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Bonus payment turns into payroll debacle at Jetstar

03 December 2012 By ASU, the airlines industry union

The bonus that should have been a great reward for loyal hardworking Jetstar customer service staff has turned into yet another Jetstar payroll disaster, the fourth major payroll system failure this year.

Hot on the heels of the failure to pay the 3% pay rise due in October 2012 comes a series of errors with the new bonus system.

What's gone wrong?

Many things have gone wrong with the bonus pay. If you set aside some of the issues with staff and airport assessments, which also have their problems, it appears a range of payroll "issues" have also occurred.

ASU delegates report that the following has occurred:

  • Part-time staff working less than full-time getting a larger bonus than full-time staff with the same assessment at the same airport.
  • Part-time staff working the same shifts with the same assessment at the same airport but paid different amounts.
  • Same tax deducted for different bonus amounts.
  • No tax deducted but a "tax" credit.
  • Different tax deducted for the same bonus amount.
  • Part-time staff with the same assessment working different hours getting the same bonus.
  • Staff who were entitled to the bonus getting nothing.

There are more issues too – but you get the general idea what has happened.

Your ASU reps have demanded answers from Jetstar on your behalf and so we met with Carolyn Noumertzis – Heard of People, Chris Snook – Acting HO Ground Operations and Executive Manager – Engineering and Kylie Gardner People Manger – Customer Service and Ground Operations on Thursday 29th November 2012 to discuss the issues.

Cop it on the chin!

At first the attitude of Jetstar management at our meeting was that customer service staff should be grateful they got a bonus and should "cop it on the chin" as one of the managers put it. This was an insulting comment particularly given the history of payroll problems.

Management went to great lengths to justify the airport ratings assessments – failing to acknowledge though that the busiest airports did the worst and that there must be some management responsibility for the airport ratings.

Your delegates forthrightly but politely told the company reps about the problems with the airport ratings, we also questioned how PSM's and airport management could get bonuses if some airports customer service was "not performing" in their opinion. We also wonder how customer service staff can be responsible for issues beyond their control, like the offshored call centre or late flights from other ports.

On the payroll problems, management explained one error they believed had occurred that is that part-time staff were only paid for their minimum contract hours not what was worked.

That's what they thought anyway! That was wrong too.

Your delegates were able to give numerous examples where part timers were getting different amounts with the same contracted hours!

The only union to complain

Management tried to tell us we were the only union to complain about the bonus issue (we are proud of this by the way) – turns out others have issues too and are complaining and querying now as well.

FINALLY, the management reps realised the extent of the payroll related problems and have said that they will come back to us on Tuesday 4th December with a response to the issues raised.

What you should do

If you have a query or issue with your bonus, raise it immediately with your manager. The company said to us they wanted to understand all the problems – don't be shy in coming forward. Also tell your ASU delegate.

What next?

We will report back after the response on 4th December.

Here is hoping they get it right.

More information

Please contact your local ASU Delegate or organiser at the ASU for further information (download the full bulletin for details).

icon Jetstar Bulletin #46

Contact Details
Name: Linda White, ASU Assistant National Secretary
Telephone: 03 9342 1400