“Beyond belief”: Pilot’s union rejects Rex’s latest pay proposal

Wagga Wagga, Australia - November 27, 2008: Rex Regional express airline, a SAAB 340 at country NSW, parked and resting couple of hours before passengers boarding, with rain in the background.

Regional Express (Rex) said it was “beyond belief” that its pilot cohort refused its latest pay proposal.

The airline said its offer was “substantially better” than the offer accepted by the union on behalf of QantasLink pilots in 2021.

Australian Aviation reported Rex’s proposal was rejected by the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) last week, claiming it would mean that Rex’s Saab pilots will see “a cut in real-term salary of more than 5 per cent” over four years.

“It does not contain back pay and does not cover CPI over the previous four years,” the union added.

The union is now preparing itself for industrial action against the airline, arguing that Rex pilot’s “have been left with little option than to exercise their lawful right to lodge an application for a Protected Industrial Action (PIA) ballot with the Fair Work Commission (FWC).”

The Union and the airline are entering their fourth year of negotiations over Saab pilot’s salary and working conditions.

The regional airline expressed its disappointment on Tuesday that the union applied to the FWC for permission to hold a ballot on taking industrial action, particularly given Rex’s claims that its offer was much better than QantasLink’s offer.

“Just last September, the AFAP agreed to a 2 per cent pay rise in 2021 and 2022 for QantasLink pilots,” Rex deputy chairman John Sharp said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Rex on the other hand has offered its SAAB pilots a 5.1 per cent pay rise from 1 July 2022, plus significant catch-up payments worth another 8 per cent once the business is profitable again.

“Rex is the only airline that has not retrenched any of its pilots and it has stood by them through the difficult COVID years.

“We believe that they will stand by the company during this period where recovery is nascent and the company is still fragile.”

The union claimed that Rex’s offer was “even worse” than offers the airline had previously proposed.

“The AFAP stands by our communications to members at Rex and will continue to communicate to our members in an honest, timely and accurate manner,” a spokesperson told Australian Aviation.

This comes after Rex hinted Qantas may have been behind “malicious, misleading and deceptive,” correspondence circulated by the AFAP to the airline’s members.

The regional airline went on to express its concern about this issue, considering the president of the AFAP is Louise Pole, a pilot with QantasLink, a competitor to Rex.

Qantas said in a statement that Rex’s claims were “false”.

“This is just the latest example of Rex blaming Qantas and others for decisions that by its own admission it has made ‘to look after itself’,” the airline said.

Image: iStock/mikulas1

Latest News

  • Food & Beverage
  • Hotels

Park Proxi Gibraltar Bowral announces partnership with Lotus Dining Group

Renowned Lotus Dining Group will offer a new dining experience at Southern Highlands property, Park Proxi Gibraltar Bowral, Seibu Prince Hotels & Resorts has announced.  Scheduled to open on 1 September, Lotus will bring its acclaimed Asian cuisine to the Southern Highlands with a hyper-local twist. Diners can expect a blend of favourite Lotus dishes […]

  • Hotels

Nozo Hotel Furano announce winter season exclusive package

Nozo Hotel Furano in Hokkaido has announced a special invitation to Aussie and Kiwi travellers with an exclusive winter package, in anticipation of its first anniversary. The hotel are offering a 30 per cent discount on all rooms and breakfasts for seven-night stays or more. The offer marks the hotel’s milestone celebration and ushers in […]

  • Conferences

Melbourne and Geelong convention centres pave the way for accessibility and inclusion

The operators of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the future Nyaal Banyul Geelong Convention and Event Centre have taken a significant step towards inclusivity with the launch of their latest Accessibility Action Plan. Welcoming visitors from diverse backgrounds, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust (MCET) is committed to providing safe spaces to connect and engage. […]

  • Cruise
  • News

AmaWaterways celebrates 22nd anniversary with offers on 2025 trips

As AmaWaterways embarks on its 22nd year, the luxury river cruise line has announced a range of savings offers to make river cruising even more accessible to both new and experienced cruisers. Travellers planning ahead can enjoy savings of up to 20 per cent on a range of European itineraries in 2025. Solo travellers also […]