BAFF - Thoughts...

#2
Minimal interest from the Dark Blue for some reason. It has won the interest of high level parties in the RN, but I don't know about support..... A lot of this stems from the huge difference between RN Divisional System which has done so well for a long time (but is now creaking and being revamped), and the Army system which is pretty much non-existent. We have such different operating routines and requirements that it is hard for our guys to draw a level comparison - we don't have to suffer with effed up kit on a personal level, ours is more on a unit/general level. I don't know how much power they will have yet - the Govt will not allow them to have much power, which may cause problems with how seriously people take them.
 
#3
No dark blue support???
Well, there's a great deal of 'dark blue activity' because there are detailed plans to create a NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION (initiated by navy people) to lobby for and on behalf of all of our Armed Forces; this was started off by naval personnel, but is TRI-SERVICE in its aims which are shown here:

A proposed CONSTITUTION OF THE NATIONAL DEFENCE ASSOCIATION and associated notes.

1. The Purpose of the NDA. The primary purpose of the NDA is:

To present to the public, the press and politicians of the United Kingdom the case for sufficient, appropriate and fully funded Armed and other Defence Services, so that the Country, its people and their vital interests at home and throughout the world are defended effectively.

In addition and contributing to the Association’s primary purpose, the NDA is also available to assist and advise serving personnel to promote their professional and personal welfare and well being – so that they may thus perform their duties effectively and so contribute to the Nation’s defence.

There is a whole paper on the subject which explains why such an NDA is required, and how it is being formed. To receive a copy direct to you by email contact me (Frustrated) at:

[email protected]

We had hoped to combine our efforts with the embryo BAFF but those rather petered out. Do read about the NDA and offer your comments.
 

PompeySailor

Lantern Swinger
#4
If the "dark blue activity" is open and up-front, then why is it not being passed through the proper channels?

Believe me, I would know if it was ;-)
 

PompeySailor

Lantern Swinger
#6
Not really. I just have a job where I get to see the sort of information that this subject relates to when it surfaces at the top of the food chain. Only there for a couple more months, so then I can declare all, but it would not be prudent to do so openly on here at the moment!

Inappropriate comments removed by site admin (Bad CO)
 
#7
I agree the points made by PompeySailor. Despite what some would have you believe, the RN has been pretty good in looking after it's people through the Divisional System - especially when compared with the other Services. It is interesting to note that initiatives such as IiP are heavily based on it. The other points about kit on a personal level are also valid.

I'm neither for nor against a Federation. I can see it's value in some quarters however, as something of a traditionalist, I hold firm the belief that we serve this country first - ahead of any personal motives. For this service it is reasonable and right to expect that our leaders and the population in general should support us in terms of pay and conditions of service particularly given the risks that many go through on their behalf.

Notwithstanding all this, whatever the outcome of this proposed Federation, we should never look for nor accept the right to take industrial action.
 

PompeySailor

Lantern Swinger
#8
I don't believe that we would ever take industrial action, or even that legally we are allowed to. I would like to see a combination of the BAFF (to essentially provide a Divisional System which covers three services) and the NDA to provide a coherent voice at a political level. My main concern is the fifth column which tend to get involved with these things to either promote their own interests (happened with the Families Feds), or to see them become stagnant jobs for the boys organisations. Something along the lines of the Legion (with a younger outlook!) would be useful, but at the end of the day we will end up with very little clout. All the time we can be placed at the end of a legal order (even one based on tenuous legal statements!), we have no option other than doing the job we are paid for.
 

Levers_Aligned

War Hero
Moderator
#9
PompeySailor said:
I don't believe that we would ever take industrial action, or even that legally we are allowed to. I would like to see a combination of the BAFF (to essentially provide a Divisional System which covers three services) and the NDA to provide a coherent voice at a political level. My main concern is the fifth column which tend to get involved with these things to either promote their own interests (happened with the Families Feds), or to see them become stagnant jobs for the boys organisations. Something along the lines of the Legion (with a younger outlook!) would be useful, but at the end of the day we will end up with very little clout. All the time we can be placed at the end of a legal order (even one based on tenuous legal statements!), we have no option other than doing the job we are paid for.
There's a big difference between 'doing the job you're paid for' and being sold down the line by a bunch of lightweights. Year on year the AF have seen small nibbles taken from their budgets, this in a world we are reliably informed is just as dangerous as the one of the sixties and seventies. When I joined, the Royal Navy amassed some 89,000 people, now we have just over a third of that. I am not rescinding on earlier posts, advocating some structural change to meet the varying threat... we still need to move with the times. But for me, the past twenty-odd years has seem gross incompetence and mismanagement by senior staff, some wholesale ignorance of the Armed Forces functionability by Cabinet Ministers, and a failure to realise - at the highest level - that we provide the absolute backbone to the fabric and order of society. For that we are rewarded with Defence Ministers who are nothing more than cod-lawyers, like Hoon and ones who have only future interests at heart, like BAE Systems board-member Michael Portillo (ahem! LPD(R) and Astute ahem!)

Because this great nation is politically crumbling, and because people would rather watch 12 people in an East London studio-house eat each other's livers than watch Question Time, because it matters more to get richer, quicker and with less effort and that low taxes mean more cash, NOW! and shoddier public services and defence...our lot is casually pushed into the shadow. That is, until the ******* firemen go on strike, someone is needed to incinerate livestock or there's a nasty case of Act of God to clean up, we get calmly forgotten about, whilst the graceless shower of shit this country forgot to vote out of office carries on paying stupid money for stupid contracts (dealt by stupid Ministers on their way into Stupid Boardrooms in the future). Everything invariable runs catastrophically late and over budget, and to save grace and face, those genuises carry on pitchforking cash into the toilet. No one is held to account. No one who shook hands gets jailed. Why should they when everyone is talking about Strictly Come Dancing and the World Cup?

Accountability is what this is all about, and it is a strand that I personally have wanted folowed for donkey's years now. If I **** up...I can kiss goodbye to my pension, gratuity and good name. I'd like some parity here with those bastards who play poker with our world. I'd like Blair to come clean and admit the Iraq venture has failed. I'd like more people to browse the Ogrish website and see what our troops have to face out there, and for Des Browne to explain on live television what the **** he is doing to rehabilitate people who have to deal with that. I'd like the defence industry wholly Select Committeed, piece by piece and investigated of it's worthiness. I'd like a freeze on cuts for five years, and for every single organisation within the three services to announce a ban on organisational restructuring and for them all...everyone...to keep the names and acronyms they possess for one ******* year, at least. Change is the new steady state as I have said, but it does not have to be so strident that it is implemented without accountability. I have admitted in earlier postings that some changes have been made which are damaging to the service and it's structure...the Operator/Mechanic to name but one. But for all the people we lost because of a bad call, for all the hard gaps borne at sea and the wholesale decimation of one vital branch of the Royal Navy, did we see anyone sacked?

Maybe the NDA or BAFF could act to pursue accountability...

Levers
 
#10
The BAFF website is now up and running.

Please do join in the debate on ARRSE - I know that the Steering Committee want to get as many thoughts as possible from all ranks across the Armed Forces. It would really help if you'd have a think about what you'd like the BAFF to do for you and lobby your friends and colleagues for their ideas, and add them to the thread, like Darth has done:

Darth_Doctrinus said:
What I'd like the BAFF to do for me - Updated! :)

  • 1. Get us a pay rise that actually means something after the additional increase in food, accn and F&L goes in as well. Stop AFPRB dressing up bad news as the exact opposite. Provide independent advice concerning pay and allowances across the piece.

    2. Ensure that soldiers' concerns about medals are met with action, not weasel words from some Minister. Our people don't get much recognition for their efforts, and what little they do get must be delivered.

    3. A full, open and honest report into the complete debacle that was the rollout of the new pension scheme.

    4. A strong voice to shout down the media when appalling one-sided 'stories' are released. Can you imagine Piers Moron getting away with his 'abuse' pictures if the BAFF had been able to jump all over him there and then, using competent and operationally experienced people to counter those allegations, as opposed to the pathetic response from the MoD.

    5. Ensure that the spirit of the covenant that exists between our people and our leaders is maintained as fully as possible. Our people are our critical centre of gravity - they are being betrayed.

    6. Ensure that TA personnel remain part of the wider family, especially in terms of post-op tour care if required. Additionally to ensure that employers remain engaged, and that families of those serving are also supported.

    7. Impartial and balanced legal and financial advice for its members.

    8. Provide information on TACOS.

    9. Provide advice to members concerning redress, grievances and complaints. This needs to be coupled to an explicit statement from the BAFF that such advice will in no way undermine established process.

    10. Provision of a free monthly newsletter keeping all members up-to-date with latest developments.

    11. Find out why leave carried forward (part of an entitlement) is allowed to just disappear if you can't actually take it - why can't we be reimbursed for leave not taken?

Added following an ambush of unsuspecting persons at coffee this morning...
 
#11
Regarding the previous post and leave-item 11-
the Forces pay reflects days in the year served wether on leave or on duty.
So regarding leave not taken due to posting/commitment etc etc no reimbursment would be paid.

They have obviously come into line with civilian practices --- only thing being in civvy street is the fact that we can be spared!!! We don't go away and do long sea drafts away from home!!
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
#12
Greenie said:
Regarding the previous post and leave-item 11-
the Forces pay reflects days in the year served wether on leave or on duty.
So regarding leave not taken due to posting/commitment etc etc no reimbursment would be paid.

They have obviously come into line with civilian practices --- only thing being in civvy street is the fact that we can be spared!!! We don't go away and do long sea drafts away from home!!
I think the point he is making is that armed forces pay when set by AFPRB takes into account entitled leave amongst many other things, ergo if you don't get the leave you are entitled to (or more importantly the opportunity to take it) your pay should be uplifted to reflect it!!, that's not unreasonable.
 
#13
Ensure that any serviceman/woman who is injured is properly compensated & given proper medical aftercare.

They are not given a letter from MOD saying that they(MOD) Don't have a duty of care so goodbye, thanks for your time but SNLR.
 
#14
Payment for untaken leave will not be happening any time soon. There is a recognised snag with harmony targets being missed and breached, but if you started compensating untaken leave, the fear is that people will deliberately not take leave, or will be co-erced into not taking it. At a certain Army base, we had a guy turn up who had not taken a day's leave in 15 months! His paperwork proved this, he had been persuaded at all points to do swaps, fill in subs, etc, and by the time it came around to his time for leave, he moved on to another unit. Because he was about to start training, his leave had to be further carried forward until the date he was due to leave the unit.
 
#15
Shouldn't really be mentioning the past but in my times of grey funnel sea time I actually got drafted to shore for course and the wording on the draft order was to join --date etc having taken all leave due to date.

I was helo transferred at sea and flown home--- to satisfy the draft instructions. My first Christmas at home for three years!!
 
#16
chockhead819 said:
Ensure that any serviceman/woman who is injured is properly compensated & given proper medical aftercare.

They are not given a letter from MOD saying that they(MOD) Don't have a duty of care so goodbye, thanks for your time but SNLR.
Who could argue with this point? It's been said before, but the UK needs a proper Defence Medical Service, that includes its own dedicated hospital facilities and a veterans organisation that can support ex-Servicemen who have been injured on duty while they make the sometimes painful and frustrating transition to civilian life.
 
#17
PompeySailor said:
Payment for untaken leave will not be happening any time soon. There is a recognised snag with harmony targets being missed and breached, but if you started compensating untaken leave, the fear is that people will deliberately not take leave, or will be co-erced into not taking it. At a certain Army base, we had a guy turn up who had not taken a day's leave in 15 months! His paperwork proved this, he had been persuaded at all points to do swaps, fill in subs, etc, and by the time it came around to his time for leave, he moved on to another unit. Because he was about to start training, his leave had to be further carried forward until the date he was due to leave the unit.
This seems to be one place where changing times have moved backwards rather than forwards. I can remember being told to ensure that every one in my division took their leave entitlement, and also the captain ensuring that all officers also did the same. In effect leave was compulsory.

Peter
 

McHammock

Lantern Swinger
#18
DO's & CO's have a duty to ensure their people get proper leave entitlement.
Pretty sure that CO's still have to send report to 2SL why someone gets drafted from their ship with more than a set number of days leave outstanding.

(A small aside, but I was told that leave for ratings was an entitlement, but for Officers it was a privilege. I left the RN with something like 30 days leave owing. I "couldn't be spared" until 8 days before my discharge date - not even for resettlement courses. Then again, this was yonks ago)
 
#19
Leave is not a privilege for officers, as they don't actually have working hours (ie they cannot be adrift, they are expected to know what their workload is, and to manage it appropriately). They "turn up", they don't "turn to".

Anyway, all members of the RN have S52 Leave and Record cards, but Officers and WOs manage their own, they are audited once a year. COs are supposed to ensure that everyone takes all leave due, but the breaching Personnel Functional Standards signals flood 2SLs inbox on a regular basis. Lean manning vs Leave allowances - what do you reckon wins?
 
#20
PompeySailor said:
Leave is not a privilege for officers, as they don't actually have working hours (ie they cannot be adrift, they are expected to know what their workload is, and to manage it appropriately). They "turn up", they don't "turn to".
Different boats different cap tallies, depends on the CO, officers working hours were often included in Captains Standing Orders, and certainly in my experience whilst officer may have worked 'flexi time' the core hours were from hand s turn to until the first dog watch, and any officer who absented himself without good reason would have an interesting chat with the Jimmy or the CO.

PompeySailor said:
Anyway, all members of the RN have S52 Leave and Record cards, but Officers and WOs manage their own, they are audited once a year. COs are supposed to ensure that everyone takes all leave due, but the breaching Personnel Functional Standards signals flood 2SLs inbox on a regular basis. Lean manning vs Leave allowances - what do you reckon wins?
I think this highlights one of the problems of extended peacetime working, many have lost the will to speak out because bucking the system inpacts on career opportunities. For those of us who served with COs brought up with the WW2 ethos many would have reported a downgrade in operational status to allow crew leave rather than downgrade their crew, but that is as I say one of the benefits of extended peace.

Peter
 
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