We live in a crisis that nobody could have ever foreseen. The spread of the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus has been so unexpected, and so rapidly developing, that it is testing the ability of governments to cope with it.
The aviation industry is on the front line of this race against time, which our society is facing, to try to avoid saturating our healthcare systems. The decision to limit travel as much as possible is a measure that, although totally necessary, has struck airlines at the heart of their business.
The Sepla Company Councils work tirelessly with their respective companies, seeking solutions to the difficulties encountered. We know that this crisis is going to be hard, but also that we will overcome if we all fight together: companies and employees.
Likewise, and from the first moment, Sepla opened its institutional channels to address, together with the Administration, financial entities, insurers, and other social agents, the most pressing problems for our affiliates at this difficult moment, in order to find solutions that could help them deal with this situation in the least traumatic possible way. We are confident that, in the coming days, these negotiations will begin to bear its fruits.
Our absolute priority now is to guarantee service to our members and their Company Council delegates. In this sense, and despite the difficulties inherent in the physical restrictions that teleworking implies, all Sepla areas are giving their best in this task.
We understand and share the sacrifice faced by the professionals who Sepla represents. For this reason, the Governing Board, through its Permanent Commission, with the aim of helping to alleviate some of the difficulties that our colleagues may be suffering, has made the decision to suspend the issuance of the membership fee for the pilots affected by this situation, during the months of April, May and June. From this period on, depending on how the general situation develops, the Sepla Governing Board will apply the measures deemed necessary to support our affiliates in this situation.
This decision is made knowing that it will mean a drastic cut in the revenue section of the budget, which is why we must appeal to the union’s reserves, which, on the other hand, are intended for these kind of situations, but we are convinced that Sepla must always be next to its pilots, until the end.
We are aware that the real battle to defend our labour rights will be fought once the crisis is over. At that time, the Company Councils should be ready to negotiate the recovery of jobs along with decent conditions. For this fight, they will need a strong and solvent Union to support them, and Sepla will support them with all its resources to achieve their objectives.
We also want to announce you, that Sepla offers you a program in which we’ve been working for many months: the PAPI Pilots’ Support Program. Through this program, pilots can receive private and confidential psychological support to deal with issues related to their emotional well-being.
The team working on the development of this Program is completely ready to start listening to all of you who request it. In difficult times, the support of a colleague who deals with our same concerns “first-hand”, is always comforting. The “Peers” team, well trained in CISM methodology, will be at your entire disposition, and will have the full support of the program and its structure. To request this support, you can call the Sepla emergency phone number (+34 649 092 801). We are also working on the development of a website which will be ready next week, and which we will send you as soon as we have it finished.
It is time to stay together, leaning on each other to overcome these difficult times together. Once again, we will demonstrate that our profession knows how to stay calm and firm in the face of adversity, and up to the challenge
Courage! We will fly together again.