Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2012 Contents ‘Yes’ DECA vote means pay rise
By Lisa Smallacombe
THE majority of Defence’s Australian Public Service people
have voted “yes” to the Defence Enterprise Collective
Agreement (DECA) 2012-2014.
The vote provider, Orima research Pty Ltd, advises the
breakdown of the vote, which took place from March
28-30, was that 73 per cent of voters approved the
proposed DECA. 12,598 employees voted “yes” and 4,663
Defence public service employee participation in the
vote was high, with 23,134 people – 74.6 per cent of the
workforce – taking part in the voting process.
Head People Policy, Philippa Crome, says through DECA
2012-2014 Defence has sought to recognise the hard
work and dedication of all public service employees in the
“DECA 2012-2014 has maintained Defence’s position in
the top quartile of public service salaries, will recognise and
reward performance, and support work-life balance through
flexible work practices and leave options,” Philippa says.
“The inclusion of two lump sum payments in the offer has
also sought to reward the hard work of the public service
workforce in achieving outcomes in the lead up to the
DECA, through strategic reform, as well as throughout the
life of the DECA.”
Philippa says Defence is continuing to enhance learning and
development options to professionalise the public service
“We’re also continuing work on the Technical regulatory
Framework Workforce review, which will seek to ensure
appropriate recognition of responsibilities, authorities and,
where appropriate, delegations, in undertaking engineering
and technical roles effectively,” she says.
“DECA 2012-2014 is a solid offer that builds on the last
DECA and delivers on the commitments we have made to
our workforce through our people strategies.”
Defence still has some work to do to finalise DECA
2012-2014 and it will not be official until seven days after
Fair Work Australia approves the enterprise agreement.
Philippa says Defence is working to deliver the pay rise as
soon as possible. Defence anticipates it could be effective
on May 10, with the public service workforce seeing the
salary increase in their pay on May 24. The first of the two
lump sum payments ($800) could be paid as early as
Defence public service people voted
‘yes’ to the 2012-2014 DECA between
Photo: Lauren Black
Personal accountability key in
workplace health and safety changes
A nATIOnALLY harmonised Work Health and Safety
Act replaced the Occupational Health and Safety Act on
The new laws are intended to provide greater certainty
and consistency across Australia, and cover the diverse
arrangements often found in the modern workplace.
Director General of the Work Health and Safety Branch,
Lindsay Kranz, says the changes have provided Defence
with the ideal opportunity to review the existing safety risk
management processes in all workplaces.
“There are a number of changes in the work health and
safety legislation that have impacted on Defence, and these
required a cultural change,” Lindsay says.
“The new Act emphasises safety as a personal
responsibility. The application of individual responsibility
for safety in the workplace, the introduction of criminal law
for certain safety breaches, the availability of infringement
notices and associated individual penalties and the need for
assurance systems impact on Defence and the way it does
“Defence leaders not only have a legal, ethical and moral
obligation to embrace this important reform, they know
the value of committing to health and safety as a strategic
imperative. This commitment is being demonstrated at all
levels in Defence.”
Under the Work Health and Safety Act, all employees are
referred to as ‘workers’, an all encompassing term that
includes any person who performs work for Defence in
any capacity. This removes many of the limitations of the
former legislation. Some managers and workers will also
be ‘officers’, which in Defence has been established at
the Secretary, Chief of the Defence Force, Chief Operating
Officer, Service Chief and Group Head levels.
“The new laws make it simpler for all officers and workers to
practise their roles, responsibilities and rights, regardless of
their location within the Defence community,” Lindsay says.
“The new laws mean we now have workplaces where every
worker has greater involvement in, and ownership of, work
health and safety matters. Defence is a safety conscious
organisation but we still have a way to go as people are still
being injured at work.”
Preparation for the new regime began in 2009, with the
Work Health and Safety Branch helping people across the
organisation with preparations for the changeover. Each
group and service has a change management program in
place and is working towards delivering safe workplaces
that meet or exceed the objectives of the new legislation.
The national regulator, Comcare, has indicated that
Defence has achieved substantial progress given the size
and complexity of the organisation.
An intensive program of work is under way to review and
update documents, safety systems, policies and strategies,
while a communication program has focused on educating
Defence people on various elements of the change
“Defence has come a long way in the past eight months
and is well advanced in its preparations to deliver safe
workplaces consistent with the work health and safety
legislation,” Lindsay says.
“However, there remains a substantial amount of work to
be done. If Defence does not embrace the opportunity for
change as a result of the new legislation, it will fail to protect
its people from workplace injury or illness and exposes itself
to enforcement action by the regulator.”
The branch has established a portal devoted to work health
and safety on its website.
New Workplace Health and
Safety legislation came into
effect on January 1, providing
greater certainty and
consistency across the country.
Photo: Department of Defence
aT a gLaNCE
safety is an individual’s
criminal law may be
applied for certain safety
infringement notices and
individual penalties may
be applied for certain
employees are referred
to as ‘workers’,
meaning any person
who performs work for
Defence in any capacity
and workers are
now ‘officers’, which
in Defence means
Service Chief and Group
new conference facilities at Russell
THE space that formerly housed the three mess facilities
at Russell Offices is being transformed into a conference
centre that will contribute to savings and provide a much-
needed facility for all Canberra-based people.
The mess facilities were closed in november last year as
part of the Defence-wide Hospitality and Catering review, a
strategic reform initiative.
Located on the ground floor of building R2, the centre will
comprise four conference rooms, two seminar / meeting
rooms (which can be combined), and a large breakout area
with Drn access.
Each of the four conference rooms will have video-
teleconference capability, with one featuring a secure VTC
system with the capacity to seat 20 people. The availability
of such a large secure conference room fills a gap in
The two rooms that can be combined offer the flexibility
to conduct large and small seminars, workshops and
conferences, while lecture style seating enables up to 100
people to use the space. The four projectors and screens
enable numerous set-up options. There is also a breakout
area with eight Drn terminals and a kitchenette.
Acting Deputy Secretary Defence Support, Steve
Grzeskowiak, says the centre’s video-conferencing
capability, and capacity to house seminars and workshops,
will result in a reduction in travel costs and external venue
hire, as well as contribute to strategic reform savings.
“The centre demonstrates that there are tangible benefits
to reform, not just in financial terms but in improved
productivity through collaborative workspaces and
improved computer access for our increasingly mobile
workforce,” Steve says.
The centre is scheduled to open on May 1 and an opening
event will be held giving people the opportunity to view
the facilities. Visit the Defence Support Group website for
Once complete, people can book rooms by calling
Conference Centre Bookings on (02) 6265 6500 or email
Issue 2 2012
Issue 2 2012
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