Information Update: On Issues Arising from the Re-Organisation of the Army from Three to Two Brigades

By Industrial Relations Officer

Following meetings in Cork, Athlone, the Curragh and a number of locations in Dublin the membership has been informed of the general approach to the re-organisation of the Army by PDFORRA.  Members have also highlighted the areas of greatest concern to be addressed by PDFORRA.

In dealing with the implications of the re-organisation of the Army from 3 to 2 brigades, PDFORRA is adopting the following approach to issues involved in negotiations with the Department of Defence.

 

 Compulsory Re-locations

First and foremost PDFORRA is seeking to minimise or avoid the incidence of compulsory relocation that may arise and has proposed to the Military Authorities that all practical alternatives be explored to avoid such re-locations.  In PDFORRAs view all compulsory re-locations must be temporary and short-term.  The following approach has been proposed to the Military Authorities:

  • ‘All practical alternatives will be explored to avoid or minimise such re-location e.g. re-skilling, bussing-in, temporary posting etc.
  • Should the potential still exist volunteers will next be sought for the position in question.
  • In the event of no or insufficient volunteers those with least service in the rank/grade will be considered first for re-location.
  • Potential re-locations must have regard to the personal circumstances of those being considered for re-location e.g. family circumstances.
  • Potential re-locations must be operated in a reasonable manner e.g. take account of reasonable daily commute.
  • A mechanism to appeal the decisions regarding re-location will be established.
  • All compulsory re-locations will be temporary and short term’.

 

Assignment to Appointments

PDFORRA is seeking the introduction of an agreed assignment process which should be broadly similar to the criteria used following the 1998 re-organisation.  The main elements of the criteria proposed by PDFORRA are as follows:

‘Assignment Boards will be established in each Formation to assign Enlisted Pers to appointments in the new organisation.  The Assignment Board will assign Enlisted Pers from dis-established/amalgamated units in the first instance to comparable appointments.

Enlisted Pers may make submissions to the Assignment Boards expressing interest in appointments.  The Assignment Boards shall take account of the submissions in deciding on assignment to appointments.

Assignment Boards will be composed of Commissioned Officers and NCOs.

A mechanism to appeal the decisions of the Assignment Boards will be established.

The Assignment Board will use the following criteria:

(a)        The person who holds the old establishment appointment which is comparable.

(b)        Length of Service in the rank/grade

(c)        Length of Service in the PDF

 

Retention of Existing Pay, Allowances etc

PDFORRA is seeking the retention of pay and allowances on the same basis as provided for following the 1998 re-organisation.  Essentially this provided for the retention on a personal to the holder basis of pay and allowances of members who are assigned or who volunteer to be assigned to appointments in the new establishment which do not attract the same pay and allowances as they originally held prior to the re-organisation.

 

Promotions

Considerable scope exists for continuing promotions to the agreed numbers and PDFORRA expects that these will continue alongside the various processes that will form part of the re-organisation.

 

Infrastructure

PDFORRA is seeking the upgrading of the necessary infrastructure in locations which may be receiving additional numbers of personnel on the following basis:

(a)        Single Living-in accommodation at a high standard

(b)        Access to locker and related facilities for living-out personnel to a high standard

(c)        Dining facilities that can accommodate the large numbers who will be concentrated in certain barracks e.g. Cathal Brugha Bks

(d)        Sufficient parking facilities to cater for the larger numbers in barracks

(e)        Gymnasium facilities at a high standard

 

RDF Cadre

It is recognised that members of the RDF Cadre may be disadvantaged in the process of re-organisation because they will not know which RDF locations will be remaining until the RDF Value for Money Report is published in September. Accordingly, PDFORRA is adopting separate measures to ensure that the RDF Cadre is treated fairly within the whole process.

 

Postings/Transfers

The Military Authorities have confirmed that applications for transfers from members serving in locations which have been affected by the re-organisation of the Army will be favourably considered where they seek to move to a location which is relatively unaffected and which has vacant appointments. Any transfers granted will provide support to the re-organisation process and, in particular, will assist in minimising the likelihood of compulsory re-location of members in affected areas.

 

Summary

PDFORRA have started discussions on the above mentioned matters and expect to conclude initial discussions within approximately two weeks. Further updates will be issued as matters are finalised in discussions over the coming weeks.

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