That is the key message members are giving us about the recent email from Virgin Australia saying that team members around the country have “wrongly” been credited annual leave and they are taking it back.
Back in March 2014 a payroll reconfiguration saw annual leave deducted from hundreds of staff – this was quickly reversed as management and consultants undertook a review.
Now it seems that review has said that Virgin payroll has stuffed up on many levels – including failing to recalculate annual leave when job changes accrued through a pay period and in other cases input errors caused the problems among other things.
These “problems” have been happening since Virgin started in Australia and as a result many, many team members are affected. This is a complete system breakdown which ground crew staff members cannot be held responsible for.
Draw a line under mistakes
We have said to Virgin that they should NOT be deducting the annual leave that has been wrongly credited. We say that this has occurred through no fault of any ground crew team members and in many cases has happened years ago. We have said to Virgin – they should draw a line under these mistakes – fix the system and start afresh now not take the leave back from people.
At present, Virgin management has refused to do this. We think we should insist on keeping the leave, not the least because team members have been relying on the information provided by payroll and we say given the often long periods that the mistakes have gone unchecked frontline staff should not be penalised. We also think these annual leave credits have formed part of your contract of employment.
We also think it is unfair that the large number of staff who have left Virgin who would also have had these errors in their calculations would have benefited while existing staff are penalised.
What can you do?
The issue affects more staff guest services staff than pit crew so it is time that guest services staff stood up and said enough is enough.
Some people may only lose a few hours – but others will lose hundreds of hours. If you are affected make sure you contact payroll to get the full details of how and why this annual leave deduction occurred for you i.e. what the mistake that was made was – get print outs, check the information and ask questions. Also talk to your local ASU delegate or organiser. With so many people affected – we need to all work together and convince Virgin management that we should not be penalised.
The ASU has been raising payroll issues for a long time at Virgin and so the problem comes as no surprise what is a surprise is that now the company wants to penalise staff for their errors – we think we need to fight back.
Stay tuned for updates – on what you can and should do.