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Join Balpa

Run by pilots for pilots.

by John Stembridge-King Head of Organisation

As Head of Organisation for BALPA, my job is to ensure BALPA runs smoothly and that it serves its members to the fullest. But what makes BALPA the organisation it is today is that it is a professional association run by pilots for pilots. Your input helps steer the organisation and means BALPA can speak up for pilots with an authentic voice. 

BALPA is governed by an Annual Delegates’ Conference (ADC) made up of representatives of the Company Councils and a National Executive Council (NEC) composed of elected pilots that is responsible for the Association. Also, for those members not represented by a Company Council there is an opportunity to elect national delegates thus ensuring all our members have a voice at Conference. 

It’s this NEC that holds the profession together. At ADC, we receive direction from BALPA members about the issues that matter to pilots. The NEC then makes sure that the voice of UK pilots is heard by all stakeholders.  
For BALPA to continue to be truly relevant it is vital that the NEC maintains diversity by engaging active pilots employed across the UK in all companies.. We are always looking for pilots to come forward to lead BALPA in to the future by standing for election and joining the NEC. 

So, would you like to stand?

Representing the profession can be very rewarding. It enables you to be the voice of pilots helping to inform decision making in the industry and beyond. But there is a time commitment involved averaging three to five days a month. BALPA will try to secure release from your employer to give you as much practical support and training as you need, but potential candidates should appreciate that this is an important job and the role will require personal commitment. 

But if you do have that time and want to put your name forward, let us know! 

What happens now?

There are rules for the election that have been adopted to ensure the NEC is as broadly representative as possible and that representatives from any one airline are not in a majority.

In addition, half of the NEC is elected each year and in accordance with the rules there are seven positions being contested this year.

The nomination process

A nomination can be made by filling in a simple form which will be sent out to members in early August. The closing date for nominations is the 1st September.

Each nominee can submit an election manifesto of no more than 400 words, summarising their interest in the role and outlining their aims and objectives should they be successful in the election. There are guidelines for manifestos and it’s the candidate’s responsibility to ensure the manifesto is correct and contains no libellous material.

In the event that there are more nominations than the number of vacancies in each constituency, a ballot paper containing the names of the candidates will be sent to members during September asking members to cast their votes.  

If you wish to stand for election please complete the nomination form when it arrives and return it to our appointed independent scrutineer who oversees the process.

Statutory Paper Ballots

We are obliged by law to conduct NEC elections by paper ballot. We would prefer to make it as easy as possible to take part in these important elections by using online electronic balloting such as we use for Company Council elections. BALPA is working with the TUC and other organisations to change the law in this regard, but in the meantime, should a ballot be necessary, returning your ballot paper in the pre-paid envelope will be the only way to vote in an NEC Election.

So, if you think you can make a difference and help shape BALPA in the future please get in touch. I would like to wish you all good luck and take this opportunity to pass on the best wishes of the NEC to all those who seek election.