Since Virgin publicly announced significant job losses on 5 August your USU/ASU representatives have been involved in extensive negotiations where we have tried to make the restructure process as fair and transparent as possible for Guest Services employees. We understand that Virgin intends to send detailed information to employees and open Expressions of Interest on 21 August 2020.

We are holding a Virgin USU/ASU members information session to go through your questions in detail at 7pm AEST Monday 24 August. You can register for that meeting here:

We have been able to make some significant improvements to the proposal originally made by Virgin, including convincing them to significantly improve the staff travel benefit for employees who are made redundant, and creating an option where staff who are made redundant can remain employed until April 2020 and access JobKeeper.

We will provide members with detailed briefing on the EOI process and the options available tomorrow.

An overview of the process

  • EOIs will open 1pm Friday 21 August, and close at 6pm Thursday 6 September
  • The options that will be available are:
    • Voluntary redundancy – because of the hard work of your ASU representatives we have been able to get Virgin to agree to offer 2 options for an end date for employees who take a voluntary redundancy: either 3 October or 3 April (which would allow an employee to continue to be paid JobKeeper)
    • Leave With Out Pay – for either 12 or 24 months
    • Available to work
  • EOIs are not binding on either employees or management – if you indicate an interest in a voluntary redundancy you can change your mind before you accept a final offer, but there is also no guarantee you will be made redundant if you express an interest.
  • Virgin will provide redundancy pay estimates to all staff on Monday 24 August
  • Virgin has advised that it expects to make 276 employees (or 184 FTE) redundant from Guest Services through this process.
  • Leave and service will not accrue during Leave With Out Pay.

Improvement to staff travel benefit

Virgin originally offered 2 years of staff travel to staff who take a voluntary redundancy. ASU members raised concerns with this not being fair, given the uncertainty about when flying will resume or borders will open. We are pleased that Virgin listened to our concerns on this, and have agreed to an improved staff travel offer for employees who take a voluntary redundancy, as follows:

Access to standby travel (unlimited for Group 1, Group 1 Extended and 40 sectors for Group 2 per FBT year) for 3 years or a greater period equivalent to years of service with VA, capped at 10 years.

More detailed information

We are awaiting some final information from Virgin and will provide more detailed information on each of the options in our full bulletin to members.

Don’t forget to register to come along to our member information session on Monday night here:

We know this is a really difficult time, and you will be concerned about this process, but we want to assure you that your union will be by your side every step of the way throughout this process.