Mess Fees

#1
Not that I have any issue paying them
but why are they compulsory on board once you hit senior rate and above?

We had this debate in the mess and one of my oppo's who does not drink tea/coffee etc wonders why he is forced to pay £10 a month. Even the skipper is briefed on who is up to date etc

The debate raises a good point...why is it compulsory?
 
#2
Think yourself lucky that you are not an occifer, their mess fees would make your eyes water.
As a SNCO you have a certain status and with that status comes responsibilities. Use of the mess facilities is not compulsory and when I was at Daedalus many years ago a PO decided that he would opt out of paying the fees.
He could use the mess but certain facilities were not available to him, Tea, coffee, condiments in the dining hall (except for salt & vinegar) mess newspapers, television areas. snooker tables and lots of other things.
It did not take long before he rather begrudgingly started to pay his dues.
Best way to look at it that it is a privilege to belong to a senior rates mess and well worth the small amount of cash that it costs for membership
 
#3
Think yourself lucky that you are not an occifer, their mess fees would make your eyes water.
As a SNCO you have a certain status and with that status comes responsibilities. Use of the mess facilities is not compulsory and when I was at Daedalus many years ago a PO decided that he would opt out of paying the fees.
He could use the mess but certain facilities were not available to him, Tea, coffee, condiments in the dining hall (except for salt & vinegar) mess newspapers, television areas. snooker tables and lots of other things.
It did not take long before he rather begrudgingly started to pay his dues.
Best way to look at it that it is a privilege to belong to a senior rates mess and well worth the small amount of cash that it costs for membership
I get all of that.
But the tea and coffee is passed around the messes for free (the JRs do not pay mess fees on board a ship)
And said bod today, does not drink tea or coffee
Also, been years since I have seen newspapers in any of the onboard mess decks I have been in.

I get it at a shore base where you get wifi, cheaper bar and far more facilities on offer for little/no fee. It is well worth it.

as for a privilege of being a SR? we get selected on Merit, not for charity do we not?

But trying to tell him he should pay it on board, it was impossible to justify it when you break it down
 
#4
Suggest the OP tells his "Oppo" to arrange a friendly yarn with his Mess Treasurer*, who I'm sure would be willing to explain the many & various streams of Mess Income & Expenditure.

[That compulsory £10.00 per month would seem a reasonable sum to cover a host of liabilities such as insurance for any items of value owned by the Mess, hospitality for visitors/guests, possibly any 'extras' purchased through the Caterer for special events & Mess Dinners (Pickle Night etc.) whilst building up a Float for the future benefit of all Mess Members.]

Then, if there is something among those which he still feels unhappy about he is free to make his representations, in writing if needs be, to the Mess President & Committee.

If the Mess Accounts are still what used to be known as a Non-Public Fund are they are still liable to be overseen by a Supervising Officer and/or regularly examined (used to be 'audited')by an Officer plus a SR?


*Sometimes a thankless task but occasionally taken on by an enthusiast person likely to bore anyone to tears who shows any interest at all in the finer points of his/her number-crunching.
 
#7
I cannot believe that someone is bilking at the idea of paying what amounts to 33 pence per day. Pusser's pay has never been the most generous but regardless of what you get in return it is worth paying to avoid being tallied "a tight ar**d [email protected]"
 
#8
I cannot believe that someone is bilking at the idea of paying what amounts to 33 pence per day. Pusser's pay has never been the most generous but regardless of what you get in return it is worth paying to avoid being tallied "a tight ar**d [email protected]"
In shock news, Senior Rate whinges about being a Senior Rate.

As Seadog said, tell your "mate" to give back one of his hooks, or ideally both of them.
 
#9
so, basically the answer is if you dont like it, give up some hooks?
I get that

not really what I was after but I guess there is no BR reference that states it is compulsory other than peer pressure and not being shunned by your fellow senior rates...which is fair enough but this era, that should be a thing of the past, being forced to pay for something you do not use.

For the record, I agree with Mess Fees and always contribute extra when 'mess improvements' are brought about on board. But for someone who lives out, does not drink wets and is pretty quiet, just sparked an interesting debate in the mess.

no question is a stupid question....unless those you ask do not like it
 
#10
I'm pretty sure it is laid down somewhere that you have to pay mess fees in one mess, submariners, for instance, pay mess fees on the boat but not to the inboard mess if they're living in barracks alongside.

I can't remember where it's laid down though!
 
#12
If the OP is REALLY interested, the very same question, in a very similar context, reared its ugly head on ARRSE some time ago. There are gazillions of posts - why not have a shufti.............
 
#13
I'm pretty sure it is laid down somewhere that you have to pay mess fees in one mess, submariners, for instance, pay mess fees on the boat but not to the inboard mess if they're living in barracks alongside.

I can't remember where it's laid down though!
Isn't it something like "you are required to be a member of a mess and membership entails mess fees therefore you must pay mess fees"... that sort of thing? A sort of Catch 22.

I don't know where it's laid down either.
Probably 'cos it never bothered me :D
 
#14
so, basically the answer is if you dont like it, give up some hooks?
I get that

not really what I was after but I guess there is no BR reference that states it is compulsory other than peer pressure and not being shunned by your fellow senior rates...which is fair enough but this era, that should be a thing of the past, being forced to pay for something you do not use.

For the record, I agree with Mess Fees and always contribute extra when 'mess improvements' are brought about on board. But for someone who lives out, does not drink wets and is pretty quiet, just sparked an interesting debate in the mess.

no question is a stupid question....unless those you ask do not like it
Bet he goes in the mess though, sits on the sofas, uses the computer to listen to music and/or films.

If he doesn't do any of that whilst the ship is at sea, he's an odd fish indeed. Shoreside, I can understand the point, and it'd be quite easy never to trouble the mess. But onboard... ?!
 
#15
Tell the op to go officer then he can really moan.

Had a slightly similar issue, some decided to make our rugby team an official rugby club, which we were all asked to donate £10 to start a rugby fund? I asked a simple question like as all sporting teams were funded four expenses, strips, travel etc from ships funds, sports funds extra, what was the rugby fund going to provide, no answers came back, I tried to help, subsidised team shirts for players, occasional functions etc, nothing back, told pay or don't play, as I had retired and they kept asking ng me back, I choose to retire, 18 months later, going on draft fund plugs interest fully intact, as it was declared as a fund and audit able, they couldn't just spend as they wished ( inner circle drinking team was my guess)
Sometimes when asked what am I paying for, it would be an idea to have a valid answer?
For the op take @BreathingOutOnTheWayUp advice and ask mess treasure how much it costs to run the mess with overheads, if still not happy he could eat his scran in a passageway and not be a mess member, by not entering the mess?
 
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#16
I seem to recall that SM units in Guzz used to pay an annual/periodical fee to the inboard mess. That had been agreed at some committee meeting back in the day (1990's I think). I'm uncertain if surface fleet contributed as well. I believe this was because it was considered that SR's on units, could, if they wished, benefit from using the inboard mess. In addition to billiard tables, tee, coffee etc, the washing machines had to be paid for as repairs had to be paid for. Alcohol was (and still is) subsidised along with other fringe benefits.
 
#17
From QRs:

8145. Warrant Officers’ and Senior Rates’, and Senior Non Commissioned Officers
Messes
1. Every Warrant Officer and Chief Petty Officer is to be a member of a Warrant Officers’
and Chief Petty Officers’ mess or combined Senior Rates’ mess at their place of duty, where
such a mess is available. Every Petty Officer is to be a member of a Petty Officers’ mess or
combined Senior Rates’ mess at their place of duty, where such a mess is available. In
exceptional circumstances Commanding Officers have discretion to exempt WO’s CPO’s and
PO’s from mess membership or to allow them to hold membership at an alternative mess,
should use of the mess be proved to be impracticable for an individual. Similarly, when a WO,
CPO or PO is accommodated in a ship or establishment different from his/her place of duty,
and messes exist at both places, consideration should be given to waiving or reducing
subscriptions depending on the circumstances, so that the total amount paid by the rating is
not excessive.
2. All mess members are to pay monthly mess subscriptions as determined by the mess
committee and as stated in the mess rules. When WOs, CPOs and POs are temporarily
detached from their normal place of duty, they will become temporary or honorary members of
their respective messes at that temporary place of duty. Temporary members are those who
are detached from their parent unit for periods of more than 14 days and are to pay
subscriptions at their temporary place of duty. For periods up to 14 days, honorary membership
is to be granted, with mess subscriptions being paid at the normal place of duty
3. Honorary mess members may be subject to a temporary mess fee charge at their
temporary messes and in such circumstance they should expect to pay the same pro rata daily
subscription as a full mess member.
 
#18
Just to be picky @Polto, I know you were treasurer on the boat but, as you've quoted QR's and they no longer exist, was that section transferred over when it changed to the Armed Forces Act?

I'm guessing it was as the AFA is tri-service and Pongo messes are big on regimental functions etc.
 
#19
I think they must exist because I've just copied and pasted the quote from QRs via Dii. I know I live in a dream world from time to time, but I'm sure I remember looking at QRs just now.. :). It was approved in May 2017 according to the lead pages...
 
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