Aer Lingus management and SIPTU have negotiated proposals which could herald a reduction in the 500 redundancies announced by the airline last week.  

The final version of the Covid Crisis Recovery Plan agreed with SIPTU will go to ballot.

If the plan is accepted, the airline has said that the number of job losses will be reduced. The document does not specify a figure for redundancies however. 

The airline had set a deadline of last Monday week for acceptance of a previous draft of the Recovery Plan, which would not have given non-pilot unions time to ballot on the proposals. 

However, management withdrew that document when the cabin crew grade, represented by Fórsa insisted on balloting on the proposals. This resulted in a deadline for acceptance by all unions being missed. 

It was at that point that Aer Lingus announced it would be proceeding with 500 redundancies, in addition to reducing pay of most staff from the current 50% of pre-Covid rates to just 30%, implementing lay-offs for around 200 staff, and its intention to force through disputed work practice reforms. 

Today's document emerged from a further round of negotiations over the past week.  

SIPTU Divisional Organise Karan O'Loughlin said that of the 500 redundancies announced by Aer Lingus last week, 270 would have affected SIPTU members.  

Ms O'Loughin said the new document would mean fewer redundancies - though the document does not give a revised figure - and she anticipated that compulsory redundancies would not now be required.

She also said provisions which had worried staff for the recovery of over-payments or "deficit hours" - when the airline retains pay at 50% of pre-Covid rates despite activity falling below half of normal working hours - contained better protections for members.  

Ms O'Loughlin said she expects SIPTU's ballot to be completed within two weeks. 

Aer Lingus said that in recent days it has had constructive discussions with SIPTU on the issues of pay and work practice changes. 

"We welcome the fact that a document has now been agreed and will be put to a ballot of SIPTU members. We await the outcome," the airline said. 

"Discussions have not taken place with other unions. We are however commencing a process of consultation with unions on anticipated redundancies in Aer Lingus," it added.