CSIRO staff front and centre amidst national public sector strike action

Geelong mass meeting

Geelong mass meeting

CSIRO union members recently joined thousands of public sector workers by taking protected strike action as part of a series of nation-wide work stoppages and mass meetings.

The largest federal public sector strike in thirty years was sparked by the Abbott Government’s regressive bargaining policy which mandates cuts to working conditions and rights.

Big numbers of Staff Association members were front and centre at mass meetings held across Australia in capital and regional cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin, Newcastle, Geelong, Townsville and many more.

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“Staff Association and CPSU members sent a strong message to the Federal Government that this unfair attack on public sector working conditions will not be tolerated,” CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski said.

While the next round of negotiations with CSIRO management will be held in July, two work bans are set to continue throughout that month with an extension of the bans on effort logging and working more than 7 hours 21 minutes per day.

Strong turnout by CSIRO members

CSIRO members joined hundreds of their CPSU colleagues in a mass meeting in Sydney’s CBD.  The meeting in Newcastle heard from Staff Association delegate Mike Collins who was one of the official speakers. The meeting in Perth also heard a passionate speech from Staff Association Vice President Elizabeth Hulm. Members also took stop work action in Darwin and Alice Springs.

Over 50 members from CSIRO Staff Association marched the streets of Salamanca before joining hundreds of CPSU colleagues at the Hobart mass meeting. Staff Association members in Canberra joined 1,500 public sector workers on strike and attended a mass meeting at Canberra Convention Centre.

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. In Melbourne over 1,500 CPSU members met at Melbourne Town Hall. CSIRO was particularly well represented with over 200 staff attending from Clayton, Aspendale, Werribee, Highett and Parkville. Geelong’s mass meeting drew over three hundred – with nearly half the crowd made up of CSIRO members.

Far North Queensland members participated in mass meetings at both Townsville and Cairns. At the opposite end of the country, the Adelaide meeting featured 800 CPSU members with around 50 Staff Association attendees. Throughout the week, members that could not attend a mass meeting took stop work action including at regional workplaces such as Atherton, Grifffith, Myall Vale and Murchison.

“For many of our members this was the first time they’ve participated in protected strike action. On behalf of the union I want to thanks all of our members who took action and helped send a message to CSIRO management and the Government that we’ll fight to defend our rights and conditions,” Mr Popovski said.

Work bans will continue in July

Two of the current work bans currently in place – the ban on effort logging and more than 7 hours 21 minutes per day – are set to continue throughout July, Mr Popovski said.

“We’ll continue our fight for a fair agreement by continuing selected work bans. While the Staff Association will meet with management for negotiations later this month, we’re also encouraging members to continue with the bans on effort logging and working beyond 7 hours 21 minutes per day.

“As per legal requirements, the Staff Association has written to management and notified that the extended bans will apply from 1 July 2015 until the end of the month,” Mr Popovski said.

Share your experience

Members who participated in stop work action or attended a mass meeting are encouraged to share their experience. Post a comment below or email a report or photos to csstaff@cpsu.org.au

One thought on “CSIRO staff front and centre amidst national public sector strike action

  1. Attending the mass rally in Melbourne was a real eye opener! Hearing about the affects of job cuts across the Public Service agencies is both shocking and disappointing – you suspect that others are doing it tough too, but when it’s confirmed it is sickening. The current unemployment figures in Australia are reported as 6.1% – add in the people not actually registered as unemployed and the true rate is likely to be >10% and rising! This is a national shame and it’s time for action. Be proud and loud Union members – those before us fought long and hard for our conditions, please don’t roll over and give them away.

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