17 October 2023

ADF personnel to receive 11.2 per cent pay rise over three years

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Navy graduation

The ADF will receive a pay rise of 11.2 per cent over three years starting from 9 November. Photo: ADF.

All Australian Defence Force personnel will receive an 11.2 per cent pay rise over three years from 9 November 2023.

The rise was announced on 16 October after the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal agreed to the latest Workplace Remuneration Arrangement (WRA) on 3 October. All ADF members will receive a four per cent pay rise from 9 November 2023, a 3.8 per cent rise in November 2024, and a 3.4 per cent rise in November 2025.

The WRA is the framework that sets out how members receive annual increases to salary and salary-related allowances. The 2023-2026 iteration on the WRA will expire in November 2026.

Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) General Angus Campbell said he was committed to recognising skills and contribution to capability in members’ remuneration, particularly during a period of disruption in Defence as the recommendations of the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) are implemented.

“One of the DSR’s critical priorities is to ensure that we have an integrated force to deliver enhanced combat power,” the CDF said. “To achieve this, we must retain and grow our workforce.”

The pay rise follows efforts by the government to improve retention and recruitment levels in recent months.

One of the six key recommendations of the DSR was to turn around falling recruitment and retention rates as the ADF looks to grow its numbers to be able to operate a slew of new capabilities entering service in the next decade.

READ ALSO ADF to pay bonuses and improve defence housing in a bid to boost personnel retention rates

The challenge of doing so was exemplified in 2021-22 where the ADF not only fell short by 900 in its recruitment targets, but also lost another 900 members more than it had planned for – a net loss of 1800 personnel.

This is at a time when it is looking to increase ADF uniformed numbers by more than 40 per cent by 2040.

In May the government pledged $400 million to establish a continuation bonus scheme for experienced ADF members as an incentive for ongoing service beyond their initial period of return of service obligation (ROSO).

That meant ADF personnel could be eligible for a bonus payment of $50,000 if they sign on for an additional three years past their ROSO period, and the government expected as many as 3400 personnel could benefit from the bonus out to 2027.

The government also committed $2 million towards a review of defence housing policy following increasing interest and rental rates and a shortage of suitable properties to rent or buy.

The ADF’s new total increase and annual breakdowns are the same as that offered by the Australian Public Service Commission to APS workers as part of its protracted negotiations with APS unions.

Original Article published by Andrew McLaughlin on Riotact.

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