Compensation cut for elite soldiers if injuries last more than 180 days

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Compensation cut for elite soldiers if injuries last more than 180 days

Post by Accer on Thu 09 Nov 2017, 11:05 am

CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Wednesday, November 8, 2017 10:19PM EST

Elite soldiers involved in Canada’s most dangerous and secretive military operations could now lose a special monthly allowance if they are sick or injured for more than 180 days, CTV News has learned.

The Department of National Defence quietly rolled out the policy in September.

The new rules mean that personnel with the Canadian Special Operations Forces -- many of whom work on top-secret missions across the globe -- will lose the special compensation if illness or injury restricts their duties for more than 180 days.

Paratroopers, submarine crews, pilots and air crews, rescue technicians and ships’ crews are also among the affected.
Sources tell CTV News the Department of National Defence is now enforcing the policy, and pay is being clawed back with little warning.

But those most affected by the controversial policy can't speak publicly because their identities remain secret. Some have told CTV’s Mercedes Stephenson that they're frustrated and don't understand why they are taking a financial hit over temporary injuries.

The Canadian Forces is defending the new rules and says the pay in question is linked to specific duties that troops must be able to perform to qualify.

Lieutenant-General Charles Lamarre said the policy is “a question of fairness.”

“But we still want to give them a good period of time in which they can get better in roughly half a year,” Lamarre said. “And if they can't, that allowance will be removed.”

Critics say the policy could place undue stress on soldiers, who may feel pressured to hide their injuries or rush back to work before they are better.

Conservative defence critic James Bezan called the move hypocritical as the Liberal government says it’s prioritizing mental health.

“They are again saying one thing and doing another that undermines not only the Canadian Armed Forces, but the health of our soldiers,” Bezan said.

The new policy could translate to a loss of more than $23,000 in pay over six months for a JTF-2 assaulter.
Chris Dupee, a veteran who has struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, says he understands the government’s position.

“I get both sides. I understand the economics of taking away the allowance if you're not deployable I get all that,” he said.

But he also knows that losing the monthly allowance is a hard blow to military families.

“That's a big chunk taken out of your family income that you've grown used to,” Dupee said.

Dupee worries that soldiers who require time to recover may be counting down the days they have left to get back on the job, even if they’re not ready.

“That's a clock that's ticking. That's something that's going to be constantly embedded into that individual's mind, right? And that's going to be a huge stress,” he said.

Former Special Forces Commander Steve Day said the policy will have serious consequences on the forces.

“It will become a morale issue and without a doubt it will affect retention,” Day said.

“We may unfortunately start seeing soldiers and sailors, air men and air women, hiding their injuries if they know that potentially some of their financial compensation is at risk.”

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/compensation-cut-for-elite-soldiers-if-injuries-last-more-than-180-days-1.3669908#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=Facebook&_gsc=cgF1qJE

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Re: Compensation cut for elite soldiers if injuries last more than 180 days

Post by JAFO on Fri 10 Nov 2017, 10:47 am

I know I'm going to catch flack over this but it's called an "allowance" not "salary".

If you can't live up to the health standards then why should they keep the allowance? Allowance's come and go and it's part of the job. Always has been always will be.

Now what I don't agree with is the DND making this a retroactive situation. This is the issue that needs to be fought and fought hard.

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Re: Compensation cut for elite soldiers if injuries last more than 180 days

Post by Nemo on Fri 10 Nov 2017, 3:28 pm

Yes, I agree JAFO. What people are missing is this is an allowance and not a salary. And they are giving 6 months before they cut it off. But it is so wrong to make this retroactive.

Now, I have looked up JTF2 which was in it's infancy in the mid 90's when I got out. There are Special Operations Coxswain and above them is the guys that do everything and that is the Special Operations Assaulter.

Now, the allowances for JTF increase with time in. And they are monthly allowances which means that in Canada or outside of Canada, they get these allowances every month. And that is to take into consideration the extensive and difficult training that they do on an almost daily basis.

Now, as most of you will know, there is also a soldier's annual salary. And some that get an annual salary also have spec pay included in that. Many trades like Admin and infanteer get no spec pay. And then there are those that are Specialist 1 like MP and ATIS Tech . And above them is Specialist 2 which includes trades like NDT Tech and SAR tech. And this spec pay belongs to them for as long as they remain in their trade. It is part of their salary and NOT and allowance.

Now, I don't see a Specialist pay specific to Special Operations Assaulters or Special Operations Coxswains. But I would think that Special Operations Assaulters or Special Operations Coxswains should be the only trade within what would have to be a newly created Specialist 3 trade. And they would keep that spec pay for as long as they remained a Special Operations Assaulter or Special Operations Coxswains, even in medical circumstances.

But I think if you are 6 months off your trade due to medical reasons, then 6 months is plenty to still receive your allowances.

But if Special Operations Assaulters or Special Operations Coxswains are not designated specialist trades so that their annual salary without allowances is above that of an NDT Tech or SAR Tech, that should be made so.

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Re: Compensation cut for elite soldiers if injuries last more than 180 days

Post by Accer on Sun 12 Nov 2017, 11:14 am

Sajjan 'looking into' allowance cut for ill, injured soldiers after 180 days

CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:47PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, November 11, 2017 8:53PM EST

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says he is looking into a change in policy that sees a special monthly allowance cut for some soldiers if illness or injury keeps them off the job for roughly six months.

As of Sept. 1, the Department of National Defence has stopped paying a special monthly allowance for those in high-risk and high-readiness operations, after they have spent 180 days off the job due to illness or injury.

The policy is retroactive, so allowances already paid are being clawed back.

Sajjan told CTV’s Omar Sachedina on Remembrance Day in Ottawa that he’s “looking into it.”

“As I get more information on it, we’re going to make sure that our people are looked after here,” Sajjan said.

Sajjan added that his department’s “number one priority” is its people.

“We’ll always look at any one-off situations that might inadvertently create a negative or stress on a family and we’ll make sure we rectify things,” he said.

Critics say that cut in compensation -- which could amount to more than $23,000 over six months for Canada’s most elite commandos -- would force some veterans to return to work before their injuries are properly healed.

The new rules affect personnel with the Canadian Special Operations Forces, paratroopers, submarine crews, pilots and air crews, rescue technicians and ships’ crews.

Earlier this week, Lieutenant-General Charles Lamarre with the Canadian Forces said the pay was linked to certain duties that soldiers must be able to perform to qualify.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/politics/sajjan-looking-into-allowance-cut-for-ill-injured-soldiers-after-180-days-1.3674127
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Re: Compensation cut for elite soldiers if injuries last more than 180 days

Post by ScottyG on Sun 12 Nov 2017, 7:08 pm

This practice has been around for many years. You lost your flying pay when you moved to a ground position or were medically grounded for long periods of time. Then, they, the bosses in many cases never submitted the paper work and members continued to get paid the extra allowances.
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