Armed forces get a voice on their pay and conditions

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hansvonhealing, Dec 11, 2006.

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  1. Independent
    Armed forces get a voice on their pay and conditions
    By Terri Judd
    Published: 11 December 2006

    The first professional staff association in the history of the modern British military will be launched today, amid mounting levels of dissatisfaction with pay and conditions in the era of the "war on terror".

    The birth of the British Armed Forces Federation (Baff) comes at a time when many in the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force believe they are being overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan by political masters who have failed to back them with sufficient support and funding.

    In a sign that the Army hierarchy is moving to address rank-and file grievances, it was revealed yesterday that troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan are to awarded millions in compensation after a Government ruling that they are victims of crime.

    While servicemen and women continue to engage in combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the official cessation of hostilities - in May 2003 in Iraq - gives them the legal right to criminal compensation.

    In series of test cases likely to pave the way for many more, 40 servicemen have been awarded up to £500,000 each. Compensation is expected to range from £1,000 for injuries such as small facial scars to half a million for loss of limb. The new scheme will apply to troops remaining in the military who have been injured in terrorist attacks such as roadside bombs but is expected to exclude those wounded in offensive operations against insurgents.

    Last week, retired General Sir Mike Jackson, the former head of the Army, accused the Government of failing to give the forces "whole-hearted support" or adequate funding. He said failure to deliver improvements to living accommodation, pay and equipment threatened the "ethos of soldiering" which made them willing to put their lives at risk for their country.

    The care of injured soldiers will be a key issue issue on which Baff will campaign. The idea of a virtual "union" was came up in a blog on the unofficial Army Rumour Service website in January. Under the name "Glad it's all over", a former senior NCO, Henrik Kiertz-ner, wrote: "There seems to be a gap in the market for a body which could lobby on behalf of the serviceman/woman, and address some of the more dimwitted ideas our lords and masters come up with."

    Douglas Young, the chairman of Baff, said it was not a trade union and would not condone industrial action. "People in the armed forces work only by co-operation with others and that is the spirit with which we will go forward," he said.

    Membership will cost about £30 a year.

    Congratulations to all here on ARRSE involved with this..
  2. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

  3. Good... I hope this brings results.

    Out of Interest: Here in Denmark, the soldiers have unions. On the downside they have negotiated hairnets and no work after tea. On the upside, they have different unions for JNCOs, SNCOs and Officers, and the JNCOs are the most outspoken in the media often demanding better equipment and conditions... Rock on... that's where a voice is needed - where it has traditionally been drowned out.
  4. ...they are also a cracking bunch of highly professional blokes. Proof that a 'union' doesn't necessarily mean 'bad' soldiers.
  5. The best of luck to hackle, cpunk and Prodigal this morning at the launch.
  6. Am delighted to see this up and running and will be joining. Could I clarify the rate for reservists though - FAQ says a lower rate, but it seems that its a blanket rate of £30 for all right now - is this correct?

    Also how long till the BAFF gets blocked by DII?
  7. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    Well done to all who have been involved - are you know in a position to say you have the whole hearted support and understanding of Whitehall and the senor officer corps?
  8. Well, I've done my PayPal duty - I expect to be joined by Balleh. Or maybe not.
  9. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    The current rate is £30 for all categories of membership until next year, when, as the services offered develop, there will be a range of subscriptions including a lower rate for reservists.

    Sorry if the FAQ isn't entirely clear - we'll clarify it asap.

    I can't think that it would be in MOD's interest to block the site on DII, just as it would be pointless for Soldier magazine to not report upon it. Pretending something doesn't exist won't make it go away...

    Thanks to those who have joined; membership applications are coming in at a most encouraging rate.
  10. Very few people will know the tireless effort and personal sacrifice that Hackle and others have made just to get to this point. A massive amount of research, writing and preparation to just reach this point of launch. Huge congratulations to the Steering Committee.

    It is now time for the rest of us to show much needed support in the form of an initial membership. BAFF will need funds to get to the next step and the best independent form of funding comes from the very people it has formed to support.

    A great day for British Forces.
  11. Any early reports resulting from the Launch?
  12. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    The news channels are currently obsessed with a series of prostitute murders, and seem to be reporting little else. I'd expect reports in tomorrow's papers.
  13. I have just returned from the launch and I am sure Douglas Young, or others will respond more fully later in the day.

    The launch was well received by the media present with representatives of several major news organisations attending and putting questions to those present.

    Doug started with a brief history of BAFF, and went onto explain the role that BAFF will have in representing soldiers, sailors and airmen. He continued with examples of where BAFF will become involved, and equally, where BAFF will not.

    The message that BAFF is not a union, was firmly made, and many references made by Douglas and journalists present in relation to discussions that have taken place on this website - so, in the absence of anyone else saying it, thank you ARRSE, and all that have contributed to the debate, in order to make BAFF a reality.

    Coming the week after the former CGS, spoke out about issues concerning the armed forces, Doug's words and those of the executive present were heard with possibly more attention than might be imagined.

    As well as mention being made of the legal hotline dedicated to BAFF members, Doug went onto answer questions relating to how BAFF will work with existing forces bodies / charities. BAFF's work should indeed reinforce the work carried out by the likes of SSAFA, RBL, etc.

    Whilst understanding that many people have voiced concerns at the need for an organisation to exist in the first place, BAFF is now a legal entity and is being listened to. I wholeheartedly encourage membership of BAFF, and would hope that those readers no longer serving, or who have friends / family currently serving to visit theBAFF websiteand join as a friend of the family.

    I am sure that Doug will respond as soon as his schedule allows, I left him in the company of several journalists who were following the launch.
  14. I will be really interested to see if it is in January's Soldier Magazine!!!