Protected action continues at CSIRO

Protected industrial action will continue at CSIRO, following strong participation from Staff Association members in national public sector strike action. Two of the current work bans currently in place – the ban on effort logging and working more than 7 hours 21 minutes per day – are set to continue throughout July.

Meanwhile the latest negotiation meeting has failed to yield any breakthrough, with management again failing to timetable or outline either a pay offer or a proposed agreement – despite almost being twelve months since the nominal expiry of the current agreement.

Report from negotiations

CSIRO management failed again to outline an agreement offer, claiming instead to be “working through” this with the Australian Public Service Commission.

It’s a similar story with pay, management have no pay offer to put on the table and are “working through” a process involving the APSC and the Department of Finance. Management stated that once completed the offer would need to approval of the Minister for Industry before it can be tabled in enterprise agreement negotiations.

CSIRO management still have no timeframe on when a pay or agreement offer can be expected. At various points in the meeting management claimed to be “hopeful” that they would be able to outline a pay or agreement offer in coming months. Management made it clear that any agreement offer will contain substantial “stripping” of conditions and rights.

It is now more than two years since CSIRO staff had a pay rise and senior management remain committed to a policy that aims to cut many working conditions and rights that have been hard won over many years. This includes stripping over 45 clauses from the legally protected agreement only to be replaced by unenforceable policy that can be altered at management’s discretion and without staff agreement.

Larry Marshall responds

Meanwhile CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall has responded to the Staff Association’s open letter ahead of the June strike action. While the tone was positive and conciliatory, Dr Marshall reaffirmed management’s commitment to the Government’s regressive bargaining policy.

“The Minister for Industry has directed CSIRO to apply the Public Sector Workplace Bargaining Policy and we are bound by that,” Dr Marshall wrote. While claiming that management had a goal to “reach a fair and equitable agreement for our team,” Dr Marshall did acknowledge the right of union members to take action in defence of their workplace rights.

“CSIRO and CPSU have a longstanding and important relationship. Your organisation performs an important role for our staff.”

“I recognise and respect the right of the CPSU, other unions and our staff who are union members, to organise and participate in protected industrial action,” Dr Marshall wrote.

Work bans continue

Following national strike action, the Staff Association will continue the fight for a fair agreement by continuing selected work bans and encourages 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.

The ban on effort logging – like all forms of protected action – is designed to put pressure on management to drop their agenda of cuts to CSIRO working conditions and negotiate a fair enterprise agreement.

Members are also reminded to remain civil and professional when contacting management and notifying the taking of protected industrial action.

Join the campaign to protect CSIRO working conditions and rights

Help protect jobs, research and working conditions at CSIRO by joining the Staff Association. The more members that join the union and stand up for CSIRO, the stronger the message we send to senior management to negotiate a fair agreement. There’s never been a more important time to support your CSIRO colleagues by applying for Staff Association membership.

Join today by emailing to csstaff@cpsu.org.au or call (03) 8620 6348 for more information.

One thought on “Protected action continues at CSIRO

  1. Why has the APSC and over 30 other agencies been able to put offers (albeit poor offers) on the table to staff but CSIRO maintains the excuse that they are ‘working through a process involving the APSC and the Department of Finance’ ? It’s beginning to sound a bit lame.

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