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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

Old 12th Jul 2015, 11:29
  #2101 (permalink)  
 
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Wander00.

So if this is the case then the situation is just the same as Mil SAR which has paid it's maintenance staff peanuts in comparison with it's civil counterparts for years. One of the benefits of the new SAR regime is that the maintenance staff are finally getting a fair deal that does not require their military pension to top up their wages. I can't remember seeing anything previously about the plight of the maintenance staff working on Mil SAR.
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Old 12th Jul 2015, 13:03
  #2102 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by P6 Driver View Post
This might well be a silly question but as there are people making points about training, pay and competency, e.t.c. on this thread, have any of you written to Bristows, HM Coastguard or other authorities who actually make the decisions about all of this or is it a case of bumping gums on an anonymous internet forum in true Daily Mail letters page fashion? (i.e. It makes you feel better but can't make a scrap of difference in the real world).

If anyone has written to them, I apologise, but bearing in mind what the last few pages are like, there's no way I'm going to trawl through over a hundred more page of that!

Well, on first meeting with the Bristow SAR Director, I asked her if she thought she was paying her rear crew enough. Is that up front enough for you?


It is worth considering that many of the individuals involved will be perfectly happy being able to transition over at the existing rates and conditions with an exit possible not far ahead anyway and getting to continue in the job they love at a respectable though not stunning pay while probably having a decent pension in the bag already.
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Old 12th Jul 2015, 15:29
  #2103 (permalink)  
 
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Dieseldo - it was only when the engineering was contractorised that the maintenance staff were not well remunerated, before that they were all in the military and paid according to rank just like everyone else.

Somehow it seems acceptable for employers to take a military pension into account when calculating pay rates - this wouldn't happen anywhere else in the private sector, the pension has been earned in its own right and should not be used to pay below-market wages. Imagine if you were means-tested every time you applied for a job and there was a sliding scale of pay depending on how much you had earned previously - it is a disgrace!

Most of the rearcrew will now have to rely on their pension to keep themselves at their previous pay levels simply because a big company decided they could either like it or lump it and that SAR rearcrew couldn't possibly be worth anything like the frontcrew.

Jim - I don't think any of them are perfectly happy with the low pay on transition though they will have to accept it; I think it is a lack of respect for the role they play in SAR and I think it not only petty and small-minded but also divisive and potentially a safety issue as SAR stops being a vocation and becomes just another job.
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Old 12th Jul 2015, 22:34
  #2104 (permalink)  
 
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Bristow is a very savvy commercial aviation operator and will set (and amend where necessary) the salary scales to fulfil the requirements of their contract. Simple as that. If rearcrew want to take a cut in salary for the love of the job that is their choice. There are other careers out there that pay more, including the military!
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Old 12th Jul 2015, 23:49
  #2105 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
... Somehow it seems acceptable for employers to take a military pension into account when calculating pay rates ... ...

The story of north Morayshire: the most dismal economy in Britain.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 08:33
  #2106 (permalink)  
 
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x factor

Have any of the complaints about a percieved lack of remuneration taken into account the extra military reward of the 14.5% x factor in the previous salaries? Also - work life balance issues should also be borne in mind i.e not deploying to war zones for protracted periods, getting home each time you finish shift, maybe seeing your kids grow up instead of packing them off to boarding school - (a larger list is available on request)
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 10:11
  #2107 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bucaneer Bill View Post
Have any of the complaints about a percieved lack of remuneration taken into account the extra military reward of the 14.5% x factor in the previous salaries? Also - work life balance issues should also be borne in mind i.e not deploying to war zones for protracted periods, getting home each time you finish shift, maybe seeing your kids grow up instead of packing them off to boarding school - (a larger list is available on request)
BB; I take it you are not referring to the RAF SARF here. With the exception of a few, SARF individuals haven't deployed to war zones, and do get home each time they finish shift. If they choose to keep their families elsewhere, then that is their choice, but something we as (ex)military have had to confront and deal with is where to locate our NOK.
I think this issue has probably been discussed before, but the lack of rotation to the 'front-line' has imo helped bring about the demise of Mil SAR
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 10:54
  #2108 (permalink)  
 
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Buccaneer Bill - you clearly have a rather simplistic view of life on a mil SAR flight - the RAF rearcrew have been systematically undermanned for years meaning that 12 shifts a month (rather than the new contractors planned 8 shifts) was the norm along with short notice detachments to cover shifts at other flights and short notice Falklands detachments. Plus all that other military stuff that is what the x factor is supposed to make up for.

Additionally, paramedic rearcrew also went to Afghanistan for MERT duties - is that front-line enough for you?

So, while the deployed SH crews got all their leave, courses and AT when they came home and knew exactly where and when they would be, the SAR rearcrews couldn't plan even a weekend off with confidence, were constantly having leave cancelled (always good for the families) and spending their seconds days (supposed to be there for recovery) travelling to fill holes in the shift plots of other flights. Try that after a run of shifts with night jobs and see how fit to fly you are.

Apologies to the SH guys as I know I have oversimplified your working routine but it makes a useful comparison.

Norfolk - the lack of rotation is because the SH force simply would not release their people for SAR selection let alone a full SAR tour - ask the Chinny crews how many made it across compared to how many wanted to come.

On a different note (and more on topic) I am led to believe that the Humberside crew took 3 attempts to successfully perform a wet winching demo at the Armed Forces day at Cleethorpes.............
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 10:59
  #2109 (permalink)  
 
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Family stability

Norfolk - I was generalising on the ex-mil theme, but if indeed most RAF SARF personnel do not rotate to the front line then I would agree that would have some bearing with respect to HMG looking elsewhere for the SAR resource. As you say - where you keep your family was a choice, and with that choice comes financial and work/life balance decisions. I believe that with Bristows the lads have to live within 30 miles of place of work so no one needs to make a big location decision. I guess the only decision you really need to make is if you are happy or not with the new order of things. If you are not - then don't apply.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 11:29
  #2110 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bucaneer Bill View Post
Norfolk - I was generalising on the ex-mil theme, but if indeed most RAF SARF personnel do not rotate to the front line then I would agree that would have some bearing with respect to HMG looking elsewhere for the SAR resource. As you say - where you keep your family was a choice, and with that choice comes financial and work/life balance decisions. I believe that with Bristows the lads have to live within 30 miles of place of work so no one needs to make a big location decision. I guess the only decision you really need to make is if you are happy or not with the new order of things. If you are not - then don't apply.
Exactly. These guys aren't being forced to apply to Bristow. If you don't like what is being offered then look elsewhere. As for living within 30 miles of base. At the interview of course you will re-locate, ...... but difficult to see that one being enforced. There are plenty of existing personnel working in CivSar who live >30miles from their base, and that won't change.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 13:47
  #2111 (permalink)  
 
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Sometimes guys, you do need to listen to your Uncle Crab.

Typically, here is the gist of a conversation betwen two rear crew in a SARF crew room a few years ago.
"I wish I was back in Agfhan on the ramp of a Chinook with a gimpy."
<<But when you're out there you just wish you were back here doing this.>>
"Yeah, your right."

And the other kind of detachment mentioned.
RAF Search and Rescue crew honoured in 2015 military awards

========================================

What interests me most about the last part of this discussion is that it seems to be OK for rear crew to be screwed over and for their task to ineffectively regulated but it's clear nobody is suggesting that the pilots should be paid in washers and do it for the love of the job.

Bucaneer Bill has clearly made a case for reducing pilot pay by 40%.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 15:05
  #2112 (permalink)  
 
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And the cracks are starting to show - some very high quality ex-mil rear crew have chosen to move to different contracts
Another desperate attempt to snipe at Bristow! In a large outfit with various operations in various countries, is it uncommon for some people to move to different contracts? I don't know (and nor do you Crab) but I would guess it happens a lot.

Until Bristow have to cease operations for lack of rearcrew, there is no proof that what you are saying is accurate or fair. And if they do hit any manning issues, they might well choose to cover it up in the manner of a previous outfit who might have operated a UK SAR contract a few years back (off state for 'crew sickness' when in fact the engineers were on strike? RS15 declared when the aircraft had only one engine fitted?).

And even if Bristow do run out of rearcrew and admit it openly, that is hardly a worse situation than the RAF SAR Force found itself in on numerous occasions in recent years. As you yourself have stated, RAF manning of all trades - but particularly rearcrew - has been very tight for years, due to repeated failures by those in charge to recognize and address the issue, and those brave and loyal rearcrew we did have had to work even harder to make the stats look better for the hierarchy.

For the record, I whole-heartedly agree that SAR rearcrew should (in the ideal world, not the commercial one!) be remunerated much more generously than is currently the case. Preferably not at the expense of the Drivers Airframe, mind!
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 16:07
  #2113 (permalink)  
 
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Another desperate attempt to snipe at Bristow!
not desperate just a factual observation. Yes, people are free to move on whenever they wish but p*ss poor pay that does not reflect the responsibilities of the role is certainly not a loyalty or retention incentive is it?

Never mind, at least the bean counters will be happy when the back of a SAR helo is crewed by ex-ambulance paramedics happy to work for £20K

No riposte on the Cleethorpes comment from P3 - I am surprised
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 23:36
  #2114 (permalink)  
 
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No riposte on the Cleethorpes comment from P3 - I am surprised
Well here you are then......... I don't have the foggiest idea about Cleethorpes. However, I gather it's a great holiday venue and the ice cream is fantastic

P3
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Old 14th Jul 2015, 02:04
  #2115 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by P3 Bellows View Post
... I gather it's a great holiday venue and the ice cream is fantastic

P3

Space to land a Dauphin?
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Old 14th Jul 2015, 07:03
  #2116 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIo-d58CIpM

Hmmm - certainly not the slickest role demo......interesting to know what they were actually trying to achieve - normally you would winch a simulated casualty out of the RIB.

A fine demonstration of downwash vs winching height though

It looks like the aircraft was formating on the RIB which is not the practical way (nor the RNLI SOP I believe) and certainly not as easy as having the RIB formate on the winchhook/winchman at head height.

Apparently it's all about training

Last edited by [email protected]; 14th Jul 2015 at 07:51.
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Old 14th Jul 2015, 08:24
  #2117 (permalink)  
 
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It is all in the eye of the beholder.

Agreed it did not look the slickest.

To my eye it did appear that on the empty hook run the irb was trying to formate on the helicopter and failing. Good enough reason to switch to an alternate procedure.

Quite why the winchman was yoyo'd in and out of the irb only the crew on the day will know.

I am sure the punters at Cleethorpes enjoyed it. Apparently there is not SAR demo at the Harwich Sea Festival because, according to the press, "the Wattisham Aircraft has been bought by a private company"
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Old 14th Jul 2015, 08:55
  #2118 (permalink)  
 
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Passed through Lydd at weekend and walked around new SAR facility. All looked very impressive. Two brand new SAR equipped helos in temporary hanger, each attached to large, equally shiny new tractors. Maintenance guy said these smaller helos temporary as contracted type not certificated yet. When they are eventually delivered a brand new hanger to be built on another part of airfield. Seems no lack of finance available for the job.

Last edited by cessnapete; 14th Jul 2015 at 12:30.
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Old 14th Jul 2015, 09:36
  #2119 (permalink)  
snaggletooth
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Just the small matter that Lydd should have gone live on 1 Jul 15.
 
Old 14th Jul 2015, 12:35
  #2120 (permalink)  
 
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As pointed out by Crab over three weeks ago, there is a one month delay.

Lydd is expected to start one month later than planned with the AW139 as the stand-in aircraft but otherwise with the contracted capabilities.

I think we may see a few further hiccups in the plan at the AW189 bases where AW139 or S-92 are the temporary fix.

So far the S-92 bases have started on time with full capability and the training plan up-to-date.

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

Reports emerged a few weeks ago of AW189 being ready in October. Well, is that 1st October at St Athan? With a late start at St Athan? Change over to AW189 at Lydd in October? (If so then what starts at St Athan?) If AW189 is in the south first (otherwise it would be in Aberdeen rather than Norwich wouldn't it), then how do these changeovers happen and still be able to do Prestwick (with what) on 1st January? More aircraft? One aircraft per base as per the original plan for the contract?

1st October is when it starts to get really interesting.

11 x S-92, 5 x AW189 and 2 x AW139 all expected to be complete and delivered shortly.

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

AW's programme and the customer's (Government's) desire for that British (/Italian/Polish) solution are the main factors behind the AW189 delay. However, what were Bristow thinking when they took 4 months to get ink on an order after contract award? With a new type and a tight programme, if you had any chance of getting Lot 2/3 surely by the 26 March 2013 you would have had all the copies printed and a new knib for the MD's pen all ready to go?
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