SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) has made a last-ditch attempt to settle the wage dispute with its Air Line Pilots' Association - Singapore (ALPA-S).
SIA has proposed an improved salary range, not only for pilots flying its Airbus 380 super jumbo but also for those who fly its other aircraft.
But the Pilots' Association has rejected the offer.
The Pilots' Association, led by Captain P James, met representatives of SIA in the Industrial Arbitration Court on Wednesday, for day three of the hearing.
And neither side backed down.
ALPA-S maintained that the pilots flying the A380 fleet, which are expected to arrive in October, should be paid more.
It argued that a pilot should be paid according to how accountable he is and the level of responsibility he shoulders.
So the bigger the aircraft - the more passengers it carries - and thus more pay for the pilot.
In this case, since the A380 is bigger and more expensive - valued at US$295 million - and will carry more passengers, the pilots’ pay should also reflect that, according to ALPA-S.
The Association also proposed a salary range for the A380 pilots.
Captains, it said, should be paid between S$13,100 and S$21,615, while First Officers, between S$8,000 and $14,355.
The Association says there is no established market salary for the A380 planes since SIA will be the first to use them and hasmproposed this range which is derived by extrapolating the current market salary, for the current fleet of B744, B777 and the A345.
But SIA disagrees.
The airline, represented by Vice President for Flight Operations, Loh Oun Hean and Captain Robert Ting, argued that its pilots pay package is already very competitive, compared to other airlines.
It also offered a new pay scale for its pilots, which it refers to as an "improved and final offer" from the company.
The latest package contains higher starting points for all pilots.
SIA is proposing for Captains flying the A380, a pay range of between S$9,300 and S$16,500, while First Officers will get between S$5,150 and S$9,250.
Those currently flying the B744 - SIA's biggest airplanes - will see Captains getting between S$10,000 and S$16,500, while First Officers will receive between S$5,600 and S$9,250.
Currently, the lowest starting point for a Captain flying the B744 is between S$9,550 and $10,000 while for First Officers, it is between S$5,375 and S$5,600.
As for Captains flying the B777 and A345, they will get between S$9,300 and S$15,300, while First Officers can earn between S$5,150 and S$8,500.
Captains flying this fleet currently earn between S$8,850 and S$9,300 as the lowest point of starting pay, while First Officers earn between S$4,925 and S$5,150.
SIA says that the new salary range is expected to benefit 80 per cent of all pilots, without "cutting a cent of B744 pilots".
However ALPA-S rejected the offer, saying that the issue is not about how SIA should pay all its pilots, but only those flying the A380.
The pilots added that SIA is trying to "play them out."
The hearing was held after SIA and the ALPA-S could not reach an agreement on the salary and benefits of those who fly the A380 super jumbo, after many rounds of negotiations.
The court has given both sides until 3 May to submit any other issues they wish to highlight, after which it will make known when it will deliver its ruling. - CNA/yy