Membership rate set for increase

For the first time in over fifteen years, there will be an incremental increase in the rate of deduction for Staff Association membership fees, set to take effect from the end of the month.

From 1 July 2015, CSIRO Staff Association membership fees will increase from 0.55% to 0.6% of salary.

Background

Staff Association Section Council has identified the ongoing financial sustainability of the union as a priority and implemented several internal reviews of revenue over the past 18 months.  A regular series of savings measures targeting expenses have been in place since 2009.

In the past five years Council has also invested in the communication and campaigning capacity of the Staff Association through the employment of a full time communications officer.

More recently, funding cuts and declining external earnings have resulted in nearly 1,300 – or one in five – jobs lost at CSIRO. This has impacted on membership numbers and revenue.

Job losses hit revenue

Job losses at CSIRO have seen a 7 percent overall reduction in Staff Association membership numbers, although membership density has increased during this period. The subsequent reduction in revenue has the potential to translate to fewer resources available for campaigning or to support members in the workplace.

Given the challenges facing CSIRO staff – including the current battle to defend working conditions – the Staff Association’s Council has determined to maintain resources devoted to organising, campaigning, communications and supporting members in the workplace.

How do fees compare?

Even when accounting for the 0.05 per cent increase, Staff Association membership fees will remain considerably lower when compared to almost all other unions in Australia.

For a CSIRO employee on an average salary of $80,000 per annum, the cost of Staff Association membership remains lower than comparable unions including Professionals Australia, the National Tertiary Education Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Media and Entertainment & Arts Alliance.

Union dues are completely tax deductible and members can expect – on average – to receive 30 per cent of their fees refunded through their tax return.

Membership benefits

Staff Association membership ensures that CSIRO workers have a strong voice and influence where it counts. Our democratically elected officials and paid staff members work hard to represent the views of staff in a professional manner to CSIRO management, industry stakeholders and federal politicians.

In addition to protecting CSIRO working conditions and rights at work, Staff Association members receive expert industrial, legal and financial advice at an individual level, when they need it.

Membership also includes journey protection insurance for travel to and from work. There are also a large range of member only discounts for a range of goods, products and services and a free will service and family bereavement assistance.

Financial hardship

It is important to note that in adopting this strategy, the Staff Association Council considered the affordability of membership fees. Even a small rise in household costs can be significant.

Members who are concerned at the impact of the increase or might be suffering from financial hardship are encouraged to email csstaff@cpsu.org.au for more information and assistance.

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