War zone civil servants cash in

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by chieftiff, Nov 16, 2007.

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  1. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Just watched this on Channel 4 news, not wanting to create an "outraged from Newbury" type thread, however I found the justification for some of these allowances offensive; not because they are wrong but because they apply equally to servicemen and yet are often ignored on the basis that "they knew what they were getting into when they joined up.

    "Civil Service allowances reflect the environment they work in, including the very real dangers they face working in Baghdad, Basra, Kabul or Lashkar Gar." Correct, well done pass the sentiment on to the MoD.

    The FCO said the allowances were compensation for the "exceptionally difficult conditions" in which staff have to live and work. Again well done, £35,000 extra on top of your wages sounds a fair deal, pass the idea on to the MoD

    Complete article and FOI response here: War Zone Civil Servants cashing in
     
  2. The real tragedy here is that I am completely unsurprised about this.

    SF
     
  3. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I admit that neither am I, in fact I expected MoD Civil Servant expenses to be much higher than anyone else's. I do like the MoD response though: "We need to reward staff adequately to compensate for the challenges and the different environments in which they have to work - this is common practice for taking up any post overseas, away from family and friends."

    I will remember that one when I next attend the AFPRB roadshow, in fact I shall make a point of bringing it to Professor Greenway's attention, I think I really got on his tits last year!

    Meanwhile looking for jobs on the FCO website :w00t:
     
  4. Good one mate. I might just save the quote somewhere convenient too and drag it out for review when the appropriate moment comes up.

    It really is quite encouraging to see that over the last year or so the pressure to get us a better deal has continued pretty much unabated and I for one am grateful to all those who are keeping the pressure up. It is great to see the public beginning to take a positive interest in our collective well-being and I firmly believe that we should return that support where we can.

    I only hope that it continues to roll on until the services actually get a package which is representative of the committment, professionalism, sacrafice and ultimately loyalty that has been evident throughout.

    SF
     
  5. To be fair to the FCO & MOD, these civil servants will be pretty senior to receive this level of additional remuneration, and it will be with the aim of trying to get staff to go to Iraq who are already be used to a high standard of living. It is disingenuous therefore of the report to compare these allowances with the pay of a soldier on £14K per annum. It would be more honest to compare this with the income of equivalent military grades, say Commander upwards.
     
  6. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Steve, whilst I understand your sentiment comparing Civil Servants to military ranks is always, to say the least, dodgy! Your example illustrates this, a Commander isn't a status position although it obviously holds some status, it is a position within the command/ management structure, are you suggesting that 64 FCO officers in Afghanistan this year, earning a bonus of between £20k and £30k each have the management position equivelant of commanders', or merely that they expected a standard of living similar to one? Incidentally if they are all Commanders their command structure is more out of balance than ours and the numbers in Iraq etc are scary if they do all hold a similar position.
     
  7. In the FCO, only more senior staff are posted abroad. They do seem to have a disproportionate prevalence (by civil service standards) of chiefs to indians... mind you where I work it is very similar.

    Chieftiff

    I am suggesting they hold broadly equivalent rank. Boni in the civil service for living in dangerous zones are always significantly less that the salary the person receives, unless things have changed dramatically in the last 10 years or so. For a civil servant to receive a bonus of £30K they will probably be earning at least double that, so be Senior Principal grade.

    Steve.
     
  8. Civil Servants don't have to go to a war zone to enjoy ridiculous privileges. Even on benign overseas postings such as Gibraltar they don't have to pay for the quarters, utilities (including unlimited free electricity!) and are even exempt from paying Charges in Lieu of Council Tax
     
  9. They don't even have to go that far, or at least in the past they didn't, civil servants at Faslane who moved there from the south were paid LOA. The reality is move CS out of the area he was recruited in and the cash register starts ringing up, send him abroad and you will need a new til roll. Of course these are the very same guys and galls that will move heaen and earth to cut back on any allowance you think you are entitled to.
     
  10. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    I realise details of how it worked aboard Noah's Ark may be a bit dated but certainly in the old Admiralty Scientific Service there was 'equivalent rank', for instance a Principal Scientific Officer was 'equivalent' to a Commander. Also, their allowances for going to sea for a day's trials far exceeded any logical charge for their lunch (even more so if they brought sandwiches! - or brought it straight up again to feed the fishes ..) - no doubt this had been negotiated with other civil servants who either had no idea that the Admiralty was being ripped off or connived in it in favour of their own kind. Far be it from me to suggest that anyone ever pumped up what the mess charged in order to make a few bob for the mess accounts!
     
  11. Gents, this was done to death on ARRSE a few days ago. The bottom line is that forces personnel are paid 24/7 and CS are contracted to work a set number of hours - usually 37 hours per week. In theatre, they average around 90h - 100hrs per week. They recieve a payment which seems large, but is simply the payment for services rendered. Strangely enough nobody works for free nowadays! The remainder of the payment represents an X factor and a payment to represent the challenging nature of the post - something that HM Forces also receive. All organisations and companies in Iraq and Afghan apart from the Forces do this sort of thing now. Also worth noting that 50% of CS earn under 20k per year.

    As for rank equivalency - the system was designed when CS were promoted at the same speed as their forces peers, so a D Grade would normally get promoted to C2 at the same time as a Lt go promoted to Lt Cdr. This meant that in terms of professional experience, they were accorded the same status as their peers. The system is more confused now as people can get promoted more quickly. That said, the system is a guide to signing off powers, and understanding where CS fit into the system.

    Also the forces aren't that badly done by in Iraq -the table below from Hansard shows that a Private deployed is on the equivalent of 26K per year - not bad for the most junior position in the organisation!


    Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the level of pay is of the five lowest-paid ranks of troops now serving in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq; and what percentage each is of the UK national average wage. [165170]

    Des Browne: The average pay levels for the five lowest paid ranks in the services and the percentage against the national average are:

    Rank Weekly earnings( 1 ) (£) Percentage of UK national average
    Private
    480
    105

    Corporal
    554
    121

    Lance Corporal
    676
    148

    Sergeant
    738
    161

    Staff Sergeant
    820
    179

    (1 )Includes allowances paid to those personnel on operations.
     
  12. "Civil Servants don't have to go to a war zone to enjoy ridiculous privileges. Even on benign overseas postings such as Gibraltar they don't have to pay for the quarters, utilities (including unlimited free electricity!) and are even exempt from paying Charges in Lieu of Council Tax!"

    The reason for this is because unlike many forces families who don't have a permanent home, most CS used to (and still do) own a house already. They get it free as they still have to pay for their main house.
     
  13. So if for example:

    I own house in Helensburgh, and work in Faslane. I am then drafted to Guzz, don't won't to be a weekend husband for two years so decide to move my family to MQ in Guzz for the period of the draft, I don't have to pay MQ charges, as I still have my house in Faslane???

    Don't think so, so your arguement does'nt work!!!
     
  14. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    Concur, if they are mobile grades and they apply for a post or are given the option from the redeployment pool they go and pay for housing like the rest of us.

    The allowances do seem OTT but having met and observed one of the senior CS guys working in Baghdad earlier this year and seeing what he was doing, the influence he was exerting, the level he operated at and the hours he put in I can accept that its probably reasonable.

    I just don't think you can make direct comparisons to what they do (at Senior levels) and what the military do (at most levels) - In a similar vein I used to get sooo wound up about Admirals retinues but now I can accept that they have their usefulness if it helps makes that person more effective.
     
  15. To put equivalent civil servant/military grades into perspective the snivelling servants regard an administration assistant (the entry level for a 16 year old photo copy operator) to be equivalent to a WO1, says it all really
     
  16. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    "To put equivalent civil servant/military grades into perspective the snivelling servants regard an administration assistant (the entry level for a 16 year old photo copy operator) to be equivalent to a WO1, says it all really "

    had you bothered to do some really basic research, you'd realise that thats not quite true. AA is seen as an administrative grade - in other words one that doesn't have signing off powers (like most SNCO's). This doesn't mean they "equate" AA's with SNCO's, it means you know that like you wouldnt ask a WO1 to sign off on a major project, you wouldn't ask KEvin the Gerbil to do so either. Not rocket science now is it?
     
  17. Well hit a nerve there then!, the equation between an AA and WO1 was made by the Senior Civil Servant who briefed my Commisioning course at Greenwich, if the Civil Service doesn't want to be mis-understood then I suggest it presents the correct facts to the Military
     
  18. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    "Well hit a nerve there then!, the equation between an AA and WO1 was made by the Senior Civil Servant who briefed my Commisioning course at Greenwich, if the Civil Service doesn't want to be mis-understood then I suggest it presents the correct facts to the Military "

    So you are at the very least 11 years out of date with your facts. Your credibility is sinking by the second.
     
  19. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I have to interrupt here, several reasons; the first being I hate statistics, I hate them because I understand them. The second being that to quote statistics from Hansard is a joke, remember it is not illegal to mislead or even lie to the voting public from the security of "that" house.

    What is the national average wage? a meaningless statistic that combines the wages of almost everyone in the country from central London to Helston and divides it by their number, think about how skewed that data actually is! There are far more low income earners in this country than high resulting in a false result. Also consider that the national average wage takes no consideration for age, family circumstance, region, profession, educational standard......... need I go on? There are better but just as false stats often used "the national family income" etc there are also regional statistics available, however.

    Where did you get your figure from? "£26K" If I take your (Hansard's) figure of £480 per week and multiply it by 52 I get £24960 which is still bollox by the way!

    Using Hansard's (that Defence Minister's) numbers I calculate that they reckon the national annual wage is £23771 and a Private earns 105% of that? I think not. A level 3 Private (Infantryman) is on £16545 pa, if he does a 6 month operational tour he will receive £2500 ( I think) in operational allowance, add this to his pay and you get £19045 divide it by 52 and this is 80.09% of the "national average weekly wage" real numbers (well mine are)

    I'm not sure if you are naive, ignorant or merely pandering to your own agenda however it does make me angry when people bat this stuff out because a politician said it so it must be true. If a politician said it and it involves comparing the pay of a serviceman to a civilian I can 100% guarantee it is a lie!!!!

    Anyway, back to the original point, I didn't raise this issue so that the "Green Eyed Monster" of jealousy could raise its ugly head, I think in this case the civil service are rightly rewarded (regardless of the obviously ridiculous equivelance of "rank") What I'm not happy with is the way the pay is justified, everyone of those justifications applies to servicemen, are we any less of a human being than our CS counterpart, someone bloody thinks so!!

    Oh yes, the average plitician is on c£56,000 pa + expenses, ignoring the expenses ( I will be charitable even though it is significantly more than their wage, I understand they have lifestyle commitments) I make that 235% of the national average wage, utter utter nonsense.
     
  20. Looks like Google is struggling tonight, thought I'd logged onto Rum Ration the unoffical community site for the RN and RM, but appears I may have found my way to the Crystal Crutch (OK as you asked so nicely, superficially appears okay, but you wouldn't want to lean too heavily on it for support)
     

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