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Initiatives launched to retain and increase RCAF personnel experience levels

AM Sup

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If someone could explain what a POM is, I'd appreciate it. I'm equating it to a Category based on context...is that anywhere close to reality?
Sorry, Performance Of Maintenance. It's the auth a journeyman needs to certify their own work.

Generally granted now on completion of type training.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Isn't that a trade Sub Occupation like rigger used to be for Sup Tech ?

Yeah, something like that. I heard recently (in the past year...) they tried to make LM a separate MOSID that you would OT into, but it didn't happen.

Sure, it would be a small, specialized MOSID but it wouldn't be the first or only one.
 

AM Sup

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The CAGs are a good solution for the RCAF and retain knowledge on a fleet but they don't seem to address issue members have. Again it comes down to the biggest drain on our experience isn't beneficial postings for members. It is the lose of experience at the 10-12 mark and retaining pensionable people beyond their 20/25. The CMs have to post people to full those spots and typically that involves changing fleets

A lot of those people can only identify the problems but do we really expect Cpls, MCpls and Capts to have answers the CAF doesn't have? When they tell ask their CoC "why should I stay... I hate this" what they are saying is that I have all these problems and nothing I can do will make them better, please help.




This is a big problem. We have a lot of talented technicians who, through lack of skill or will, couldn't lead their way out of a paperbag. We promote these people (often inflating their potential) in order to reward them for their work. We need something to reward those people and it has to be a real reward that recognizes their value to the organization. I like the idea a rank is one step above the working rank of Cpl/Capt but isn't a leadership rank. Unlike cpl/capt it would be earned and tell everyone that this person is a technical expert.



It's more common than you think. Quite often we push people to get their A lvl because we need that signature on crew. Then we will have to take their A lvls away because they keep screwing up. Occasionally they will remove all their authorizations although that tends to be a temporary measure.
I can only speak for the 4 operational squadrons I've been posted to (14 AMS, 407, 423, 443) but I've not seen great numbers of folks walking out the door from air tech trades at the 10-12 year mark in any of those places. Fleet changes are becoming more the exception that the rule compared to what was the norm in the past.

If folks don't have a clear picture for their own career, then there isn't a CoC on the planet that can satisfy their needs. You don't need to have all the answers to your problems but if you can't identify why you're not getting what you need from the CAF to advance, then the odds of them being able to respond in any helpful way are not great.

I don't particularly care for the 'one Level A to rule them all' philosophy we're using now but it's here to stay I'm afraid.

I think the practice of contracting out so much maintenance and making use of the first to third line concept will be the death of an intellectually invested air maintenance branch. Kids (or adults) who join up because they want to troubleshoot and test themselves are not likely going to find satisfaction and challenge in the plug and play style of aircraft maintenance. I don't personally feel there are many things better than giving someone the tools to learn, advance and become a respected expert in their field as far as job satisfaction and career longevity go for techs.
 

AM Sup

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For some of the technical trades would there be any opportunity for the CAF to partner with civilian schools (and the airlines/aerospace companies?) to do joint training?

In return for some Federal funding and provision of RCAF airframes to actually work on the schools could adjust their curriculum to mirror CAF trades training. The benefit for CAF members is that they would end up with training that matches civilian industry training making it easier for them to get employed when they release and for the benefit for the CAF would be that there would be a pool of civilian workers out there with basic trades training already completed that you could draw on as a potential recruiting pool.
In my opinion, the RCAF is not interested in building civilian equivalent experience within uniformed air tech ranks. We've adopted a practice of focusing much of our attention on 1st line support to operations with very limited 2nd line capability. We do have techs in the RCAF who've completed training at NSCC or NAIT type of institutes, but they're employed within the air force in the same way as folks who trained at CFSATE.
 

dimsum

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Yeah, something like that. I heard recently (in the past year...) they tried to make LM a separate MOSID that you would OT into, but it didn't happen.

Sure, it would be a small, specialized MOSID but it wouldn't be the first or only one.
Wait, it isn't? I would have thought that any "large aircrew wing" trade was its own trade.

Isn't the difference between TT and LM similar to the difference between AVN/AVS Tech and FE?
 

dapaterson

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"Pay more now" and "pay more later"?

$400-$500 more in earning shouldn't equal the same amount in increased pension contributions. I'm confused, but not surprised; our pay increase earlier this year, I went up 400 and change and my mid-April pay went up....40 bucks.
Very rough math:

If you have $100 moved from Allowances to pay, you will now be paying $10 in pension contributions on that. Taxes will drop by about $3 because pension contributions are tax-deferred, so your net will be about $7 less than before.

Your exact situation will vary based on your income, province of residence, other deductions...
 

TCM621

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I can only speak for the 4 operational squadrons I've been posted to (14 AMS, 407, 423, 443) but I've not seen great numbers of folks walking out the door from air tech trades at the 10-12 year mark in any of those places. Fleet changes are becoming more the exception that the rule compared to what was the norm in the past.

If folks don't have a clear picture for their own career, then there isn't a CoC on the planet that can satisfy their needs. You don't need to have all the answers to your problems but if you can't identify why you're not getting what you need from the CAF to advance, then the odds of them being able to respond in any helpful way are not great.

I don't particularly care for the 'one Level A to rule them all' philosophy we're using now but it's here to stay I'm afraid.

I think the practice of contracting out so much maintenance and making use of the first to third line concept will be the death of an intellectually invested air maintenance branch. Kids (or adults) who join up because they want to troubleshoot and test themselves are not likely going to find satisfaction and challenge in the plug and play style of aircraft maintenance. I don't personally feel there are many things better than giving someone the tools to learn, advance and become a respected expert in their field as far as job satisfaction and career longevity go for techs.

The biggest spikes in release happened after the initial BIE, the 10-12 year mark and at 20 (soon to be 25). I can find the number on DWAN and I will try to remember to post them.

I'll agree that most folks don't have a clear picture of their career but I will argue that it isn't for lack of trying for many people. There seems to be a mentality among senior people that of jnr don't have a solution they shouldn't complain but the reality is that they are looking to the Snr people to give them the information they need. I have recieved career course messages and posting messages weeks after I have been told I wasn't going with a start date that has already passed. This isn't an RCAF problem but a military one in general. As I mentioned, I haven't seen an SOA since maybe 2015, I haven't seen any briefing or anything else regarding the state of my trade, how we are growing, what opportunities are opening up, etc. Sure I'm supposed to be my own CM but how can I be my own CM when I have zero influence on whether or not I can meet my career goals?

Basically, this is a leadership problem at the highest levels and putting it back on the members is part of the reason we are hemorrhaging people. People are sick and tired of being their own CM, being their own claims clerk, being their own training coordinator, etc when we have people who are actually sitting in those jobs.
 

kev994

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Wait, it isn't? I would have thought that any "large aircrew wing" trade was its own trade.

Isn't the difference between TT and LM similar to the difference between AVN/AVS Tech and FE?
Nope. FE is a trade, Loadmaster is a traffic tech; no spec pay, wears a green beret with a log cap badge, gets aircrew allowance.
FE typically drops in rank to Cpl when they remuster.
 

AM Sup

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The biggest spikes in release happened after the initial BIE, the 10-12 year mark and at 20 (soon to be 25). I can find the number on DWAN and I will try to remember to post them.

I'll agree that most folks don't have a clear picture of their career but I will argue that it isn't for lack of trying for many people. There seems to be a mentality among senior people that of jnr don't have a solution they shouldn't complain but the reality is that they are looking to the Snr people to give them the information they need. I have recieved career course messages and posting messages weeks after I have been told I wasn't going with a start date that has already passed. This isn't an RCAF problem but a military one in general. As I mentioned, I haven't seen an SOA since maybe 2015, I haven't seen any briefing or anything else regarding the state of my trade, how we are growing, what opportunities are opening up, etc. Sure I'm supposed to be my own CM but how can I be my own CM when I have zero influence on whether or not I can meet my career goals?

Basically, this is a leadership problem at the highest levels and putting it back on the members is part of the reason we are hemorrhaging people. People are sick and tired of being their own CM, being their own claims clerk, being their own training coordinator, etc when we have people who are actually sitting in those jobs.
No worries on the numbers, we're always going to lose people, and in some cases that's ok. Sometimes folks just decide it's not for them anymore and that 10-12 year mark is where a lot of people might be looking at their first posting and say no thanks.

As I mentioned, a solution would be ideal, but at the very least people need to offer up a problem other than 'I don't like it here anymore'. I see you've added some specific complaints at the bottom ref: claims and trg, that's a start. Techs should be able to walk into ETO or even better the SCWO's office (unlikely, but maybe with an appointment) and ask questions about what opportunities are out there. Even their supervisor is a start, bring it up in PDR or PER feedback sessions. If your supervisor doesn't know what your career goals are and hasn't given you a path to reach them then there's a problem unless you're already mapping your own course.

As far as promotions go, the SCRITs are out there for anyone to see and it's basically an open book exam; find the points on the sheet, do those things. The CMs brief almost always has trade strength/PML numbers for anyone that wants them. If anybody is waiting around for the CM to pluck them from the rough and offer up something great... it's probably not going to happen. There's a core group of say.... 50 people getting that kind of attention, but most of us are left making the best of the tools we have, which in most cases means each other.

I had the rare (for me) chance to have a 30 min solo chat with the 1 CAD CWO a few years back and I took the opportunity to tell him (1) how stupid I thought it was that we've been contracting out so much maintenance: (2) that most people really don't care about most of the talking points we get from his level when they visit us i.e.: shoulder patches etc; (3) and that all this trade rejigging has been infuriating and people don't even know what they can sign for anymore half the time. He got up and shut the door to my office, and contrary to the blast that thought was coming, he thanked me profusely for speaking plainly to him. Very few people are straight with leadership working at that level and he was sincerely overjoyed to have some actual back and forth on this stuff. Oddly enough I ended up getting a coin from him out of that conversation.

Asking for specific feedback isn't putting stuff back on the jr members, it's offering them a chance to provide input. Senior folks telling junior folks how things are is what leads to discontent in the first place. Nobody in leadership that I know goes to work in the morning with the aim of 'sticking it to some hardworking tech today'. Most want to do well and want their people to be happy and invested in the branch/element/CAF. That being said I know there some nightmarish folks sitting in influential offices and I fear that transcends industry.
 

dimsum

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Loadmaster is a traffic tech; no spec pay, wears a green beret with a log cap badge, gets aircrew allowance.
...so LMs, a specialty that I assume only works on aircraft, isn't part of the RCAF? 🤔
 

Quirky

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Sorry, Performance Of Maintenance. It's the auth a journeyman needs to certify their own work.

Generally granted now on completion of type training.
Certify? Don’t you mean rectify? Level A gives the auth to certify own work. I know what you mean though.

Isn’t there a civilian company that rebuilds them at Mirabel?
There is, but I’d prefer to stay in Canada, otherwise I’d go to AirUSA in Quincy.
 

daftandbarmy

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I had the rare (for me) chance to have a 30 min solo chat with the 1 CAD CWO a few years back and I took the opportunity to tell him (1) how stupid I thought it was that we've been contracting out so much maintenance: (2) that most people really don't care about most of the talking points we get from his level when they visit us i.e.: shoulder patches etc; (3) and that all this trade rejigging has been infuriating and people don't even know what they can sign for anymore half the time. He got up and shut the door to my office, and contrary to the blast that thought was coming, he thanked me profusely for speaking plainly to him. Very few people are straight with leadership working at that level and he was sincerely overjoyed to have some actual back and forth on this stuff. Oddly enough I ended up getting a coin from him out of that conversation.

I would guess that both you and he are a rare breed. A junior person who cares enough to speak out and a senior person who cares enough to listen. Both acts courageous in their own way, but should just be normal routine of course.

'Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.' Winston Churchill
 

AM Sup

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Certify? Don’t you mean rectify? Level A gives the auth to certify own work. I know what you mean though.


There is, but I’d prefer to stay in Canada, otherwise I’d go to AirUSA in Quincy.
No I meant certify, POM refers to a journeyman who is authorized to perform and certify maintenance w/o being supervised directly (critical junctures aside). For anything but an elementary task, they'll need that Level A to inspect and certify the task/job.
 

AM Sup

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I would guess that both you and he are a rare breed. A junior person who cares enough to speak out and a senior person who cares enough to listen. Both acts courageous in their own way, but should just be normal routine of course.

'Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.' Winston Churchill
Very kind of you to say and I'd say it's true on the Chief's behalf, but there's nothing rare/special about me. I just wasn't going to miss out on the opportunity; we were alone when I asked so there were no audience concerns. I'm also not particularly concerned about my career progression so I really wasn't taking much of a risk other than getting politely stomped by a command chief and making my SCWO's sh!t list. I was a WO at the time so it wasn't like I was some cheeky Cpl. I'm glad I did it, it was very refreshing to get an unfiltered response from someone in his position.
 
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TCM621

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I would guess that both you and he are a rare breed. A junior person who cares enough to speak out and a senior person who cares enough to listen. Both acts courageous in their own way, but should just be normal routine of course.

'Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.' Winston Churchill
Junior? He was likely a warrant or higher based on his handle.
 

childs56

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No worries on the numbers, we're always going to lose people, and in some cases that's ok. Sometimes folks just decide it's not for them anymore and that 10-12 year mark is where a lot of people might be looking at their first posting and say no thanks.

As I mentioned, a solution would be ideal, but at the very least people need to offer up a problem other than 'I don't like it here anymore'. I see you've added some specific complaints at the bottom ref: claims and trg, that's a start. Techs should be able to walk into ETO or even better the SCWO's office (unlikely, but maybe with an appointment) and ask questions about what opportunities are out there. Even their supervisor is a start, bring it up in PDR or PER feedback sessions. If your supervisor doesn't know what your career goals are and hasn't given you a path to reach them then there's a problem unless you're already mapping your own course.

As far as promotions go, the SCRITs are out there for anyone to see and it's basically an open book exam; find the points on the sheet, do those things. The CMs brief almost always has trade strength/PML numbers for anyone that wants them. If anybody is waiting around for the CM to pluck them from the rough and offer up something great... it's probably not going to happen. There's a core group of say.... 50 people getting that kind of attention, but most of us are left making the best of the tools we have, which in most cases means each other.

I had the rare (for me) chance to have a 30 min solo chat with the 1 CAD CWO a few years back and I took the opportunity to tell him (1) how stupid I thought it was that we've been contracting out so much maintenance: (2) that most people really don't care about most of the talking points we get from his level when they visit us i.e.: shoulder patches etc; (3) and that all this trade rejigging has been infuriating and people don't even know what they can sign for anymore half the time. He got up and shut the door to my office, and contrary to the blast that thought was coming, he thanked me profusely for speaking plainly to him. Very few people are straight with leadership working at that level and he was sincerely overjoyed to have some actual back and forth on this stuff. Oddly enough I ended up getting a coin from him out of that conversation.

Asking for specific feedback isn't putting stuff back on the jr members, it's offering them a chance to provide input. Senior folks telling junior folks how things are is what leads to discontent in the first place. Nobody in leadership that I know goes to work in the morning with the aim of 'sticking it to some hardworking tech today'. Most want to do well and want their people to be happy and invested in the branch/element/CAF. That being said I know there some nightmarish folks sitting in influential offices and I fear that transcends industry.
Were you a WO when you talked to the 1 Cad CWO? That is much different then a CPL talking to the CWO.
The reality is the Airforce is full of self serving upper staff, who cater to Pilots. (they even screw them) will be damned if they let then Techs tell them how to run the show.
The attitude is we will farm out the work if we can't get Techs. Eventually you run out of those people also.
 

SupersonicMax

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Were you a WO when you talked to the 1 Cad CWO? That is much different then a CPL talking to the CWO.
The reality is the Airforce is full of self serving upper staff, who cater to Pilots. (they even screw them) will be damned if they let then Techs tell them how to run the show.
The attitude is we will farm out the work if we can't get Techs. Eventually you run out of those people also.
Can you substantiate your opinion with examples?
 
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