COMFAA and DGNP have recently advised the Navy Aviation Community that a review of Aviation Pay has commenced.   The body of the advice was as follows:

“This email is to inform you as a member of the Navy Officer Aviation Community that Navy has commenced a review of Navy Officer Aviation remuneration, and to provide you with information on the review intent.  Some of you may already be aware of the details from a recent briefing at HMAS Albatross.

 As many of you know, the ADF Officer Aviation workforce (including Navy pilots and AvWOs) are currently remunerated under three different salary structures known as: the Graded Officer Pay Structure (GOPS) – Legacy placements, the Graded Officer Pay Structure (GOPS) – Competency placements; and the Officer Aviation Specialist Structure (OASS). 

On 12 Jul 17, Air Force opened a case to the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal (DFRT) to implement a single salary structure called the Officer Aviation Pay Structure (OAPS) for the Air Force Officer Aviation workforce. The Air Force OAPS case was provisionally approved by the DFRT on 16 Aug 17, subject to final consideration of the determination.

The Air Force case centres on building a remuneration system that supports the Air Force new Raise Train Sustain (RTS) Human Resource Management (HRM) strategy for aircrew management.  The case proposes that in a mature state the OAPS will have a pay ‘spine’ that supports multiple competency streams (e.g Fast Jet Pilot , Fixed Wing Pilot, Air Battle Manager etc) that supports retention in a stream and enables transfers between three salary progression pathways (Command, Specialist and Staff). The model requires implementation of a new rank and remuneration model for Junior Officers and employs rank increment ranges from O3 rank through to O6 rank.

Now that the Air Force case has been provisionally approved, implementation of the complex transition plan will take several years, and initial placement of Air Force’s Officer Aviation workforce into the OAPS will be within budget. Members not immediately meeting the automatic transition triggers will continue to be managed and remunerated within GOPS in accordance with the OARS 2009 and its management principles.

Chief of Navy (CN) supported the Air Force submission to the DFRT as an Air Force case, however, CN noted that the case will have wider implications for aviation workforce management across the ADF.   

Within the Air Force OAPS case, Navy has stated that there are some differences between Navy and Air Force aviation workforces, and we acknowledge that the OAPS may well be relevant to Navy aviation in the future for adoption either in its entirety or, with further development in the Navy context.  Navy considers that our aviation workforce provides a unique skill set that is comparable to the highest level within Air Force and not differentiated by brevet or aircraft type. This is based on a number of factors as a result of the unique nature of Navy aviation in relation to the other Services including training requirements, crewing concept, operating environment and autonomy given to Navy Aviation Officers at a junior level.  As a consequence of these unique aspects, Navy has advised the DFRT that we require separate DFRT consideration to the other Services. 

A Navy Officer Aviation Remuneration Review team, managed by Navy People Branch and supported by the FAA, has been established  to develop a remuneration system that will support an effective, efficient and capable Navy aviation workforce.  The review will develop options which will include the potential implementation of OAPS for Navy Aviation Officers.  We anticipate a submission to the DFRT in mid-late 2018. 

The Review is in its early scoping and development phase and our intention is to provide you with updates as appropriate.  The intention is to provide the Navy aviation workforce with the opportunity to provide input via focus groups, interviews and email.  

Key information will be forwarded via email or signal, and an information page, feedback email mechanism and FAQ list will be established on the DNWM Sharepoint with effect 28 Sep 17.

Like Navy, Army supported Air Force’s approach in seeking remunerative outcomes for their Officer Aviation workforce, to give effect to the desired workforce capability.   Army have advised they are undertaking an aviation capability and employment category review, which will influence how Army structures and manages its aviation workforce and they are currently working on a number of options to address remuneration within their aviation workforce. This work is being undertaken in parallel, but separate, to our own Navy review.”

Further information will be provided as it comes to hand.