The DFRT today (11 October 2017) approved the Workplace Remuneration Arrangement (WRA) for the ADF for the three years to 2020.
See the full determination here.
The key features of the WRA are that it:
a. provides for a three year duration, operating from 2 November 2017 to 11 November 2020;
b. provides an adjustment in the rates of salary and salary related allowances of 6 per cent over the life of the WRA via three annual installments of 2 per cent;
c. applies to all ADF members of the Permanent Forces and Reserves (excluding statutory office holders);
d. applies to salary and salary related allowances;
e. does not trade off, remove or offset any conditions of service or retention initiatives to fund the arrangement or propose to do so;
f. is based solely on the performance of the ADF and has no links to productivity offsets achieved by Defence Australian Public Service in the context of bargaining; and
g. is affordable and to be funded from within Defence’s existing budget.
The DFWA made written and oral submission to the DFRT on this matter, outlining the process it undertook to engage with members and recorded that “most of the people” who sent feedback understood the current economic climate “but made valid points nonetheless to suggest the offer may be considered inadequate compared to anticipated wage growth and cost of living pressures.”
The DFWA examined forecast inflation trends for the next three years to explain their “concern for more junior members of the ADF whose dollar increase is smaller because of their lower wage” but who “are subject to the same cost increases as higher ranking members”.
In the hearing the DFWA expanded on this stating “that while those on higher pay grades will be less vulnerable to these pressures, all will find their standard of living compromised if the projected and modest CPI increases come to pass” and that “a pay increase that fails to keep pace with inflation will eventually impact on morale, retention and recruitment and will ultimately affect the ability to deliver capability.”
In summary the DFWA stated that it gives “reluctant support” to the proposed Arrangement.