Uplink ALPA - The Voice of Aviation

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

Negotiations update

Current and ongoing negotiations involving NZALPA are detailed below.  For any queries related to negotiations, please email office@nzalpa.org.nz

Air Nelson and Mount Cook

Bargaining has now commenced for Mount Cook and Air Nelson pilots. In April, the Air Nelson negotiators met with Mount Cook negotiators to confirm common interests ahead of the formal commencement of bargaining.

Air New Zealand General Manager, Regional Airlines, Kel Duff provided the  teams with a general update at that meeting and to seek clarification on the key issues that would need to be addressed in the short term to avoid a lengthy bargaining process. Should these issues be resolved in a meaningful way, it would allow both parties to focus on long-term strategic regional issues during the term of the new Collective Agreement (CA) for both regional airlines.

This would effectively be an expedited bargaining process. Achieving this, and completing the work on a combined pilot Regional Seniority List (RSL), will provide NZALPA regional pilots with significantly enhanced job security.

Meetings have commenced, and several combined bargaining meetings attended by NZALPA pilots and pilot managers from both regional airlines are working on the following issues:

  • RSL/Security of employment
  • time away from home base (TAFB)
  • rest periods and time off at home
  • limits on overnights
  • accommodation
  • remuneration and allowance issues.

Although the intention is to achieve an expedited bargain, the NZALPA and Air Nelson Management representatives agree that, should sufficient progress not be achieved, the parties will conduct a review of progress to date. The review will determine whether the teams will continue to work on an expedited bargain and then jointly commence work on the next negotiations. The alternative is a likely lengthy period of bargaining; compared to an expedited bargain which will include a general wage increase along with addressing the key issues (identified above).

An expedited bargain will also allow the opportunity to begin work on a single CA covering Air New Zealand’s turbo-prop operations by NZALPA pilots.


Jetconnect negotiators met on the 21 June and will meet again on the 20 July.

Jetconnect pilots are affected by a ‘pay freeze’ applied by Qantas, which will not expire until 2018. Although a settlement might be reached prior to this date, any pay increases cannot take effect until then. This means that the issues and concerns around terms and conditions are currently the main focus. 

Negotiators are looking at increasing the number of rostered days off to 10 in a 28-day roster and improving the definition of a ‘day off’. Existing definitions have led to ambiguity, and significant progress has been made on addressing this issue. 

Work has also continued on how Jetconnect could provide additional days off and also make assurances on the quality and certainty around days off. Parties are also identifying and considering what would be a range of acceptable changes to work rules and other conditions that allow such improvements in a pilot’s interests. This is also while seeking to meet Jetconnect’s interest in keeping changes as cost neutral as possible. Together the parties have made considerable progress on this.    

The roster allocation and operational use of Late Reserve duties continues to be challenging, particularly for circumstances in which duty occurs prior to RDOs and/or annual leave. 

It is acknowledged that NZALPA’s interests represent a significant step-change from where Jetconnect is currently operating. NZALPA needs to ensure it can deliver the negotiated benefits back to NZALPA Jetconnect members, while Jetconnect is able to maintain its operation.

Further meetings are booked in July and August. NZALPA continues to be hopeful that an agreement can be finalised for ratification before the future meetings are required.

Virgin Australia New Zealand (VANZ) 

The VANZ bargaining team is currently finalising a document for member ratification. Final wording is currently being worked through with the Company. Further details are to follow.

Jetstar Regional

Although developing well, the bargaining has been momentarily put on hold while a new bargaining team is selected and brought up to speed. This has been necessary due to all members of the current pilot team having found jobs elsewhere. Negotiations are scheduled to continue on 19 July.

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