Virgin Australia is issuing stand downs to Ground Crew
Virgin Australia began issuing Stand Down notices yesterday for all employees covered by the Virgin Australia Ground Crew Agreement 2018 (‘the EBA’). They have also commenced an Expression Of Interest (EOI) process for opting into allocations for remaining work to run the reduced flight schedule, as well as voluntary redundancies.
Your union has worked very hard to finalise an agreed process with Virgin Australia on stand downs, allocating remaining work during the stand down period and providing staff with the option to apply for a voluntary redundancy. We have not finalised all the details for the redundancy process but we have further meetings with the business today – Friday, 27 March 2020.
Stand down notices were issued to all Ground Crew team members yesterday. You should receive an email to your Virgin Australia email address containing a stand down notice, standing you down from 30 March to 14 June 2020.
A separate email should be sent to you containing an EOI for opting-in to being allocated some of the work that will continue during the stand-down period. A final email – to be sent to Guest Services team members only – should contain an EOI for a voluntary redundancy (‘a VR’).
Virgin Australia have also agreed to send out Whispr alerts and/or text messages to ALL Ground Crew team members alerting them to the important emails. If you can’t access your work email account, telephone your Manager to arrange for the emails to be sent to a personal address.
The Company will also start to telephone Ground Crew team members on long-term leave over the next 24 hours.
Allocation of remaining work
The EOI will be open until 5pm on Saturday 28 March 2020 – we know that the time frame is short but this is because the Company have decided to commence a reduced flight schedule on Monday 30 March 2020.
The EOI process will create a pool of team members at each port who will be rostered to perform the remaining work.
Once the EOIs have been submitted, the pool of team members to perform the work will be based on seniority in each of the classifications required for meeting each shift requirement. If you are rostered for the reduced schedule you will be guaranteed a minimum of 20 hours per week.
Ground Crew team members will also be able to opt-out of the pool by giving 72 hours’ notice.
The Company has also confirmed that ONLY EBA staff will perform EBA work while other EBA staff members are stood down.
The redundancy process has not been finalised but the Company has decided to limit VR to Guest Services team members. The EOI process for VRs will only be open to Guest Services employees in BNE, SYD and MEL. EOI applications for VRs will close at 5pm on Wednesday 1 April 2020.
Your union has locked in a meeting with Virgin Australia today (Friday, 27 March 202) to continue discussions. We expect to hear about and discuss the final process and time frames for all 242 redundant roles at that time.
What is next?
The Company has also agreed to provide you with a comprehensive Frequent Asked Questions (‘a FAQs’) document with information that answers the questions you have been asking, as well as a thorough procedure for dealing with the limitations of using Shift Logic when you are not in the workplace.
We appreciate there is a lot to try to understand in a short period of time – do contact your Organiser to talk through your concerns.
Your national union, the ASU, have also prepared a guide to what government assistance is available to you - check it out here.
Also we know this is a very stressful time, do not hesitate to seek assistance if you need it, organisations like Lifeline 131114 or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 are available if needed.
Remember your union is with you every step of the way during this very difficult time. You can contact your organiser via email email@example.com or call your union office on 1800 177 244.