Labor has today slammed the Abbott Government over its latest pay offer for 20,000 Defence Department staff.
Staff at the Department of Defence have been offered a below-inflation pay increase of 3.16 per cent over the next three years, averaging to just 1.05 per cent annually.
Defence staff will not only see their real wages fall under this insulting offer, they will also lose a range of conditions.
This appalling offer will also see them lose two days’ leave a year, including Christmas leave.
This unfair deal is worse than what was offered to Australian Defence Force personnel late last year, which sparked community outrage.
Even the Defence Department Secretary Dennis Richardson has labelled this wage offer regrettable.
This latest offer comes as the Abbott Government continues to wage war with public servants over their workplace pay and conditions, underscoring its contempt for the public service.
What’s most concerning is the Abbott Government is using the Australian Public Service as a means to drive all wages down across the country.
We have an Employment Minister that has claimed there is a ‘wages explosion’, yet the facts tell a different story.
Wage growth in Australia has slowed to 2.6 per cent over the last year – the weakest pace on record.
The Abbott Government’s only plan is to suppress wage growth throughout the economy, and it is starting with the public service.
The Australian Public Service simply cannot continue to function effectively when staff are being sacked in droves and those left behind are forced to battle for the most basic workplace entitlements.
Labor will continue to stand up against these attacks on ADF personnel, Defence staff and the broader public service.