After four sessions of formal negotiations for a new CSIRO Enterprise Agreement, it’s time to take stock.
What do we know about management’s agenda? What is the Staff Association’s position? And what do we need to do to protect CSIRO working conditions?
Management’s agenda – what we know so far
CSIRO management have chosen to pursue the Government’s regressive public sector bargaining agenda which aims to strip protections, weaken job security and ransom pay increases at the expense of working conditions. The detail is being drip fed, but here’s what we know of management’s position, so far.
- Redundancy: reduce the redeployment period to one month and cut the written notification period by four weeks – removing a total of eight weeks of paid entitlement. Cuts to the access and amount of income maintenance and scraping retention provisions.
- Terms and Post Docs: remove the term and post doc employment schedule from the enterprise agreement and move it into unenforceable policy, paving the way for many specific conditions to be changed without the agreement of staff.
- Salary progression: overhaul Annual Performance Agreements (APA) so that salary progression only occurs in exceptional circumstances. Removes the concept of fair and reasonable expectation of salary progression, based on meeting agreed standards, opening the door to subjectivity and unfairness.
- Streamlining: management intend to ‘streamline’ the current agreement by removing more than fifty percent of existing content into CSIRO policy – where it cannot be legally enforced and can be changed without the agreement of staff. Many procedures such as consultation, grievance resolution and management of underperformance are in scope.
- Pay increase: still no formal position on pay. However, management have budgeted for only a minimal rise in labour costs over the next three years, comprising of 1 + 1.5 + 2 per cent cost increases.
The Staff Association position
Since day one, the Staff Association has pursued a reasonable and achievable bargaining position developed through a democratic process with members.
The Staff Association’s measured position is focussed on enhancing job security, safeguarding workplace conditions, protecting rights at work and delivering a modest pay rise that keeps pace with cost of living.
As more detail of management’s gloomy vision emerges, the feedback from members has been quite consistent. Staff do not support management’s attack on CSIRO working conditions, especially in a period of massive cuts to jobs and research. Staff are firm in retaining conditions through the continued application of the existing enterprise agreement and will not trade off those conditions for any substandard new agreement.
We will succeed if we work together. The Staff Association is committed to protecting working conditions at CSIRO. Clearly, the more staff that join the union, the stronger our bargaining position in negotiations.
Joining also sends a strong message to management and the Government – attacking jobs, research and working conditions at CSIRO won’t be tolerated and staff will work together to protect Australian science.
If you haven’t yet joined the Staff Association – there’s never been a more important time to become a member. Join today by completing the form overleaf and emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org