tighe said: “In advance of preparations for a ballot - and during which the current work-to-rule is set to continue – the union will ensure pilots are fully apprised of the details of the Labour Court’s recommendation."

He added: "This has been an exceptionally complex dispute, reflected in the Court’s decision last week to utilise its legislative powers to investigate the matters in dispute.

“Several of our executive officers are on flight duty today, so we’re currently preparing for the full executive to meet within the next 24 hours."

Pilots initially requested a 24 percent pay rise to account for inflation since their last pay increase in 2019. 

However, Aer Lingus has been seeking changes to the pilots' working conditions before agreeing to any pay rise above 12.25 percent. 

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The Labour Court's recommended 17.75 percent increase is structured as follows:

  • 2 percent effective from January 1, 2023
  • 1.75 percent effective from July 1, 2023
  • 2 percent effective from October 1, 2023
  • 3.5 percent effective from January 1, 2024
  • 1.5 percent effective from October 1, 2024
  • 3 percent effective from January 1, 2025
  • 3 percent effective from January 1, 2026
  • 1 percent effective from July 1, 2026

Last week, the court held an extensive meeting lasting more than eight hours with both the union and Aer Lingus. 

While the court requested that the dispute not escalate, the current work-to-rule by IALPA members remains in effect.

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