Bargaining process hampered by management delays

Ongoing management delays mean CSIRO staff will face a lengthy wait for the start of enterprise agreement negotiations, with senior executives admitting they remain “weeks away” from submitting the necessary paperwork to formally commence the bargaining process.

Staff are ready to bargain

The Staff Association’s bargaining position – built on the survey responses of nearly a thousand members – was formally endorsed last December.

Since then, Staff Association representatives have made repeated requests for management to set out a clear timetable for negotiations to replace the current agreement which is due to expire in August.

In February, management outlined a complex internal process they intend to follow prior to the commencement of formal talks, including pre-approval of their bargaining position by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane.

Management delays

At the start of April, the APSC released an updated version of the Australian Government Bargaining Policy – policy which may influence pay negotiations across the entire federal public sector.

The lack of a government bargaining policy was cited by CSIRO management as a big barrier blocking the finalising of CSIRO management’s bargaining position. Unfortunately, management’s progress since then has been slight.

In a recent meeting with the Staff Association, management representatives confessed they were “weeks away” from finalising the content of their bargaining position, including the financial information underpinning it.

Once complete, management’s bargaining position requires pre-approval from the APSC, the Department of Finance and the Minister’s office before the timetable for negotiations can be set.

Only then would management formally commence the bargaining process by issuing all CSIRO staff with the Notice of Employee Representation Rights, a Fair Work Australia requirement.

How does CSIRO compare?

While similar delays are being experienced across the public sector, some of the science agencies appear to be edging closer to the start of negotiations.

Geoscience Australia, for example, has already issued their employees with the Notice of Employee Representation Rights.

Staff Association representatives understand that the same notification – an important first step in the bargaining process – is due to occur in the Bureau of Meteorology next week.

The Notice of Employee Representation Rights sets out the legal requirements for the bargaining process. Staff Association members who want the union to negotiate on their behalf are automatically represented in bargaining.

Management survey results remain unknown

A report from management’s own staff survey – conducted by private consultants Towers Watson – remains under wraps, despite having been completed several months ago.

In the interests of promoting greater transparency, the Staff Association has formally requested that the survey results be released to all staff as soon as possible.

Management have failed to indicate whether the survey report will be made available to staff or their representatives.

Join today

The Staff Association is determined to protect job security, decent pay and working conditions at CSIRO during the upcoming enterprise agreement negotiations.

If you’re not yet a member, support your colleagues and help strengthen the staff bargaining position by joining today.

Email for more information or talk to your local workplace delegate.

Related news

More information

3 thoughts on “Bargaining process hampered by management delays

  1. Getting a new agreement should be a KPI for the CSIRO Executive team and perhaps it should be measured against Geoscience Australia’s and other agencies performance before they get any more generous bonuses. Rank and file staff are at risk of financial disadvantage by their delays.

  2. The ethical and professional standards of management in relation to these negotiations and other matters should be queried. This seems to be a common theme in relation to management practices and their ‘skill set’.

  3. For those in CSIRO on the path to redundancy where a final termination date is very likely to be late July or later still, will they receive back-dated pay increments after they’ve left the organisation if the EBA has not been finalised? Or is this a sinister reason for delaying, so savings can made on pay increases for 300+ redundant employees?


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