21 March 2015
Following lengthy discussions between RMT and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – the supply arm of the Royal Navy - RMT members have rejected the proposed Future Development Programme. As a result of the RFA’s intention to proceed with implementation of the programme without agreement from RMT, a dispute situation exists between our organisations, and the union has confirmed that it will be balloting members for industrial action.
The issues leading to this dispute include:-
- A failure to agree over banding in the competency based system. RMT believes that all existing employees should be band A or B and new entrants should be band C.
- Apprenticeship terms and conditions have not been agreed with RMT and we believe further work needs to be done on the Under 18’s Policy and Hours of Work for Under 18’s.
- Future employment of Leading Hands (administrative assistants and stores accounts). We do not accept the increased workload placed on the stores accounts members and admin assistants should be retained.
- Tailored Schemes of Complements. A failure by RFA to provide written assurances that members’ will be deployed in the ‘right place at the right time’. We do not accept that the staffing levels proposed on TSoC vessels are adequate.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“It is unfortunate that the RFA have refused to listen to our concerns in face to face talks and have forced us into a position where we have no alternative but to move to an industrial action ballot.
“The issues in dispute are all about valuing a workforce that plays an integral part of the defence of the UK and training that workforce for the future.
“RMT will be recommending a YES vote in the ballot and we remain available for talks.”
Steve Todd, RMT National Secretary, added:
"We understand the importance of the role that every RFA seafarer plays in supporting our Royal Navy, but we fail to understand how the employer can make such massive distinctions between ranks in RFA. When it comes to issue of pay and bonus's there is no fairness or equity and they expect the lower rank of rating to fund the higher rank of officer, something we are not prepared to accept.”