Defence families across Australia are not happy about a military wage deal of less than half the rate of inflation and the stripping back of soldiers’ workplace entitlements.
Sunday, 12 October 2014
Just days after the nation’s armed forces were committed to war in Iraq, 57,000 men and women in uniform were told they will have to give up some of their Christmas and recreational leave in order to get the pay rise of just 1.5 per cent a year over the next three years.
Professionals Australia’s ACT Director David Smith said that many service families were extremely upset by the reduction in real wages.
“It’s outrageous. Defence employees, whether they’re civilian or in uniform, go above and beyond. To attack their leave entitlements particularly when they’re more likely to be deployed or are being deployed is outrageous.
“This is an example of how ideological the government is about working conditions for all public sector workers,” said Mr Smith.
The Chief of the Defence Force Mark Binskin told the military on Friday morning that he expected discontent in the ranks over the offer but said it was “as good an outcome as I can negotiate in the current climate”.
ACM Binskin told his troops by email on Friday morning that 1.5 per cent per year was a “fair and reasonable” pay rise in the present environment of wage restraint in the Commonwealth public sector.
Mr Smith said that Defence employees, both civilian and in uniform, are dedicated to national security and the Government was “trading on their commitment”.
“Whether those employees are in the frontline, in critical engineering and science roles, or in other support areas their commitment is the same.
“For the Government to put forward a pay and conditions offer for the ADF that is below inflation and strips members of leave entitlements (and other conditions) is outrageous.
“At a time when members are being deployed their families will have less capacity to pay the bills and they will have less time to spend with their families.
The civilian workforce hasn’t been informed whether this is the position they will be offered. If so Professionals Australia will stand in opposition to it not just for our members but for their colleagues in uniform.
Defence force personnel must give up leave in return for below inflation wage offer, Noel Towell, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Canberra Times, and Brisbane Times, 10 and 11 October 2014. Read more.
Below-inflation pay deal for Australian Defence Force slammed as ‘outrageous’, Daniel Hurst, The Guardian, Read more.