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Military bases struggling with personnel shortages, internal review finds

FJAG

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We already do all of that, don't we?
I think we do most of them in some way or other. My thought is that to deal with some of the recruiting and retention issues is that we use the short tour, "we prepare you for a future civilian life" as an enticement to get people in the door with a finite commitment so that the CAF then know when exactly they will leave and can plan a replacement for them. If the CAF is lucky and has treated them right, the right folks may decide to stay with us while the CAF has the option to lay off those who are not contributing.

It's not so much the projects, which could use tweaking, but the attitude and focus.

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ballz

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I think we do most of them in some way or other. My thought is that to deal with some of the recruiting and retention issues is that we use the short tour, "we prepare you for a future civilian life" as an enticement to get people in the door with a finite commitment so that the CAF then know when exactly they will leave and can plan a replacement for them. If the CAF is lucky and has treated them right, the right folks may decide to stay with us while the CAF has the option to lay off those who are not contributing.

It's not so much the projects, which could use tweaking, but the attitude and focus.

🍻

The initial TOSs for most are already only 3 years, and most are offered a second TOS at 5 years. I haven't had to do that kind of pers admin in a while, but it varies by trade.

While I like the idea of letting the dead weight go, I believe I've seen that explored a few times for people who's TOS was expiring, and the answer was that you still have to go through the entire Admin Review process to recommend release... in short, declining to offer them a new TOS is not actually an option. You've got to justify if the same way you would justify any other time you are recommending a release. We need a "shooting oneself in the foot" emoji.
 

mariomike

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The key here is to do a short terms of service (say 4 to 8 years) that still leaves the individual poised for a successful long life career as a civilian. Our current focus on 20 years and a pension is counterproductive for most individuals and the CAF as well.



🍻
Why join a profession with the intention to quit after a few years?

In your next profession, people your age will have a head start on you. Especially if the new employer is unionized. ( That would include the emergency services, and your position on the seniority list. )

Why not stay in the CAF for whole ride and max-out your pension ( 70% after 35 years )?
 

Weinie

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Well now you are just being silly.

I've never, ever advocated for a predominantly reserve force. I have never advocated for a draw down of regular force field, air and sea components, just the overly bloated cartel that occupies Ottawa with thousand of useless cubicle drones pushing meaningless paper from desk to desk. The regular force is our peacetime, quick-reaction, flexible commitment to national defence. It is needed and needs to be better equipped and organized as well in order to meet the demands of future conflicts.

Likewise I don't believe that I have ever suggested cutting salaries or benefits for the regular force, just useless headquarters processes and people who neither provide nor enable concrete defence outputs. What I suggest is that as long as we keep sinking defence funds into the ever growing and more expensive self-licking ice cream cone that Ottawa has become we will not be able to sustain any portion of the field, air and sea forces and thus become entirely irrelevant.

I do advocate for a much better organized, equipped and trained reserve force to allow for the expansion of the total force in an emergency rather than leaving it in the doldrums that it's been in for the last half century.

If you want to go to sarcasm then at least get my position right.

🍻
Silly me. Your post from October below. There are others that I can post if you want to prolong this.



Here's the thing. The part-time reservist costs us about 1/6th of a full-time soldier (both in immediate pay and benefits as well as long term pensions). Converting the reserves to the type of system that I propose is pretty much a wash over current costs based on a limit of 48 days annual mandatory training; the existing four years annual summer training for students; and the existing educational benefits programs. If you yank all the Class B's out of Ottawa where they are merely constituting a workaround the authorized PY limits on the RegF you have even more cash available.

In my proposal, we reduce the existing four divisional headquarters to just two, the ten reserve brigades and the CSSB to five brigade headquarters, and the number of individual units from some 146 non-deployable reserve (that's army, MP and medical) and hybrid units to 52 deployable reserve and hybrid units and 5 non-deployable hybrid units (essentially the depot battalions). That saves a significant high priced staff overhead which can also be laid off for additional cost savings.

I'm looking at the same armories and trg facilities footprint, so that's a wash.

Equipment does constitute a cost. That's a long range process that can also be tied to a national economic recovery process if done right.

I know this makes no sense to the people in Ottawa who have zero respect for the potential that a properly structured reserve force can bring to the defence table, but the single most wasted funding within DND is for full-time personnel costs (both military and civilian) that exist at the headquarters level above brigade. If you read Leslie's Report you'll see just how much inflation went on there during the 2004-2011 period.

If we truly get hit with post-Covid cutbacks then our first reaction should be to cut back massively on the administrative headquarters cost that DND/CAF bears (and I do not mean the logistic tail here - that's needed. I mean the administrative leadership and their staff. I've previously said that half of the legal branch could go. Same goes for the public affairs branch ;D) i.e Reg F PYs need to be cut to stop the current and future funding bleed.

If we need to cut more than that then we should realistically look at again cutting full time PY's at the brigade, wing, fleet level and transferring their equipment to a restructured/reformed reserve.

The first exercise should not cut our actual defence outputs (merely the administration which badly needs reform anyway) the second will transfer some of our current defence outputs to a reserve status which obviously means less responsive force but one with equal capabilities once mobilized.

The entire idea behind my proposal in restructuring and equipping the reserves into deployable entities is to increase our actual defence outputs more commensurate with the existing funding envelope Canada already supplies. Right now everyone in government is talking about maintaining that funding commitment. I guess we'll see. Either way, we need reserve reform.

:cheers:
 

FJAG

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The initial TOSs for most are already only 3 years, and most are offered a second TOS at 5 years. I haven't had to do that kind of pers admin in a while, but it varies by trade.

While I like the idea of letting the dead weight go, I believe I've seen that explored a few times for people who's TOS was expiring, and the answer was that you still have to go through the entire Admin Review process to recommend release... in short, declining to offer them a new TOS is not actually an option. You've got to justify if the same way you would justify any other time you are recommending a release. We need a "shooting oneself in the foot" emoji.
There's a lot to what you say. My last three years before I retired was running a JAG/IM Gp capital project in Ottawa and the problems we had with replacing civ pers (who we'd trained well and were hired away by other departments with better budgets) was mind boggling to me who came from a law firm where we could hire a good and experienced replacement within a week. We also almost lost our CELE major engineer when in mid-project they decided to send him to Afghanistan where he didn't want to go without slotting a replacement. Luckily he decided that he'd had enough of the RegF, pulled the plug, transferred to the reserves and we hired him back for $0.85 on the dollar as a reservist for the rest of the project. Ottawa is where my hair turned grey.

πŸ™‚
 

mariomike

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According to Glassdoor.ca, a "typical" air traffic controller makes ~$133,600, and an OPP constable tops out at ~$98,300 (plus OT plus posting bonuses if applicable).
Even "ambulance drivers" don't do too bad. ( At least according to the 2011 - 2016 Sunshine List. )
 

daftandbarmy

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This thread has swerved far away from Base level support being understaffed -- it is taken as written that this is just a symptom of a wider problem, that the Canadian Armed Forces is understaffed, and has problems with recruiting and retention. After all, if all CFBs were magically fully manned tomorrow, then something else would have to be understaffed, and those units would complain about it -- it's a bit of a zero sum game in that respect.

So what is the actual problem? It could be strongly argued that our traditional recruiting pool of men from small town Canada is demographically dying. (The demographics, present and projected, of the Quebecois population has further implications for the Canadian Army, specifically whether 3 of 9 infantry battalions, and 1 of 3 mechanized brigades, can be sustained as Francophone in the future, but that's probably a sacred cow to be barbecued separately from the rest of the herd). And with our traditional recruiting pool evaporating, we are now turning, grudgingly and in some desperation, to other parts of the population. But we have, as an institution, not exactly been welcoming to the groups we are now forced to see as our future. Closing garrisons in cities didn't help, but neither do some of our other choices. It isn't new -- Web of Hate (with a chapter on racism in the CF) was published in 1996 and "Rape in the Military" was a Maclean's cover story in 1998. Our ongoing issues with sexual assault and racist conduct have been in the press for decades, and we as an institution have had those decades to either solve the problem or prove that there was no problem and the media didn't know what they are talking about. We failed, and if we want to embrace a diverse future we have to admit that, fix the problems and move on.

Because if we think this woke stuff is just a flash in the pan and we are waiting for small town Canada to flock back to the recruiting centres, I have a news flash -- it just isn't there anymore. The median age of Newfoundland and Labrador is 47. My own home town in northern Ontario isn't far behind. The future of the Canadian Armed Forces is closely tied to the diverse populations of our major cities, and we need to do whatever it takes to reach out to those cities and prove that we are indeed an institution worth serving in. And yes, that probably means that we have to change. But as much as we like to condemn the youths for not being able to change to suit military service, we also have a pretty poor record ourselves of being flexible as an organization. But we need to be flexible in order to survive -- and the onus is on the CAF to change. Because what we're doing now? It isn't sustainable.

As to what those changes should be? I'm close to 50, and I'm the wrong guy to ask. Ask your troops. And especially ask the ones who are walking away.
First Step? Why not end the exile of the CAF to the edges of Canadian society, geographical and otherwise :)
 

FJAG

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Why join a profession with the intention to quit after a few years?

In your next profession, people your age will have a head start on you. Especially if the new employer is unionized. ( That would include the emergency services, and your position on the seniority list. )

Why not stay in the CAF for whole ride and max-out your pension ( 70% after 35 years )?
I'm thinking of young folks who can't get their foot in the door because they lack training and experience. They get to a point where they start a young family, possibly with a wife who has a job, and who don't want to go the constantly absent on courses and exercises and posting routine that comes with a long-term career and would rather settle down in one place.

My understanding is that young people these days are more likely to change jobs and even careers several times in their life time. It's those folks I want to cater to by saying "we're okay with that" and we'll help train you for that second career if you give us "x" number of good years of service.

It's just one idea to target a demographic that might not give us a second look otherwise. We'll still need a good number of "careerists" as well.

🍻
Silly me. Your post from October below. There are others that I can post if you want to prolong this.



Here's the thing. The part-time reservist costs us about 1/6th of a full-time soldier (both in immediate pay and benefits as well as long term pensions). Converting the reserves to the type of system that I propose is pretty much a wash over current costs based on a limit of 48 days annual mandatory training; the existing four years annual summer training for students; and the existing educational benefits programs. If you yank all the Class B's out of Ottawa where they are merely constituting a workaround the authorized PY limits on the RegF you have even more cash available.

In my proposal, we reduce the existing four divisional headquarters to just two, the ten reserve brigades and the CSSB to five brigade headquarters, and the number of individual units from some 146 non-deployable reserve (that's army, MP and medical) and hybrid units to 52 deployable reserve and hybrid units and 5 non-deployable hybrid units (essentially the depot battalions). That saves a significant high priced staff overhead which can also be laid off for additional cost savings.

I'm looking at the same armories and trg facilities footprint, so that's a wash.

Equipment does constitute a cost. That's a long range process that can also be tied to a national economic recovery process if done right.

I know this makes no sense to the people in Ottawa who have zero respect for the potential that a properly structured reserve force can bring to the defence table, but the single most wasted funding within DND is for full-time personnel costs (both military and civilian) that exist at the headquarters level above brigade. If you read Leslie's Report you'll see just how much inflation went on there during the 2004-2011 period.

If we truly get hit with post-Covid cutbacks then our first reaction should be to cut back massively on the administrative headquarters cost that DND/CAF bears (and I do not mean the logistic tail here - that's needed. I mean the administrative leadership and their staff. I've previously said that half of the legal branch could go. Same goes for the public affairs branch ;D) i.e Reg F PYs need to be cut to stop the current and future funding bleed.

If we need to cut more than that then we should realistically look at again cutting full time PY's at the brigade, wing, fleet level and transferring their equipment to a restructured/reformed reserve.

The first exercise should not cut our actual defence outputs (merely the administration which badly needs reform anyway) the second will transfer some of our current defence outputs to a reserve status which obviously means less responsive force but one with equal capabilities once mobilized.

The entire idea behind my proposal in restructuring and equipping the reserves into deployable entities is to increase our actual defence outputs more commensurate with the existing funding envelope Canada already supplies. Right now everyone in government is talking about maintaining that funding commitment. I guess we'll see. Either way, we need reserve reform.

:cheers:
None of that contradicts what I said.

The focus is on cutting headquarters above the brigade level i.e. Ottawa.

The second issue as also quite logical. IF IT BECOMES NECESSARY because funding from the government isn't sufficient to keep feeding the full-time PY / civil service payrolls then deeper cuts to full-time positions is required in order to preserve defence capabilities.

DND/CAF has suffered continuously since the 1960s as budgets didn't grow enough to support the number of troops in our forces-in-being. Effectively the defence budget has grown steadily from US$1.7 billion in 1960 to US$21.6 billion in 2018 while the number of PYs has shrunk to one half of what they were. We had a few minor reductions in budgets and two major ones (the two peace dividends in the early nineties when we dropped from US$11.41 to $7.75 over eight years before again growing to US$21.39 in 2011 and the dropping to US$17.78 in 2016). Notwithstanding those drops the trend has been for a steady rise in dollar costs while we lost PYs and defence capabilities (through death by a thousand cuts). Never once did we transfer capabilities to the reserves or work seriously at reforming the system. Prior to Afghanistan we were on a constant decline in PYs while during and after we've maintained a tenuous status quo.

Military Spending Military Size

Simply put, the new fighter program and the surface combatant programs (not even counting the subs) and post-Covid recovery/reckoning will put DND/CF into the position where they will have to choose accepting a ridiculously low number of ships and planes or cutting personnel. My argument is simply buy the equipment and get rid of the full-time personnel that we don't need day-to-day in favour of devolving those capabilities which are not needed for quick reaction or high skills to a properly reorganized, equipped reserve force that comes at 1/6th of the annual payroll costs as their full-time counterparts.

The only other option that I see is to preserve the sacred cow PYs and have a force that looks pretty on parade but will never be sent into a near peer conflict because their equipment/capability deficiencies will have them die in droves. My personal preference is to empty half of the cubicles in Ottawa and keep the brigades, squadrons and fleets fully manned and equipped and strengthened by a capable reserve.

But then, that's me. Others, especially senior leadership, like seeing the cubicles fully staffed regardless.

This quote from Leslie's 2011 report on transformation (as the budget was about to start a decline) says it all:

Based on a series of brain-storming sessions over the winter with a network of some of the best and brightest officers and civil servants destined for more senior leadership roles, a variety of organizational models were discussed and some big ideas were developed to realize efficiencies and new ways of doing things. Some of these were presented at a large meeting in December 2010 involving the generals, admirals and senior DND civil servants, and it became apparent that the tendency was to argue for the preservation of the status quo within any one particular organization, which is perfectly natural. Though grimly amusing, these interactions proved that consensus has not and will probably never be achieved on any significant change as we are large and complicated, and the different organizations that make up the whole do different things, each of which is believed to be very important by those who are in them. Once again, perfectly natural and probably true.

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quadrapiper

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On the communications side, if the CAF can't manage to deliver a comprehensive awareness of its activities, structure, trades, etc. to the cadet organization (a ready-made audience, one of whose three aims is "stimulate an interest of youth in the sea, army and air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces."), I'm not at all shocked at patchy awareness outside the "family."
 

Furniture

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I did say "basically any other" implying that there would be exceptions, although I think they are few and far between.

That said, I'd be wary of the OPP comparison. Do they have a system of non-comms and officers as we do? Are you comparing the average OPP officer to the average MP NCM when it would make more sense to compare it to the average NCM MP + MPO salary?

Air traffic controller, way outside my ability to comment on. Maybe it is one of the exceptions.

But, in a more general sense, how many people with a high school education are making $60k+ a year only 4 years out of school? And will be retired at $43k years old with a defined benefit plan (DBP almost doesn't exist nowadays, and certainly not a gold plated one like the CAF)?

How many people with a Bachelor's of History are making $80k 3 years after graduating? (and that's not factoring PLD, LDA, pension, leave, etc.).

My income and wealth has been higher than almost everyone I went through university with, it's surreal. There are very few 31 year olds, in any field, bringing in $107k a year, and only 12 years away from retiring with a $60 or 70k pension for the rest of their life.

Even when we get into the more specialized stuff, like engineering, accounting, etc., the CAF is usually paying more. The amount of Majors I know making $120k a year whose only contribution seems to be turning rations into feces while they wait around to collect their pension is mindboggling, they're making the kind of money you only make as at the Partner level in most professional services.... it takes a good 10-15 years to make Partner, and then you've got to work until at least 55 or so before you can afford to retire... not 43.
The NCM world doesn't seem to have the same problem of being over paid when compared to the skilled trades, which are realistically the closest comparison to military occupations. In general glassdoor.ca had plumbers, mechanics, carpenters, electricians, etc.. making about the same, or more than a MCpl/Sgt without spec pay. They generally make that money without spending months at a time away from loved ones, while also staying in a location of their choosing.

Better compensation may not make the CAF's problems go away on it's own, but combined with better postings, and more posting/deployment/training stability it would likely go a long way toward fixing many of them.
 

Eaglelord17

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The NCM world doesn't seem to have the same problem of being over paid when compared to the skilled trades, which are realistically the closest comparison to military occupations. In general glassdoor.ca had plumbers, mechanics, carpenters, electricians, etc.. making about the same, or more than a MCpl/Sgt without spec pay. They generally make that money without spending months at a time away from loved ones, while also staying in a location of their choosing.

Better compensation may not make the CAF's problems go away on it's own, but combined with better postings, and more posting/deployment/training stability it would likely go a long way toward fixing many of them.
Skilled trades are paid much better civvy side then they are in the CAF. For example as a apprentice I made over 80k and that is without doing much overtime. Once I have my ticket it will be fairly easy to make 100k a year and this is with a job that is only at one work place, not a travelling job. The cons are the vacation sucks in comparison and the pension isn't as good but you also have the advantage of being able to tell your boss off without going to jail.

Why join a profession with the intention to quit after a few years?

In your next profession, people your age will have a head start on you. Especially if the new employer is unionized. ( That would include the emergency services, and your position on the seniority list. )

Why not stay in the CAF for whole ride and max-out your pension ( 70% after 35 years )?

Most people intend to stay in the CAF as long as possible when they join. Serving in the CAF quickly drains that out of most people. The 25 years to retirement now really does hurt them as many people in their first contract look at it and go, is it really worth trying to make it until that point? I have also met many people only in because they still had 5 years left to be able to retire, not because they want to be there. I thought I would be a lifer when I started in the CAF, now I don't see myself in for very much longer. Having had civilian experience now, it also opens your eyes to how poorly the CAF treats you. It is always about what the CAF needs, never what is best for the individual even if it is mutually beneficial for the CAF. In some cases they purposely try to hold you back out of fear you will leave (such as taking away civilian trade equivalencies).

As to people having a head start on you, that is 100% true, except most people will jump around company to company now and career to career, very few companies work on the hire at 18 keep to retirement philosophy anymore.
 

dapaterson

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CAF: Unlimited sick leave. Defined benefit, indexed pension at 25 years. Medical coverage for dependents. Paid training and education throughout your career - including ab initio training where not only is the training provided at no cost, but you are paid to attend, and have your clothing and tools provided at no cost - and that time is pensionable. For NCMs, at four years of service you will be paid (base pay) more than the average Canadian individual income. As an officer (GSO), on promotion to Capt you will be paid in the top 25% of Canadian earners (base pay).

Are there parts of the pay scales that should be tweaked? Perhaps. The Team Concept drags down skilled trade pay to pay infanteers and bosuns more (even with spec pay). Are we willing to abandon the team concept? Willing to pay an Infantry major 20% less than a Nurse major?

My one minor tweak before doing any of that work (which would be multi-year to design and implement) would be to abolish Cpl 5B pay scales (ie MCpl); replace it with ~200/month allowance for MCpls; and add on Cpl 5 and Cpl 6 incentives. However, my back of the envelope math suggests that would cost about 1% of the current CAF Reg F pay to implement: So would everyone be willing to take a 1% pay cut to provide Cpls with more incentives as they gain experience? Or forego a 1% pay increase to fund that improvement?
 

FJAG

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CAF: Unlimited sick leave. Defined benefit, indexed pension at 25 years. Medical coverage for dependents. Paid training and education throughout your career - including ab initio training where not only is the training provided at no cost, but you are paid to attend, and have your clothing and tools provided at no cost - and that time is pensionable. For NCMs, at four years of service you will be paid (base pay) more than the average Canadian individual income. As an officer (GSO), on promotion to Capt you will be paid in the top 25% of Canadian earners (base pay).

Are there parts of the pay scales that should be tweaked? Perhaps. The Team Concept drags down skilled trade pay to pay infanteers and bosuns more (even with spec pay). Are we willing to abandon the team concept? Willing to pay an Infantry major 20% less than a Nurse major?

My one minor tweak before doing any of that work (which would be multi-year to design and implement) would be to abolish Cpl 5B pay scales (ie MCpl); replace it with ~200/month allowance for MCpls; and add on Cpl 5 and Cpl 6 incentives. However, my back of the envelope math suggests that would cost about 1% of the current CAF Reg F pay to implement: So would everyone be willing to take a 1% pay cut to provide Cpls with more incentives as they gain experience? Or forego a 1% pay increase to fund that improvement?
Or we can ask ourselves as to whether it's fair that government workers across the board have better compensation packages than the vast majority of the public which they serve.

Starting a whole new viewpoint for outrage. Where's the stirring the pot emoji when you really need it. I guess I'll just go with this one:

πŸ§‘β€πŸ³
 

daftandbarmy

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CAF: Unlimited sick leave. Defined benefit, indexed pension at 25 years. Medical coverage for dependents. Paid training and education throughout your career - including ab initio training where not only is the training provided at no cost, but you are paid to attend, and have your clothing and tools provided at no cost - and that time is pensionable. For NCMs, at four years of service you will be paid (base pay) more than the average Canadian individual income. As an officer (GSO), on promotion to Capt you will be paid in the top 25% of Canadian earners (base pay).

Are there parts of the pay scales that should be tweaked? Perhaps. The Team Concept drags down skilled trade pay to pay infanteers and bosuns more (even with spec pay). Are we willing to abandon the team concept? Willing to pay an Infantry major 20% less than a Nurse major?

My one minor tweak before doing any of that work (which would be multi-year to design and implement) would be to abolish Cpl 5B pay scales (ie MCpl); replace it with ~200/month allowance for MCpls; and add on Cpl 5 and Cpl 6 incentives. However, my back of the envelope math suggests that would cost about 1% of the current CAF Reg F pay to implement: So would everyone be willing to take a 1% pay cut to provide Cpls with more incentives as they gain experience? Or forego a 1% pay increase to fund that improvement?

You mean setting up an education benefit so that people have to quit the military (completely, no sneaking back to help out the Cadets etc now) so you can access tens of thousands of dollars of education funding isn't a really good idea for retaining your most learning motivated personnel?

Maggie Smith Sarcasm GIF by Downton Abbey
 

mariomike

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I thought a pun was the lowest form of wit ---- When you don't think of it first. :giggle:
 

SupersonicMax

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CAF: Unlimited sick leave. Defined benefit, indexed pension at 25 years. Medical coverage for dependents. Paid training and education throughout your career - including ab initio training where not only is the training provided at no cost, but you are paid to attend, and have your clothing and tools provided at no cost - and that time is pensionable. For NCMs, at four years of service you will be paid (base pay) more than the average Canadian individual income. As an officer (GSO), on promotion to Capt you will be paid in the top 25% of Canadian earners (base pay).
Your analysis fails to include that, as military, it is extremely difficult for a spouse to have a stable career. They essentially have to start over anytime we are posted and often have to take jobs where they are overqualified, making much less than what they would have made had they been stable in one location.

A better comparison would be to compare household income.
 

dapaterson

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Valid point. And I made a mistake - the Capt(0) GSO is in the top 25% of household income (not individual).

So all Reg F Capts are in the top 25%. All Reg F LCols are in the top 10% of household income. All general and flag officers are in the top 5%.

All Cpls are in the top 50%. Non-spec WOs enter the top 25% with 2 years in rank.

Again, those are based on the 2018 pay rates, and do not include allowances or benefits.



What Do The 1%, 5%, 25%, 50%, and 75% in Canada Earn for Household Income?

  • The 1% household income in Canada earns $306,710
  • The 5% household income in Canada earns $157,486
  • The 10% household income in Canada earns $122,274
  • The 25% household income in Canada earns $78,820
  • The 50% household income in Canada earns $44,807
  • The 75% household income in Canada earns $21,811
 

Furniture

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CAF: Unlimited sick leave. Defined benefit, indexed pension at 25 years. Medical coverage for dependents. Paid training and education throughout your career - including ab initio training where not only is the training provided at no cost, but you are paid to attend, and have your clothing and tools provided at no cost - and that time is pensionable. For NCMs, at four years of service you will be paid (base pay) more than the average Canadian individual income. As an officer (GSO), on promotion to Capt you will be paid in the top 25% of Canadian earners (base pay).

Are there parts of the pay scales that should be tweaked? Perhaps. The Team Concept drags down skilled trade pay to pay infanteers and bosuns more (even with spec pay). Are we willing to abandon the team concept? Willing to pay an Infantry major 20% less than a Nurse major?

My one minor tweak before doing any of that work (which would be multi-year to design and implement) would be to abolish Cpl 5B pay scales (ie MCpl); replace it with ~200/month allowance for MCpls; and add on Cpl 5 and Cpl 6 incentives. However, my back of the envelope math suggests that would cost about 1% of the current CAF Reg F pay to implement: So would everyone be willing to take a 1% pay cut to provide Cpls with more incentives as they gain experience? Or forego a 1% pay increase to fund that improvement?
We want young healthy people, so sick leave isn't going to attract most of them. Our pension becomes available after 25 years of service, something that at 18-25 seems like an eternity away, and most young people expect to change jobs often. Paid training is a bonus, or would be if we offered actual red seal training to trades, or accredited training in those other areas that aren't trades. We don't, so upon release you need to go pay for more training/testing anyway. As for paid uniforms, we aren't unique in that even among civilian employers.

Comparing NCM pay against the average Canadian income is not a fair reflection of who we should compare pay against against, if we want the best of Canada's youth. If we want part time, minimum wage effort from our troops, then that's a great standard to use.
 

Blackadder1916

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. . . if we want the best of Canada's youth. If we want part time, minimum wage effort from our troops, then that's a great standard to use.

But do we really want the "best" or is that actually a throwaway tagline. Maybe "be the best you can be" is more the desired requirement. How does an employer define "the best" for potential employees? Despite a parent telling little Johnny or Joanie that they are the best not all of Canada's youth can be the best. So, the top 5% or 10% or 25%? And how do you measure that - education, ambition, IQ, CFAT scores, fastest runner, able to lift more weight . . .

The CAF is never going to get (and in the past, never got) "the best". They most assuredly have recruited and retained some with great potential who rose to that potential - so a few may have become the best that Canada could provide. But the majority have been the average. They started out as average and in most cases had an average military career (either short or long), provided good service and were proud of what they accomplished.

Having had "part time, minimum wage" employees (and been one - many, many, many years ago) I found nothing wrong with the effort put forth by most, certainly not worthy of suggesting anything they do is sub-standard.
 

YZT580

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And then there is the difficulty of getting your part-time soldier released from his full time job. Although there are some incentives offered to employers they aren't nearly enough to compensate him for having an empty desk or machine that is costing him money and sitting idle. So your part-timer is either self-employed ( and who can afford to shutter his business for 4 weeks while he eats snakes and crawls through the bush) or maybe for 6 months whilst they are posted to HMCS Halifax off the coast of Norway, or he is at the lower end of the skills ladder and more or less redundant (no slight intended and my profound apologies to those of you who have bosses who support the military by red-circling your PY and are not a part of the later group). Reserves may be a good plan but only if they are fully supported by the national government and the total business community.
 
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