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Gurkha Terms and Conditions of Service Review

#4
Bump this to the top as I can see it becoming the next big topic on this board.

I have one question, will this change the balance of "power" in Nepal when retiring Gurkhas return to their village with far more expendable income than the village elders.
This is not a dig at, or pop at Gurkhas, it is a genuine question which I have heard discussed by serving Gurkha soldiers.
 
#5
Gents I am pretty certain it is out today (well I have seen it although haven't read it in detail yet and there may have been a caveat on disclosure date), what I guess I am saying is that it is in Units and will be doing the rounds very shortly.

I think it is being viewed by HQ Bde of Gurkhas as a great success, although without reading it I cannot give my own opinion on it.

However to have something to compare it to when it is released this is something I wrote earlier...

John_Gurkha said:
OK let me answer these in turn, (for the second time as I did do this last night but the system dumped it).

Recent Changes

a. Indefinite Leave to Remain – You are correct in stating that Gurkhas having served more than four years post 1997 have the right to return to the UK indefinitely to seek work. This has nothing to do with the MOD as the decision was made by the Home Office and is an immigration issue not a defence issue. It has nothing to do with Gurkha Terms and Conditions of Service as laid sown by the MOD.

b. Gurkha Married Accompanied Service (GMAS) – GMAS was introduced as an early win for the Gurkha Terms and Conditions of Service Review (GTACOS Review). In the main (well from my experience) it has been a success and is a step forward for GTACOS.

Now as for the rest the GTACOS Review it is an all encompassing review looking at all GTACOS and where possible aligning GTACOS with UKTAP TACOS, great you might rightly think. But of course reviews of this sort are very rarely conducted (as you will know if you’re serving) without a requirement to save money or with saving money being the underlying theme. You might think I am being cynical? Well to be honest I think there is a chance that the average Gurkha soldier will be worse off after the GTACOS review than he is currently. Let’s look at just two possible areas of change:

a. Pensions – Currently Gurkha soldiers having completed 15 years service receive on retirement a pension (index linked) equivalent to a middle managers wage in Nepal paid immediately. Now I know there has been uproar since the year dot about Gurkha pensions being tiny in comparison to UKTAP pensions so, second guessing the GTACOS review I suspect that Gurkha soldiers and officers currently serving will be given the option to change to AFPS 05 (See HERE for details) and new recruits will be automatically placed on AFPS 05. Great equality you might say, Gurkhas can now serve 22 years and have the chance of a full career and receive the pension they fully deserve with exact equality to UKTAP, yes that’s correct, no immediate pension at the 22 year point (or 15 year point for that matter) Early Departure Payments paid from age 55 (providing that you have served a minimum of 18 years and reach the age of 40 in service) and your full pension entitlement kicking in at 65 (providing you meet the above criteria of course). Gurkhas better off? Now for the real kick in the teeth.

b. Engagement – Again not wanting to second guess the GTACOS review but a new engagement is about to hit the streets for all UKTAP personnel. It would therefore make sense that if Gurkhas are to have full equality then they would also move to this engagement. It’s called the Versatile Engagement or VEng (See HERE ). Now those of you that are quick will notice that all soldiers sign on for 12 years and those that are selected at the 12 year point may be offered a further 12 years service (remember you need 18 years service and must be 40 years old to get a pension), now the banter I have been hearing is that selection to Full Career (24 years service) will be based on achieving the rank of Sergeant at the 12 year point. To be honest I suggest that nearly half of those enlisting on VEng will not qualify for a pension and that includes Gurkhas. Still better off?

Different Rank Badges – Ok lets get back to splitting hairs. Gurkha Officers do have the Brigade of Gurkhas Colours running through their rank slide. They also have the same pips and crowns that most British Officers have on their uniforms. So is their crown or pip worth less? My rank insignia is completely different to that of a member of the Household Division does that make him a worse or less respected officer? The general traditions and differences among units and organisations help make the British Army the organisation that it is; if you want everyone to wear the same well lets crack on and change the lot.

Honorary Rank and Commissioning – Many a time I have stood on parade in front of the Regiment whilst the newest Lieutenant is commissioned into the Regiment by the Colonel of the Regiment. Those new officers always look inferior and patronised when the whole Regiment is stood to attention as they receive their Brigade flashed pips. Sorry they don’t do they? They look full of pride that they have been commissioned and are another step closer to being selected from a very good lot to becoming the Gurkha Major. Of course there are the 10 or so others that have declined the promotion every year that will disagree with me – oh no they won’t because that doesn’t happen either. As I understand the honorary commission, it is given out to specific individuals on completion of service as an extra pat on the back for service well done. I guess similar to CDS being promoted to Field Marshall on his last day of work. I guess it is probably a throw back and will probably be dissolved when the new GTACOS are announced. I personally do not think that Gurkhas find it patronising nor do they consider themselves as being inferior.

Now I know that you want Gurkhas to get full equality because they are really hard done by. And as I have said numerous times this is being looked at by the GTACOS review as we speak, you could continue to bang on about it or maybe wait until the GTACOS review is announced and then dissect it to say what a good/bad/indifferent bit of work it is. Its up to you, but I think that’s enough on this particular subject from me.
 
#6
Announced this morning:

http://www.army.mod.uk/brigade_of_gurkhas/new_gtacos.htm


GURKHA TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE REVIEW

Nationality & Status

1. Gurkhas should continue to be selected and recruited in Nepal, and remain Nepalese citizens throughout their service.



2. Formed units consisting entirely of Gurkhas except for British officers and a few specialists, should be retained as the Brigade of Gurkhas; and Gurkhas should be recruited only to those units.



3. The practice of compulsory discharge in Nepal should be discontinued.

Wider Employment & Transfer

1. Gurkha soldiers should be eligible to apply for transfer to Corps/Regiments outside the BG, on the same terms as the rest of the Army, after a minimum period of 5 years service in BG.
Recruitment & Selection


1. Recruiting and selection of Gurkhas is to remain in Nepal.


2. Recruiting and selection of Gurkhas should be owned by the Army Recruitment and Training Division (ARTD).



3. Selection standards for Gurkhas to be aligned with British selection arrangements in due course.



4. Nepalese women to be recruited into the Brigade of Gurkhas.
Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT)

The GWT support the British Army’s recruiting and selection process should be formalised.

Press here to view GWT web page.

Training

1. The current Gurkha training regime should be retained for the time being.



2. The current regime is unlikely to be sustainable and ARTD should lead a programme aimed at alignment with the UK training regime.



3. ARTD should commence a programme to develop an acceptable training regime for Gurkha women.

Engagement & Commissioning


Engagements

1. Gurkhas to be enlisted to the Versatile Engagement when it is introduced for the wider Army.



2. The use of Condonation of service as a manning tool should cease (also applies to Queens Gurkha Officers (QGOs)).



Commissions

3. Nepalese DE officer recruits should be sought from within BG.



4. The QGO commission, the Short Service Commission (Gurkha) commission and the current system of awarding honorary rank should end.



5. The existing QGO population should be transferred to the Short Service Commission (Late Entry) (SSC(LE)), subject to meeting the standard.



6. Non-DE candidates in future should be commissioned only to the SSC(LE) within the BG.



7. Gurkha Other Ranks (GORs) may seek commissions in other Arms and Corps.



8. Current Short Service Commission (Gurkha) officers to be transferred to Intermediate Regular Commission (Late Entry) (IRC (LE) and will compete for posts alongside those from the wider Army.



9. Gurkha SSC (LE) officers in future may be selected for conversion to the IRC (LE) according to the same rules as for British SSC(LE) officers now.


10. GORs should be given access to employment opportunities outside the BG on the same basis as British personnel.

11. Gurkha LE officers should be permitted to seek transfer to other parts of the Army according to normal rules after 3 years commissioned service.


12. Gurkha LE officers are to be career managed by the Army Personnel Centre and be able to compete equally with their British counterparts.



13. BG units should be permitted a higher proportion of LE officer posts than corresponding units in the wider Army, for practical and cultural reasons, but that this should be subject to review.

Pay, Allowances, Charges

1. Gurkha pay adopts full UK rates based on Employment Qualifications.



2. QGOs are assimilated on to the normal Army pay scales.



3. Re-employed Retired Gurkha Officers are to be assimilated on to FTRS Home Commitment pay scales.

Leave of Absence

1. Gurkhas to be provided with the same leave arrangements as set down in JSP 7601, including all types of special leave such as parental leave, career breaks, and carers’ leave.



2. Cease Nepal Long Leave.


3. Provide Gurkhas with less than 3 years service with the option of having the “Get You Home (Early Years)” package.

4. Gurkhas should have the same arrangements available to Commonwealth personnel as set out in JSP 760.



5. Compassionate leave for Gurkhas should be brought into line with JSP 751.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. JSP 760- Tri-Service Manual for Leave and Other Absences (2006).
Pensions


1. Gurkhas recruited after 1 December 2006 should join the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2005 (AFPS 05).



2. Gurkhas serving on 1 October 2007 who joined on or after 6 April 2005 but before 6 April 2006 (the 2006 intake) should be offered the option to transfer from the Gurkha Pension Scheme (GPS) to AFPS 05.



3. Gurkhas serving on 1 October 2007 who were serving before 6 April 2005 should be offered the option to transfer from GPS to AFPS 75 or AFPS 05.



4. Gurkhas who retired between 1 July 1997 and 5 April 2006 should be offered the option to transfer to AFPS 75 or remain in the GPS. Those who retired from 6 April 2006 but before 1 October 2007 should be offered the option to transfer to AFPS 75 or AFPS 05 or remain in the GPS.



5. Gurkhas transferring from GPS to AFPS to be given actuarial value for any service before 1 July 1997, but service given on or after 1 July 1997 to be transferred on year-for-year basis.

Press here to view an information on Pensions at SP Pol web page.

Welfare & Education Issues

1. Gurkha children should have the same educational opportunities as their British counterparts.



2. Additional welfare support staff should be available to the Army Welfare Service to cope with the additional family welfare issues relating to the introduction of Gurkha MAS.



3. Comply with all compassionate arrangements (JSP 751).



4. In conformity with practice elsewhere in the Armed Forces, the reimbursement of Gurkha dependants’ medical and dental claims is to stop.



5. Gurkha Chronic Conditions arrangements to be phased out and brought in line with the new Sickness Army Management (SAM ) scheme.



6. Discharge procedures for Gurkhas to be brought into line with wider practice.



7. Aftercare provision for Gurkhas and their dependants are to be the same as available for British personnel.



8. Present establishment of Pandits to be increased.



9. Cultural support to continue within units.



10. Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas secretariat support to be reinforced to become the focus for the provision of Benevolence and Welfare Support to Gurkha ex-servicemen in UK.

TPA

Let the present TPA lie, and produce a bi-lateral MOU between the UK and GoN.
 
#7
For those that want an easy to read document, four pages covering Gurhka terms & conditions of service can be found in AIN I35/07. Published today. (As mentioned above.)

Edited by Edgey: Mong spelling. :roll:
 
#8
Looks like an excellent deal for the Gurkhas.

Particularly good commissioning prospects for Gurkha soldiers , with opportunities for DE and LE commissioning within the within the Brigade as well as other Arms and Corps.

Most will still be LE officers - 'BG units should be permitted a higher proportion of LE officer posts than corresponding units in the wider Army, for practical and cultural reasons, but that this should be subject to review.'

They appear to have accepted that the Tri-partite Ageement is dead in the water: 'Let the present TPA lie, and produce a bi-lateral MOU between the UK and GoN.'
 
#9
Dumb question probably, but what does the term "Actuarial Value" pension for service before 97 mean in terms of a full pension?

If a Gurkha is coming to his 20 year point now, will he have 10 years of AFPS pensionable service and a hearty handshake?

If so does this this mean that the deal will disadvantage all soldiers presently serving against recruits joining after 6 April 05?
 
#10
The actuarial value means any service done prior to 1 Jul 97 is cut down to 1/3 meaning a soldier who has done 9 years service will have only 3 years service count in respect of pension payment. For example a person with 9 years prior to 1 Jul 97 will have 3 years and 13 years after 1 Jul 97 will only get proportionate immediate pension of 16 years.

This is obviously not a good deal but better than the last one where one only got £100
 
#11
Why, oh why do we treat people who serve us so badly?. I name the wounded servicemen, the equipment they are not issued, their families, in particular the disgraceful time taken to instigate a corners court and the gurkha soldiers.

In a country that spends/wastes millions on all sorts of projects/social incentives, the government can't spend a little more where it is required. We are not talking about large sums of money here.

To me it smacks of a proper lack of priorities and a country in moral decline, especially by those who 'lead' us, ie politicians and military leaders more interested in their careers, than the welfare of the service personal under them.

I am ashamed of how we treat our 'heroes'. Prisoners get better treatment. The problem is is it differcult to get them to do anything about it. Publicity seems to be the answer and the shaming of those 'worthies' who think so much of themselves.
 
#12
Highflight said:
Why, oh why do we treat people who serve us so badly?. I name the wounded servicemen, the equipment they are not issued, their families, in particular the disgraceful time taken to instigate a corners court and the gurkha soldiers.

In a country that spends/wastes millions on all sorts of projects/social incentives, the government can't spend a little more where it is required. We are not talking about large sums of money here.

To me it smacks of a proper lack of priorities and a country in moral decline, especially by those who 'lead' us, ie politicians and military leaders more interested in their careers, than the welfare of the service personal under them.

I am ashamed of how we treat our 'heroes'. Prisoners get better treatment. The problem is is it differcult to get them to do anything about it. Publicity seems to be the answer and the shaming of those 'worthies' who think so much of themselves.
Judging by the disgraceful goings on at Westminster today...I am proud to have served my country but ashamed of the way it has treated our Gurkha brothers and their families. Fellow servicemen/women appreciate you, even if the government don't!!
 
#13
TalaveraTom said:
Highflight said:
Why, oh why do we treat people who serve us so badly?. I name the wounded servicemen, the equipment they are not issued, their families, in particular the disgraceful time taken to instigate a corners court and the gurkha soldiers.

In a country that spends/wastes millions on all sorts of projects/social incentives, the government can't spend a little more where it is required. We are not talking about large sums of money here.

To me it smacks of a proper lack of priorities and a country in moral decline, especially by those who 'lead' us, ie politicians and military leaders more interested in their careers, than the welfare of the service personal under them.

I am ashamed of how we treat our 'heroes'. Prisoners get better treatment. The problem is is it differcult to get them to do anything about it. Publicity seems to be the answer and the shaming of those 'worthies' who think so much of themselves.
Judging by the disgraceful goings on at Westminster today...I am proud to have served my country but ashamed of the way it has treated our Gurkha brothers and their families. Fellow servicemen/women appreciate you, even if the government don't!!
Two words on the government decision:

F(u)cking disgraceful!
 
#14
a. Pensions – Currently Gurkha soldiers having completed 15 years service receive on retirement a pension (index linked) equivalent to a middle managers wage in Nepal paid immediately. Now I know there has been uproar since the year dot about Gurkha pensions being tiny in comparison to UKTAP pensions so, second guessing the GTACOS review I suspect that Gurkha soldiers and officers currently serving will be given the option to change to AFPS 05 (See HERE for details) and new recruits will be automatically placed on AFPS 05. Great equality you might say, Gurkhas can now serve 22 years and have the chance of a full career and receive the pension they fully deserve with exact equality to UKTAP, yes that’s correct, no immediate pension at the 22 year point (or 15 year point for that matter) Early Departure Payments paid from age 55 (providing that you have served a minimum of 18 years and reach the age of 40 in service) and your full pension entitlement kicking in at 65 (providing you meet the above criteria of course). Gurkhas better off? Now for the real kick in the teeth.

Is it really? What is this so called acturial value. Only 28% of the service prior to 1997 is counted towards the pension and paid accordingly. An individual who served in Hong Kong for 14 years has a service of 3 and half years only.
 

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