Hmm the bit about not making it look like an employment contract is interesting as it seems volunteers have a lot of peripheral things foisted on them that they have to do in their spare time, ie the time they volunteer and potentially not at a time that it is useful for them, with the organisation they volunteer for not really obliged to give them anything except expenses.
Do other organisations (outside youth organisations) have tiers of volunteers like we do, with each tier expected to do different things?
Now in our case would have been a prime time to completely level the playing field in terms of expectations on people.
meet mutually agreed expectations around the role, such as the amount of time the role is expected to take.
How much of what we do mutually agreed? Or are we just told this is what you will do?
Take a look at police special constables … you think we are getting a rough time, actually we are getting quite well looked after, i know thats hard to believe. The police specials are all volunteers who get no VA at all and only get “reasonable expenses” which is usually travel if they end up going to a different force to help out. Their rank structure is like ours, as they eventually get told what and where to go from their lords and master in the full time police. In fact there are a lot of volunteers out there in lots of organisations who don’t get anything near what we get, but they still get “told” what they can and can’t do via these “volunteer agreements” by the full time staff.
We really are nothing special, we are all volunteers. I think the difference is that the penny may have dropped now as more of us have actually looked at what we do and what is being asked of us. On top of all that HQAC have started to make it clearer of what they expect from their volunteers which has just highlighted what i guess has always been there.
I don’t know what the end game will turn out to be, i guess we will all know where we stand and what we are expected to do and for what pretty soon. Will we like it, probably not, will people just say enough is enough, probably but at the end of the day will the organisation fold, probably not. A lot of organisations out there rely on their volunteers to deliver what is required, we are just a small cog in a massive wheel of volunteers that deliver. I think we could however stop accepting more and more that the perm staff should be doing at WHQ and RHQ (still looking, still havent found what they do that WHQ don’t do).
Yeah and look what happened to Specials.
I only ever recalled seeing them on Friday and Saturday when pubs were kicking out. Around our way they had a reputation.
What Regions actually do / bring to the party has long been questioned and no one except people who work there seem to be able to answer.
I think that HQAC will potentially come to regret what they are pushing as people will if pushed and pushed feel enough is enough and vote with their feet, either all together or lose the uniform and have a more relaxed time of it. Might not be regarded as fair in some quarters but that’s how it will be.
Specials are a very different case to other volunteers particularly us. They are similar in that they are volunteers who have a minimum working hours out on them.
What they probably have more in common with are the active reserves in that they are being used more and more to fill gaps in the ranks of regulars. Some forces are even giving them driving and Public Order courses and there is a real push for them to be allowed to carry a Taser in some parts. (Oh and Specal Supervisors only have authority over other specials, they can’t give orders to regular PC’s).
Anyway back on Topic, if the organisation wants to go down the “volunteers are just volunteers” route surely they need to take a lot of the admin and BS and give it to employed people? Charity shops for example use volunteers at the coal face of selling things, but the admin and risk assessment etc is all done by employed managers.
That would be a brilliant idea and I have several things they could be doing for us.
You can’t compare Police Specials and Cadet Forces Volunteers. Special Constables perform the same role as Regular Police Officers, but without any recompense apart from travelling expenses.
CFAV are performing a totally separate role from Regular RAF staff and receive “pay” for days they spend undertaking their role.
The motivation to be a Special Constable is mostly to join as a Regular PC. I don’t think that that is the motivation for Air Cadet Volunteers!
Managing Volunteers is one of the hardest things for an organisation to do! But RAFAC seem to have forgotten that you need equal amounts of carrot and stick!!
The motivation to be a Special Constable is mostly to join as a Regular PC. That may be right in a lot of cases but I’m sure some joined for the power and some because they just were not up to the standard just like it is in the forces
But my point was to highlight the difference between CFAVs and other uniformed “Volunteers”.
With all the changes, CFAVs are more like Scout Leaders, especially when the VA gets removed!
I personally don’t think any CFAV officer or SNCO is in it for the money however “when the VA gets removed!” Worries me for a number of issues Officers and SNCO will then end up out of pocket having to pay for mess and food bills and secondly I’m sure some folks end up taking a week or weeks off without pay to attend ATC events, camps etc and the low VA we get now that helps to off set that loss and covers cost of messing and food leaves all of worst off, I mean we lose the first 6 miles as it is get 25 ppm while my local council get 65ppm
You won’t pay food - you don’t now even if in uniform as long as you aren’t claiming pay.
I don’t see why it should be so difficult, if they are allowed to be volunteers, rather than regarded as part of the workforce, but treated and regarded with indifference and disdain, because they are volunteering. Which is where it seems we are.
I’m trying to remember if there has ever been much in the way of a carrot other than what you get from it personally, what we did have however was an organisation that wasn’t so top down and repressing. Plus things didn’t seem to change unless there was a need for it to change, there is nothing worse than change for the sake of change or just on the whim of someone taking over, as it won’t have been fully assessed and doesn’t work.
I seem to feel that since we have had FTRS roles rather than people just before retiring doing a bit and retired officers doing a bit for a few years, things have worsened. I think with FTRS roles they seem to feel a need to constantly justify their existence, with no benefit to the ‘shop floor’. Whereas before there didn’t seem to be this imperative.
Can I expand the discussion because there is relevance to a lot of things going on.
For a start, the ACO has rules & regulations promulgated under the Royal Warrant, and these materialised as Defence Council Regulations. But none of these are statutory, but note there is nothing which says - nothing in these regulations affects your statutory rights. I say his because DCRs are not statute, but they have to comply with statute because that has higher jurisdiction eg Children’s Act 1985.
But as an unpaid volunteer you have very few rights, and whereas the MOD is required to take account of all manner of Legislation ( a court marshall is subservient to civil and criminal law) the RAFAC takes full advantage of the situation and makes very few concessions.
But how can you be sure that whatever provisions within ‘say’ ACP20 will be applied exactly as they are written. The MOD was unable to confirm that there is a mechanism to ensure fairness and impartiality. Someone commented that some Wings make their own rules which supports this; but who would be responsible for ensuring fairness I wonder?
I have just received a letter from the Charity Commission, which says the RAFAC (actually it uses ATC because no-one has told them of the change) has the power to remove a Trustee, by ceasing their membership of the Civcom; I interpret this to mean that within the DCRs it says they can, but that does not mean it has been tested against Charity Law.
Essentially Governance is so confused that it does not distinguish between the two positions, and actually provides a constitution which is equally applicable to both. The Commission then goes on to say that the Civilian Committee is it not a legal entity, but a Squadron Association, but it the says there is not distinction between the two!
To back up their argument they give examples of how Trusteeship is linked to the other appointment, and quotes Commanding Officers of the Armed Forces. There are other military personnel acting as Trustees of course, but Armed Forces charities in the main are subject to separate legislation of parliament, but the RAFAC Charities are not so privileges and just exist on exception orders made by the Commission.
However there is a formal contract or agreement between the individual and the organisation, because they are employees and receive a salary. It is then obvious that getting the sack would affect the ability to continue as a Trustee of a military charity. Another example would be RAF mess Funds. nd the other examples cited all involve a contractual agreement.
However the Commission (?) essentially ignores the fact that Trustees of your local Sports & Welfare Fund are civilian volunteers, They are appointed by their Colleague Trustees, and there is no formal, or otherwise, contractual link between them and the organisation.
It is fair to point out that the Trustees of the GPF are employees, so how can you regard these as being the same as unpaid volunteers, especially when the one is likely to exert unwritten pressure on the other, due to the lack of fairness and impartiality.
Why would anyone want to volunteer when things are not open and above board, but as was said, there is not exactly a queue of volunteers, and it is little surprise that I have seen a significant number pass through the system, never to return.
At one time it was always hoped that Senior cadets would stay on for the benefit of the Squadron, but they too disappear.
I did advise my Regional Commandant to appreciate the value of his volunteers, but evidently that fell on stony ground, and my Wing has since continue to decline.
I fully agree with you! I am a Trustee for another organisation which is quite rightly strict in its adherence to the Charity Commission rules. RAFAC does not seem to follow those rules!
It seems that all the changes to staffing, nomenclature and position in the Organisation, they have forgotten to consult with the one organisation that has real teeth, the Charity Commission!
So the questions are…
- If we are non military volunteers and not employees, I would suggest neither Military nor Employment law covers us. What law does cover us when we are providing a service to our cadets?
- If we are covered by Charity law, does each unit have to have trustees, a Chair, AGMs and publish accounts for all transactions? I know my Squadron does not do this!
- If this role is performed at a higher level, is it Wing, Region or HQAC? Where are all the relevant documents published?
I feel that in an attempt to stop what the RAF Senior Management saw as frivolous complaints (I personally know of one complaint that was far from frivolous, exposed bullying in the Senior ranks of the ATC and was upheld) the whole structure has been changed without an in-depth legal study.
This may bite the organisation far harder than they expected!
I will continue to work hard for my Cadets on my Squadron, trying to give them the opportunities I had when I was a Cadet. I’m sure more things will change, but it is hardly ever for the better!!
ACO / RAFAC operate in their own little bubble and have done for years. I think they are very good at producing might tomes (or now a number of disparate electronic documents) with a load of rubbish in them, and use these to frighten people. It would only take someone with the nous, time and money to challenge them in court, to see their castle crumble.
If our high and mighty decided to remove committee members, as that is what trustees are, without a real reason like severe financial misconduct, you can see committees folding and getting a new one would be uphill, as who would want to be or come into a monkey organisation where with no proper contracts etc between the organisation and individuals, the organisation can on a whim, decide who they want and don’t want as committee members.
Squadrons have to produce an annual financial report with ins and outs and unless you have a massive turnover and or savings in excess of I think £10K no one bats or seems to bat an eyelid. I know of squadrons saving for a minibus who have attracted some questions and one in particular where the treasurer wanted to hold £5K to pay for running costs and their CO said the Committee were told they couldn’t, although it was a sensible idea.
My committee went to online banking 3 or 4 years ago and have to get any transactions authorised by a second person, just like double signing cheques, which seems a total nonsense. I found out from our Legion branch treasurer the double signature thing is a nonsense as banks never ever checked signatures or signatories. It has been a nonsense. One of the groups I’m on puts on events and dishes the money raised out, we bank online and we say to the treasurer pay this / that and she does, all online.
Yawn. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.
Please come back when you have something sensible to say.
I was going to react and rant further, but that would dignify your juvenile attitude towards something quite important!
If you think that asking what rules we are governed by are not sensible things to say, enjoy your naivety!
ATC is correct, as all the civcom stuff is ATC-centric and not relevant to the CCF.
Indeed, there is no such change. The ATC has NOT become the RAFAC; except for in the specific case of what SNCOs/WOs wear on their rank slides.
Actually it was specific to Teflon’s bilge water that he continually spouts regardless of fact or reason.
I’m happy for people to discuss sensible things.
Actually the Charity Commission have stated that after consultation between the CC and the ACO, they consider, the Governance document fit for purpose. The only problem then is that it seems they are simply relating what the ACO tell them, (free of ministerial control and therefore impartial?) The bit missing is where they say we have consulted our legal team and that is what we have been advised. But HQAC does not have a legal team because there is no funding for one.
So nothing is crystal clear, and then when the going gets a bit tough, and they have used up all their ‘get out of jail free’ cards, they refuse to enter further discussion, which is exactly what the MOD has done previously.
When I worked for the NHS, one developed a skill at writing letters without actually saying anything useful, and the people I have had to deal with lately, excel at it.