Manon Calas 0

For a comprehensive review of our leave benefits

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Dear Mr N.,

I hope this email finds you well, and wish you a very happy new year.

The beginning of the year is simultaneous with the opening of a new leave bidding window for cabin crew.
In this context, we would like to bring to your attention certain concerns among the cabin crew community regarding our leave entitlement.
It appears upon discussing with colleagues, that there is a general sentiment that our leave benefits have degraded in recent years.

Effectively, the flexibility around our leave entitlement has been continuously reduced in the following ways :
- the rostering system no longer granting more than 1 or 2 consecutive days off before or after leave (there was a time when 5 days off around leave were a common sight)
- the leave system routinely unable to grant requested leave bids (priority bids included)
- the removal of the leave swap feature
- the leave system not allowing to bid for less than 5 days or more than 15 days
- the obligation to use entire leave entitlement within the same year, resulting in
- the system assigning forced leave
- the removal of a live leave option to be notified of the request status before a certain date,
and more recently,
- the live leave system forcing us to include 2 days off before and after ULR/long TA flight.

This progressive stripping away of our leave benefits comes in a context already marked by increasingly rare occasions to travel on days off, with small amount of consecutive days off and high numbers of ULRs requiring early return to base for acclimatization.

While we wholeheartedly celebrate higher work loads as a sign of the good health of our operations, we also would like our community’s frustration to be heard.
With the current leave bidding system, it has become increasingly complex to make travel arrangements compatible with our friends and families.

Although we had so far adjusted to many of our leave benefits being taken away, the last change to the live leave system appears as a final blow to the little flexibility we still enjoyed.

Prior to the recent change, live leave was a useful and convenient feature. By combining rostered days off with leave days, it allowed us to enjoy small travel opportunities throughout the year, as a compliment to longer leaves. It gave us the opportunity to optimize our leave entitlement, similarly to the way non-operational employees can advantageously combine weekends or national holidays to their existing leave days.

Unfortunately, the new change forces us, in the example of a 3 day duty, to request 7 days of leave (2 days off + 3 day duty + 2 days off) - thus utilizing nearly one fourth of our yearly leave entitlement for one duty. I hope that you can sympathise with us that this appears as an overly restrictive requirement with a drastic impact on our leave privileges.

As this new year begins and we leave behind two years of hardship for our industry, it would be a great reward to our community of hard working crew to see a comprehensive review of our leave benefits.

We kindly ask on behalf of the entire crew community for the live leave to be reverted to exclude days off, and for a general softening of our leave policies, granting us more flexibility of choice and a renewed opportunity to make the most of our travel benefits.

We sincerely thank you for your time and consideration.

The cabin crew community

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