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Initiatives launched to retain and increase RCAF personnel experience levels

kev994

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This is a data point of one, but in speaking with several pilots on Sqn today, a number seem to be re-evaluating their futures in light of this announcement, including one reservist who may CT back to Reg F, if the details actually pan out.

At least in my neck of the woods, this might have had a positive effect on retention. Mind you, it did nothing at all for ACSO or AESOp retention...
They had to start somewhere and it’s easier to make an argument when you have a clear comparison (the Air Canada pay scale). I don’t know where you would even look for a civilian equivalent to ACSO pay scale.
 

SeaKingTacco

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They had to start somewhere and it’s easier to make an argument when you have a clear comparison (the Air Canada pay scale). I don’t know where you would even look for a civilian equivalent to ACSO pay scale.
There isn’t one. But that does not mean that the occupation is not bleeding to death. It might not actually be a money thing for ACSOs.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Money might not be the problem, but it tends to make the problem more bearable and the alternative work less attractive.
I am saying that I don’t know what the issue(s?) is(are). While I am still an ACSO, I no longer fly, so my perspective is perhaps not that of a 20-30 something Capt.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Maybe taking a look at the "operational units are Pri C" aspect is more important than money (which is, generally speaking, decent for flyers).

When you're at a Sqn that some people call "The Pissed-Off Wives and Disappointed Kids Club"... I'm sure many can relate.
 

Eye In The Sky

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They had to start somewhere and it’s easier to make an argument when you have a clear comparison (the Air Canada pay scale). I don’t know where you would even look for a civilian equivalent to ACSO pay scale.

Would it have been possible to roll AIRCRA into pay for all aircrew trades at once? I know there would be some questions that need investigation and decision with that alone, but it would seem that has already been done...

I'd happily give up AIRCRA (and any future AIRCRA level increases) for it to be added to my pay. I'd just find the pension benefit a bit of a satisfier that means something to me, and my wife, now and in the future.

Combine that with the pay raise from a few months ago, I can equate that to "pension earnings when we retire" conversations over coffee with Mrs EITS, and we're at the age those conversations become more important.
 

kev994

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Would it have been possible to roll AIRCRA into pay for all aircrew trades at once? I know there would be some questions that need investigation and decision with that alone, but it would seem that has already been done...

I'd happily give up AIRCRA (and any future AIRCRA level increases) for it to be added to my pay. I'd just find the pension benefit a bit of a satisfier that means something to me, and my wife, now and in the future.

Combine that with the pay raise from a few months ago, I can equate that to "pension earnings when we retire" conversations over coffee with Mrs EITS, and we're at the age those conversations become more important.
I would think it would take longer to do a bunch of trades at once. Now there’s a precedent.
 

Eye In The Sky

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That's a fair observation; the message Ditch posted did say something that it would take until 2022 to implement the Pilot/SAR Tech changes in the pay system, but it would be retro to "now'ish"....
 

Colin Parkinson

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They had to start somewhere and it’s easier to make an argument when you have a clear comparison (the Air Canada pay scale). I don’t know where you would even look for a civilian equivalent to ACSO pay scale.
Maybe have the RCAF association find released ACSO's and get a survey about why they left and what careers they find. Having the survey outside the CF might increase honest responses.
 

Quirky

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I'm wondering if you can elaborate on what you would define as "proficient" enough if 5 years isn't enough time to reach that level. You're saying 5 years after their type course doesn't = proficient?
Yes, just because one has a type course doesn’t mean they are proficient. Big difference between doing a job and signing off on one. 5 years Level A on-type in cold lake would be a good starting point for posting out eligibility. 8 years would come quickly after waiting for a type course and being recommended for level As. This is assuming new techs from Borden. Cold Lake is far too big of a base to manage all those people and postings, it’s not feasible. 10 years minimum is normal before you are even looked at for posting.
 

Eye In The Sky

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I get the "type course doesn't equal proficient", of course, but was surprised that "Type Course + 5 years doesn't equal proficient". Tks for the info!

Curious...is part of the issue (if there is one) related to the amount of systems/maint that each trade is responsible for? Thinking back to the day when my Dad was an Airframe Tech, and there were Aero Engine, IE Tech, Refinishing Techs etc etc before they were consolidated. Does the RCAF, or certain fleets, require too much from a single trade that would be better split into several trades, or sub-occupations ?
 

TCM621

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The rcaf won’t get their money’s worth after only 5 years. It’s not nearly enough time to get a tech proficient enough on the CF-18. There is a similar program however with 431 Sqn, I can’t remember the CANAIRGEN number. After 4-5 years with the snowbirds a technician is eligible for a posting to fleet or geographical location of their choice. Similar program could work in cold lake but it would need to be 8-10 years with a gun squadron.
What's a better value, a technician that spends 7 years in Cold Lake and quits or a technician that spends 5 years in Cold Lake then gets posted to 8 AM's for 3 to 5 years, then does another 3 to 5 in Cold Lake?

We need to think more than 6 months ahead. To do that we need career managers need to actually manage careers rather than just fill positions. If the CM tells someone they will be in Cold Lake for 5 years and they then are heading to Trenton, the following CMs need to stick to that deal absent some very compelling reasons. If they need more staff to accomplish that, then give it to them.

We also need to have waaaayyyyy more communication between CMs, the SOAs and the members. The airforce is weird in that people only see the CM if they are promoted or the CM says they are posted. The CMs should have a least a passing knowledge of your file but even the ones I have seen before have no idea who I am or what I want. I'll plead ignorance here because I don't know what a CM does on a day to day basis but of the 364 days a year that he isn't talking directly to (some) members how often is he in contact with the units on files that don't involve a promotion or an imminent posting? When a bunch of members talked to the CM about issues they were having with getting loaded on core training, the CMs had no SA at all and said it wasn't their area. That lead to one member having a rather spirited disagreement on the difference between a career manager and a highly paid, over ranked posting clerk.
 

SupersonicMax

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Unless the plan changed, there was a plan for the Capability Advisory Group to manage air technicians (rather than CMs). There would be a lot more involvement from the CoC in the process.
 

Eye In The Sky

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CMs can't know every mbr of the trade at every rank; that is why there are regional "managers" for lack of a better term - I've heard different trades use different terms.

I am in a relatively small trade (200 give or take). My most important contact, IMO, isn't the C Mgr; it is my "Fleet MWO" and "Fleet CWO".

C Mgr briefings in my trade include info on what the C Mgr "cycle" is; SCBL prep, promotion boards, posting plot, issuing promotion and posting instructions...rinse repeat (simplified version, of course...). So it's more of a de-centralized function in some aspects, centralized at others.

Perfect system? Nope.
 

Sf2

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Would it have been possible to roll AIRCRA into pay for all aircrew trades at once? I know there would be some questions that need investigation and decision with that alone, but it would seem that has already been done...

I'd happily give up AIRCRA (and any future AIRCRA level increases) for it to be added to my pay. I'd just find the pension benefit a bit of a satisfier that means something to me, and my wife, now and in the future.

Combine that with the pay raise from a few months ago, I can equate that to "pension earnings when we retire" conversations over coffee with Mrs EITS, and we're at the age those conversations become more important.
I'll be interested to see how this retroactive thing works with aircra implemented into base pay. We have a letter circulating at work that members can expect less net pay as you are now contributing more to the pension each month....and a lump retroactive contribution once this all kicks in.
 

dimsum

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I would think it would take longer to do a bunch of trades at once. Now there’s a precedent.
True, but even the acknowledgement to other trades aside from a one-liner would be nice. The way it's presented now, it seems like an afterthought. That might not be the intention, but it certainly reads like it (to this ACSO at least).

They had to start somewhere and it’s easier to make an argument when you have a clear comparison (the Air Canada pay scale). I don’t know where you would even look for a civilian equivalent to ACSO pay scale.
Retention bonuses like the USAF might help.

From this FY: "Combat systems officers and 13B air battle managers this year qualify for annual payments of $15,000 if they renew their contracts for five to seven years, or $25,000 for contracts of eight to 12 years."

But I think the AIRCRA-to-pay switch will help too. Imagine not losing "AIRCRA" when you go to a ground job, and keeping it as part of your Best 5. That would be attractive to many people.
 

dimsum

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I think there's a directed recruiting effort on for Flight Attendants at this point as well?
Yes, I read the article. Although with the way they do it, wouldn't there be a directed effort every year since it's just a posting, not a trade?
 

SupersonicMax

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I'll be interested to see how this retroactive thing works with aircra implemented into base pay. We have a letter circulating at work that members can expect less net pay as you are now contributing more to the pension each month....and a lump retroactive contribution once this all kicks in.
If the future base pay is more than the current base pay + (AIRCRA x 1.15), we will have more net pay every month.
 

kev994

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Retention bonuses like the USAF might help.

From this FY: "Combat systems officers and 13B air battle managers this year qualify for annual payments of $15,000 if they renew their contracts for five to seven years, or $25,000 for contracts of eight to 12 years.
I suspect bonuses would not be pensionable. I’ll take pensionable earnings any day.
 

Furniture

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What's a better value, a technician that spends 7 years in Cold Lake and quits or a technician that spends 5 years in Cold Lake then gets posted to 8 AM's for 3 to 5 years, then does another 3 to 5 in Cold Lake?

We need to think more than 6 months ahead. To do that we need career managers need to actually manage careers rather than just fill positions. If the CM tells someone they will be in Cold Lake for 5 years and they then are heading to Trenton, the following CMs need to stick to that deal absent some very compelling reasons. If they need more staff to accomplish that, then give it to them.

We also need to have waaaayyyyy more communication between CMs, the SOAs and the members. The airforce is weird in that people only see the CM if they are promoted or the CM says they are posted. The CMs should have a least a passing knowledge of your file but even the ones I have seen before have no idea who I am or what I want. I'll plead ignorance here because I don't know what a CM does on a day to day basis but of the 364 days a year that he isn't talking directly to (some) members how often is he in contact with the units on files that don't involve a promotion or an imminent posting? When a bunch of members talked to the CM about issues they were having with getting loaded on core training, the CMs had no SA at all and said it wasn't their area. That lead to one member having a rather spirited disagreement on the difference between a career manager and a highly paid, over ranked posting clerk.
Agreed on Para 1, it's better to keep a member over the long term than have them release out of frustration due to someone else's "plan" for their career.

As for CMs, I was shocked when I got to Ottawa to learn just how much they deal with, and how burnt out they can get after a couple of years in the job. When it comes to coursing, they don't deal with "trades training", only "career courses" (PLQ/ILP), and even with those they simply nominate and CDA does the loading.

I know that with my trade the CM can't plan anyone's career, because releases and staffing shortages mean they are left plugging the critical holes while other holes are left empty.

More on the overall topic, I believe trades based pay scales could be a very handy way to recruit and retain pers in some jobs.
 
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