The creation of the fund
When the scale of the corona crisis became clear, the FPU, on behalf of its members, asked the politicians for help. Danish aviation had been shut down, and FPU pointed out that one of the ways to help aviation employees was by giving pilots support for their annual certificate renewal.
FPU addressed politicians, FPU’s chairman attended meetings to advise the government on restarting aviation, and good FPU members appeared in the press and told about the difficult situation Denmark’s pilots were in. FPU was heard, and as part of a political aid package, a fund of DKK 20 million was set up to bring unemployed pilots and air traffic controllers closer to a job in aviation again.
With its knowledge of aviation, FPU was selected to administer the fund and FPU has had a good collaboration with the authorities to get the fund set up. In its work, FPU has pointed out the many complicated nuances that jobs in aviation contain, and we have proposed solutions so that pilots and air traffic controllers get the best possible help to get back to a job.
FPU is ready to receive applications and we advise pilots and air traffic controllers. It is our hope and expectation that the fund will help unemployed pilots and air traffic controllers return to work as soon as aviation resumes.
FPU estimates that over 1,000 pilots have been laid off under COVID-19. The government, Venstre, Radikale Venstre, Socialistisk Folkeparti, Enhedslisten, Konservative and Alternativet have therefore agreed on creating a fund of DKK 20 million in 2021 to fund renewals of certifications for the pilots and air traffic controllers who have been dismissed since March 11, 2020.
The grant is targeted at unemployed commercial pilots and air traffic controllers who have no prospect of an employer-paid renewal of their certificates.
Why does FPU manage the fund?
FPU is in charge of the administration of the fund, including assessment and payment of grants to the individual pilot.
FPU is Denmark’s largest union for flying personnel in Denmark, including pilots, and is a member of the Trade Union Movement’s Main Organization (FH).
The Danish Agency for Labor Market and Recruitment has assessed that it is appropriate for the responsibility to be placed with FPU, as this ensures a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the pilots’ as well as the industry’s needs in the administration of the fund. This management model ensures that the fund lasts as long as possible and to the greatest possible extent lives up to the intention to benefit pilots and air traffic controllers as much as possible.
FPU is obliged to treat all applicants equally – regardless of whether they are a member of FPU, not organized or a member of another union.
In other words, the grant must be awarded to the individual applicant on the basis of objective criteria.
An advisory board has been set up consisting of representations from FPU (chairman), Danish Aviation / DI Transport and the Ministry of Employment at STAR. The council will – like STAR – receive the monthly status reports from FPU on the administration of the pool. The council meets quarterly. In addition, the council can be convened as needed if the FPU experiences that questions of doubt arise.
Other relevant unions for the three professional groups and the trade association Erhvervsflyvningens Sammenslutning (ES) have been invited to participate in the council.
Collaboration with providers
FPU is looking into the possibilities of collaborating with providers so that the applicants can get a fair price, and so that pilots can get help to find the partner they need to be in the simulator with.