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Defence Department secretary Dennis Richardson's new offer to 20,000 staff


Department of Defence Secretary Dennis Richardson outlined the new offer In an email to staff on Tuesday.

Department of Defence Secretary Dennis Richardson outlined the new offer In an email to staff on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Ten months ago Dennis Richardson had “regrets” over his enterprise agreement offer to 20,000 staff.

Now the Defence Department secretary was “pleased” to almost double the pay rise on the negotiating table and keep almost all conditions which were going to be slashed. 

The offer is set to put to death the threat many in Defence feared – that a two-tiered workforce would be created between civilian staff and uniformed personnel if departmental employees were not given a similar pay increase to Australian Defence Force members. 

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In an email to staff at noon on Tuesday, Mr Richardson outlined the new offer of a 6 per cent pay increase over three years.

Unlike the old offer, the new draft agreement on the table will not cut a day of Christmas leave or the second leave day in the agreement and will not add an extra six minutes to the working day.

There will also be no adjustment to the bottom of each salary range.

In what appeared to be an agreement designed for a quick resolution before Christmas, much of the pay rise would be front-loaded with a 3 per cent increase to start as the agreement begins. 

Another 2 per cent would be added in the second year and 1 per cent in the final year.

“We propose to retain core terms and conditions in the current agreement,” Mr Richardson said.

“This includes retaining 20 days of annual leave, 15 days of personal leave, 14 weeks of maternity leave, parental leave as well as all allowances and access to part-time, flexitime and flexible work arrangements.”  

The performance progression rate previously set at 4.2 per cent will be returned to 3.8 per cent.

The progression rate is a pay increase for good performance and under the old offer was going to drop back to 2 per cent. 

In February Mr Richardson wrote to staff: “I regret that the pay offer is significantly below the outcome for ADF personnel which, as you know, is 4.5 per cent over three years, and with zero productivity offsets.”

Not long after he wrote this the ADF pay increase was lifted to 2 per cent a year. 

 



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