The “book” says that uniformed staff should spend 12 hours per month…
But - how much time would you say you DO spend on planning and delivering activities - including ALL admin…?
I appreciate this is a can of worms / how long is a piece of string… or your own choice of euphemism - but, I’m curious to know how much time people do spend.
My guessing is that an OC is probably spending in excess of 20 hours per week, by the time parades / training / record keeping / auditing / checklists / inspections - plus emails, text messages etc are read and responded to - on top of telephone calls etc.
Who is responsible for the level of burden…? The staff member - or WHQ / Reg / HQAC…?
Genuinely not intended as a gaslighting effort - just curious to take the temperature of the group…
Since circa November, I have probably had less than 1 day a month of contact time with the org because of ongoing issues locally.
Before that, I was essentially running a Squadron (or it certainly felt like it!) so I was doing 1830-2200 ish twice a week. Plus 40 minute drive each way ish. Call it 5 hours a night, so 10 hours a week. Every week. That was just parade nights. I reckon I was probably spending another 4 ish hours a week doing general admin tasks outside of parade nights. So at 4 weeks a month we’re looking at about 56 hours a month.
A couple of years back, before Covid, I was doing even more though. I was attending a Squadron 2 nights a week, but wasn’t in a primary role, but I was also delivering AT 1 or 2 nights a weeks too. So 3/4 nights a week. That was some insane amount of hours that I don’t really care to try and work out. Funnily enough I enjoyed the organisation more then than I do now…
Oh and that doesn’t touch on weekend stuff either…
I think it doesn’t help there is a lot of self creating admin on some units, and new staff carry that on because they think it’s mandatory. I’ve known staff doing “paperwork” all night, and then stay until midnight. None of us joined to do that, but also I don’t think there’s that much it’s needs that much time twice a week even if your only choosing to do cadet stuff on a cadet night.
I think the admin burden overall is a lot less than it used to be, that people are overly negative to Bader so don’t use it when it can be used to ease it (absolutely not saying it is perfect and without faults!)
In terms of the actual question how much time do I give to the RAFAC? A lot through choice as I do a lot of off Squadron activities, and love trying out new ideas when teaching academics, or doing flight nights. That being said I make sure I’m out with the cadets (I am an OC, like most squadrons minimal staff) whether that’s teaching, observing to assisting at least a session a night if not the whole night, and I won’t stay any longer than 10/15 minutes after the cadets go home - unless of course we end up chinwagging in which case that’s a whole different scenario and I don’t think counts as giving time to the RAFAC!
Its changed for me significantly post-children - and post-covid!
Pre-children we (because Mrs BF is also involved) would put in around 35-40 weekends per year. We’d also support AT camps at Wing and Sector level as well as Squadron events, fundraisers and Wg training weekends. I’d also be doing my day job, then 4 hours per night of cadet stuff - activity delivery, but also the admin behind it, and/or supporting other local squadrons with staffing/ knowledge/ experience/ timetable gaps. It wasn’t unknown for us to have 1 night per week together. But. It worked for us at the time.
Since children arrived we reduced this to around 1 weekend a month. Because priorities changed - a lot!! We do one parade night a week each. But will do some admin behind the scenes to ensure stuff still happened. But our visibility definitely dropped away. We’d still easily be doing 12 hours per month - often closer to 30hours.
Covid, however, changed things further. Both of us have jobs which have been - and continue to be - impacted by the pandemic. This massively impacted on the amount of time we have left after we’ve taken care of our family and everything else.
I still try for one night per week and one weekend a month - but it’s a lot harder to do find the motivation when the admin levels for activities have increased exponentially for the same ouput - and no greater physical level of safety - just “assurance”.
I’m still putting away 12 hours a month, but I’m not going to burn out for this organisation anymore.
I still continue to have guilt about how much I’m not doing. The burden it places on my fellow volunteers to deliver activities and backfill for the stuff I’m no longer able to do. But I’m growing to accept that bit.
And, in all honesty, spending time doing stuff with my kids is way more fun than admining in order to do the same activities with other people’s kids!
not so fast. the wording is an expectation of a minimum of 12 hours not a maximum or capped at 12 hours.
on the basis a parade night is 2 hours (which it isn’t as its typically 1900-2130) 12 hours is completed in 6 evenings, and as most months have 8 evenings that is a week off each month.
if taking a parade night to be 2.5 hours then it only requires 5 evenings to clock up that time.
all that said those who take part often smash the 12 hours outside of Squadron due to other tasks.
those who don’t reach 12 hours (such as a once a week CFAV) it likely to be for justified reasons (family pressures/shift work) and i have never known anyone get disciplined for not reaching 12 hours…it is the opposite of an unwritten rule - it is a line that is known about but means nothing
I spend more than 12 hours a month driving to and from my unit.
I try and keep one weekend free for me and Mrs OZ. So 40 weekends doing RAFAC
One Week camp in the place in my badge
Hardly an evening I am not doing something cadet related.
Week long camps is something I’ve been able to do much of. I’ve only ever done 4 full weeks since being a CFAV as I just can’t warrent the annual leave usage! And two of those were training at Windermere for AT quals.
I think my attendance on camp is going to be pretty non existent now other than the odd day visit, or maybe an overnight at the weekend. No holiday pay anymore and VA will come nowhere near covering my losses
As an OC of a 95 cadet unit I would say I spend an average of about 22 hours a week including parades. This does not include activities that happen. When we have a big event (stay away) that the Squadron is running, this time would go up to near 30 hours (not including the activity) due to the paperwork needing to be done or checked by me.