Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

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Gilles Hudicourt
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Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by Gilles Hudicourt » Mon May 27, 2013 11:34 am

Rouge flight attendants, who will be paid $20,700 a year, will be asked to pay for their own training at a cost of $1764 over 3 years.

http://www.thestar.com/business/2013/05 ... magic.html

What's next? Training bonds at McDonalds' ?
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by ea306 » Mon May 27, 2013 12:03 pm

:shock:
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by FL_CH » Mon May 27, 2013 8:40 pm

Why on earth would anyone agree to this BS? Pay for training worth $1,500? Get the hell outta here, what am I gonna do, get a job, train to be an F/A on A320, and run away to WJA? SWG? UAE??

Surprised they didn't ask them to pay the fuel surcharge on each flight - I mean, those extra 150-200 lbs cost money to carry around eh!

~$1500/mth after tax? That's not survivable in a city. As a passenger, I do NOT want my crew to be so underpaid.
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by Panama Jack » Tue May 28, 2013 2:28 am

I know you are using the minimum guaranteed hours as a calculation; I imagine that Rouge cabin crew will be flying substantially more than 75 hours a month though.

Not trying to defend the payscale, but I think that Air Canada Rouge is trying to run it as a business based on economic principles; the disappointment for many is that anything associated with Air Canada was previously associated with a cushy, well-paid, pseudo-Government job for life.

- If you are trying to run a business why pay more than what people are willing to work for? If there are insufficient qualified applicants, economics dictates the wage will rise to a level that attracts enough people.

- In a page from JetBlue, I don't think Rouge is encouraging cabin crew to stick around for life. It is a tough and stressful customer-focused job prone to burn-out. They will probably pick out the top performers worth keeping for managerial positions, but higher pay and benefits does not necessarily result in service excellence (as critics of Air Canada may have observed). It is meant to be a "fling" job alternative to Tim Hortons for young and enthusiastic post-high school or post-college people to travel and see the World a bit, get some resumé-building experience, go live in the Big City.

- The bond is likely engineered to control turn-over, but I imagine that they don't expect (or prefer) people to stay much longer than 3 years.

- I am awaiting the conspiracy theory that Rouge is trying to demonstrate to the Government that there are insufficent applicants so that they can start recruitment in the Philippines.
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Gilles Hudicourt
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by Gilles Hudicourt » Tue May 28, 2013 5:03 am

Panama Jack wrote:- I am awaiting the conspiracy theory that Rouge is trying to demonstrate to the Government that there are insufficent applicants so that they can start recruitment in the Philippines.
Conspiracy theories!? That does it, you've just been promoted to my ignore list where you will be in good company.
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by justwork » Tue May 28, 2013 5:58 am

I'm wondering when the day will come where pilots will need to own their own plane for the job. Owner operated...
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by complexintentions » Tue May 28, 2013 6:53 am

Er...Panama. TFW's are far more than a theory in Canada, including the use of Filipino workers in many fields from Tim Hortons to the oil sands. Have you been home lately? While I agree that there probably isn't some LMO-motivated plot in this specific case with Rouge, you may wish to reconsider tossing off remarks like that.
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by tbaylx » Tue May 28, 2013 7:27 am

Panama Jack wrote:I know you are using the minimum guaranteed hours as a calculation; I imagine that Rouge cabin crew will be flying substantially more than 75 hours a month though.

Not trying to defend the payscale, but I think that Air Canada Rouge is trying to run it as a business based on economic principles; the disappointment for many is that anything associated with Air Canada was previously associated with a cushy, well-paid, pseudo-Government job for life.

- If you are trying to run a business why pay more than what people are willing to work for? If there are insufficient qualified applicants, economics dictates the wage will rise to a level that attracts enough people.

- In a page from JetBlue, I don't think Rouge is encouraging cabin crew to stick around for life. It is a tough and stressful customer-focused job prone to burn-out. They will probably pick out the top performers worth keeping for managerial positions, but higher pay and benefits does not necessarily result in service excellence (as critics of Air Canada may have observed). It is meant to be a "fling" job alternative to Tim Hortons for young and enthusiastic post-high school or post-college people to travel and see the World a bit, get some resumé-building experience, go live in the Big City.

- The bond is likely engineered to control turn-over, but I imagine that they don't expect (or prefer) people to stay much longer than 3 years.

- I am awaiting the conspiracy theory that Rouge is trying to demonstrate to the Government that there are insufficent applicants so that they can start recruitment in the Philippines.
Here's why.

If you treat your people like a commodity they will perform at an equivalent level. Your F/A's are the face of your company to the travelling public, along with gate agents and check in counter staff. They set the tone for the customer and provide customer service. If you empower your staff and pay them a livable, fair wage then your paying customers will be happier and be return paying customers. Simply paying your employees as low as possible in the name of corporate profits is what businesses who will be bankrupt or no longer around in a few years do.

But hey as long as the next 1/4 numbers look good why bother planning for next year. Its the new CEO mantra, and will eventually fail and probably be studied in future MBA courses as a model of "what the hell we're they thinking", but not before it does considerable damage to the industry and its workers.
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by Panama Jack » Tue May 28, 2013 7:59 am

Gilles Hudicourt wrote:Conspiracy theories!? That does it, you've just been promoted to my ignore list where you will be in good company.
I didn't refer to you specifically, but that's OK, put me on your big list. My feelings are intact. From what you've just said, I hope you enjoy your daily reading from people who agree with everything you have to say and pay you non-stop compliments.

I do respect the dedication you show on something you strongly believe it. We just disagree on a number of levels and although you aren't on an ignore list, I can't be bothered to read the majority of your ruminations either.

Take care.

@ complexintentions, my last point about Filipino crew was tongue in cheek.

@ tbaylx, to be the Devil's advocate in this discusion, I wonder whether there is any evidence that paying more will cause people to be more customer-service oriented? Sure, I understand the theory behind Maslow's heirarchy of human needs and all of that, but will this really yield better flight attendants which will make Rouge more profitable as a company? I don't know; it is an experiment in the Canadian airline business and I am not sure how serious I am to take this one given Air Canada's history of toying with different airline business models. They might be trying to make something seriously cheap and, as we see in Canada as in other parts of the World, consumers have signaled that they are willing to sacrifice quality for lower prices. I am willing to bet though that Rouge does not desire having career flight attendants as is the case at the Mainline; in Canada they can't legally make it company policy to get rid of people after a certain amount of time, so they try the economic solution.

Now, anybody wanna place a bet on how long Rouge will last?
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by Gorgons » Tue May 28, 2013 10:03 am

Okay following up on the better pay better employee angle, can anybody provide an accurate number for the happiest and bestest customer service owners/FA's on the planet? Whats the base pay for a WestJet FA? How many hours is it based on, just to make sure we are comparing apples to apples.
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by ea306 » Tue May 28, 2013 10:44 am

Gorgons wrote:Okay following up on the better pay better employee angle, can anybody provide an accurate number for the happiest and bestest customer service owners/FA's on the planet? Whats the base pay for a WestJet FA? How many hours is it based on, just to make sure we are comparing apples to apples.
Kind of had a chuckle at the "bestest customer service" angle comment.

Made me remember the words of Don Bell at one of the "Culture Chats" to which I had been invited (for mandatory attendance) with regards to stats on customer satisfaction and customer complaints received by Transport Canada. He stated that Westjet had the least amount of complaints for customer service by their flight attendants due to the fact that there was very little customer service offered. He said that the higher the service provided, the higher the expectations become, which in turn creates greater opportunity for customer dissatisfaction.

That was back in 2002.

Incidentally, up until the CUPE contract negotiated between Sunwing FA's and Sunwing was ratified. Sunwing held the title for the lowest FA wages in Canada. That title now goes to Rouge.

As for customer service, Sunwing FA's, Air Transat FA's offer a far more attentive service than the fine Flight Attendant Owners at Westjet.
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Last edited by ea306 on Tue May 28, 2013 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by ea306 » Tue May 28, 2013 10:51 am

Gilles Hudicourt wrote:
Panama Jack wrote:- I am awaiting the conspiracy theory that Rouge is trying to demonstrate to the Government that there are insufficent applicants so that they can start recruitment in the Philippines.
Conspiracy theories!? That does it, you've just been promoted to my ignore list where you will be in good company.

I think the humor bypass switch might of been engaged Gilles.

Panama has a history of insightful balanced posts based on a depth of experience. His is not a voice to be ignored.

I do not take offense to his comment. Call it comic relief.... A hyperbole.
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by JohnnyHotRocks » Tue May 28, 2013 1:21 pm

why wouldn't you want to be a Rogue flight attendant?
Not only do you get to see the world, you do your training at Disney!!

Count me in!
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by scopiton » Tue May 28, 2013 1:51 pm

personally, I often read Panama's posts, it's always nice to read someone's opinion who tries to understand things from several points of view than just A/B and nothing in between, but I digress.
Now, anybody wanna place a bet on how long Rouge will last?
less than 5 years
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by Brize » Tue May 28, 2013 3:04 pm

Given the pay, working conditions and buy in, I think they'll still have no trouble finding willing volunteers. Very simply because there are a lot of worse jobs that pay the same or worse.

People find all sorts of creative ways to live on 20K in Canada. Especially when they have zero student loan debt from not investing in post secondary education. Education is not a requirement for this job. If you can breathe and remember some drills every 12 months, I'm sure you're hired at Rouge.
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by ea306 » Tue May 28, 2013 4:03 pm

scopiton wrote:personally, I often read Panama's posts, it's always nice to read someone's opinion who tries to understand things from several points of view than just A/B and nothing in between, but I digress.
Now, anybody wanna place a bet on how long Rouge will last?

less than 5 years
Remember when AC Created Tango and Zip?
Tango was to be the Canada 3000 poison pill...and Zip was created to zap Westjet.
They were lucky where Canada 3000 was concerned...but could not compete on the anti Westjet venture.
Eventually both came to naught.

Who does Air Canada have in their sights now? Shall they prevail or shall they fail?
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by CanadianEh » Tue May 28, 2013 7:33 pm

Air Canada Rouge is further proof of the lengths Air Canada is willing to go to stick it to the employees. If they are making their own employees pay for training at Rouge, it will probably be something that happens at mainline sooner or later. There is lots of evidence that suggests when you work WITH your employees vs. working AGAINST them and share the company's success (profit share, bonuses, etc) that it leads to major gains in profitability, customer satisfaction, employee morale, etc. Instead, Air Canada management is pissing away money on a scheme that has been tried twice before and failed twice.

Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome?

Air Canada has a major culture problem that has permeated from the top and until it is fixed the airline won't be successful no matter how many ridiculous ideas this management team comes up with.
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by trey kule » Wed May 29, 2013 2:00 am

But hey as long as the next 1/4 numbers look good why bother planning for next year. Its the new CEO mantra, and will eventually fail and probably be studied in future MBA courses as a model of "what the hell we're they thinking", but not before it does considerable damage to the industry and its workers
I expect you may be correct. It came from companies being run by 30 year old MBAs who only look at cost in the very short term.

As to PJ. A warm welcome from a senior member on Mr H's ignore list. I am afraid it is not a very exclusive club though, consisting of those who can view the industry in a rational, balanced manner, and believe where change is necessary it can be brought about in ways other than attacking pretty much every agency, corporation, or person who disagrees, or who stands in the way of narrow self interest...

To the other posters. I do not wish to disclose personal information about a poster , so I hope he will forgive me this transgression, but PJ holds a position in the industry, and has a great deal more knowledge and experience in the topics discussed here than the self proclaimed prophets who feel what was nothing more than a humorous comment was reason to ignore him....kind of like a cult ostracizing those who disagree.
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by Panama Jack » Wed May 29, 2013 2:26 am

You are quite right, CanadianEh about the benefits of a company and its employee group working together with an entrepreneurial, business minded spirit. Southwest Airlines and WestJet are great examples of where this has occurred. Books have been extolling the virtues of building performance relationships and improving performance by engaging employees.

Unfortunately, Air Canada's history is long and complicated. Let’s be honest here; for as many times as the company has worked against the interests of the employees, there are at least as many where employees have worked against the interests of the company. After all, we are talking about a business relationship and sometimes both groups are short-sighted and more focused on immediate gains rather than long-term outcomes. Management/Labor history has been combative and tunnel vision develops under stress.

Management is ultimately responsible for setting the tone for organizational culture. However, culture (the way things are done) change in a legacy airline is difficult and takes a long time. Just think of how difficult it is for a single person to change his own routine at home, such as going to the gym more, quitting smoking, eating healthier, or anything else to the point that it becomes habit. It is one thing to implement that for yourself, another to change it in your family, and becomes increasingly difficult as you upscale to a small, single-base airline all the way up to a major Global airline with numerous bases and many managers and supervisors. The term, "Revolution" would be appropriate for a change of such scale and in the aviation industry changes usually happen by evolution rather than revolution.

Air Canada, as a "business," is dismal. Its rate of returns is historically below Savings Account interest rates and we are not looking at an industry which is poised for something big and exciting to happen. Overall, they offer a good product (according to consumer reviews) but for a stagnant company, experimenting with new products is a usual part of the business cycle, a pretty logical step, less drastic or politically risky than, say, what BWIA did in 2006 when it restarted as a clean-sheet airline in the form of Caribbean Airlines.

The upside of all of this: if you or anybody who you know can convincingly demonstrate that you have the silver-bullet for driving positive culture change at a major airline, they can look forward to a well-paid airline executive job in Canada or pretty much anywhere else you choose in the World.


@ trey kule, thanks for the warm reception! I was told that I would be good company and that ain't no lie; I guess I never knew hell could be so much fun! But what makes you think that I know what I am talking about??? Cheers! :twisted:
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by bmc » Wed May 29, 2013 2:51 am

There is no connection between performance insofar as suggesting that higher pay will result in higher level of service. From an airline perspective, Southwest had the lowest salaries, the lowest turnover of employees and highest utilization of staff. I'm sure where they stand today.

As low as the salaries may appear, it's up to people applying for jobs to decide if the terms are acceptable or not. No one is forcing them to work at Rouge.

As for inflight service, safety aside, what is inflight service today, particularly on a low cost airline? Pushing a cart down the aisle selling a sandwich, a beverage and then cleaning up. This less service and less work than going to a restaurant. Why should we be outraged over wages?

Full service airlines with long haul services, I believe is a different story. Again safety aside.

The ultimate object of low cost airlines is not only steal market share but to grow the market, which many low cost airlines have successfully done. In different parts of the world, they have succeeded in taking traffic that would have driven or taken rail services. The key to achieving that is to keep costs as low as possible. High utilization, quick turn arounds, flying out of lower cost airports, keeping salaries low, are proven strategies to making it successful. Keep in mind that the good old days are long gone. And so is $30 a barrel oil. Brent crude hovers at $100 these days and have been for a long time. Paying higher salaries will align Rouges costs with AC, so what has been gained? Nothing more that added capacity to a saturated market.

For some bizarre reason, working for an airline has this magnetic attraction because of travel benefits. When you are young without families or life to tie you down, it's a fun worthwhile benefit. Young people, with enthusiam and and a spirit of fun will apply and be happy. Until they hit their late twenties and they realize that a) they are going nowhere and b) they want to move out of their parents basement. For passengers, the crew remain young and fresh. Fly an AC long haul flight with the senior crews (my age) and fly on Singapore with their young crews and tell me which is more pleasant?

PJ's posts are great. I think it's mostly because he can take the time to think them through, while staring out the window at the palm trees on his compound when he is not flying in CAVOK weather all the time. :mrgreen:
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by YYCcrew » Wed May 29, 2013 7:05 am

In the interest of transparency... Flight Attendant training does not cost $1400 (approx) to an airline. The actual cost depend heavily on time and diversity of fleet but in Canada that will range from $11,000 to $20,000+. It sounds like Rouge is more trying to subsidise the training from the employee, versus having them pay for all of it.

I know, I know, not as much as a pilot (I am not trying to open up that dead can of worms).
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by Old fella » Wed May 29, 2013 7:37 am

"..........Not only do you get to see the world, you do your training at Disney!!......."

Could one suggest Rouge is a "mickey mouse" outfit
:smt040 :partyman:
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by Rockie » Wed May 29, 2013 8:26 am

The costs the FA's are required to pay back are only for the customer service training they receive at Disney, not the rest of it which is in reality subsidized by the record setting low salary.

But should they make much money? After all, these youngsters are only responsible for saving people's lives in the event of a medical emergency, fire in the cabin, deranged passenger bent on killing everybody, or have to evacuate an airplane for any reason.

Really, no big deal.
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by bmc » Wed May 29, 2013 8:41 am

Rockie wrote:

But should they make much money? After all, these youngsters are only responsible for saving people's lives in the event of a medical emergency, fire in the cabin, deranged passenger bent on killing everybody, or have to evacuate an airplane for any reason.

Really, no big deal.
So what dollar value salary range should they be paid?

Should they be paid the same as or more than pilots?

If they are willing to work for less, why pay more?
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Re: Air Canada Rouge cabin crew to pay for their training

Post by Rockie » Wed May 29, 2013 9:46 am

bmc wrote:So what dollar value salary range should they be paid?
I don't know. Let's just say more than the new low they're setting now.
bmc wrote:If they are willing to work for less, why pay more?
Many reasons. Retention based on something other than indentured servitude for one. If you've ever had an incident on an airplane dealt with professionally by someone who knows what they're doing while surrounded by youngsters who lack the experience/know how you will certainly appreciate the job they do more.
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