Friday, April 24, 2015

Understanding why the crew is being paid " less"

The starting basic salary of a new cabin crew with SIA is $1340 for non degree holder and $1490 for a degree holder. SIA advertises in it recruitment website that a new recruit after training would get about $3,500 a month ("Upon graduation, you can look forward to a basic salary and various allowances amounting to about SDG3,500 a month...") The figure 3,500 gives the impression that a newbie would get that every month but in reality it may not be true. The bulk of the salary is made up of LMA or Location Meal Allowance (almost $2,000). However, the LMA may go up or down depending on the strength of currencies (against the SIN dollar) of the cities where the crew night stop. A review is carried out every 6 months. An example is the Japanese Yen which has depreciated about 30% against the SIN Dollar over the last 2 years. SIA in its 6 monthly review will therefore reduce the LMA for Japan eg. a crew who night stop 24 hrs in Japan used to be paid S$300 will now get $200. If you take  other cities into account eg. Amsterdam, Paris etc the Euro has weakened considerably and the crew nightstopping there will be paid less in S$ now as compared a few years ago.

Therefore,to the crew their LMA may has gone down by as much as 20% in the last 2 years. In reality, although the crew are paid less in SIN Dollar their purchasing power is stronger. However,no amount of reasoning or explanation will help the crew to understand why their take home pay is reduced.

For information,cabin crew's LMA is tagged to the pilots' LMA. This means cabin crew will get the same rate as the pilots. The pilots collective bargaining with the company usually precedes that of cabin crew. However, one must take note that although the pilots desire a higher payout of the LMA, it has less significance than their salary service increment. 
In the last pilot - management collective agreement,although the pilots had asked for an increase in the LMA (which they failed to secure), got a generous salary increment instead.
The LMA is pegged to the hotel menu ( based on a 3 course meal) where the pilots are staying. Any downgrading of hotels for the pilots would mean a cheaper menu and consequently a decrease in the LMA.

The company and the union would have to sit down and find out a better method of payment of the LMA to cabin crew. 


Anonymous said...

"In reality, although the crew are paid less in SIN Dollar their purchasing power is stronger. However,no amount of reasoning or explanation will help the crew to understand why their take home pay is reduced."

If you are a Singaporean who have a house mortgage to pay, children's school fee, daily groceries and meals to pay, PUB,and phone bills etc to pay in Singapore Dollars do you think your purchase power is still stronger ? Yes oversea food and items are cheaper due to the stronger SIN Dollars, let say a meal cost S$2 cheaper oversea now but your pay also reduce S$2 you break even, how does that equate to stronger spending power. You have less SIN dollars now in your pocket to pay for your Fixed SIN spending, you are actually paying from what actually going to be your saving. The more you spent oversea the deeper you have to dig into your saving every month. Pounds goes from S$3 to S$2 for £1 now but LMA dropped S$500-600. Euro from S$1.7 to S$1.5 for €1 but LMA dropped S$300-400.

If you operate a London and a Europe flight in a month you would have loss S$800-S$1000. How are you going to spend more now? Just curious how did you derive at your statement.

Anonymous said...

To answer the above,crew must understand that LMA is to be spent on food during the nightstop. LMA is not your salary and so it could be removed,adjust,reduced etc. What can your union do if the coy decides to provide meals in the hotel for the crew instead of paying them as the practice now?
You cant argue with the coy as LMA is not part of your salary.There one way to secure yourself or being at the mercy of your coy is to bargain for a higher salary instead of relying on your LMA as part of your pay.

Anonymous said...

If its not Broken. Dun FIX it! Period!

Anonymous said...

Pay the crew well
terminate early

Redefine "duty" hours
It must include reporting & after landing time
Standby duty should be at airport & paid

Remove "exclusive" service
This allows crew to develope alternative employment income to prepare for after airline life.

Anonymous said...

Why would any company pay more if they don't have to, what's happier than most non union members are from the non ranking crew.

Anonymous said...

FYI there is only 900 plus non ranking crew Union member. If they want more benefits for their rank they will have to join the Union. Looking at the short term strategy they have in mind, they don't care in their work or the company. The management and Union will care less for this group of crew as theiy will leave in 2-5 years. No point fighting or improve benefits for them.