On 24 and 25 November 2015 in Vienna was held the final annual meeting of the Civil Aviation section of ETF. It was carried out there at the invitation and with the cooperation of the Austrian trade union vida, which is a key member of the ETF.
Normally, the Assembly was preceded by regular meetings of the three committees comprising the section – ATM Committee, Ground Staff Committee and Cabin Crew Committee / Pilots’ Working Group. FTTUB was represented by its members and experts in all of them. The work session of the ATM Committee was attended by trade unionists of the FTTUB affiliate in BULATSA, the meeting of Ground Staff Committee was joined by members of the FTTUB affiliate at Sofia Airport and Antonia Panayotova, an International Relations expert, represented FTTUB in the Cabin Crew Committee / Pilots’ Working Group.
On 25 November the Section Meeting began with the celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Enrique Carmona, President of Civil Aviation Section, emphasized the importance of the horizontal policies, and then the Assembly continued its work on the agenda.
In anticipation of the new Aviation strategy of the European Union, which is to be published in the form of a Communication from the Commission on 7 December 2015, the members of the section discussed the procedure for structuring the future ETF’s official position on this fundamental issue for European aviation. An update was made on the Aviation package and the new Roadmap to the general regulations of EASA. It was pointed out that the inclusion of ground handling services within the scope of EASA at the suggestion of ETF, addressed to the European Commission is a great victory and recognition of the quality and expertise of the ETF as a social partner and a stakeholder in European civil aviation.
Another topic for discussion was the introduction and implementation of Regulation (EC) № 376/2014 on reporting, analysis and follow-up of events in civil aviation, the so called “Just Culture” Regulation, which final date for implementation was 15 November 2015.
There was a review of the results of European social dialogue for civil aviation, in which ETF participates as a social partner and stakeholder. In late May 2015, in the framework of the regular annual meeting of the ESD the social partners agreed to participate in an EU co-financed project “Ground Handling Social Dialogue Support”. ETF is the applicant for this project with ACI Europe and ASA as co-applicants, and AEA as an associated organisation. The general aim of the project is to assist the social partners in ground handling to facilitate the social dialogue and come up with joint proposals. It will last two years, during which time an in-depth research will be performed on four main topics the social partners have identified: status of the ground handling market by mapping of the degree of market access in EU-28, social rights, update on the overview of training and qualifications in ground handling and quality standards. Bulgaria, along with five other Member States – Germany, Italy, Belgium, Denmark and the UK, will be a subject of the research. The work plan and the timetable of the project are ready and according to them three workshops are scheduled for presentation of the intermediary data. The project is expected to finish in November 2017, but before that a Synthesis Conference will be organised at which the outcome of the project will be presented to larger audience. Besides the social partners, the Conference will include the European decision-makers and other stakeholders. Antonia Panayotova will represent FTTUB in the Project Steering Committee, which first meeting will be held on 14 January 2016 in Brussels.
The Section meeting went on with discussions on other current issues, among which the forthcoming (February 2016) implementation of Regulation (EC) № 83/2014 (FTL).
The French trade unions presented a joint statement in connection with the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November and with the associated restrictions on trade union activities as a result of the emergency situation declared in France.
The Assembly ended with organisational issues and scheduling an extraordinary section meeting in January 2016 for voting and adoption of the official ETF position on the new Aviation strategy of the European Commission.