Royal Fleet Auxiliary – Fair Pay EDM 155

Circular No: NP/210/23                                                               


Our ref: S1/8




7th December 2023


Dear Colleagues


Royal Fleet Auxiliary – Fair Pay EDM 155


I write to ask that all RMT members demonstrate their support for a fair pay settlement for our Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) members by asking their local MP to sign and respond to the issues raised on their behalf in Early Day Motion 155, tabled by the Convenor of the RMT Parliamentary Group, Ian Mearns MP. 


RFA’s civilian Ratings have seen their pay eroded by nearly fifteen years of pay freezes, pay caps and pay restraint. Coupled with escalating inflation in recent years, the value of pay at RFA has declined by over 30% and, once again, I would urge our RFA members to vote for industrial action in the ballot which closes on Tuesday 12 December.


Our RFA members shoulder the burden of work they do on behalf of the Royal Navy (RN) vessels which have a higher crewing complement and have received higher pay awards than RFA staff during austerity and the current cost of living crisis. Our sister union Nautilus International has also opened a ballot for industrial action amongst their Officer members at the RFA.


The RFA apprenticeships scheme for Ratings and the order for at least two new Fleet Solid Support ships are sources of encouragement. The RFA apprenticeship scheme is industry leading but needs to be ramped up to help tackle the 28% decline in seafarer numbers at the RFA since 2015. At present, newly qualified RFA Ratings are leaving the employer for better paid jobs in the commercial sector of the shipping industry, sustaining a recruitment and retention crisis in the RFA which is another legacy of this toxic Tory Government.


We are also using the amendment to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), recently agreed at international level, for improved seafarer internet connectivity, to argue for improved internet services for our RFA members, who are not covered by the MLC. To further illustrate the importance and uniqueness of their employment, some RFA members are currently working on Bay and Tide Class vessels to support RN operations in the Red Sea, eastern Mediterranean and the Baltic. I pay tribute to all RFA members’ commitment and dedication to their exceptionally important work. 


I urge members to contact their MP to ask them to support the union’s RFA EDM 155. You can find your MP here.


An Early Day Motion (EDM) is a general statement raising an issue of the day, tabled in the Commons by an MP. An EDM usually calls on the Government to take action on a specific issue and it can be signed by any MP who is not a Government or Shadow Minister in order to demonstrate their support for the statement.


I would be grateful if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of all Branch members. You will be kept advised of all further developments.


Yours sincerely

Shape, arrow

Description automatically generated

Mick Lynch

General Secretary