LONDON – According to internal sources, a new agreement was reached between easyJet (U2) and its employees in Germany on how Kurzarbeit (short-time work) will continue beyond June 30.
There are important differences between this agreement and its predecessor.
A new agreement
This agreement is valid between July 1 and October 31, 2020, and incorporates a plan on how the company intends to restart flying and how Crew will be planned into the flying schedule as the business starts to slowly ramp up.
The agreement sets its sights on achieving an increase in KUG payments to a 90% monthly net pay for Crew earning under the Beitragsbemessungsgrenze (contribution ceiling) without children and a 97% monthly net pay for those with children.
For those who earn above the contribution ceiling, the new agreement intends to achieve a net monthly payment of 75% of the average net pay taken over a 12 months period.
Staff representatives are proud to report that they were successful in achieving those numbers, though the final payment will fall slightly short due to the tax-free element attracting taxation under the KUG rules.
Wages above Beitragsbemessungsgrenze
There is more good news for those earning above the Beitragsbemessungsgrenze, as they also managed to secure improvement on the KUG 1 agreement, and the advancements in pay that were paid out will no longer need to be repaid back to the company at a later date.
It is understood that this more than compensates for the slight anomaly caused by the tax burden on the tax-free element of pay.
All in all, the staff representatives consider this deal to be good; especially in the current climate, as it provides staff with dearly needed financial security at a financially insecure period.
Aiming for no layoffs
At the end of May, U2 announced that it was planning to cut its workforce by around 30%, but that the decision was subject to consultation; as 4,500 of the 15,000-strong workforce would lose their jobs thereafter.
Staff representations have still not been given any information regarding the planned redundancies; however, they have contractually ensured that no redundancies will take place during the lifespan of this new contract.
As such, the representatives have many ideas on how they can avoid or minimize redundancies in Germany and will engage with the company to try and implement those ideas if and when the time comes.
In the meantime they are satisfied that no one will feel the effects of any restructuring at this time.