You may like a 5/4 roster but do you really think Ryanair has it in place to appease pilots? The following article breaks down the real reason Ryanair operates on a 5/4 roster and its all about what’s good for management.
Look at the math
Much has been made of the threat of a 5/3 roster being forced on Ryanair bases if they do not comply with the non-negotiated negotiations and sign up to a new deal.
Those of us who have been here for a long time remember when the roster was 5/3 – 5/2. This was unworkable so a 5/3 – 5/3 roster was implemented. Again this proved unworkable to the company and the 5/4 roster was developed and implemented.
The company sold this 5/4 roster to the pilot body as if it was a concession to pilots. While the 5/4 roster is a huge attraction to pilots for obvious reasons, it is CRUCIAL to Ryanair for the following reason….
Ryanair, as with other departments, have not invested heavily enough in their rostering department to monitor closely the hours of over 4200 pilots. Therefore Ryanair need a HUGE amount of flexibility. This has led them develop a system that allows them to roster 12 hour duties (12 hour standbys, 12 hour 4 sector days, etc).
In any 28 day period the maximum number of duty hours a pilot can do is 190. Ryanair cannot change this limit.
This 190 hour duty limit will only work on a 5/4 pattern.
Here’s why ….
- A 5/4 pattern is a 9 day week.
- A 9 day week divided by 28 days = 3.11 weeks
- 3.11 weeks X 5 days per week = 15.55 days
- 15.55 days X 12 hours per day = 186.66 hours
Mission accomplished !! – This satisfies the limit of 190 duty hours per 28 days.
Now lets see how a 5/3 roster pattern works:
- A 5/3 pattern is an 8 day week
- An 8 day week divided by 28 days = 3.5 weeks
- 3.5 weeks X 5 days per week = 17.5 days
- 17.5 days X 12 hours per day = 210 hours
This is above the 190 duty hour limit! This is not legally acceptable or achievable under current regulations!
This explains why Ryanair need the 5/4 roster more than they would like to admit. If Ryanair were to implement a 5/3 roster they would ultimately have to change their operational practices or huge rostering issues, much larger than the current crisis, would occur.
Remember, Ryanair had the 5/3 roster before. THIS DID NOT WORK !!
It did not work when the company was smaller and carrying less passengers. It certainly would not work with the increasing passenger numbers and the current and ongoing mass exodus of pilots.
Don’t be fooled! A 5/4 roster is not a concession to you and Ryanair will not easily revert to another roster pattern.