CSIRO staff set to take strike action

Union members at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) will take strike action to defend working conditions, rights and pay which are currently threatened by the Federal Government’s unworkable public sector bargaining policy.

“CSIRO staff have suffered drastic funding cuts; seen critical research abandoned and experienced a twenty per cent cut to the workforce over a two year period. Now senior management are targeting their conditions and workplace rights, in line with the Government’s regressive bargaining agenda,” said CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski.

Media coverage 

Workplace conditions and rights under threat

CSIRO management’s proposed cuts include slashing redundancy by up to eight weeks of paid entitlements, cutting income maintenance and retention provisions, an increase in total working hours, shortening or removing the annual shut down, cancelling an additional day of Christmas leave and increasing the difficulty of salary progression.

Management also want to strip rights, entitlements and conditions from at least 45 clauses – almost half the content of the agreement – replaced with policy that could be changed at any time, without staff agreement and removed from the jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission.

“CSIRO staff are dedicated to their research and the organisation, but they’re not being listened to. The decision to take stop work action is one of last resort and born of deep frustration. The strike also represents the escalation from work bans targeting cooperation with management that have been in place for over a month,” Mr Popovski said.

National strike action

The national strike action will feature a week of rolling half day stoppages beginning on Thursday 18 June. CSIRO Staff Association members will also participate in mass meetings with other public sector workers taking action in protest against the Abbott Government’s attack on working conditions and rights at work.

  • Thursday 18 June – Members in Sydney, Newcastle, Darwin and Perth will stop work from 1-5pm.
  • Friday 19 June – Members in Alice Springs will stop work from 1 – 5pm.
  • Monday 22 June – Members in Hobart will stop work from 1 – 5pm.
  • Tuesday 23 June – Members in Canberra will stop work from 8.30am – 12.30pm.
  • Wednesday 24 June – Members in Brisbane will stop work from 1 – 5pm.
  • Thursday 25 June – Members in Melbourne and Geelong will stop work from 8.30am – 12.30pm. Members in Townsville will stop work from 1 – 5pm.
  • Friday 26 June – Members in Adelaide and Cairns will stop work from 1 – 5pm.
  • More information – For a list of mass meeting times and venues click here.

The coordinated strike action reflects the effective breakdown of bargaining across more than half the public sector workforce.

Many publically funded science and research agencies will be involved including the Bureau of Meteorology, the Department of Environment, the Australian Antarctic Division, Geoscience Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and the Department of Agriculture.

“The stoppages and work bans represent the biggest campaign of industrial action in CSIRO’s history.” Mr Popovski said.

Media

For more information or additional comment, email anthony.keenan@cpsu.org.au or call 0410 330 764.

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