In early September, the annual conference of the European annual Cabin Crew Association EurECCA took place. Around 40 delegates from the member countries of EurECCA- unions had come into the Portuguese SNPVAC office to discuss current internal issues as well as European aviation matters.
The President Annette Groeneveld opened the conference by thanking the Portuguese colleagues for the perfect organization on the spot. She then gave an overview on the agenda.
The focus of the conference this year was the one on the review of the work of the first six months of our fledgling organization, on the other hand to the outlook on the work priorities in the coming year.
After the Executive Board has started its work in January this year in Brussels, an intense dialogue with colleagues from the ECA, the European Cockpit Association, started as we share same views on many topics.
Even with the colleagues of the European Transport Federation talks have already been held.
The President pointed out that it is crucial for EurECCA as a new organization in Brussels to be known among decision-makers in the Commission and the relevant MEPs.
She highlighted that this is the very reason why EurECCA was founded: to define the specific interests of Cabin Crews in Europe and lobby them as successful as possible at the European level.
Here EurECCA is of course dependent on the expertise of the individual national unions.
An important point of contact at European level is further EASA. It is designed as European Aviation Safety Agency, the top and supervisor of all national aviation agencies and governs much of our everyday working conditions. For example the statutory duty and rest times (FTL), the minimum number of crews in each aircraft, our training standards etc.
The president summed the talks at political level took place with the President of the EASA, in which we have introduced our cabin-specific expertise.
The Internet presence of EurECCA has also taken a lot of time.
Under www.eurecca.aero we are also active on the internet and the presence successively expand and fill them with content. EurECCA is also active in the European standardization Committees. Here we are redefining together with other stakeholders as well as the industry the standards for cabin air in commercial aircraft in the coming years in a Technical Committee (TC 436). As this concern health and safety matters EurECCA puts a lot of effort in this field.
Looking back to the first month it is clear that a local presence in Brussels is essential. Many important events, meetings, round tables, etc. will be organized only in the short term and require a high degree of flexibility. To make things even more complicate, policy makers reschedule their agenda at very short notice and that requires a lot of flexibility.
Commenting on the outlook for the coming year, several key activities were highlighted:
Internally, we will build an EurECCA own Facebook presence to communicate more closely with the individual cabin crew.
Politically in Brussels, the upcoming Aviation Paper is the most important matter at present. The Commission has defined the European civilian aviation sector as a central focal point for the coming years and will present early next year an Aviation Strategy. This topic is extremely complex and involves both opportunities and risks for the cabin crews.
We will inform you in more detail in the coming weeks and months.
Furthermore, we will continue ask for acceptance as an association in the Social Dialogue. In this institution, the workers representatives and the industry discuss many many topics from the Civil Aviation Sector. We are convinced that an independent voice of the Cabin Crew is essential.
This is only a small part of our diverse work:
As a young association, we want to grow and therefore we were very pleased that the Irish union IMPACT had submitted their application for membership for the cabin crew colleagues. The conference unanimously voted in favor and thus EurECCA now counts nine trade unions from eight countries with more than 35000 affiliates.
With other national unions, we are talking and expect in the coming months more national unions to join.
This is a positive sign for the right basic idea of EurECCA and makes us optimistic.
In a final open discussion of the importance of effective communication was highlighted. The Board will focus on the different aspects of that in the upcoming months.
The audience expressed its wish to make the different national rules accessible for all European affiliates. The Board will consider the implementation of such a project and develop an appropriate implementation proposal.
The participants thanked the Board for their work.