The Australian Government has adjusted the framework for the 2014 Australian Defence Force Workplace Remuneration Arrangement to include provision for personnel to receive a pay increase.
In a joint statement on 4 March, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Defence Minister Kevin Andrews agreed to seek approval from the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal to vary the wage offer for Australian
Defence Force personnel from 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent a year, over the life of the agreement, with effect from the next pay day.
This keeps Australian Defence Force pay above the current annual inflation rate of 1.7 per cent.
Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin said this change would enable him to return to the tribunal to seek the increase.
“I said last year that I would continue to monitor and discuss remuneration arrangements with the Government and return to the tribunal if a better offer was available,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.
“The Government has changed the framework that applies to the Australian Defence Force and I am now aiming to have a submission at the earliest opportunity. If the tribunal agree to this change, the pay rise will be backdated to March 12, 2015.”
Mr Andrews said the amendment more accurately reflected the role Australian Defence Force personnel had in the community.
“We believe there is a special compact between the Australian people and the military, our Defence Forces, and this is an adequate and proper reflection of that,” he said.
“Australian Defence Force personnel are trained and prepared to put their personal safety at risk in the interests of our nation and this should be recognised.”
Mr Abbott said the increase also recognised the sacrifices made by and pressures on Australian Defence Force families.
“We ask a lot of our Defence Forces,” he said.
“We appreciate that Defence families, in particular, make significant sacrifices because their loved ones are away from home for long periods of time and in dangerous, hazardous circumstances - they’re imperilled in a way that most people never are.
“This decision provides certainty to Australian Defence Force personnel and their families, who play such a significant role in supporting them.”
Mr Abbott said the pay increase would cost the Government about $200 million over the next three years.
The Chief of Defence Force has committed to advise Australian Defence Force members as the submission progresses.