CSIRO Protected Industrial Action to kick off with work bans

The latest enterprise bargaining negotiations have not secured a last minute breakthrough. CSIRO management are still committed the Federal Government’s agenda of cuts to working conditions, rights and pay.
Protected Industrial Action – in the form of work bans targeting cooperation with management – will now begin on Thursday 30 April 2015.

Work bans start tomorrow Protected Industrial Action can be taken by members from tomorrow, Thursday 30 April. The actions that members will be taking are:

  • A ban on the recording of effort logging
  • A ban on responding to internal CSIRO voicemail messages
  • A ban on attending face-to-face meetings with management and instead dial-in details will be requested for participation in meetings with management by phone or video
  • A ban on working more than 7 hours 21 minutes per day.
For advice on how to take the protected industrial action read this document.There are a full range of resources to help members take action. For more information visit our information page or scroll to the bottom of this update.

CSIRO senior management misleading staff on protected action

Confusion and staff concern have resulted from misleading information in recent emails to staff from CSIRO Executive Peter Mayfield.

Partial work bans and pay

The latest email suggests that members taking the partial work bans could be docked pay by CSIRO.

In the Staff Association’s view, the protected actions being taken do not represent forms of action that CSIRO could reasonably dock members pay for taking.

It therefore appears that this information has been distributed with the intent of discouraging members from taking protected action.


In addition the email has requested staff to let their line manager know in advance if they are taking protected action.

There is no such requirement in either the Fair Work Act or regulations and the Staff Association recommends that members do not provide prior notice unless by doing so, you avert a health or safety risk.

Once you have commenced taking the actions, you are only required to advise management or HR if you are specifically requested to do so. However you may choose to do this voluntarily.

In notifying management or HR, the Staff Association recommends that you use our pro-forma notification. Simply download this PDF attach to an email or embed this image into the message itself.

Stripping the agreement 

An earlier Peter Mayfield email to staff – the one that contained that unfortunate typo – also created some confusion in relation to the issue of streamlining.

Streamlining involves stripping out clauses from the legally enforceable enterprise agreement and moving them into CSIRO policy. In Mayfield’s view, streamlining is a minor and benign piece of housekeeping and represents no threat to working conditions. This is not correct.

CSIRO management are proposing to streamline or strip some 45 clauses from the agreement. That’s almost half the content of the document and includes the removal of many rights and conditions, from the consultation provisions to the entire schedule that covers post doc working conditions.

Once relocated to CSIRO policy, working conditions and rights can be changed by management at any time and without the agreement of staff. Policy is not legally enforceable and the Staff Association could no longer make sure CSIRO workers could access those rights.

Streamlining equals stripping away your rights at work and once working conditions are lost from the enterprise agreement, they are incredibly difficult to win back.

Useful resources

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your local delegate or Staff Association organiser. You can also email us at csstaff@cpsu.org.au or call (03) 8620 6348.Thank you for your continued support in our campaign to protect working conditions and secure a fair agreement that respects CSIRO staff.

Join to be protected

Only union members are legally protected when taking industrial action. If you a fair agreement with decent working conditions rights and pay, support our campaign and join the CSIRO Staff Association.

Email csstaff@cpsu.org.au or call (03) 8620 6348 for more information.


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