Hopes for End to Strike as Labour Court Recommends 17.75% Pay Boost for Aer Lingus Pilots

The Labour Court has recommended a 17.75% pay increase for Aer Lingus pilots, seen as a crucial opportunity to resolve the ongoing deadlock and end a bitter labour dispute affecting 82,000 passengers

The Labour Court has recommended a 17.75% pay increase for Aer Lingus pilots, seen as a crucial opportunity to resolve the ongoing deadlock and end a bitter labour dispute affecting 82,000 passengers.

The Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (Ialpa), a part of trade union Fórsa, has been pushing for a pay rise of either 23.88% or 27%, since their initial claim in October 2022.

After simmering for two years, the conflict recently escalated when pilots initiated a work-to-rule action, including refusing out-of-hours work and striking for eight hours on June 29th.

Prior to this, both parties had engaged with the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court multiple times in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

The Labour Court’s recent recommendation surpasses the interim proposal put forward by the same body in May. Previously, a 9.25% raise for pilots was suggested along with resolving disagreements at the WRC. The new proposal suggests Aer Lingus raise pilots’ pay by 17.75% over slightly more than three years. This increase would start with a 2% retroactive raise from January 2023 and end with a final 1% raise effective from July 1st, 2026.

There are a total of eight payments, with four being backdated, resulting in a 10.75% payment by the end of this year. The remaining 7% will be disbursed between January 2025 and July 2026.

Additionally, the court suggests increasing overnight allowances for pilots by 10% upon accepting its recommendation, followed by an additional 5% starting from October 1st, 2025.

The court also recommends that the airline forgive a “debt” owed by pilots from a 2019 agreement, amounting to around 3.75% of their pay.

This adjustment led to the Aer Lingus internal pay tribunal reducing their offer to pilots to 8.75% from the initial 12.25% accepted by cabin and ground crew, a point of contention that the court advised to be revisited by the WRC.

Aer Lingus has agreed to the proposed deal, and are awaiting Ialpa’s Executive decision on Tuesday, followed by a member vote. Meanwhile, ongoing industrial action has resulted in flight cancellations up to and including Sunday, July 14th.

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