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Old 26th Apr 2006, 21:18
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: deepest here
Posts: 42

I find myself in a relatively unusual position. I joined to serve my country and will continue to do so as long as I can...I have no desire to leave the service of our country (although I would love to have words with Tony Blair...didn't we used to execute traitors?). I will stay in at my option (if they'll have me) regardless of an FRI or not. However, I know from speaking to virtually everybody I work with that I am in a minority of not much more than one. I May leave (and emigrate) after 5 yrs as PA however (if I get it!), ...just as soon as the pension is sorted, if I see no light at the end of the miserably dark and foreboding tunnel that New Labour are driving this country in to. For the rest of you out there wondering whether to stay or go, what would sway it for you?
We all should understand that a caring environment and an honest Gov't are not realistic, so please be much for how long?
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 13:03
  #22 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Worcester
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by South Bound
There is an interesting argument that goes...

... if it costs X million to recruit and train a pilot and we are getting Y years service out of them on average before they disappear off to the airlines, and we want some of them to stay on for another Z years, then anything less than X/Y per year is a bargain. Hmmmm, if you believe the blurb that it costs at least 3M per pilot and we get 16 years out of them (which we don't!), then the financial argument says anything up to 187500 PA is a good deal, especially when the crews are already effective, don't need to do 3 years training/holding/growing up...

Not that I think that is a good idea....

From crewroom chit-chat this post is not far from the truth. A six figure sum is being mentioned. Apparantly some big wig to do with the Trg side of aircrew has submitted some fairly bold facts.....

Watch this space.............
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 13:14
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Nigit
Posts: 435
I think I might wet myself if they offer me 6 figures to stay in...
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 13:16
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Blighty
Posts: 554
Personally I will hide in a corner and cry like a small girl if they offer certain aircrew that much cash. Not that I can't see the financial argument (perfectly logical really), but I WANT SOME!

Me me me, self self self. Going down to the bottom of my garden to eat worms...

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Old 27th Apr 2006, 14:38
  #25 (permalink)  

Short Blunt Shock
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 631
A six figure sum would have me running straight to PSF (sorry, "HR") screaming "where do I sign?" - and I have given SERIOUS consideration to PVRing recently....go figure, it works.

Of course, If it turns out that the 'careful targetting' means me missing the bracket by a gnat's cock, that will just be another big 'push' be careful about your 'careful targetting'......

And it would HAVE to be a six figure sum AFTER tax...not the usual con of the Treasury giving with the left and taking with the right.

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Old 27th Apr 2006, 14:41
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Blighty
Posts: 554
Ah yes, but careful targetting could lead to increased departures in other areas leading to more careful targetting until it goes around in a great big circle and all the aircrew get a payrise!

Personally I vote for UAVs....
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 14:52
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 151

6 figure sums! good luck to you.

If it's true i'll be choking on my first class curry's for the next 20 years! (my new imporoved retirement date ) Seem to remember the same figures/logic being talked about in the mid 90's when i was digging my escape tunnel out of QRA. Didn't quite happen

fingers crossed.
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 15:21
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Lincs
Posts: 154
I have a cunning plan! They could tell us we are getting a new FRI, paid through JPA, send us all out to Iran for the next installation of Blair vs The Rest, see how many of us come back and then cancel it as we will have lost that many aircraft we have no need to retain aircrew! Obviously all written with tongue firmly in cheek........................... although?
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 15:32
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 768
I wouldn't get too excited guys. Although the current figures allegedly show us to be quite badly short of pilots, when the required number is revised downwards in the next set of figures released (FY06) we'll probably magically be about in balance. I expect the same thing will happen next year too until we've reached that new, downsized, RAF in a couple of years time.

It's only then that the real problem will start - when they can't stop the outflow but want to maintain a constant number of pilots. But of course - by then it will be far too late to do anything about it! It probably is already actually!
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 15:56
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chigley
Posts: 146
LFFC is right. There is nothing to get excited about. I dont reckon Innsworth are too fussed right now.

I have an offer of PA and when I rang up and asked the DO if I could extend it, he was not too keen at first but eventually gave me an extra 3 months to decide, and he was not that bothered really. If they were really that concerned would they not be chatting to the guys nearing their IRD desperate to find out what they intend to do ? Or outlining options available to those who decide to stay in as an incentive.

With all the upheaval right now my head says "leave", my heart "stay" and the wife is just pissed off that I cannot make a decision.

6 figure sums would be nice but can anyone really see it happen? No chance.
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 16:39
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 768
If they were really that concerned would they not be chatting to the guys nearing their IRD desperate to find out what they intend to do ?
That's the real problem. They have to let young people leave because that's the cost-effective way of doing things. Rather that than make us PAS aircrew redundant! Just think how much that would cost!
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Old 27th May 2006, 03:54
  #32 (permalink)  
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Location: Worcester
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No further rumours of a 6 figure sum, the talk now is of a salary package in line with military doctors. circa 90k.

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Old 27th May 2006, 07:38
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Not the front line
Posts: 87
I'll happilt wait with bated breath for anything like that; although I would assume that any massive salary packages are best reserved for those around or beyond their IPP, rather than those of us with a handful of tours until then!

Edit; where's this "talk" coming from? There's more talk of ATPLs than retention round my way!

Originally Posted by South Bound
Not that I can't see the financial argument (perfectly logical really), but I WANT SOME!
I can't see the financial argument at all. Everyone quotes these mythical "it costs £4M to train a fast jet pilot" lines, but where does that figure come from? I'd bet it's more a case of the training system costing IPSx£4M per year to run, rather than there actually being a cost of £4M for everyone we shove into IOT. So if you need an extra couple of pilots, you don't actually have to pay an extra £8M; you just make a couple of training courses 12 people instead of 10. The only extra it's costing you is the pay and benefits for your extra officers.
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Old 27th May 2006, 11:18
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: deepest here
Posts: 42

There is a new FRI on the way, according to a very good mate at PMA who is involved in the process. No detail on how much or who it will be targetted at, but he says it is definately coming - probably to be announced in the near future, as people are now making their go/no-go decision based on the fact that they will not be getting an FRI post Mar 07.
If they wish to retain people who are coming up to option decisions now (1 year left until IPP), then they need to let people know if there will be an FRI for them, or accept that they will lose them. I know lots of blokes who will miss the current FRI (some by weeks), who are going to leave - a few won't stay for all the money in the world, but I know at least 3 (very experienced front-line QHI's), who have said that circa 100k would keep them in, but less probably wouldn't - this is not a demand, as they are all prepared to leave, but the RAF must accept that if it wants to keep people such as this, it may have to stump up some cash.
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Old 27th May 2006, 12:03
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: The Roman Empire
Posts: 2,333
This is a very thorny subject, and without defending them, PMA will never be able to please everyone. On the subject of FRIs, the amount offered will never be quite enough for some people, it won't be across the board, and inevitably somebody will miss the qualifing date by a few days and be pissed off. If 33+ yr olds are targetted then, for example, there will be 29 yr old ME captains/co-pilots who are attractive enough when the airlines are recruiting heavily and might well leave on the basis there may not be a glut of jobs when they get to their 16/38 (or 18/40) point. Airline recruiting has been cyclical in the past - whether that will remain the case, who knows?

Increasing pay (flying pay) will reach everyone, across all ages, but is it too expensive? Consider this, if pay goes up by 10,000 a year (over current levels) at say 38, then somebody staying in to 55 will get an extra 170,000 compared to today - look at it as a 170,000 FRI (100,000+ after tax) but spread over 17 years. The above example was post 38, but flying pay could be increased as far back down the age bracket as the RAF wants to retain.

Unfortunately, increasing pay as per the example above means that when the RAF does not have retention as a priority then it is still paying out the money - but then that is where the retention at 38 (40) quota should manage your manning levels!

Of course increasing flying pay will further increase aircrew/non-aircrew friction, "you should have worked harder at school2 jokes, etc........
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Old 27th May 2006, 12:16
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,615
Well, it seems that the chickens are coming home to roost just as I warned...

Contractorisation only works in the short term, it is unsustainable unless the contractor has a guaranteed supply of staff. Which they haven't - they rely on a few people staying with them, but seem blisfully unaware that there is no-one there to replace them when they ultimately retire.

So - the prick who dreamed up the idea doubtless got his promotion and probably his 'K' some years later, but everyone else has to pick up the pieces.

Take the UAS world, for example. In the big picture, it costs cock all. It was an ideal way for new QFIs to learn their craft and gave them a bit of a break from the front line. Their enthusiasm attracted many undergraduates into the RAF who would otherwise never have considered it. But no, some Air Marshal who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing has to decide that He Knows Better. Now there are fewer QFI opportunities, fewer 'rest tours' from Bliar's wars - so more pilots decide FIIQ, pull the B&Y and off to the airlines they go.

Then someone realises that Houston - we have a problem. Sorry, too late. Even squillions of short term cash won't overturn the descent of a once proud RAF into its own high speed spiral dive of destruction, the warning signs of which were there for all to see some 4 or 5 years ago. But the self-perpetuating pillockry were more interested in their next promotions and turned a blind eye - and now it's time to recover. Hauling back on the control column by offering huge bribes won't work - the spiral will just tighten further.

The solution - take a long hard look at the way things were 10-15 years ago, clear out the bullshit, tedium and general crap which has crept in ever since, abandon the creeping cancer of contractorisation such as MFTS and FSTA, for example, and get back to an RAF with the high standards of the past.

But I fear it'll all be too late.

Look at the nonsense of JPA and all that goes with it. The last straw for many, I'll bet.
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Old 27th May 2006, 12:56
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Hook, Hants
Age: 64
Posts: 286
NoseGunner - as a 48+ (but not knackered) I do not see much point in firing more money at me, but........I can leave at 6 months, or less, notice and then there would be a bit of a short-term scrabble around to find out who is going to keep the younger monkeys on the straight and narrow!
But please feel free to confuse me by firing more moolah my way!!

Beags - you missed LEAN and all that jazz - I don't feel I'm quite in a 'spiral to destruction' but the old sense of humour is tested daily to its limits
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Old 27th May 2006, 21:45
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bath
Posts: 10
Will you need the money when wearing the army air corps green?
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Old 28th May 2006, 14:43
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 9
In short, in the last year or so I haven't spoken to one person who intends to stay past their pension point, and quite a few are seriously considering their option.

I think this is largely due to a quality of life issue - something the Gov't seems to think Forces personnel are immune to. In the longer term more thought needs to be given to improving this issue. A handful of people will stay in 'come what may' because they are exceptionally loyal (or can't be arsed to leave!) but most will only take so much being messed around before they leave. The Forces have to move with the times; fewer people stay in one job all their lives, and if people want to change careers they switch on the internet and all the opportunities in the world open up. If the RAF wants to keep its people it needs to make itself an attractive employer - simple fact.

I think an FRI would work in the short term, as it did a few years ago. No doubt the real size of the problem is being masked by a shrinking Air Force that doesn't need to make redundancies across the board because people are leaving anyway! When the RAF tgt size is hit in a couple of years and the PVRs and Options are still rolling in then it may well be too late to do anything about it.

I heard third hand info the other day that in the Danish Air Force a massively unpopular move from Aalborg to Skydstrup (sp?) caused half the sqn Engineers to leave, and now the F-16 force is barely operational because the jets are unserviceable and the pilots are getting about enough hours a month to stay current. There's a lesson in there if the RAF looks hard enough.....if people aren't happy in their job they will leave it!

Last edited by Al Fresco; 28th May 2006 at 15:07.
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Old 28th May 2006, 16:42
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: The Pub
Posts: 67
I've heard that the retention of pilots per-se is not the most pressing issue, the issue is that the overwhelming majority of sub-38 yr old Sqn Ldrs are taking their 38 option. (understandably) It's the Flt Cdr/HQ jobs that are suffering more than the pilots-in-cockpits situation. Apparently.
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