Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by trehorn, Oct 16, 2006.

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  1. Here we go guys and girls.

    A designated thread that you can post all of the stupid ways in which money is wasted in your unit and other even more stupid ways they then try to save money to compensate.

    I'll start you off with this little pearler.

    I turned up on the 518 course at Excellent last year thinking that i'd have to make new friends in order to keep my social life on the go while there.
    To my suprise by the end of the first day i'd met up with a leading hand on my course, two AB's who were on a first aid course and two officers who were on a BSSC.



    That said the chip PSI who booked it all is now outside.

    I have a funny feeling this will be quite a popular thread!
  2. Wings,
    Instead of griping about wasting money, why not do something about it ???
    That does sound like a major c*ck up & someone in your unit should be hung, drawn & quartered for it. Even if the PSI responsible has since left.
    There should be procedures in place in every unit to sort this sort of sh1t out - there is in mine. It's not that difficult if us paddies can do it :lol:
  3. Whenever a course is booked (most of us) make a point of asking anyone else if they want to attend the same course which does of course reduce the chances of this happening. However we are closely knit satalite unit which does make it easier.
    There is now a database which is emailed out on a regular basis which confirms who is booked on what courses where and when which i assume is working at the minute, its certainly better than it used to be.

    What do you suggest i do about the officers who book themselves seperate transport and hotels? Any suggestions (however sarcastic) would be very much appreciated.
  4. Hear, hear. Well said, McH! If half the people who mank on all the time put the effort into taking the initiative to improve things then we'd all be a lot happier.

    And trehorn, don't you have any sense of loyalty to your Unit? Do something good about it, rather than airing your dirty laundry in public.

    If you find a good solution, then tell us about it and see if you can help other Units too. We're all meant to be part of the same team.

    Officers can't 'book themselves separate transport and hotels'. It all goes through the same process, unless anyone chooses to travel and stay at their own expense, which is pretty unlikely.

    If you have a problem, then use the chain of command, starting with your DO. It sounds to me as if you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder about officers. They're part of the same team too and, at least in my Unit, most of them do a good job and put in at least as much effort as the ratings, given that they have to fit divisional management and any other Unit jobs in on top of everything else.

    So, my suggestion, maybe a bit sarcastic, is that you sort out your attitude and start working with rather than against your fellow reservists and those who support them.
  5. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Agreed, but its very much down to policy adopted by a unit's XO & Support Manager that will affect how an individual unit approaches travel bookings. At my unit, when people are attending national weekends at the lead school, e.g. Merwex at Colingrad, its expected that unit transport will be used. However, its typically only JRs who use the supplied transport, officers will invariably take their own transport and receive expenses.

    I've travelled at my own expense on many occasions in order to give myself the flexibility in maximising my use of a training weekend and seeing my family. I had no porblem with this until my unit started insisting on my completing a C30 (or RNR equivalent) for each journey for "health & safety and insurance purposes" and then surprise, surprise, they refused to issue the C30 because service transport was available!

    The problem in my experience is that its not a chain of command issue per se; travel policy is in the domain of the Support Manager, while training bookings are within the domain of the Permanent Staff. There are too many opportunities for gold lace to over-rule ratings and which can result in inequalities.

    I'm sorry, the wardroom do get privileged treatment - its a fact of life. Sometimes this privileged treatment extends to travel - trehorn made a valid point which does not justify the sarcasm. In my experience, the problem is that the RNR still fails to recognise that its people are respsonsible adults - all too often ratings are treated like irresponsible idiots while officers are given far greater latitude. There is a disparity in how a member of the wardroom is treated when compared to the other messes and until we recognise that not only are we all part of the same team, but that we can all be responsible grown-ups then I think there are going to be problems of this nature.
  6. Its all well and good to say how awful it is that officers use their own transport. Consider this though. From London you have a wide catchment area for personnel who may be going away for a weekend. The costs incurred to the RNR for the T&S to get them to the unit to get unit transport would almost certainly be greater than if they went from home / work to the weekend.
  7. FW, sorry to hear that this happens at your unit, it should not. There is no difference in method or standard of travel at my RU, be they Officer, SR or JR, all will travel together and it will be luck of the draw to see who gets the hire car chit. In fact in the RNR as a whole I cannot see how I as an Officer am any more privledged than a Senior Rate.

    Back to the thread, Pusser does not seem to have caught on to the fact that cheap flights are available if they would only book well enough in advance. Quite often the cost of a flight to get me to Pompey will be twice the online price.
  8. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    One glaring area of inequality that I have frequently encountered is that of accommodation at Collingwood with SRs getting worse accommodation than both officers and JRs.

    Agreed - I used to be at Flying Fox a few years ago and we arranged to attend a "Fascomex" weekend at Faslane - the CWTR would not permit us to use cheap flights from Heathrow to Glasgow and insisted that we drive from Bristol to Faslane on the Friday evening in the unit tilley and then return on the Sunday evening. Unsurprisingly, everyone suddenly found reasons why they couldn't attend and the niether the travel nor training took place.
  9. Sadly I had heard that. Accomodation has not caught up with the expansion of Collingwood yet. You're welcome to stay in Nelson Wardroom however, DHSS doss houses are of a better standard :wink:
  10. Thanks for the support flag wagger.

    I find it hard to understand exactly how i am supposed to do something about the officers getting privilages that ratings don't. Especially when its a PSI who was complaining about their privilages. If the PSI's dont like it but are unable to do anything about how is a little AB RNR supposed to make a difference.

    Some people here have obviously never tried to do anything about in unit politics. Try it some time - its an experience you'll not repeat for a while.

    You're made to feel as welcome as a fart in a phone box and the opportunities offered to you following you bringing the issue to their attention become distinctly limited.

    Just because i am unhappy about the way that money is spent at my unit please do not assume that i am disloyal. I am no more disloyal than anyone else on here who has concerns about the way that the RNR is, in some areas at least, failing.

    I do not appreciate being asked to deploy to afganistan or anywhere else while at the same time being told that i cannot attend training weekends due to budget being expended six months early.
  11. Roger that. I think I owe you an apology. Was having my very own moan at all the negativity that washes around here in Rum Ration, but better that and people get things off their chests than they vote with their feet, which none of us want.

    I hadn't realised that there were such varying standards of treatment. Some separation is inevitable with the 3 messes, but maybe I'm fortunate not to have encountered the this to the extent some are talking about.

    I completely apologise for the below-the-belt question on loyalty - obviously you wouldn't still be here and caring how things worked if you weren't loyal.

    In my defence, I will say to flagwagger that sarcasm was invited in the original post, but my post reply may not have been the best thought-out response in the world.
  12. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Sar-chasm: the gulf between what was requested and what was supplied? :) :) :)

    FW Out
  13. Here's a good example of where the money went. A couple of year back I was down to do one of the JMC's. I had a quick look at the dates and went onto the BA website to check the airfares. Bargin, found just the right flights for under £50. So I printed out the details and attached them to my RNR 16, thinking there's a load of money saved.
    Six weeks later and 3 days before I went of Faslane I had the RNSO give me a hard time about the cost of sending me to the JMC. 'Do you realsie it's costing almost £600?' he said. Er no said I, it's less then £50 - and here's the printout of the flight details.
    To cut the story short it seems that the unit had a policy of only booking flights in the last week in case people puuled out of their training. So they'd spent over £550 just in case they'd loose £50 if I'd pulled out.
  14. Trehorn (Trehorn2),

    By the way, this has a lot to do with what I was saying, no names no slags, this is why we have no budget left. Poor management, and even though one of the culprits is now outside, he can't be blamed as he too liked things that go bang! With the chief writer gone and Chief RS on his way soon, should a PO(M) be left as the only one doing admin rather than training us all? And yes, the main culprits would seem to be the ones with the braid, lots of it, rather a lot of jollies I'm affraid.

    My point was, rather than let a few grab all the training in the first 6 months of the trainig year, I shouldn't have been told in September that the budget had all gone and I should have booked it sooner. Because for my branch, GSS(R), I put in a late 2005 TY OG547, it left me with not enough holiday in 2006 to do my 2 weeks, hence leaving it until the new year. Now the budget has gone, and yes you are right, courses already booked are being cancelled! Bugger!!!
  15. Transport costs are a real issue that the Services have not got their heads round, or at least they haven't until recently. The whole concept of indeterminate-cost rail warrants is unjustifiable in this age of rip-off train fares, and FLEET has recently got its act in gear by installing ticket machines in the travel offices in naval bases so they can issue saver and supersaver tickets. First class travel for Lt-Cdr and above has also been scrapped for short journeys.

    Also, for units in the South-East, reservists should be given/encouraged to get a Network Railcard which costs £20 a year and will save you 1/3rd off the cost of the London-Portsmouth journey. Anyone 26 and under should have a Young Person's Railcard which will give the same savings nationwide. We have a number of reservists in the transport industry, perhaps they can be invited to help devise a strategy?

    We need to give people more credit - we are all used to booking cheap flights, etc., online. Just give us a maximum and let us do the booking. Same goes for hotels, I was once booked in a hotel in central Glasgow when I needed to be at DALRIADA. It's the same story for people needing to be in PRESIDENT (which is right next to a big hotel) and being booked in somewhere on the other side of London. Give people the option of sorting it out themselves. But it works both ways: if people cancel at a late stage due to personal/work reasons, why should the RNR have to pay for the wasted travel costs?

    Re people travelling together, at our unit they work very hard to ensure we do that, but sometimes to the extent of refusing a return rail warrant if a single + carshare on the return will work! I don't think they appreciate that return tickets are often the same price as a single.
  16. Very sore subject this travel cost thing.

    A return flight to Dubai can be as low as £350 (even lower on occasion if booked early enough).

    RTCs however tend to leave it all to the last minute so we end up with people paying £450 - £550 a pop to get out here.

    Yes, if you cancel flights you will lose the ticket with no compensation but we have had over 35 people out here for training over the last couple of years and in all that time we have had 3 cancellations/last minute changes (less than 10% 'failure rate')

    The sums speak for themselves - assuming £450 vs £350 - if 35 people had deployed at £350 with 3 people cancelling, the RNR would have saved £2450 by early booking and biting the bullet on the lost tickets (enough for another 7 people to deploy U/T). At £550 it comes out as a saving of £5950.

    And that is just a drop in the ocean of RNR trainee ORT deployments (albeit flying to exotic Dubai). Try extrapolating that percentage of failure across the whole RNR travel budget and see what comes out.

    That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why the RNR needs to have a few people (PSIs and CMR Staff Officers) prepared to accept sensible 'management risk'.

    The Defence rests M'Lud.
  17. Of course, there are a lot a simple cost saving measures that we could make, that would actually improve the effectiveness of the RNR, and give the individual reservist more time at home.

    Better use of e-mail and the internet (we have to go to the unit to do JPA!), the telephone has been invented, yet very few telephone conference calls are used. People are dragged into units for short meetings that could be more effectively done by telephone.

    I do somewhat think about the officers who call these meetings, what are their motivation, do they benefit from another day's pay, if we get dragged into a meeting, that could be done by telephone?
  18. Apparently all the CMR Senior Staff where meeting in Liverpool this weekend! (Crisis Meeting?) Anyway, if true, where did they all stay? Camp Beds on Eaglet's Drill Deck? I think not. Probably a Fat Hotel Bill. Clearly whatever they where discussing could not take place at Pompey, Guzz or Faslane. Do as I say, not as I do. :x
  19. As I understand it, that's not quite the case. The entitlement is still there, & most people are being sensible about it but I understand there are a few (regular) noses out of joint.

  20. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    With regards to air travel via BA it is my understanding that the MoD is charged so much for tickets because they have a standing contract with the airline to maintain a percentage of seats on all international flights for MoD/Service personnel to travel at short notice, which the MoD pays a considerable surcharge for!

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