The Vereinigung Cockpit is a democratic, politically independent and through us pilots self-determined association. Its success depends crucially on a high degree of organization of membership in all airlines. Join this community of around 10,000 members.
Five reasons to join Vereinigung Cockpit:
The VC represents the professional interests of its members. The Flight Safety Department deals intensively with the following topics:
- Working conditions in the cockpit,
- Flight duty periods,
- Radiation and air pollution,
- Training standards and qualifications,
- Human Factors,
- Equipment level and potential dangers at airports and navigation,
- Cooperation and regulations with and from ATC, LBA, BFU etc.
We pilots have certainly already experienced how incomplete or even incorrect the knowledge outside the cockpit is about our profession. Therefore, a competent advocacy for pilots can only be operated by colleagues from the cockpit.
The most well-known result of VC's Flight Safety work is the annual VC airport check by the working group "Airport & Ground Environment" (AG AGE) and "Air Traffic Services" (AG ATS), in which the German airports are reviewed according to international regulations and requirements. Airspace structures are reviewed and possibly objected to by the award of stars.
Another highlight for aviation safety in Germany is the German Flight Safety Forum, which was initiated by the VC working group "Accident Analysis and Prevention" (AG AAP) with the support of the Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU), the German Air Traffic Control Agency (DFS) and the General Aviation Safety of the Bundeswehr. Every year, the safety pilots of the airlines, safety officers of the DFS, the Bundeswehr, the BFU and the VC meet here in order to discuss accidents, incidents and their future avoidance in a confidential manner. With its increasing number of participants year after year, the German Flight Safety Forum has become an important practice-oriented institution, which is heard in the relevant circles and creates impulses for safety improvements in the form of "resolutions".
The 18 working groups with around 150 active airliners from most German airlines form the professional backbone of VC's Flight Safety Department and constructively influence our working environment. The fact that there is virtually no area where we as VC did not contribute to improvements is not guaranteed either naturally or even permanently. Your membership and also your personal commitment in the VC are required to fulfill and secure your aviation interests.
The competition is getting sharper and airlines are constantly trying to break out of the corset of tariff policy. The collective bargaining interests of VC members are more important than ever. Company councils are set up to prepare and conduct collective bargaining and to advise on the conclusion and termination of collective labour agreements (CLA) for the cockpit staff.
Contrary to long-term opinion, however, CLA's are not limited to regulating remuneration conditions. This is especially true for aviation. There are numerous collective agreements with other regulatory content. Also typical are, for example, so-called CLA's "Terms and working conditions", which regulate working hours, holidays, rest periods and maximum permitted working hours above legal minimums. Also common are CLA's governing capitulation and the ability to change aircraft types within and even beyond the boundaries of an airline. Rarer, but no less important, are collective agreements that regulate care after leaving the company until retirement benefits and / or supplementing inadequate pension entitlements. Of very fundamental importance are also the so-called employee representation collective agreements, without which there would be no employee representation in the field of flying personnel due to the withdrawal from the Works Constitution Act in the sense of the usual in Germany works councils.
The legal protection provided by VC is governed by the legal protection order and includes not only the granting of legal protection by the full or proportionate assumption of necessary legal and procedural costs, but offers also legal advice for VC members. Legal information and recommendations for conduct are issued in written form, by telephone or as part of personal consultations. Issues that are most frequently raised include not only questions about dismissal and warnings, but also questions about background checks, flight attendance and rest periods, or the assessment of employment contracts. An increasing role is also played by issues such as bullying and the fear of "disciplining over check flights to be carried out" as well as all issues relating to the inability to fly. The unbeatable advantage offered by membership of the VC in this context is, in addition to the fast and cost-effective settlement of problems or legal protection cases, above all the substantive support by the working groups.
Several times a year, VC members reach out to ous when involved in a flying incident or even accident. For this purpose, the working group Accident Analysis and Prevention (AG AAP) has developed an emergency plan whose system has since gained high recognition among foreign pilots' associations and airlines. The emergency plan describes the coordinated process, from the receipt of an emergency call to the initiation of the first action, message to the board of directors, the decision on the use of a crisis team and the alerting of all involved bodies. In addition to the precise staffing of the crisis Staff, the plan also helps inform AG AA, Crew Incident Stress Management (CISM), Staff Representatives, Legal Advisers, the Press Team, etc. All variations - whether foreign or domestic, German occupation or foreign counterparts, small incidents up to large requirements - can be flexibly processed hereby. So far, we have been able to provide support as quickly as possible when it was most needed, sometimes faster and more comprehensively than the airline concerned could demonstrate.
Are unfitness for airworthiness or a longer lasting "pending" up for discussion? You have a need for discussion and are looking for a person of your choice? As a professional organization, we provide help to affected members on many issues from the beginning; e.g. with medical advice, procedural information with the LBA and the Aerospace Committee, medical reviewers or other medical specialists. For example, the VC members can confidently turn to the VC working group on aviation medicine, whose members have a double qualification in physician and traffic pilot "both sides".
The Foundation Support Fund of VC members supports distressed VC members and their families.
The VC is at the disposal of the public and in particular of the press as the first point of contact for all matters relating to aviation, in particular aviation security. We provide information on the occupational, social and economic situation of cockpit crews. Thus, the VC contributes to a positive professional image of the pilots in public.
In addition, we offer information about the pilot profession at numerous events and trade fairs for job starters. We keep our members up to date on all developments in the VC occupational and collective bargaining policy as well as our other consulting services. We also offer insights in our work through our member magazine VC-Info (only available in German) and through the members' section on our website. There you also have the opportunity to keep in touch with other members through forums, for example. This service is rounded off by numerous special publications for VC members.