Defence Force pay deal agreed for uniformed members

Defence Force personnel have won a pay increase from the Abbott government. But the three-year wage deal is still below inflation and cuts some entitlements.

As members of the Australian Defence Force are sent off to fight a new war, they’re being asked to accept an effective pay cut over the next three years and a loss of existing entitlements.

The Mandarin has learned Public Service and Employment Minister Eric Abetz yesterday signed off on a new Workplace Remuneration Arrangement for ADF and Reserve members that cuts entitlements and offers only incremental increases over three years — each below inflation. The first instalment will increase wages by 1.5% on November 4, with subsequent increases in 2015 and 2016.

The new WRA will be presented to the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal next Wednesday by public service commissioner Stephen Sedgwick and Defence Force chief Mark Binskin (pictured with Prime Minister Tony Abbott). Yesterday the Australian Public Service Commission and Defence Minister David Johnson’s office began informing key staff of the decision. The process of informing ADF and Reserve members is expected to begin next week.

The total increase of 4.5% over three years is understood to be the highest deal offered to any department or agency by Abetz, who along with the APSC is responsible for endorsing all public service industrial wage agreements. In contrast, public servants in the Department of Defence are being asked to accept a deal representing a less than 1% increase.

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