Virgin cabin crew who recently voted 99% in favour of last-resort protected industrial action have achieved an in-principle agreement that delivers better pay, safer and fairer rosters, and work-life balance.
After six months of negotiations and more than a year of raising concerns about fatiguing rosters, cabin crew have locked in provisions including an additional six days off a year, recognition for time spent on unpaid standby, and overtime payments after nine hours.
Pandemic emergency settings had seen cabin crew fall below Award minimum rates and seniority classifications fall away. This deal reinstates and improves classification levels delivering pay increases between 14% and 18% over the three-year agreement.
TWU members have now achieved strong agreements for Virgin ground and cabin crew, while pilot negotiations continue.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine congratulated cabin crew on holding firm for the terms and conditions they needed to make their jobs sustainable.
“Virgin cabin crew have achieved an enterprise agreement that substantially lifts pay and conditions after pandemic emergency settings left them battling long hours, gruelling rosters, and juggling second jobs to get by. From the start, cabin crew asked for terms and conditions that show they’re respected, heard and valued. Finally, crew have achieved a deal that will keep them in their jobs.
“This outcome shows the strength of workers bringing a solution-focused approach to bargaining and standing strong together to achieve it. Earlier this year, TWU ground crew, cabin crew and pilots provided Virgin owners Bain Capital with a plan to future-proof the airline with good, secure jobs and industry standards. It took longer than it should have, but this plan is now well underway with strong improvements to ground and cabin crew jobs. Pilots must be next, with ongoing negotiations resolved as quickly and respectfully as possible.
“With the peak season upon us, it’s a relief for everyone that protected industrial action won’t be needed. Good, secure jobs are the answer to rebuilding aviation. That’s why we need a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to rebalance the industry.”