There’s been a strong start to the public sector strike action, with hundreds of Staff Association members joining CPSU members at mass meetings in Sydney, Newcastle, Perth and Darwin.
The action moves to other parts of Australia this week, with half-day stoppages and mass meetings set for Hobart, Canberra, Brisbane , Melbourne and Adelaide plus a range of regional centres.
Big numbers in Melbourne with over 1,500 CPSU members crammed into Melbourne Town Hall. Speakers included CPSU’s Nadine Flood and ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver.
CSIRO was particularly well represented with 130 staff attending from Clayton, more than 50 from Aspendale plus strong participation from Werribee, Highett and Parkville members.
The mass meeting at Geelong Trades Hall was three hundred strong – with nearly half the crowd made up of CSIRO members from the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and the Waurn Ponds worksite.
Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski addressed the meeting as did AAHL delegate Gary Crameri.
More than a thousand CPSU members – including a colourful CSIRO contingent – packed Emma Miller Place in Brisbane in protest against the Government’s harsh bargaining policy.
Staff Association members in Canberra were out in force, joining 1,500 public sector workers on strike and attended a mass meeting at Canberra Convention Centre. A big contingent from Black Mountain was joined by members from Yarralumla. Some members even rode in by bicycle.
Over 50 members from CSIRO Staff Association marched the streets of Salamanca singing “CSIRO! Australia needs us now!” joining hundreds of CPSU colleagues at the Hobart mass meeting.
Sydney, Newcastle and regional NSW
Hundreds of CPSU members took part in mass meetings in Parramatta, Sydney’s CBD, Wollongong and Newcastle.
Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski emceed the Sydney meeting and introduced CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood and ACTU President Ged Kearney.
CSIRO staff formed a large and colourful contingent at the meeting with many homemade signs, placards and white lab coats.
There was a strong turnout in Newcastle with dozens of members joining several hundred CPSU members for a lively town hall meeting. Staff Association delegate Mike Collins was one of the key speakers.
CSIRO members across other parts of New South Wales participated in the stop work action including those in Griffith, despite the scheduled closure of the Riverina site in 2016.
Perth and Darwin
It was a full house at Perth town hall with over 500 CPSU members attending the mass meeting. CSIRO was well represented and Staff Association Vice President Elizabeth Hulm delivered a passionate speech.
Staff Association members were among a crowd of 150 at Darwin’s mass meeting at Civic Park.
Even in far flung Murchison – the home of the Square Kilometer Array project in remote Western Australia – members downed instruments and participated in the stop work action.
“The stoppages and work bans represent the biggest campaign of industrial action in CSIRO’s history,” Sam Popovski said.
“For many members this is the first time they have taken industrial action. It was great to see such a strong start to the stoppages and I’m looking forward to further lively and vibrant mass meetings over the week.”