Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 3 2011 Contents 6 DEFENCE MAGAZINE
The proposed 2011 employment
agreement for Defence public ser vice
employees, the Defence Enterprise
Collective Agreement (DECA), received a
‘no’ vote at the end of June.
Defence intends to restart the process
shortly, and the DECA 2009 agreement
will operate until it is replaced.
While Defence is aware that pay was
a determining factor for the ‘no’ vote,
the Director of Defence Workplace
Relations, Mrs Lisa Phelps, said Defence
would explore facotors leading to a
‘no’ vote in greater detail and gain an
understanding from employees of other
Defence will conduct an electronic
survey of APS employees in the coming
Mrs Phelps said lengthy consultation
and bargaining with Defence employees
around Australia occurred during
development of the 2011 proposal.
“I think people are largely happy with
their conditions and many of the issues
that came out of the workshops were
consistent with the previous round of
consultations,” she said.
“It has been great to see so much
engagement in the process.
“The DECA is a part of our plan to
ensure a strong workforce for the future
As temperatures continue to drop across
the country and you and your loved
ones huddle cosily around the heater or
fireplace, spare a thought for those who
aren’t so fortunate.
More than 105,000 Australians are
homeless and in 2006 the Australian
Bureau of Statistics estimated that about
50,256 people are forced to sleep on the
street every night.
To raise awareness and funds to assist
homeless Australians the Secretary of
Defence, Dr Ian Watt, participated in the
St Vincent de Paul Society’s (Vinnies)
CEO Sleepout on June 16.
The annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout takes
place in capital cities across Australia
and challenges business and community
leaders to experience homelessness
firsthand for one night to raise money for
the homeless and help alter widespread
public perceptions of homelessness.
Dr Watt has raised more than $18,000
for the cause, which places him as the
fourth highest ACT-based fundraiser.
At time of print, the national event
had raised $4,082,445.
Dr Watt said 973 CEOs were involved
nationwide and that 152 of them
participated with him at the National
Museum of Australia from 7pm on June
16 to 7am the next morning.
“I’ve always thought the CEO Sleepout
was a great idea. It’s very easy for some
CEOs to donate money, but this actually
required CEOs to do something personal
that inconvenienced them,” Dr Watt said.
“In this case, actions spoke louder than
dollars because the CEO was required to
get actively involved, which is rare among
In 2008, the Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare discovered that 54
per cent of homeless people seeking
supported accommodation were turned
away. Although Vinnies operates a wide
range of homeless ser vices across the
country, many areas remain without
specialist homeless housing ser vices.
Dr Watt said the aim of the Vinnies CEO
Sleepout was not only to raise funds and
awareness but also to promote an end to
“The message of this event was that
inter vention does help – you can make
a significant difference by donating a
relatively small amount of money.
“Participating gave me a better
understanding of what it’s like to be homeless,
which is quite frankly pretty appalling. At
about 4am the temperature dropped to minus
two degrees but Lt-Gen Ken Gillespie had
lent me an Army winter sleeping bag, so that
kept me pretty toasty up until then.
“By 7am I had slept for four hours, so I
was tired and grouchy. I couldn’t wait to
have a shower.”
He said he was pleased to be involved
in the event alongside a number of other
Australian Government Departmental
Secretaries and agency heads.
“I’m thankful for the level of support I
received from Defence and government
DECA voted down
and to ensure that we provide the best
employment offer that is affordable, not
only for current employees but for our
future employees, to deliver a sustainable
“The DECA project team worked hard
on the previous proposal and is ready
to again work hard to develop a DECA
that, whilst still meeting Defence’s
requirements, this time attracts a ‘yes’
vote from our workforce.”
The DECA team will continue to keep
employees informed on the way ahead
and major milestones during DECA
development, and will again consult heavily
employees and their representatives.
Secretary sleeps rough for a cause
By Corporal Melanie Schinkel
The Secretary of Defence, Dr IanWatt, participated in
this year’s sleepout, and has raised more than $18,000.
Photo: Leading Aircraftman Bill Solomou
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