The Staff Association has again called on CSIRO management to start negotiations for a new enterprise agreement, to replace the current deal which is due to expire in August this year.
Ready to roll
Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski wrote to Chief Executive Dr Megan Clark last December, enclosing a copy of the union’s bargaining position and formally requesting a start date for negotiations.
“We know from experience that it’s best to be prepared early and ahead of time,” Mr Popovski said.
“The vast majority of CSIRO employees want the Enterprise Agreement process to run smoothly and according to timetable.
“Delays are sometimes unavoidable, but there’s no excuse for a lack of preparation.
“I want to thank all of the Staff Association members and delegates for their work late last year in developing our bargaining position,” Mr Popovski said.
Nearly a thousand union members participated in an online survey over November, indicating their preferences and priorities for the upcoming bargaining round.
The results helped form the basis of the Staff Association’s bargaining position, which was then released for further consultation and endorsement through a process that included workplace meetings and an online ballot.
“Members then exercised their democratic rights by voting on the Staff Association’s bargaining position, which was endorsed by an overwhelming majority of electors, some 91 per cent,” Mr Popovski said.
Mr Popovski said the process led to the development of a bargaining position that is “reasonable, fair and representative.”
CSIRO Deputy Chief Craig Roy responded to the Staff Association on 24 December 2013, confirming receipt of the union’s bargaining position and stating that management were “undertaking planning and preparations for the development of the next Enterprise Agreement.”
Mr Roy set out a number of hurdles that management had still to clear, including approval of their own bargaining position by the Executive Team, Board and the Industry Minister.
While Mr Roy did not nominate a date for the commencement of negotiations, he did invite Staff Association representatives to meet in early February to discuss preliminary matters.
No time to waste
Mr Popovski said that while preliminary discussions would begin next week. “We’ll be seeking a clear start date for negotiations at this meeting,” Mr Popovski said.
“There’s no time to waste, in our opinion. Management really need to get a move on and help get things rolling,” he said.