Who Governs RFA Pay Increase?

Aninaz

Midshipman
Morning all,

Having read about various public sector pay increases for the year and within MOD, I’m just wondering where the RFA fall into this?
Would they fall under the MOD Main Pay Award, Armed Forces or their own area entirely?

Hope I haven’t opened a can of worms but fear I might have…
 

Random

Lantern Swinger
The Commodore RFA can redistribute his pay budget internally (ie rob peter to pay paul more), but does not have the power to change the size of that budget.

However he can make representations up the management chain saying we need more money and why. These requests will be then examined against MOD Civil Service pay rules, and the political desires of the Government, the Commodore will then be told whether the bid was successful or not. The process is long winded and takes a lot of staff time, and unfortunately more often than not falls on deaf ears (hence our constant below market and inflation pay rises); the unions then beat up the Commodore because he has to do what he is told by his bosses.

Essentially we fall under MOD Civil Service for most things personnel and then we have to argue an exception as our role/life is essentially completely different from most other MOD Civil Servants.

With the advent of the One Navy policy (where the RFA is counted explicitly as a civilian arm of the RN), there is an argument that we should no longer be counted as MOD Civil Servants, but instead wholly fall under the administrative and budgetary control of the Navy; including having our pay awards considered by the (politically independent) Armed Forces Pay Review body. This though is rather contentious internally for a load of reasons which I wont go into here.
 

LifebuoyGhost

Lantern Swinger
About 10 years ago - as a MoD civvie - I spent some time on an RFA in the gulf. Having previously only ever seen them from the RAS point of a war canoe it was an interesting experience. I came away thinking that it must surely be simpler just bring the whole organisation into the RN.
The ships company was made up of three completely different organisations, three different terms and conditions and three different lengths of drafts.
The RFA bods, the RN bods and the MoD civvy bods.
The RFA bods we’re very professional in all depts and very good at their job, and all in all a set of good hands.
The MoD bods were all in the stores dept, responsible for any stores that were to be RAS’d to the RN, but not the ships own stores. It seemed to me the RFA bods could quite easily have done this, and given that everyone had to go through NBCD and Sea Survival at Whale Island and Horsea lake before deployment and the RFA bods manned most of the weapons there seemed no reasonable argument against the whole lot being a legitimate RN draft, from the engine room to the bridge.
However as @randon said that would certainly be contentious with the RFA bods who certainly wouldn’t want to give up what seemed to me excellent terms and conditions and I expect the MoD bean counters think the current setup is cheaper to run.
Just the thoughts I came away with after my time with the RFA
 

Random

Lantern Swinger
Just the thoughts I came away with after my time with the RFA
The STO(N) role (running the stores) has now been transferred to the RFA, the hold teams are mainly made up from the deck department and the admin is done by the LSO.

A couple of reasons, but not all of them, that the RFA are civilians and not military are a) we are definitely cheaper b) there are some useful loopholes in international law which allow civilian ships/crews to trade and pick up supplies from nominally neutral nations during wartime when military ships/crews would be interned.

A lot of the RFA chose their service because they did not want to be (or already had done their time) in the RN. They also feel strongly that they should be recognised for who they are and what they do, rather than being lumped in with the civil service or the royal navy for the sake of someone's convenient pigeon holing. Essentially we would like to be judged on our own merits, rather than having to argue for exemptions from other larger organisation's rules.

Swinging back to the pay conversation, I personally believe our base rate should be benchmarked against our colleagues in the British Merchant Navy, with an additional X factor for the danger created by our support for military roles, and the additional skills we need to obtain to achieve them. In my mind this should be the basis of pay negotiations with the Government, rather than that offered to our more risk free friends in the civil service.
 

Aninaz

Midshipman
Thank you for the replies and information.

It’s interesting to see where the RFA fits into things and also hear some view points.

I’ve worked alongside RFA and RN folk in my day job and had been wondering this. With all the news of pay offers for the armed forces and within the civil service I couldn’t work out what the RFA was doing.

I wonder if the pay increases track those in the RN or if one has increased more than the other over the years when inflation is considered? Although I imagine with inflation both have gone down technically.
 

Random

Lantern Swinger
I wonder if the pay increases track those in the RN or if one has increased more than the other over the years when inflation is considered? Although I imagine with inflation both have gone down technically.

Since you asked so nicely, if we all were paid a £1 in 2009-2010, in 2022-2023 the RFA would be paid £1.16, the RN £1.19 and if both had received inflation as their pay rise £1.39.

Or another way of putting it is the RFA have had a 17% pay cut over the last 12 years and the RN a 15%, I believe the average civil servant would be looking at a 20% cut in purchasing power over the same period.*

* I have had a few beers so my maths might be off!

Pay YearRFARNInflation
200920103.3%
201020111.9%2.0%4.5%
201120120.0%0.0%2.8%
201220130.0%0.0%2.6%
201320141.0%1.0%1.5%
201420151.0%1.0%0.0%
201520161.0%1.0%0.7%
201620171.0%1.0%2.7%
201720181.0%1.0%2.5%
201820191.5%2.0%1.8%
201920201.5%2.9%0.9%
202020212.5%2.0%2.6%
202120220.0%0.0%7.7%Data January - June 22
202220232.95%3.75%
 

Aninaz

Midshipman
Since you asked so nicely, if we all were paid a £1 in 2009-2010, in 2022-2023 the RFA would be paid £1.16, the RN £1.19 and if both had received inflation as their pay rise £1.39.

Or another way of putting it is the RFA have had a 17% pay cut over the last 12 years and the RN a 15%, I believe the average civil servant would be looking at a 20% cut in purchasing power over the same period.*

* I have had a few beers so my maths might be off!

Pay YearRFARNInflation
200920103.3%
201020111.9%2.0%4.5%
201120120.0%0.0%2.8%
201220130.0%0.0%2.6%
201320141.0%1.0%1.5%
201420151.0%1.0%0.0%
201520161.0%1.0%0.7%
201620171.0%1.0%2.7%
201720181.0%1.0%2.5%
201820191.5%2.0%1.8%
201920201.5%2.9%0.9%
202020212.5%2.0%2.6%
202120220.0%0.0%7.7%Data January - June 22
202220232.95%3.75%
Wow thank you so much! This is helpful although somewhat depressing as a civil servant. At least I’m already used to the disappointing pay rises so when I transfer it wont be too rough!
 

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