Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA)

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Little h
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Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA)

Unread post by Little h »

Irish sailors sleeping on ships due to extortionate rental prices
By Ciara Spain -
03/10/2018


At least 66 Irish sailors are staying on board ships as they cannot afford increasing rent prices around their naval base.

The shocking revelation comes from Mark Keane, President of the Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA) who was speaking at the organisation’s conference in Castlebar, County Mayo.

Speaking out on the discontent amongst sailors at the Haulbowline Island base in Cork, Mr Keane stated: ‘We feel our service has been taken for granted.

‘It was an easy option to come in and cut our pay, which was historically low but it has been cut again.’

Rent prices was just one reason for sailors staying on ships, while it was also stated some can’t even afford their travel expense.

‘The ages of people living on board ships vary from the yongest members to experienced people who cannot afford the transport costs… […] It is not unique for members to commute great distances.

‘People are making great sacrifices, to forgo family life, to live in the base because they cannot afford it.’

Mr Keane told the crowd gathered that no one entered the naval service in a bid to become a millionaire but in fact joined to ‘serve the State’.

‘It is an old–fashioned principle, duty and service, We have pride in our uniform and everything we do, it does not pay the bills unfortunately.’

He added that members are being asked to step up in the most difficult of circumstances, however they are not receiving any rewards for their efforts.

Source; Extra.ie


Particularily refreshing to read of an active Representative Association for the Other Ranks holding a conference and voicing concerns/grievences about their employer - The Irish Naval Service/Irish Government
Little h
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Little h
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Re: Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA)

Unread post by Little h »

Beyond a postscript to the opening post I offer the following:-

The PDFORRA (a statutary body) claims 85% membership of the Irish Armed Forces in 2016 (a bit dated)

The Irish Armed Forces Permanent numbers (Army.Navy.Air - not reservists) totalled a few short of 8900 in July 2018

Conclusion; even using the 2016 claim of 85% - Irish Armed Forces lower ranks membership is encouraging.

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Take a look at PDFORRA NEWS and in particular the Information Circular No 04/2019 relating to the following:-

Information Circular No 04/2019: Payment of Technical Pay – Group 3 to Medical Personnel Deployed on Operations Pontus and Sophia By Industrial Relations Officer

During 2018, this Association was informed that members of the Medical Corps (Army), who deployed on the above missions had NOT been paid the equivalent rate of Technical Pay (Gp 3) – Emergency Medical Technician – for the duration of the above Missions, unlike their counterparts in the Naval Service.

A prime example of devide and conquer(ish) :) but it does show that enlisted personell need the back up of a representative organisation ... and it is statutory!! ---- the RN are decades behind - and I have not failed to take account the existence of the 'WONS' ...

The Warrant Officer of the Naval Service (WONS) is the most senior warrant officer of the Royal Navy. The person holding this appointment's main responsibility is to act as a channel between the non commissioned ranks and Senior Naval officers, enabling communication between the ratings and Navy leadership. - Hmmmm!!!
Little h
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Little h
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Re: Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA)

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Naval service seeks volunteers to fill gaps

By Sean O'Riordan
Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 05:40 AM


Irish Naval patrol ship captains are being forced to seek ‘volunteers’ to crew their vessels due to decreasing numbers available. The Irish Examiner has learned the Naval Service is desperately trying to crew a nine-ship fleet with numbers which cannot service seven.

A common practice is emerging where personnel, assigned to specific ships, are being asked to fill gaps on other ships which primarily conduct fishery patrols. And, despite the shortage, the Government is still pressing ahead with plans to purchase a new ultra-modern multi-role vessel (MRV) which could cost up to €200m.

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The Irish Examiner also understands that the ordinance armaments section is running at 22% of its required manpower and one of the technical sections is as low as 18%.

Pdforra, the organisation which represents enlisted personnel in the Defence Forces, said it had become aware of the personnel shortages.

Its president Mark Keane said shortages were impacting on the work-life balance as the decreasing number, who remain, were plugging gaps as more and more highly-trained personnel are quitting the service for better pay and conditions in the private sector.

“We’ve had a leaky bucket for some time but now the bucket is truly empty,” said Mr Keane. “It means we’re having to do more with less.”

He said that some of the vacancies in technical sections could be filled if the Department of Defence announced ‘direct entry’ programmes.

However, the department is reportedly slow, under direct entry, to allow suitably qualified people from the private sector to take up jobs in the Defence Forces. Mr Keane said the root cause of shortages continues to be the poor level of pay and allowances for sailors.

He and others in the Naval Service have expressed fears there will be a further exodus of personnel as the overseas programme Operation Sophia has been axed.

Poorly-paid sailors had managed to receive better allowances when working on the migrant rescue mission in the Mediterranean Sea.

He said if another exodus occurred on top of the normal annual level of premature resignations and retirements the Naval Service “couldn’t sustain it”.

“The whole issue is down to recruitment and retention which we have been highlighting for some time now. The Department of Defence has to act as a matter of urgency on these issues now,” Mr Keane said.

Pdforra and RACO, which represents officers in the Defence Forces, have both sent submissions to the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) on behalf of their members seeking better pay.

It is not expected the PSPC will report its findings until June, at the earliest.
_________________________________________________________


Source; of the excerpts above is the Irish Examiner - where the full article can be read.


RACO = The Representative Association of Commissioned Officers
Little h
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ivorthediver
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Re: Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA)

Unread post by ivorthediver »

A disturbing article Harry , but are we any better off over here yet , or has some wonder weld sealed the leak in our bucket .and if so for how long .
Every thing you report and imply seems a backward step ....but to reiterate are we any better here .

The FIX is long overdue as we both acknowledge .
"What Ever Floats your Boat"
Annapolis265
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Re: Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA)

Unread post by Annapolis265 »

Recent press reports reveal that the Irish Navy is in the midst of a serious shortage of seagoing personnel. Two patrol ships have been placed in operational reserve as a result. This has caused some politicians to question the plan for ordering a new larger offshore patrol ship.
Brian
Annapolis 265/Terra Nova
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Little h
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Re: Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA)

Unread post by Little h »

NavyLookout on twitter
@NavyLookout

Irish navy struggles to retain recruits because they can't use smartphones at sea. RN has encountered similar issued.

Don't underestimate the psychological importance of permanent connectivity for a generation brought up with it

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The following is copied from an article in the Irish Examiner

By Sean O'Riordan
Defence Correspondent

Saturday, October 12, 2019 - 09:00 AM

New recruits are leaving the naval service because they can not use their smartphones at sea.

Sources within the naval service have said life at sea can be more demanding than young people envisage, and some recruits have left because they can not live without their mobile phones.

Apparently, some recruits did not realise they would have no coverage at sea, or that the use of mobile phones is banned on some sensitive patrols.

“The problem is not unique to the naval service, the British [navy] have also encountered it,” a source said. “Some young people are simply attached to smartphones and won’t give them up under any circumstances.”

He also indicated that the British found that bunking more people together actually eased the problem because they began to talk to each other instead of constantly using social media on their phones.

Separately, naval bosses have warned they may have to tie up another vessel if they lose any more specialist personnel. Last June, the Irish Examiner revealed that the naval service tied up two of its ships indefinitely due to a lack of crew.

LÉ Eithne, the flagship, and LÉ Orla, were brought in for maintenance ‘refits’ and their crews were transferred to other vessels to bring their manpower up to adequate levels.

While the navy at present says it has enough ordinary and able seamen to run what remains of the active fleet up to the end of the year, it has added a caveat that this could change if it loses key, specialist personnel who are in short supply.

These include marine engineering officers and engine room artificers (marine engineering technicians), weapons experts, and cooks. At present, the navy has around 55% of the engine room artificers it requires.

It had sought expressions of interest from the private sector. However, it as yet has been unable to recruit anybody suitable and pay is a key issue. Fully-qualified engine room technicians can earn up to €30,000 a year more in the private sector.

Both Raco, the organisation which represents enlisted officers, and PDForra, the association for enlisted personnel, have called on the Department of Defence to introduce special loyalty bonuses to entice specialists to stay in the naval service.

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Opening the Twitter link reveals some Interesting views
Little h
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ivorthediver
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Re: Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA)

Unread post by ivorthediver »

Harry ....I'm speechless.....surely its a tool NOT an implant
"What Ever Floats your Boat"
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Little h
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Re: Permanent Defence Force Other Ranks Representative Association (PDFORRA)

Unread post by Little h »

Yet another extremely interesting (IMO) article from Sean O'Riordan.


PDForra: Military would have been depleted if it wasn't for speedy medical treatment in the North

By Sean O'Riordan
Defence Correspondent


Tuesday, October 01, 2019 - 02:38 PM

A private scheme set up by the association which represents rank-and-file members of the Defence Forces has saved many personnel from being discharged on medical grounds because they are getting speedy treatment north of the border.

PDForra is now asking the Department of Defence to provide financial backing to the scheme it set in July 2018 saying it had helped many personnel remain in service and therefore benefited the department greatly in helping to retain vastly experienced people.

Damien Quigley, PDForra's support officer, told the association's annual delegate conference in Tullow, Co Carlow, that to date 117 enlisted personnel had undergone successful treatment at the Kingsbridge Private Hospital in Belfast.

There are currently 63 personnel on the waiting list for operations.

The main procedures being undertaken are hip and knee replacements.

Others include hernia and cruciate ligament repairs. Surgery has also been carried out for neck, back and shoulder injuries sustained during the course of duty.

The PDForra MAS (Medical Assistance Scheme) now has 2,174 members who each contribute €1 per week for cover.

The seed funding to start up the scheme was provided to the association by the Army/Naval Service/Air Corps (ANSAC) Credit Union.

Mr Quigley said PDForra was aiming to increase the scheme to 3,000 members at which point it would be hoping to open it up to the families of serving military personnel as well.

While it hasn't been decided yet what they would pay, Mr Quigley said it was likely to be a nominal fee, such as the €1 charged per week to existing members.

He calculated that the scheme had provided more than €250,000 in medical treatment for its members to date.

Mr Quigley said if speedy treatment hadn't been available north of the border, many of the personnel who had availed of it would have been discharged from service because they didn't meet required medical standards.

He said if the PDForra scheme didn't exist injured personnel would have to endure very lengthy HSE waiting lists and many had been previously discharged because they couldn't get appropriate treatment in time.

“If the department helped out (financially to subsidise the scheme) we would be able to attract in more of our members and more of their families, which would be a good thing,” Mr Quigley said.

He added that depending on funding coming from the Department of Defence, and the amount of it, PDForra would then hope to make the scheme available to veterans.

However, Mr Quigley admitted that this would be expensive as veterans would have a higher age profile and are likely to suffer from more health issues than younger serving members of the Defence Forces.

Source; the Irish Examiner from which the entire article has been copied.
Little h
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