End to incremental pay rises for the Armed Forces.

tapzilla2k

Distinguished Member
In the name of Efficiency savings, Osborne is seeking to end the automatic incremental pay rises that military service personal get for every year of service. All to save £1.5 billion from the MOD's budget.
Armed Forces personnel to be denied automatic pay rises as George Osborne looks to make 'efficiency savings'

This has another tax credits fiasco written all over it. As I expect this would cause a rebellion from certain backbench Tory MP's. My own view ? It's not a cut we should be making, given we will likely be asking our armed forces to carry out some very risky missions in the coming years we need to least pay them properly.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
The Armed Forces are an easy body to kick financially - hence why Osborne is now going after this. The measure could be very painful depending upon how it is implemented. For example those with preserved rights under Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 still rely on increments to increase that portion of their pension. For those that are on Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015, either in whole or part, will also suffer as the career average could be dragged down especially if a 'bonus' system was rolled out to compensate rather than a general uplift in pay.

The (almost) unique challenge for the Armed Forces is retention - everyone at the top has to be recruited from the bottom and retained. With this, elements of the New Employment Model, pay freezing, pension changes, increasing accommodation charges, general erosion of terms/conditions etc etc it will become increasingly difficult to retain decent/effective people.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Will they deal with all the perks the top brass get?
I doubt it.
Or those in the navy - we have more rear admirals than we have ships, many in very expensive flats.
 

johntheexpat

Distinguished Member
The trouble is that there are so many special cases. We should pay the armed forces well, because they do a dangerous job on our behalf. Fine, I don't disagree. The police forces of the UK also do a dangerous job and their pay and conditions should be ring-fenced. The NHS needs to attract more and better qualified personnel and to keep those staff that it has properly motivated. Which it won't be able to do with an aging population and cuts to services everywhere you look. My own personal bugbear is education. Front line teachers are the bedrock of education and far too many of them are being lost to other careers, because of low pay, poor moral, underfunding and a distinct lack of respect. None of which can be cured by cutting back on funding.

So what is the answer? Does everyone in every tax-payer funded position just have to accept that they are going to be on the receiving end of savage cuts, or is there another way?
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
Will they deal with all the perks the top brass get?
I doubt it.
Or those in the navy - we have more rear admirals than we have ships, many in very expensive flats.
The argument that the Navy has more Admirals than ships, the Army has more Generals than tanks and the RAF more Air Marshalls than Squadrons is prima facie unsupportable. But I think we have to look at the soft power that gives us - we have sufficient that we can embed them with other NATO/foreign allies, into multi-national organisations or the commercial partners as we procure new equipments. All are force multipliers.

Furthermore it adds to the retention. Why would someone want to stay in the Armed Forces for decades after their frontline/interesting career came to an end if there wasn't a post down the line that could offer sufficient remuneration and status? I left the Armed Forces for this very reason but that's because my aspirations were far beyond what a public sector salary could give me - but a significant portion of good people do stay as they deem the ultimate rewards a decent enough carrot. Cut that back and the only people who stay will be the dross.
 
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
The retention issue will fix itself. If wages are too low to attract new recruits, then they will have no choice but to put up pay.

As a general rule I'm opposed to automatic increments. Pay progression should be based on performance, not time served.
 

Sonic67

Banned
As a general rule I'm opposed to automatic increments. Pay progression should be based on performance, not time served.
How do you measure performance?

As for time served you are paying to retain people who are progressively being more experienced and that you don't want to lose.

The Navy doesn't have enough people to carry out basic tasks now.

Armed Forces have critical shortage of submariners, intelligence officers and medics

Armed forces 'vulnerable' to gaps in specialist staff - BBC News
 
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
How do you measure performance in any job?

It will be a mix of measures depending on the role being performed.

Some hard metrics, 360 feedback, etc.

If the navy is having difficulty retaining staff, at some point that will need to be addressed.
 

tapzilla2k

Distinguished Member
How do you measure performance in any job?

It will be a mix of measures depending on the role being performed.

Some hard metrics, 360 feedback, etc.

If the navy is having difficulty retaining staff, at some point that will need to be addressed.
I'd say the performance reviews those in the armed forces undergo is far more rigorous than what you'd see in the public or private sectors. As for the Navy ? It requires a specific set of skills that require years of training to fully master. So incremental pay increases are a good incentive to keep recruitment levels up along with basic pay structures being competitive. Take that away and you'll just compound current problems. It'll be great if we have Aircraft Carriers and destroyers, but not enough well trained Naval crews to man them properly. What probably needs to happen is to trim the fat from the higher ranks in the Armed forces and spend the money elsewhere. Osborne's plan will only save £1.5 billion in the short term, long term ? It may harm recruitment, therefore a future government will likely have to reinstate the incremental pay increase and increase the basic pay rate as well to attract new recruits. Which will likely cost us more than £1.5 billion.

The NAO wasn't that impressed with MOD over it's plans for the Army Army 2020 - National Audit Office (NAO)

I simply do not trust the Tories with the Military, they are looking at short term political aims rather than long term defence.
 

phil t

Well-known Member
If the navy is having difficulty retaining staff, at some point that will need to be addressed.
When places like the rigs pay more money for less time away from home, it's no wonder many do their time and leave.

One of the problems is that many of the positions require skill sets that can only be grown in house and that take many years to grow.

Would you spend up to a third of your life underwater, with no communication with the out side world and not receive a pay rise?
 

Sonic67

Banned
How do you measure performance in any job?
Well if you are producing widgets or some other end product it's easy. You produce lots of widgets then you get paid more. Why not have performance related pay for MPs. That's the MPs who have only worked four Saturdays since 1939. Currently doing the rounds on social media:

"Sir, The government has suggested that the hours between 7am and 10pm Monday to Saturday would represent “normal” working hours for junior doctors. This is perplexing, as MPs do not sit before 9.30am, have an average finish time of 7pm and sat for a total 989 hours last year — the lowest figure since 1979. Not only this, but they receive a meal allowance if they work beyond 7.30pm and a free taxi home if they work beyond 11pm. Parliament finishes early every Friday and has only sat four times on a Saturday since 1939. Maybe we are not all in this together."
 

Sonic67

Banned
I simply do not trust the Tories with the Military, they are looking at short term political aims rather than long term defence.
And you would trust Corbyn?
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
The retention issue will fix itself. If wages are too low to attract new recruits, then they will have no choice but to put up pay.

As a general rule I'm opposed to automatic increments. Pay progression should be based on performance, not time served.
Attracting new recruits is not a problem - it is retaining them after they have gone through their years of training. The technical branches in particular have a huge problem - as Phil t observes there are significant 'pull' factors - and as terms of service are erode increasing 'push' factors. The Forces have already tried throwing money at the situation which is why you see Retention Incentives in some areas - yet it all seems too little to late IMHO. It can take upwards of a decade to fully train some of our engineers - terms of service are needed that can retain them.
 
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
Well if you are producing widgets or some other end product it's easy. You produce lots of widgets then you get paid more.
What have MPs got to do with this?

To the point in hand, yes it may be easier to measure performance for someone where hard metrics exist, such as widget production.

But it is still possible to produce performance measures for other kinds of jobs. Someone else has already suggested that rigorous performance measures are already in use. Why can't these be linked to remuneration?

Others have suggested that we need to rretain people who build up skills. So why can't we recognise that too in the remuneration system? I.e. Once a certain level of skill is certified they get a pay rise?
 

Sonic67

Banned
What have MPs got to do with this?
Because they are proposing this.
But it is still possible to produce performance measures for other kinds of jobs. Someone else has already suggested that rigorous performance measures are already in use. Why can't these be linked to remuneration?
Like what? How is one person in the armed forces more efficient than another?
I.e. Once a certain level of skill is certified they get a pay rise?
Already done. You get promoted you get more money.

Bear in mind a few things. Members of the armed forces can't strike. The only option if they feel pay is inadequate is to leave. Not a problem for firemen who can strike. They also have about thirty applicants for every post. So if people are in the fire service and don't like the pay well they can always leave and someone else will be happy to come in.

As it is you can get more money being a traffic warden.

Should soldiers get paid more than traffic wardens?

British soldiers paid less than us? Quite right - our job's more dangerous, says traffic warden

The national average salary for a traffic warden including overtime is £20,526, according to the Office for National Statistics.


Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt has demanded soldiers receive an increase in pay

A newly-trained private soldier facing intense combat in Afghanistan earns a salary of £16,227, while extra allowances take his pay to just below the average for a traffic warden.


Pay is decided by an independent review body. Note "independent". Part of not being able to strike for money is part of the deal, so is the government abiding by an independent body. Why is the government getting involved?
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
Others have suggested that we need to rretain people who build up skills. So why can't we recognise that too in the remuneration system? I.e. Once a certain level of skill is certified they get a pay rise?
The Forces need a system that supports suitably qualified and experienced personnel. The annual incremental reflects that someone who has served an additional 12 months will have invariably got more experienced. An individual who has done the course but has no practical experience is clearly less useful than someone who has done the course and then had some post-training real-world experience.

I would also add that a year-on-year incremental pay rise is also only guaranteed if you continue to progress. Most ranks have between 7-9 increment levels so if you hit one rank but then fail to progress further, your increments stop when you reach the top of that pay spine.
 

Sve

Banned
What have MPs got to do with this?

To the point in hand, yes it may be easier to measure performance for someone where hard metrics exist, such as widget production.

But it is still possible to produce performance measures for other kinds of jobs. Someone else has already suggested that rigorous performance measures are already in use. Why can't these be linked to remuneration?

Others have suggested that we need to rretain people who build up skills. So why can't we recognise that too in the remuneration system? I.e. Once a certain level of skill is certified they get a pay rise?
We could pay them extra depending on how many of the enemies combatants they kill or how many they capture. We could also pay them extra depending on how many patrols they go out on while in enemy land.

We could also pay them extra for every tour they do, the list is endless.

I am sure we would have plenty of people willing to do the time and motion study on the serving soldiers/sailors/airmen in the battlefield.
 
D

Deleted member 13294

Guest
Oh @Sve you are genuinely hilarious.

Perhaps ask tapzilla what they use to assess performance already? Apparently it is more rigorous than anything in the public or private sector.

There is much more to performance assessment than just hard metrics.
 

thefragile

Well-known Member
Front line teachers are the bedrock of education and far too many of them are being lost to other careers, because of low pay, poor moral, underfunding and a distinct lack of respect. None of which can be cured by cutting back on funding.
I can talk about this first hand, I was a technician in a college, training to be a teacher...... I earnt 11K a year as a technician, about 4K a year from my teaching, and was having to pay 6k a year to do my teacher training...... The college would not help toward my teacher training financially in anyway whatsoever, despite the fact I was doing the course at the college I was teaching at, and they were basically using me to fill in for teachers whenever anyone was off, and was teaching on the course that had the best results in the college in 13/14 (100% Grade A-C, 90% Grade A or above at A-level for my specialist subject).

But on top of all that, lets talk about the emotional abuse when you're a teacher, from the parents, the students, and the guilt trips from your management, when they're asking you to do days of overtime unpaid...... Or when you're threatened with physical violence by students, and the schools will not act, because they "need the student numbers".

Plus I hadn't had a pairs since 2007 when I started working there (despite there being contractual agreement fro incremental pay rises in place), I'd been through 3 redundancy processes in 2 years, so when I was put through another one, I put my teaching qualification on hold, took my voluntary redundancy, now work in IT earning nearly double the money (with no formal experience), with half the stress, no emotional abuse..... but still, weirdly, I miss teaching the students and dealing with all that teenagery stuff that came with it.
 

tapzilla2k

Distinguished Member
And you would trust Corbyn?
I don't trust Cameron, so you can probably take a wild guess at what I think about Corbyn. Remembering that I did not vote for Corbyn in the leadership election.

Perhaps ask tapzilla what they use to assess performance already? Apparently it is more rigorous than anything in the public or private sector.
You don't need to ask me, just take a look at the various sites for the branches of the Armed Forces i.e. Training in the Army - British Army Website

Or ask former or current members of the Armed Forces about it.

There is much more to performance assessment than just hard metrics.
The Armed Forces if not deployed are near enough constantly training and assessing progress of members of the Armed Forces. What we will never have to face is the possibility of being sent to a combat zone where you have to rely on your training and have confidence in your squad/team to get through fire fights and other operations. The British Army is of course not perfect, given recent going ons at barracks (alleged rapes, suicides) and inadequate risk assessments being carried out prior to starting trials for the SAS and other specialist branches of the Army.
 

thefragile

Well-known Member
It's disgusting that someone like you was driven out of the profession.
Its happening all across teaching......

Qualified teachers are leaving the profession, training teachers are leaving the profession, FE colleges are being shut down left right and centre, and there's still a push toward the academy system for schools (which is deeply flawed).

Realistically in the face of cuts and austerity, the armed forces not getting a pay rise is hardly the biggest problem, after all they get cheap/free housing quite often, discounts on cars, and when they're on tours soldiers literally have sweet FA to spend their money on.
 

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