British Armed Forces Federation

Ahoy shipmates! ...er,..you too Royal!

There has been news coverage lately about an armed forces federation. I personally believe one is long, long overdue - our brave boys and gals are being hard done by and have no recourse to common grievances except resignation (hence recruiting/manning problems); it is now surely essential for the maintainence of good morale and for retention.

It is being discussed on ARRSE, but it does not seem to be being talked about on 'Rum Ration' yet (whoops! I've had to edit this as I found one about BAF - missing an 'F' so it's not my fault, honest!).

Just so you can read the opening post on the ARRSE site, here it is. I'd be interested to know any views out there. Let's talk about this - it's really important....

Oll an gwella (er, that means 'all the best' in 'pointy-head'!)

Cornish Andy

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The 10 Point Plan below was originally published here on 23rd January, 2006 as a draft for comment. It was subsequently included in a submission to the House of Commons Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill, and was printed as evidence in the Select Commitee's Special Report of Session 2005-06, published 9 May 2006.

As of 9 May 2006 the 10 Point Plan has now been adopted by this campaign. An Update is being prepared to confirm the Steering Group's position in relation to the Armed Forces Pay Review Body, Administrative Action procedures and Redress of Grievance procedures.

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The 10 Point Plan.

1. A professional staff association is to be formed for members of Her Majesty’s Forces under the provisional title of the BRITISH ARMED FORCES FEDERATION (BAFF).

2. Comparable bodies have for years served the armed forces of allied countries such as the United States and Australia, with official cooperation and no negative impact on operational effectiveness or military discipline. The proposed federation is, however, designed to be a specifically British solution for the British armed forces. It will reflect and respect the ethos and robust traditions of the three fighting services. It will meet all requirements of British military and other law, including international conventions adopted by the United Kingdom.

3. The federation’s mission shall be to represent, foster and promote the professional, welfare, and other legitimate interests of all members of the federation in their capacity as serving or retired personnel of the fighting services of the United Kingdom, and in so doing help to maximise operational efficiency and improve the retention of trained personnel.

4. The federation will be a democratic representative institution answerable to its members. Membership of the federation will be open to all personnel irrespective of rank, branch of service or gender. The main membership categories will be Ordinary Membership (Regular), Ordinary Membership (Reserve Forces) and Veteran Membership. In responding to the requirements of its members, the federation will act in the interests of all serving personnel and veterans but will not countenance any pressure on individuals to join.

5. Within resources, the activities of the federation may include:

(a) professional and career development by the provision of education and information;

(b) liaison, monitoring and response to proposals or developments within the Services, in Parliament, in the provision of public services or in the commercial sector which have a specific impact on forces personnel;

(c) appropriate advocacy and consultation to protect and improve the conditions of service life including pay, accommodation, medical and welfare services, resettlement and all other areas of personnel support;

(d) appropriate support to personnel facing court martial or other legal proceedings in connection with their service (the federation will not normally comment on any specific case within the systems of military justice and administrative discipline); and

(e) the negotiation for members of a range of insurance, financial and other benefits, discounts or affinity deals.

6. The federation will not be beholden to any political party, pressure group, or defence industry interest. While supporting the cross-party consensus on the need for robust, adequately-funded but cost-effective forces serving the Nation as determined by the Government of the day, the federation will not be a defence pressure group. The federation will not take a view on matters of defence strategy or operational decisions, although it may raise legitimate subsidiary matters affecting personnel. Parliamentary liaison will be strictly on a cross-party basis.

7. The federation will not be a trade union and, above all, it will not conduct or condone any form of industrial action or insubordination within the armed forces. The federation affirms the vital role of the Armed Forces chain of command in representing the interests of its personnel. The federation will seek to agree with the Ministry of Defence appropriate mechanisms for the exchange of information with the chain of command as well as centrally. A code of conduct will be adopted, and potential disagreements will normally be raised centrally to avoid placing serving personnel in difficulty with their chain of command, or vice versa. The federation will act to protect serving members in their federation-related activities within the agreed code of conduct.

8. The federation will not seek to supplant the role of any existing charity or other agency involved in service welfare. Where appropriate the federation may help to direct members to appropriate sources of advice or assistance.

9. Work is already under way on matters such as the structure and legal format of the federation, and staffing. A business plan is being prepared.

10. This draft statement of intent outlines the basic principles established so far. Work continues on detailed aspects of the proposals with a view to wider consultation throughout the armed forces community, and with the Ministry of Defence.

Last edited by hackle on Fri May 12, 2006 5:47 am; edited 6 times in total
 
come_the_day said:
You're a real Jagger, you! What do you think the Sticky "Do we need a BAFF" is all about then?
Or the other thread about exactly the same thing on this board called "BAFF - Thoughts".

Come on MODs, enforce that iron discipline, or we'll have as many different BAFF threads as there are ones on SR mess kit!
 
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