Lufthansa, Pilots Agree Pay Deal

February 15, 2017

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Lufthansa and pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit have agreed to accept the recommendation of a mediator to end a long-running dispute over pay.

Under the agreed terms Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings pilots will get an 8.7 percent pay rise, paid out in four stages. The first two increases will be backdated, with 2 percent from January 1 2016, and 2.3 percent from January 1 2017.

A 2.4 percent increase will apply from January 1 2018, and a final 2 percent lift from the beginning of 2019. There will also be a one-off payment of between EUR€5,000 and €6,000 for each pilot.

Lufthansa said the increases would add around €85 million (USD$90.2 million) a year to its wage bill. To pay for the changes, the Frankfurt-based carrier will operate an additional 40 aircraft outside the airline’s collective agreement, possibly at a low-cost unit.

Lufthansa’s head of HR, Bettina Volkens, said “Implementing the mediation recommendation will generate additional cockpit remuneration costs… Without any compensation in other collective agreements, we must, therefore, take the path of changing our fleet planning.”

The agreement will now go to the union membership for a ratification vote.

The VC union’s Markus Wahl said “The final word now lies with the members, who will decide on the final acceptance of the conciliation under a vote.” He said the negotiating committee will recommend that the pilots accept the terms.

The union had campaigned for a 3.66 percent average pay increase for each of the five years from 2016. Lufthansa had offered a 4.4 percent increase in two stages and a one-off payment equivalent to 1.8 months salary.