BRITISH ARMED FORCES FEDERATION - 10-Point Plan

#1
This is about the BAFF 10 Point Plan (2006). For the latest about British Armed Forces Federation visit www.baff.org.uk .
[hr]
The "10 Point Plan" below was originally published here on 23 January, 2006 as a draft for comment. It was later included in a submission to the House of Commons Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill, and was printed as evidence in the Select Committee's Special Report of Session 2005-06, published 9 May 2006.

The public launch of BAFF as a tri-service all-ranks professional staff association took place in London on 11 December 2007. The BAFF website at www.baff.org.uk includes a copy of the Federation's actual Constitution, and much more. cheers, BAFF

[hr]The BAFF '10 Point Plan'.

1. A professional staff association is to be formed for members of Her Majesty's Forces under the provisional title of the BRITISH ARMED FORCES FEDERATION (BAFF).

2. Comparable bodies have for years served the armed forces of allied countries such as the United States and Australia, with official cooperation and no negative impact on operational effectiveness or military discipline. The proposed federation is, however, designed to be a specifically British solution for the British armed forces. It will reflect and respect the ethos and robust traditions of the three fighting services. It will meet all requirements of British military and other law, including international conventions adopted by the United Kingdom.

3. The federation's mission shall be to represent, foster and promote the professional, welfare, and other legitimate interests of all members of the federation in their capacity as serving or retired personnel of the fighting services of the United Kingdom, and in so doing help to maximise operational efficiency and improve the retention of trained personnel.

4. The federation will be a democratic representative institution answerable to its members. Membership of the federation will be open to all personnel irrespective of rank, branch of service or gender. The main membership categories will be Ordinary Membership (Regular), Ordinary Membership (Reserve Forces) and Veteran Membership. In responding to the requirements of its members, the federation will act in the interests of all serving personnel and veterans but will not countenance any pressure on individuals to join.

5. Within resources, the activities of the federation may include:

(a) professional and career development by the provision of education and information;

(b) liaison, monitoring and response to proposals or developments within the Services, in Parliament, in the provision of public services or in the commercial sector which have a specific impact on forces personnel;

(c) appropriate advocacy and consultation to protect and improve the conditions of service life including pay, accommodation, medical and welfare services, resettlement and all other areas of personnel support;

(d) appropriate support to personnel facing court martial or other legal proceedings in connection with their service (the federation will not normally comment on any specific case within the systems of military justice and administrative discipline); and

(e) the negotiation for members of a range of insurance, financial and other benefits, discounts or affinity deals.

6. The federation will not be beholden to any political party, pressure group, or defence industry interest. While supporting the cross-party consensus on the need for robust, adequately-funded but cost-effective forces serving the Nation as determined by the Government of the day, the federation will not be a defence pressure group. The federation will not take a view on matters of defence strategy or operational decisions, although it may raise legitimate subsidiary matters affecting personnel. Parliamentary liaison will be strictly on a cross-party basis.

7. The federation will not be a trade union and, above all, it will not conduct or condone any form of industrial action or insubordination within the armed forces. The federation affirms the vital role of the Armed Forces chain of command in representing the interests of its personnel. The federation will seek to agree with the Ministry of Defence appropriate mechanisms for the exchange of information with the chain of command as well as centrally. A code of conduct will be adopted, and potential disagreements will normally be raised centrally to avoid placing serving personnel in difficulty with their chain of command, or vice versa. The federation will act to protect serving members in their federation-related activities within the agreed code of conduct.

8. The federation will not seek to supplant the role of any existing charity or other agency involved in service welfare. Where appropriate the federation may help to direct members to appropriate sources of advice or assistance.

9. Work is already under way on matters such as the structure and legal format of the federation, and staffing. A business plan is being prepared.

10. This draft statement of intent outlines the basic principles established so far. Work continues on detailed aspects of the proposals with a view to wider consultation throughout the armed forces community, and with the Ministry of Defence.
 
#3
A commendable piece of work Mr Hackle!

Sounds like a well thought out out-line for the BAFF.

Keep up the good work
 
#5
hackle said:
4. The federation will be a democratic representative institution answerable to its members. Membership of the federation will be open to all personnel irrespective of rank, branch of service or gender. The main membership categories will be Ordinary Membership (Regular), Ordinary Membership (Reserve Forces) and Veteran Membership. In responding to the requirements of its members, the federation will act in the interests of all serving personnel and veterans but will not countenance any pressure on individuals to join.
Absolutely first-class job, hackle, I must say. However, I'm not quite clear on what I've highlighted in Point 4. Of course, it could be I'm just a bit of a mong about it (being Irish - leave off with the usual jokes, lasses and lads, I'm serious!). Any chance of clarification?

As it stands, I'd certainly put my name to it!

MsG
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#7
Sir_Sidney_Ruff_Diamond said:
Outstanding work

As I understand it nobody will be forced ie no closed shop to join however they can still expect the benefits. is this right?
You would benefit from the general advocacy of a Federation but if you didn't join, you couldn't expect to receive benefits like advice, legal assistance and so forth.
 
#10
No pressure to join but, if you did join you would be provided with advice, legal assistance and other benefits that non-members wouldn't. All members of the Armed Forces should be treated the same and there is the possibility that 'the powers that be' may treat individual cases differently based on whether the individual is or isn't a member of the federation. And that's wrong.
 
#11
Plant-Pilot said:
When's all this supposed to happen? I hate unions!
2359 hrs (Zulu) on Tuesday, 22 August





BTW this proposal is not a union! Absolutely everyone has said that from the start. The comparable organisations in Australia (one federation) and the USA (several associations) are not unions either.
 
#12
hackle said:
Yes, it just means that the decision to join is voluntary (of course) and there is to be no pressure on anyone to join.
Aah, gottcha! Thanks for that, hackle. :D :D :D

MsG
 
#13
tomahawk6 said:
If the various MP's actually stood up for the military this wouldnt be an issue.
But they don't, T6! They don't give a toss about the UK Armed Forces - that's why it definitely is an issue!

MsG
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#14
Plant-Pilot said:
No pressure to join but, if you did join you would be provided with advice, legal assistance and other benefits that non-members wouldn't. All members of the Armed Forces should be treated the same and there is the possibility that 'the powers that be' may treat individual cases differently based on whether the individual is or isn't a member of the federation. And that's wrong.
Cobblers. You don't expect the AA to give you a tow if you aren't a member do you? This is much the same.
 
#15
cpunk said:
Plant-Pilot said:
No pressure to join but, if you did join you would be provided with advice, legal assistance and other benefits that non-members wouldn't. All members of the Armed Forces should be treated the same and there is the possibility that 'the powers that be' may treat individual cases differently based on whether the individual is or isn't a member of the federation. And that's wrong.
Cobblers. You don't expect the AA to give you a tow if you aren't a member do you? This is much the same.
My point wasn't the fact that you aren't getting the help if you aren't a member, but the fact that if two soldiers have similar problems, the one that was a member might be treated better by 'the management' than the other, purely because he has the potential backing of the federation...... and that's wrong.
 
#16
'The working class can kiss my arrse, I've got the foreman's job at last' (to be sung to the tune of the Red Flag)
 
#17
P-P, I don't think your employer can treat you any differently on the basis of whether you are a member of a federation or not. When GCHQ personnel was offered a federation in the early '80s because of union ban by Maggie, it made no difference to subsequent conditions of service/pay/etc., except for the bung[read bribe] of 1k when it first kicked off. The results of negociations of the federation were binding on the whole except for individual single issue representation [ie., a claim for loss of hearing]
No doubt someone will point out i'm wrong.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#18
Plant-Pilot said:
My point wasn't the fact that you aren't getting the help if you aren't a member, but the fact that if two soldiers have similar problems, the one that was a member might be treated better by 'the management' than the other, purely because he has the potential backing of the federation...... and that's wrong.
That's highly unlikely. A. Why would they? B. How would they know who was - or wasn't - a member of the Federation? In any case, treating individual soldiers differently because the were or weren't members of the Federation would presumably simply drive more soldiers to join it: the 'wrong' would be with the management, not with the Federation.
 
#19
A federation will be a two way thing insomuch as any 'deals' done with it will be binding on all whether or not a member which could include changes in eg., conditions of service. Remember that negociations will be with people in a system [basically the 'establishment'] that could tie Harry Houdini in knots and shaft him whilst thinking he got a good deal. You will certainly need personnel running a fed who can see when the wool is being pulled over their eyes. Bottom line is that if a federation comes into being, then not joining and then complaining is a no-brainer.
 
#20
Have worked with Unions for years. The more I was exposed to them the less I liked them.

The full time officials were either come up through the ranks gobshites (two jags springs to mind) or bright young things with degrees who treat the whole thing as any other job.

The local shop stewards were either the idlest bastards in the factory who saw the whole thing as a skive, smart movers on the make who (usually rightly) saw a bit of effective militantcy as a quick way to promotion in order to stop them from causing trouble, marxist troublemakers(very few but very effective) or decent people forced into the job and hating every minute of it.

The Army may need some sort of more effective redress procedure, but believe you me a Federation is not the way to do it. Not a Regular myself, just someone with long experience of unions.

I would suggest that the best answer is to time limit every complaint. At Bn level 5 days, at Bde 10 days, at Div 30 days. You would all be very surprised if these limits were introduced just how quickly they would be resolved.
 

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