Management restate attack on CSIRO working conditions

Management have used the last set of formal negotiations for the year to restate their commitment to cut the working conditions of CSIRO staff and strip content from the enterprise agreement.

Despite nearly four months since the nominal expiry date of the current agreement having expired, management are no closer to outlining a position on pay, no closer to offering costings for scrutiny and no closer to nominating a timeframe for putting an agreement to staff for consideration.

But pressure to break the deadlock is building  – both inside CSIRO and across the public sector.

More detail on cuts emerge

Management revealed that they have costed a number of proposed cuts they believe could help to finance an (undisclosed) pay rise.

  • Proposed cuts to redundancy rights – includes reducing eight weeks of paid entitlements, cuts to income maintenance and retention provisions.
  • An increase in total working hours – based on minutes worked per day
  • Shortening or removing the annual shut down
  • Cutting an additional day of Christmas leave

However the size of these so-called savings remains unclear, as management refused to release the details of the costings.

Not so accommodating

In a move that will particularly concern staff currently affected by site consolidation, management have indicated a desire to strip content relating to accommodation changes from the enterprise agreement into unenforceable CSIRO policy.

The agreement currently states that “CSIRO will provide officers with accommodation suitable for their work role and function.”

Management propose to remove this clause from the agreement, leaving no legal recourse for staff should accommodation changes result in unsuitable relocation.

Pressure to change

Both inside CSIRO and across the public sector, resistance to the Government’s unfair bargaining policy continues to grow.

Over a thousand CSIRO staff recently signed a pledge calling on senior leaders to reject the Government’s inflexible framework, sending a clear message to incoming Chief Executive Larry Marshall to urgently change course.

Staff at Employment Minister Eric Abetz’s own department are set to reject a management offer that seeks to cut conditions in return for a below-inflation pay increase.

Meanwhile 15,000 Department of Human Services (DHS) employees – Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support workers – will today begin their campaign of protected industrial action to defend their pay and conditions against the Government’s regressive agenda.

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