The Staff Association negotiating team recently met with CSIRO management for another round of enterprise agreement negotiations.
However management’s decision to follow the Government’s restrictive bargaining framework continues to frustrate real progress.
The Government’s policy – which seeks to cut pay, working conditions and employee protections – is beginning to sow discord between employers and employees across the entire public sector.
Sign the Pledge, send a message
A key feature of the Staff Association’s pledge activity calls on the senior leadership of CSIRO – including new Chief Executive Larry Marshall – to reject the Government’s bargaining framework and negotiate an agreement that protects working conditions.
By signing the pledge, CSIRO staff can send a clear message to management that cuts to rights, conditions and pay will not be tolerated.
Still no position on pay
Despite three months having passed since the nominal expiry of the current agreement, CSIRO management have yet to reveal their position on pay and refuse to nominate a timeframe to do so.
It’s a picture mirrored across much of the public service as the Government’s agenda continues to frustrate the ability of all parties to bargain effectively while delivering – via a ban on back pay – an effective pay cut.
Management are still intent on stripping more than half of the existing content out of the enterprise agreement into policy; thereby removing legal protections for CSIRO working conditions in the process and making it possible to change these conditions at any time without agreement.
DHS members start to fight back
Meanwhile, employees at the Department of Human Services (DHS) have started to push back, with more than 10,000 staff voting to escalate their campaign for a fair agreement.
In a stunning repudiation of the Government’s bargaining policies, CPSU members in DHS voted nine-to-one in favour of a campaign of protected industrial action, protesting proposals that would make deep cuts to working conditions in return for annual pay rise of less than 1 per cent.
More than three quarters of CPSU members eligible to vote took part in the ballot and no fewer than 90 per cent who voted clearly endorsed a range of options including work bans, stop work meetings and strike action.
“This should deliver a wake-up call to Mr Abbott and Senator Eric Abetz – you can’t treat your staff like this and get away with it,” CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said.