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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #50 on: January 10, 2014, 21:06:38 »
Well this will get a response


Maybe, if this government is a little less 'tone deaf" to bad PR than were past ones. I recall when sailors and soldiers in Esquimalt (from the fleet, Dockyard, Naden and Work Point) were going to food banks. There was a bit of hand wringing in the media but it all blew over quickly and the government of the day just ducked and stayed under cover until something else caught the media's eye.
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2014, 21:17:18 »

Maybe, if this government is a little less 'tone deaf" to bad PR than were past ones. I recall when sailors and soldiers in Esquimalt (from the fleet, Dockyard, Naden and Work Point) were going to food banks. There was a bit of hand wringing in the media but it all blew over quickly and the government of the day just ducked and stayed under cover until something else caught the media's eye.

Touché
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Offline misratah500

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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2014, 21:22:37 »
I just got a talk from my CO yesterday about optics. And how we look to civilians and how we have it really good. And he talked to the CDS when he was out here for Regina's departure. The CDS said that our pay and our pension were seen as safe things but in the time of fiscal restraint other perks could possibly be adjusted (PLD, Sea Pay, other small benefits)

The key thing was, he kept coming back to the word "optics" in terms of how the civilians see us. If they see we get all these things then they think it will look bad upon us. That's why other adjustments were made to our navy life, such as sliders, parking changes, blue boat, and work hours extension. It was about optics to the civilians as to why do we get off early and why do we get all these little perks like a free blue boat.

I told my captain it wasn't fair for us to be compared to the civilians. We aren't civilians, they don't go away for up to a 8 months at a time, they don't stand a 1 in 8 duty watch when our ship is low on crew, they don't have unlimited liability. So instead of cutting all these little things back that make the military worth it for some people maybe they could concentrate on explaining to the civilians what we do and why we should have these nice little things.  It seems like no one is going to bat for us sometimes.

I think it took alot of balls with what this guy did and I know he got his bag hammered for it. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I know if they wiped PLD out here in Victoria maybe people would be devastated as is the expense of the housing/rental market here in Victoria.

We had a few chiefs in the discussion saying that they have to be careful how the tread with all these things like PLD and such. Guys with their 20+ years in could just decide to walk out the door and the military would lose alot of experience.

Personally all these changes suck, but I understand kinda why they do it. I mean the military is opening to sacrifice the little things to preserve the big things (pay and pension). I'm happy with my pay and I'm very happy with a pension especially in today's economies. If they were ever to start messing with our pensions though I think I would start to change my mind about the military.  Even though I have too much invested in the navy now to release, but I have guys under me that would have no such qualms on moving onto other sectors of employment. Notibly the Oil/gas industry and trades.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 21:25:29 by misratah500 »

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2014, 21:24:10 »
Touché


No, just a long memory.

The public doesn't really give a tinker's damn about the military, all the red t-shirts and yellow ribbons are just "feel good" fluff and nonsense. Their "support" for the troops may be a mile wide but it's less than an inch deep.

And politicians care only about what matters to the public.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2014, 22:27:56 »
This guy made himself a martyr, but I applaud his nuts for standing up for the injustice that is our PLD system. Either they fix PLD, or they start changing the pay scales for troops posted to certain areas to meet market conditions.

I think the issue really is that CFHA is making money hand over fist on sub-standard PMQs that bleed heat in the winter. Its not his rent increase (which critics will say is capped at 25% of his base pay), but that he's probably putting out half that amount or more in heating costs every month.

"Fair market value" should start taking into account the sad state of some of the PMQs. Either CFHA needs to dissolve and get out of RHUs all together, or step up and start providing an actual service to troops posted to bases. Charging $1500 a month for a 1000 sq ft house with no basement and newspaper insulation is just shady.

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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2014, 22:38:24 »
Charging $1500 a month for a 1000 sq ft house with no basement and newspaper insulation is just shady.

Not to mention the place has probably been paid for 1000 times over......
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2014, 22:41:14 »
"Making money hand over fist"?

Actually, on revenues of $97M (of which $91M were shelter charges), CFHA ran a $17M deficit in the fiscal year ended 31 March 2013.  (http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/about-reports-pubs/housing-annual-report-2013.page)
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2014, 22:42:40 »
Bad management one would assume.
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #58 on: January 10, 2014, 23:03:00 »
... Charging $1500 a month for a 1000 sq ft house with no basement and newspaper insulation is just shady.

And don't forget the "taxable benefit" bit for your T4s.  We'll cap your shelter charge at 25% of your "lower than the oil workers in your area" pay, but because those oil workers have driven up the housing market with their great pay, your "fair market value" rent should actually be $1700.00 a month --- so, we're going to further slam you on your T4s with a "taxable benefit" of the $200.00 bucks a month difference ... $1200.00 a year on your taxes.

I think the real issue is that CFHA needs to pull their heads out of their asses.  A 1000 square foot 3 bedroom military PMQ that costs $327.00 bucks a month to heat to 17 degrees because it doesn't have an ounce of insulation in it and 20-25 year old windows IS NOT on par "fair market value" with the modern, updated, insulated, 1000 square foot home that the civilian is living in for 1700.00 bucks a month and heating for relative pennies. 

It's sad and it's been an issue for years.  One of the major things the CF did wrong years ago in handing these things over to a contractor to manage on our behalf IMO.

And PLD ... they promised that this would be reviewed anually.  When exactly did the last review occur?  ::)   It's been years and troops who should be getting much better than they are - are not, and some areas are therefore continuing to receive many more dollars in PLD than they should be.  Time for a review and an overhaul of the PLD system --- and for the formula they utilize for figuring it out to be transparent, factual, and PUBLISHED because I don't know a single serving soul who actually can tell you what that "formula" is.  We all know what it takes into account, but the results always have us scratching our heads as to how they actually formulate those factors.

Disclaimer:  I do not, nor have I ever been posted into a base that receives PLD (less Halifax, but PLD did not exist when I was there centuries ago).  Nor do I require any ... but I`m member of a DINK and I know that if I was early into my career at a place like Esquimault or Cold Lake I would certainly require it.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 23:06:48 by ArmyVern »
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #59 on: January 10, 2014, 23:10:19 »
Just as an example in Kingston, I paid $71 (equal billing) to heat a PMQ that was roughly 1000 sq ft with no basement. I move to a new build, at 1500 sq ft not including the basement and now pay $57 a month. I consider myself lucky my Q heat was only $71 bucks, original equal billing was well over $90.

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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #61 on: January 10, 2014, 23:53:01 »
Some bedtime reading:

http://www.ombudsman.forces.gc.ca/en/ombudsman-news-events-media-news/release-cold-lake.page

Thanks for posting the link to the Ombudsman's report.  Alas, it is even worse there than I thought:

Quote

Military housing rents in Cold Lake are roughly double that of comparable Air Force bases in Greenwood, Nova Scotia and Bagotville, Quebec.
 
Military homes at CFB Cold Lake were mostly built 60 years ago.
 
Only 18 of 853 of military homes (Residential Housing Units) are assessed as being in good condition; 486 in fair condition; 349 in poor condition.
 
828 homes have warnings of possible asbestos (in vermiculite insulation) in sealed-off attics.
 
640 homes have ungrounded electrical outlets.
 
250 homes have running water throughout the winter to prevent freezingpipes.

Sigh.

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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #62 on: January 10, 2014, 23:58:54 »
Asbestos is fair market value. You can resell it if you don't get cancer first....

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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #63 on: January 11, 2014, 05:40:37 »
The CDS said that our pay and our pension were seen as safe things but in the time of fiscal restraint other perks could possibly be adjusted (PLD, Sea Pay, other small benefits)
Sea Pay, Land Duty Allowance, Dive Pay, Parachutist Pay, etc  all need to be looked at.  These pay bonuses for having one's name listed against a certain line in HRMS should be replaced with an enhanced variation of their casual allowance. 

I don’t advocate this as a cost saving measure.  It is about paying for the behaviour/act desired.

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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #64 on: January 11, 2014, 06:41:39 »
Sea Pay, Land Duty Allowance, Dive Pay, Parachutist Pay, etc  all need to be looked at.  These pay bonuses for having one's name listed against a certain line in HRMS should be replaced with an enhanced variation of their casual allowance. 

I don’t advocate this as a cost saving measure.  It is about paying for the behaviour/act desired.

Are you advocating personnel be paid only the days they are in he field, at sea etc
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #65 on: January 11, 2014, 06:47:26 »
It seems all the benefits, or perks as someone has mentioned before that we receive are being eliminated or modified and the main reasons seems to be because the civilians don't get them. Is this jealousy on someones part and who is fighting for us to keep these benefits and saying enough is enough.
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #66 on: January 11, 2014, 06:50:55 »
Are you advocating personnel be paid only the days they are in he field, at sea etc
Yes.

(New Daily Rate) = 12 x (Current Monthly Rate)/(Average # o'Days at sea/in field per year for allowance recepients)

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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #67 on: January 11, 2014, 07:01:02 »

No, just a long memory.

The public doesn't really give a tinker's damn about the military, all the red t-shirts and yellow ribbons are just "feel good" fluff and nonsense. Their "support" for the troops may be a mile wide but it's less than an inch deep.

And politicians care only about what matters to the public.

Concur and heartily agree.
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #68 on: January 11, 2014, 07:53:37 »
Maybe, if this government is a little less 'tone deaf" to bad PR than were past ones ....
Well, if THIS doesn't catch the eye of someone at "the centre" ....

.... nothing will.

Either way, methinks someone's going to get a talking to (a chat without bisquits?) about representing themselves as a member of the CAF outside work.
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #69 on: January 11, 2014, 08:14:33 »
Well, if THIS doesn't catch the eye of someone at "the centre" ....

.... nothing will.

Either way, methinks someone's going to get a talking to (a chat without bisquits?) about representing themselves as a member of the CAF outside work.

I really don't know what can be done if his CoC wanted admin or discipline action. 

I know if I was him I would understand I just fired huge salvo at employer and have upped the ante.  If I was him I would continue to talk to the press, it's about the only thing he has.  He has to hope public compassion will keep him free from correcting measures.

Alas ERC is right... This will only last until The new news buds in.
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #70 on: January 11, 2014, 09:16:15 »
Sea Pay, Land Duty Allowance, Dive Pay, Parachutist Pay, etc  all need to be looked at.  These pay bonuses for having one's name listed against a certain line in HRMS should be replaced with an enhanced variation of their casual allowance. 

I don’t advocate this as a cost saving measure.  It is about paying for the behaviour/act desired.

And yet still doesn't help this airman make ends meet to feed his family.

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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #71 on: January 11, 2014, 09:18:35 »
Well, if THIS doesn't catch the eye of someone at "the centre" ....

.... nothing will.

Either way, methinks someone's going to get a talking to (a chat without bisquits?) about representing themselves as a member of the CAF outside work.

I would like to believe that this guy has run out of both options and hope to drive him to such a desperate and, ultimately, career destructive action.  The bean counters seem to be hell bent on making it near impossible for those who want to serve to do so.
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #72 on: January 11, 2014, 09:40:22 »
Here's the problem: someone in NDHQ, someone important and someone who actually cares ~ say the VCDS, see this and says to the three or four striper who runs his "office," his Chief of Staff, "What the hell is gong on. Get the right people to tell me how this lad got into this mess and how we're going to help get him out."

The COS gets on with it: a few urgent memos (e-mails, now, I suppose) are fired off and a 20 minute block is cleared on the VCDS' calendar for a day a week or so from now.

Meanwhile new crises (and they all feel like real crises in the hot-house environment of the 13th floor of Fort Fumble) pop up ~ several a day ~ which demand the attention of the VCDS and his COS.

A week or so later a briefing team arrives in the VCDS' ante room ~ they are nowhere near as busy as he is and they have prepared a soothing, plausible, fact filled briefing ~ signed off by two or three two stars and an ADM or two ~ that will explain that there are systems in place, not perfect, but really quite good, and the CF member in question has some problems of his own making and he has failed to use the system properly and, anyway, there are detailed staff studies underway which will, almost certainly, come up with even better systems but NDHQ, indeed the whole Government of Canada, cannot down tools and fix one problem ... and, and. and ... nearly ad infinitum.

Just before the briefing is due to end the COS will whisper that the DM wants to see the VCDS ASP about another, even more serious problem, so the one, important question the VCDSC was about to ask ("How can we help this guy, now?") will fall by the wayside. The VCDS will, almost absent mindedly thank the briefers and will hustle down the hall to deal with the next issue.

Everyone, including the VCDS' COS will put a check mark in the boxes saying "Problem Seen," "Briefing Given," and "Problem Solved."
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #73 on: January 11, 2014, 10:24:24 »
Here's the problem: someone in NDHQ, someone important and someone who actually cares ~ say the VCDS, see this and says to the three or four striper who runs his "office," his Chief of Staff, "What the hell is gong on. Get the right people to tell me how this lad got into this mess and how we're going to help get him out."

The COS gets on with it: a few urgent memos (e-mails, now, I suppose) are fired off and a 20 minute block is cleared on the VCDS' calendar for a day a week or so from now.

Meanwhile new crises (and they all feel like real crises in the hot-house environment of the 13th floor of Fort Fumble) pop up ~ several a day ~ which demand the attention of the VCDS and his COS.

A week or so later a briefing team arrives in the VCDS' ante room ~ they are nowhere near as busy as he is and they have prepared a soothing, plausible, fact filled briefing ~ signed off by two or three two stars and an ADM or two ~ that will explain that there are systems in place, not perfect, but really quite good, and the CF member in question has some problems of his own making and he has failed to use the system properly and, anyway, there are detailed staff studies underway which will, almost certainly, come up with even better systems but NDHQ, indeed the whole Government of Canada, cannot down tools and fix one problem ... and, and. and ... nearly ad infinitum.

Just before the briefing is due to end the COS will whisper that the DM wants to see the VCDS ASP about another, even more serious problem, so the one, important question the VCDSC was about to ask ("How can we help this guy, now?") will fall by the wayside. The VCDS will, almost absent mindedly thank the briefers and will hustle down the hall to deal with the next issue.

Everyone, including the VCDS' COS will put a check mark in the boxes saying "Problem Seen," "Briefing Given," and "Problem Solved."

So sadly your saying support for us even inside the beast is a mile wide and an inch deep.
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Re: Rising housing costs at CFB Cold Lake prompt one soldier to busk
« Reply #74 on: January 11, 2014, 10:26:42 »
There is a fundamental issue here. PLD is supposed to be recalculated regularly. And it isn't. That isn't the fault of the airmen living in Cold Lake, or the fault of the RCAF (who would probably be quite happy to survey the cost of living on their own bases). Or even the team who are responsible for the annual recalculations of PMQ rent, who HAVE been doing their job, every year.

The recalculations are supposed to be done by the centre, in Ottawa. And, for whatever reason, that hasn't been happening.