Air Ambulance pilots sue Babcock over salary

air ambulance jet plane babcockAir Ambulance jetplane, operated by Babcock in Norway. Photo: John Trygve Tollefsen / BSAA / NTB scanpix

Air Ambulance pilots sue Babcock over salary

A conflict involving the company Babcock and the Air Ambulance service continues. 90 pilots are now suing their employer to retain their previous salary.

The pilots believe they are entitled to keep their seniority, and salaries, when the Swedish-British company Babcock takes over the operation of the Norwegian Air Ambulance service on July 1st, 2019, writes Dagbladet.

The complainants were previously employed by the company Lufttransport, which lost the bid to continue as the service operator. The pilots have struggled to keep their previous working conditions ever since the outcome of the tender was known. The pilots maintain that the change of employer is to be regarded as a so-called business transfer. Thus, retaining terms and conditions.

Staffing crisis in Lufttransport

“We aim to obtain a final legal clarification of which rights an employer has after a bidding round. The pilots want to retain their salary and seniority,” lawyer in Arntzen de Besche, Lars Holo, states. The law firm represents the pilots in the case.

Babcock has not accepted business transfer earlier in the process. The Norwegian Business Organisation (NHO) represents the company in the litigation.

A staffing crisis broke out in the Air Ambulance service in northern Norway in late April last year. The controversy over the pay and working conditions they were to receive at Babcock, led thirteen pilots to quit. This created a pilot shortage for Lufttransport (Air Transport), which operated the service.



Assessment of the Air Ambulance service

The case was raised to the highest political level. Minister of Health, Bent Høie (Conservatives), was accused of lacking political leadership by the opposition. The Norwegian Parliament has decided that the government must investigate whether it is better with a public/non-profit operation of the Air Ambulance service. Høie has promised that this report will be compiled during the current parliamentary term.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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