Aer Lingus pilots have been offered a generous deal by the troubled airline which protects them from redundancy and outlines an agreed pathway to full pay restoration.
The proposed pilot agreement, seen by the Sunday Independent, sharply contrasts to one offered to cabin and ground crew last weekend and which has since been pulled by the company.
The withdrawal of that agreement last Monday was followed by the announcement on Friday that 500 ground staff are to be made redundant, on top of 296 seasonal and catering staff who are also to leave the airline.
Aer Lingus management has agreed with pilot union IALPA that "no pilot member will suffer involuntary unpaid leave, lay-off, furlough and/or redundancy" for the period of the agreement, which runs to the end of September 2021.
The agreement guarantees all pilots in the company no less than 50pc of their wages. Pilots' pay will then increase to no less than 60pc on or before October 1, 2020, to no less than 70pc on or before January 1, 2021, and will increase to no less than 80pc on or before April 1, 2021.
Pilot pay will return to what it was before the Covid-19 crisis when the period of the proposed agreement ends in September next year.
A key principle of the agreement is that "the pay 'savings' from pilots are invested in retaining pilots in employment".
By contrast, ground staff and cabin crew could see wages fall to just 30pc from today. Siptu was locked in talks with management yesterday in an attempt to resurrect a deal which would have seen wages stay at 50pc but only increase as business at the airline increased.
The pilots' agreement is subject to ratification by secret ballot of pilots' union IALPA members. By contrast, the cabin crew and ground handling proposals were pulled by the company after Forsa insisted on holding a ballot of cabin crew. Siptu had refused requests from its shop stewards to hold such a ballot, telling them it was too difficult due to Covid-19 and because the company had only given them three days to agree the deal.
Asked why the airline did not agree to allowing for similar ballots by Siptu and Forsa of ground and cabin crew, an Aer Lingus spokeswoman said: "From early in our discussions, all parties accepted that public health restrictions would cause the ICTU group of unions to have difficulties consulting with and balloting their members in the normal way. It was therefore accepted by all parties that the discussion be structured in the form of a document that could be accepted by the unions rather than requiring a balloting process in the traditional way."