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Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Volume 663: debated on Monday 8 July 2019

18. What steps she is taking to improve (a) pay and (b) industrial relations in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. (911780)

Members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary are MOD civil servants. Their terms and conditions, including their pay, are subject to civilian rules for the wider public sector. As such, pay is subject to HM Treasury civil servant pay guidance. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary continues to engage with the maritime trade unions and has further meetings planned to discuss pay.

I point out to the Minister that in 2018 the Royal Fleet Auxiliary carried out about 64% of the tasks credited to the Royal Navy. Nevertheless, the pay cap, which has been lifted for Royal Navy personnel, is being maintained for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. We in this House value the contribution and dedication of the seafarers who keep our Royal Navy at sea. What steps has the Minister taken to resolve the current dispute?

I think it is fair to say that the whole House values the role of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Indeed, last summer I spent the most fascinating week on board RFA Mounts Bay in the Caribbean to see the work being done in preparation for the hurricane season. I have explained the conditions under which the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s pay is reviewed, as civil servants, but I reassure the House that of course we would like to see a constructive end to this dispute, and I am confident that that will be the case.