Uplink ALPA - The Voice of Aviation

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter.

Upfront with NZALPA President Tim Robinson

President Tim Robinson

As we put the finishing touches to this month’s edition of Uplink, final preparations are also underway for NZALPA’s appeal submission to the Supreme Court of New Zealand. 

As most of you will be aware, NZALPA was disappointed that the hard-fought Court of Appeal decision instructing the Director of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to reconsider his review of the 90-metre safety area for an extended Wellington Airport runway was itself appealed.

This Supreme Court action, brought by both Wellington International Airport Limited (WIAL) and the CAA, will consider whether the Court of Appeal decision was correct.  NZALPA maintains that the Court of Appeal's decision was indeed correctly decided, that the appeal should be dismissed, and the Director be again directed to reconsider his March 2015 decision should WIAL maintain that application. 

Following the submissions delivered by all parties on August 24 and 25, any final decision by the Supreme Court may still be several months away, also delaying of course, any related resource management process, including public consultation, on the proposed runway extension. You’ll find more information on our concerns further in this issue and we’ll keep you posted on Court developments. 

Of course the big event this month is the 2017 General Election and we thought it was timely to look at the wider policies of the main political parties as they vie for the votes of New Zealanders. 

This month’s Uplink features a broad brush list of those policies so far released by the parties which outline their general approach to employment relations, immigration, labour, training and education, along with attitudes to international trade agreements.

Although these wider policy announcements don’t address aviation directly, NZALPA has an active government relations and outreach capacity which we intend to ramp up further when the campaigning and any coalition talks are over and a government, of whatever persuasion, is sworn in. 

We’ve got a lot to do and if you get a chance to talk with candidates in your local electorate, members have an opportunity to seek views on the following NZALPA priorities.  These include asking if they:

  • Uphold support for the sustainable growth and development of the New Zealand aviation industry, including the promotion of fair competition and the needs of labour in both international air transport policy and bilateral/multilateral air service agreements?
  • Do they support empowering the New Zealand aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority, to oversee the highest standards in independent and just safety oversight and regulation?
  • Are they committed to incorporating ICAO Chicago Convention and Annexes Standards and Recommendations into New Zealand domestic aviation legislation, rules and policy?
  • Regarding workplace representation, do they support the rights of the union collective (CEA) to bargain in good faith under the Employment Relations Act 2000? Will this allow for the use of rights and privileges under the Act so that fair and just collective agreements can be sought for its members?  NZALPA believes that these agreements support aviation safety and the future of piloting and air traffic controlling as a fulfilling and respected profession in New Zealand.
  • Do they support the rights of the aviation labour employee to be treated in good faith in any employment-related dispute including personal grievances, CEA interpretation and CEA compliance?

For more discussion on these issues essential to our membership, we’re pleased to also feature this month two special guest editorials. These were especially written for Uplink by respected local economist, the CTU’s Bill Rosenberg, on the local reality of atypical employment models.  Meanwhile, from an international perspective, IFALPA’s James (Jim) Phillips outlines the current state of the global aviation industry in regard to employment practices and conditions. 

It’s going to be a significant September! Have a safe month.

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