WRA 2017



ADF members should know that their current ADF Workplace Remuneration Arrangement (WRA) for 2014-2017 will expire later this year, and that a new WRA is in the process of being considered. That means your new salary arrangements will be decided by the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal (DFRT), who will consider positions put by the Commonwealth and the ADF.  For more information on the operation of the DFRT, go to www.dfrt.gov.au

The Tribunal will also listen to the position put by the Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA).  As an independent third party in the DFRT process, working outside of the Defence bureaucracy, we can directly represent your views.

When the 2011 - 2014 WRA was decided in 2011, the DFRT accepted the position of the ADF and the Commonwealth and approved the new salary arrangements.  At that time, the DFWA informed the DFRT of the feedback provided by ADF members which indicated the offer was not supported by a majority of ADF members and of the implications of imposing an unsatisfactory outcome.

  • In coming to its decision, the DFRT recommended that the ADF and Commonwealth explore the possibilities of an alternate method and process for considering and determining future wage arrangements.
  • ADF members should also note that APS arrangements – the DECA – expires on 30 June. It is currently unclear if a new DECA will commence prior to the WRA.
  • ADF members will be briefed on the progress of the new WRA through the chain of command and in a number of “roadshows” at major bases throughout Australia.  Members will also be invited to provide feedback to the Directorate of Military Remuneration.

The DFWA had considerable success in forcing an improvement in the Government's offer in the 2014 WRA case.




WRA DECISION. The DFRT today approved the Workplace Remuneration Arrangement (WRA) for the ADF for the three years to 2020.  The full determination is here. The key features of the WRA are that it:provides an adjustment in the rates of salary and salary related allowances of 6 per cent over the life of the WRA via three annual instalments of 2 per cent.                                        

UPDATE ON THE WRA - 17 AUGUST 2017                       

On 16 August 2017 the Defence Force Renumeration Tribunal sat to consider the Offer made by the Commonwealth and ADF for the ADF Workplace Remuneration Arrangement 2017-2020.  In essence, the Offer provides for three annual increases of 2% in each of the three years of the Arrangement, with no offsets imposed on conditions of service such as allowances, leave etc. 

The Tribunal also considered the formal submission submitted by the Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA).  The submission is available on the DFWA website.  The DFWA received many comments from ADF members, many of which were included in our submissio and we sincerely thank all members for their valuable input.  It allowed the Tribunal to consider direct comments from ADF members and their families.

In summary, the detailed submission presented by the DFWA to the Tribunal concluded:

a. DFWA is firmly of the opinion that the proposed 2/2/2% offer is at best marginally acceptable, as on current projections it will in all probably result in a diminution of spending power for most ADF families, and particularly those on lower pay grades.

b. We are disappointed to see that the Government has pursued a strategy of providing less than the current Treasury forecast for CPI and WPI movement. We believe that, in time, such an approach can only make it more difficult for Defence to recruit and more particularly, to retain the high-quality people it needs in a technological age.

c. Because this matter has been brought pursuant to s58KD of the Defence Act, the Tribunal may only give effect to the WRA, or not. We do not believe rejection would be in the best interests of ADF members and we therefore extend our reluctant support for the Offer.


The Tribunal will now consider the matter and make its decision in due course.  If the Tribunal approves the Offer, the first 2% increase should occur in November 2017.

UPDATE ON THE WRA - 9 and13 JUNE 2017

The DFWA has been advised that the Government and ADF have agreed to present to the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal a proposal that the next three year Workplace Remuneration Arrangement (WRA) for the ADF, commencing November 2017, provides for a 2%pa wage increase for each of the next three years.  Significantly there are to be no “offsets” or conditions of service or entitlements that ADF members will need to offer in recompense. In the current economic environment the DFWA considers the offer is reasonable, and will seek the opinions of its ADF members before presenting its final position to the Tribunal later this year.

ADF members on our mailing list will soon be provded with further information and be invited to provide their views to the DFWA at wra@dfwa.org.au.  As an intervener in the deliberations of the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal's consideration of this matter, the DFWA will take into account the views presented to it by ADF members..

On 13 June 2017 DFWA ussed a Media Release on this matter.


ADF members are advised that the Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA) believes that the WRA process is  essentially on track and is proceeding as expected.

  • It is currently at the CDF/Minister stage, so no specific details are available yet. 
  • We understand the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal (DFRT) will be given a progress report later in June.
  • The ADF will be conducting a number of ‘roadshows’ to all major establishments, most probably in July, to advise as many ADF members as possible details of the proposed Arrangement and give them an opportunity to comment.
  • The intent is to have the DFRT consider the Arrangement prior to the expiry date of the current WRA (November 2017), with a view to having a seamless transition from the current WRA to the new WRA. 

In general, the process to be followed is that the Minister for Defence will need to agree to any proposed pay offer in conjunction with the Minister for Employment, and of course the Department of Finance are involved as well.  Following the consultation phase a final decision on the nature of the Arrangement will be developed in preparation for the DFRT to consider.

As an intervener in the process, the DFWA is taking a keen interest as this matter progresses, and will continue to monitor it closely especially when the actual proposal is released.  Members will recall our involvement in the development of the current WRA when we were able to provide compelling evidence to both the Government and the Tribunal of members’ dissatisfaction with the (then) offer.  This resulted in reconsideration of the quantum and removal of the requirement to offset it with other conditions of service. 


On 8 July 2016, the DFWA issued a media statement suggesting that that ADF Wage Setting Arrangements are "broken".