NZALPA’s General Aviation (GA) portfolio has more than doubled since June 2015 to now include about 200 members – a positive reflection with which to start the new year.
GA membership includes all New Zealand’s helicopters and small airplane operations and flight schools, and it’s promising to see pilots in this profession coming together and choosing the New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association (NZALPA) to support their best interests.
With the aviation industry enduring constant change, both technologically and within the aviation market itself, NZALPA is in great shape to support GA members on the important issues. We also stand by our GA members as their career progresses, whether they remain flying in the GA sector or leave to fly turboprops or jets in the larger air transport sector.
NZALPA’s regional GA representatives are stepping up more than ever. Not only are they recruiting new staff and promoting the value they get through NZALPA membership, they are also solving workplace issues at the local level and building members’ industrial knowledge. They regularly support members on Collective Employment Agreement (CEA) enforcement matters such as rostering and operational issues.
The challenge this year is to keep this momentum going. Negotiating CEA’s is crucial, as well as safeguarding members’ minimum employment rights.
There are some big organising opportunities as well, with key dates relating to the zero-hours legislation looming. Many Individual Employment Agreements (IEAs) do not comply with the proposed changes, particularly around hours of work, so through auditing and also working collaboratively with employers to ensure the legal minimums are adhered to, we will achieve positive change.
As I leave the role of General Aviation Advocate this month, I’m pleased that Tom Buckley will take over and be an expert in pursuing CEA and IEA negotiations.
Tom previously spent a 12-month sabbatical working at NZALPA as our GA Advocate and has most recently served at the Unite union as Assistant National Secretary. It’s reassuring to know I am handing the torch to someone who has so much experience and already has a clear passion and understanding of aviation and our members’ needs.
Tom will also continue to push social media as an essential part of communication for and with GA members, as well as encouraging a greater GA presence at June’s NZALPA conference. Our annual conference is a great opportunity for GA members to learn more about important issues facing aviation from industry experts, experience first-hand how the union’s democratic process works and network with aviation colleagues and employers. General Aviation in itself is a legitimate career choice as not everyone wants to work for a big airline and NZALPA’s membership offering is increasingly matching that demand.
A key part of ensuring we keep growing our GA membership is having the right person in the Advocate role and I’m very excited to welcome Tom back.
Thank you for all of your support over the past two years. It’s been an honour to serve NZALPA and its members and I wish you all the best for 2017.
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