Action to protect CSIRO working conditions and rights looming

Following strong feedback from Staff Association membership meetings around the country, the battle to protect CSIRO working conditions and rights will escalate with moves to apply for a Protected Action Ballot edging a step closer.

Negotiations for a new enterprise agreement at CSIRO – eleven formal meetings over eight months – have effectively stalled with management’s support for the Government’s unworkable bargaining policy proving the major stumbling block.

CSIRO Chief Executive refuses to intervene

Given the impasse, over 1,400 CSIRO staff recently signed a pledge calling on Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall to reject the policy which mandates cuts to working conditions and rights. While acknowledging the ‘challenging times’ facing CSIRO, Dr Marshall has regrettably indicated that management will continue to implement the Government’s regressive bargaining agenda.

Negotiations going nowhere

The current agreement nominally expired last August and CSIRO senior management have had the Staff Association claim for fourteen months. Despite this, management admit they are nowhere near offering a new agreement to staff or even tabling a pay offer at negotiations. However management have repeatedly confirmed their stance to cut a large range of rights and working conditions, in keeping with the Government’s bargaining policy.

Staff are angry and frustrated

Staff Association members recently met in a series of national membership meetings to consider the bargaining impasse, the restrictive role of the Government’s bargaining policy, and the ongoing failure of senior management to stand up for CSIRO staff.

Members also considered the action currently being taken by CPSU members in other parts of the Australian Public Sector to bust the bargaining impasse. Across the country, Staff Association members called for an escalation of the campaign to protect working conditions and rights by proceeding towards a Protected Action Ballot.

Campaign to escalate

After considering all the feedback from membership meetings and negotiation representatives, CSIRO Staff Association Section Council has called on Section Secretary Sam Popovski to prepare an application for a Protected Action Ballot.

The application, like other CPSU applications covering many agencies across the Australian Public Sector, will then need to be lodged with the Fair Work Commission.

Next Steps

Members will be updated with next steps and timeframes. Importantly, only union members can participate in the Protected Action Ballot and only union members would be protected when taking any action.

In coming months, the campaign to protect working conditions and rights will escalate not just in CSIRO, but with workers across the Australian Public Sector.

Join to have your say

If you believe that CSIRO working conditions and rights are worth protecting, join the Staff Association today. By joining, you will get a vote on the Protected Action Ballot and be able to participate in the campaign. Email to csstaff@cpsu.org.au or call (03) 8620 6348 for more information.

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