Following today’s rejection of the Defence Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Gai Brodtmann is calling on the Abbott-Turnbull Government to live up to its commitments made in the Defence White Paper.
“Malcolm Turnbull and Marise Payne’s 2016 Defence White Paper made clear how important it is to retain high-quality, experienced staff,” Ms Brodtmann said.
“The Department of Defence is home to some of the most highly skilled, highly qualified public servants in the country, many of whom are former ADF members. The White Paper says ‘the quality of our people is the foundation of Defence’s capability, effectiveness and reputation.’
“The White Paper also notes it is crucial ‘to ensure that the employment offers to Defence staff remain competitive to attract and retain the right number of people with the skills Defence requires.’
“The Abbott-Turnbull Government has already cut thousands of jobs in the Department of Defence. This offer would have seen inflation cut a hole in the wages of Defence staff.
“The Abbott-Turnbull Government needs to back down from its aggressive industrial agenda and honour its commitment to treat Defence staff fairly and with respect.
“There is a pathway to resolving the bargaining impasse but that pathway can’t be paved with cuts to pay, rights and conditions.
“Labor’s approach to a workplace bargaining policy in government would be very different to the current Liberal approach.
“If the Government fails to live up to its rhetoric, it will reveal its commitment to Defence staff was not worth the White Paper it was printed on.”
WEDNESDAY 2 MARCH 2016