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Old 20th Sep 2009, 07:27   #1 (permalink)
sidewayspeak
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Rumours of Redundancies...

Friend of a friend is at AHQ. We are hearing some interesting rumours coming out of the 'starred officer discussion groups':
Surge of recruiting has been 'too successful' and trades are now being closed.

New plans to get the RAF down to 35,000.

A new round of Redundancies.

Extending leaving age to 60 to reduce the pension burden

Clearly I'm only offering completely unsubstantiated rumours. But would be interested to hear from anybody who has heard the same, especially if more substance to them.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 08:38   #2 (permalink)
 
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The only way you could cut back numbers any further (and you are taliking about 25ish % of total) would be to significantly extend civilianisation of trades. Otherwise the role of 'Airpower' in the UK would need to be rewritten as Roles would need to be deleted.

This would also lend itself to the rumoured redundancy, otherwise the comments above are confusing and very mixed signals. Of course group ideology within a boardroom and practical reality are often continents apart.

I understand that extended service to 60 is already available and considered on an individual case by case basis. There is no way I would even mildly consider any service beyond 55 and it is quite likely I will be gone before then. Redundancy? ...Yes please!

I have heard from the chap with a pick at the coal face (RAF Regt) that recruiting for previously critically manned trades has stopped, despite the expenditure of an advertising campaign video that was not required after completion. So perhaps there is some truth in your rumour.

The system should be second guessing the economic recovery for when it happens, the PVRs presently on hold, may well prove to be a surge; and it will be 'Experience' that is leaving.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 08:40   #3 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Surge of recruiting has been 'too successful' and trades are now being closed
...which means in a years to come those trades will be 'top heavy'. I'm sorry but doesn't anyone keep an eye on the recruiters and the numbers anymore?

Quote:
New plans to get the RAF down to 35,000
Great - I can just see those 'air ranks' who know that they don't have much of a job to do starting to get twitchy!

Quote:
A new round of Redundancies
Another morale booster for the boys - especially if it is for Air Rank and above or 'Starred Officers'

Quote:
Extending leaving age to 60 to reduce the pension burden
I don't know the calculations but don't you get a bigger pension for staying in past 55 (based on years served???).

I bet the 'starred officer discussion groups' didn't get to the bottom line -

The RAF is too 'top heavy' - make cuts there instead of the workers at the front line.

There - sorted!
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 09:09   #4 (permalink)
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
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I make it 16% not 25% but that is just fiddling.

As for over recruiting and getting top heavy, over recruiting was a policy at one time in anticipation of increased exits at the other end.

Yes someone does keep an eye on the figures for lets say 6 years or so in advance

Seriously, from the RAF website it would appear that WSO are only being recruited on short service commissions. For anyone who wants a career in civvie street in their 30s it looks a good deal. For anyone who wants acareer in the RAF - dead duck.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 09:49   #5 (permalink)
 
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PN - I believe that WSOs have only been recruited on short service commissions for some years now. It is a trade that is rapidly shrinking. When Typhoon is fully up and running, FSTA in service, etc the main areas for WSO will be MRA4, GR4 and training (going out to civy contract). I saw a report several years ago from Innsworth identifying a need for 120 WSOs long term, with 600+ in service at that time!

As for the rumours that started this thread, mixed messages indeed. Shrink down to 35,000 with redundancies on the one hand. Extended service to 60, which will decrease your natural wastage, making 35,000 harder to reach, on the other....
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 10:36   #6 (permalink)
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biggus, quite. I know from a meeting some years ago that long term planning is pretty close to short term. IMHO this is because the staff officer levels have been refined to such an extent that the majority are operating on reactive and routine work and there is no spare capacity for 'blue sky' or 'out of the box' thinking.

Any 'off the wall' ideas would need staffing and if there is no staff then the idea will 'wither on the vine'.

Again, IMHO, it is one reason why procurement gets such a 'bad name' because there are not enough people to really 'brainstorm' a problem.

All trite buzz words but I think there is much truth in that.
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 11:11   #7 (permalink)
 
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Pontious.

Do my eyes deceive me?
Did you just suggest that the problem with procurement was a lack of people?!!
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Old 20th Sep 2009, 11:38   #8 (permalink)
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
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Tourist, lack of people in the right places. At the coal face you may think there are too many staff weenies. As aircrew, if you are not one for the greasey pole - CAS with 2500 hours in your log book - then you would probably cut your wrists before volunteering for a staff job.

However from my more elevated and remote position I do have time to think and plan. It is clear however that the staffs that are in place are almost wholly reactive rather than proactive and working creatively. Fire fighting rather than building fireproofing.
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Old 21st Sep 2009, 01:53   #9 (permalink)
 
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From an Engineering perspective I cannot see this happening. The stretch has gone too far and our guys cannot take any more overstretch . If more cuts are introduced then in my opinion you are taking the safety of aircrew out of the game and many will no longer put there names to things. Cuts were enough a few years back but it just cannot get anymore.
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Old 21st Sep 2009, 07:34   #10 (permalink)
 
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RumPunch: Nobody will argue your point when taken at face value, but the system could continue to 'cut' support staffs and replace them with civilian contractors. Vunerable trades such as Catering, Security, Admin, MTSS amongst others. Of course there are many valid arguments that make such widespread cuts undesirable, not least who is going to provide a stn guardforce in times of internal security threat, but a system focused only on cost cutting of a payroll and pension burden will turn a blind eye to a statistically unlikely drama in the future (& once the decision maker has moved on/retired).

For the fiqures quoted to be anywhere near achievable, several bases would need to close and those left behind presently doing the jobs of 3 people would need to take on the responsibility for more. Military ethos is a 'can-do-attitude' and we usually cope; I for one hope I do not witness what happens when the system really has gone too-far.
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Old 21st Sep 2009, 07:39   #11 (permalink)
 
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Hmmmm ok, feast-famine..we can't get it right can we?..the sine wave we're riding does seem to be 180 deg out of phase...
Still if they make the offer worthwhile..maybe...
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Old 21st Sep 2009, 10:57   #12 (permalink)
 
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RumPunch, remember what happened with the peace dividend in 1992. Whole trade groups (well part of them like Sim Techs) were made redundant even when they were employed operationally as E3 Techs. There were strong reasons why newly trained personnel in an essential job should have been allowed to remain in post, but there was no quarter and they were gone in a flash.

What you are saying is that there is no salami left to slice. I suspect that you are looking to lose a slice of the bread instead.
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Old 21st Sep 2009, 11:54   #13 (permalink)
 
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The salami that does need slicing is at star rank. Has needed slicing for years, but funnily enough, turkeys dont vote for Xmas. Sorry, I meant "Winterval".
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Old 21st Sep 2009, 12:47   #14 (permalink)
 
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Perhaps when the RAF reaches 35,000, each SAC can have their own Air Officer (who are in training for jobs as Health Service 'managers').

Looks like building up to leave being cancelled until morale improves soon. Glad I left when I did.

Good luck to all those serving, it just begs the question 'Who'?
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Old 21st Sep 2009, 16:41   #15 (permalink)
 
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Tiger - Sure thing you are right nobody will listen to safety aspect of things, I am just not a fan of further cuts and I just think things have gone too far at present but our opinion at shop floor is never really listened too.
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Old 21st Sep 2009, 16:49   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Perhaps when the RAF reaches 35,000, each SAC can have their own Air Officer
There must be enough for Cpl's too!
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Old 21st Sep 2009, 18:38   #17 (permalink)
 
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MGD

Sorry, yes there should be enough to go around . . .
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Old 21st Sep 2009, 20:04   #18 (permalink)
 
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Yes but..............................








Are there going to be any redundancies?
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Old 21st Sep 2009, 20:27   #19 (permalink)
 
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As daft as it sounds I don't think the MOD can afford a redundancy programme, particularly if they are aiming it at the top of the 'pyramid'. "Golden bowlers" are very expensive in the short term and any changes are likely to take a couple of years to implement (particularly for those who have a union to fight their corner!) and it is the here and now that the money is needed.

What I suspect they will look to do is sign fewer people on for extensions of service and offer less in the way of long term "contracts" (ie more SSC and less PC). The RAF will lose experienced people at one end and be replaced with fewer 'newbies' (who are cheaper) at the other (i.e replace a 2 x 22 yr service SNCO with 1 x LAC). The manning requirement will balance for less money even if it is full of people with either less than 5-8 years service or more than 25 (and locked in by the schooling allowance).

Contractorisation is not the answer either IMHO. Whilst the wage bill goes down it means (as many have said before) you have a smaller pool of deployable pers / enhanced guard force "volunteers" etc. You only have to look at the medical services (and to some extent the old Supply and MTD drivers) to see how contractorisation is not working for those left in uniform (again, IMHO).

There are 2 other ways to get the numbers down cheaply - use the admin discharge more widely for those no longer fit to do their duty (and, as uncomfortable as it may be, this may have to include those wounded in action - no flaming please, there's a whole thread on this elsewhere). And then of course they could always make life so 'uncomfortable' that it encourages people to PVR (put quarter charges up several hundred percent, remove schools allowance, reduce leave entitlement, increase OOA to 12-18 month tours etc etc - all easy to introduce as they don't change any "T&C" we may believe we have).

As always I'm bound to be proved wrong and await the missive from AHQ...
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Old 21st Sep 2009, 20:31   #20 (permalink)
 
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Schools allowance will probably go IMHO unfortunately. Dont hear many saying these days at work "I will leave if they axe it" do you now?
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