CSIRO Executive/HR management and Australian Public Service Commission develop an agreement offer.
After having no pay and agreement offer to put to staff 19 months after receiving the Staff Association’s bargaining position and over 12 months since the first negotiation meeting, it appears management are close to finally revealing their hand.
The prospective agreement deal to staff has been developed in secret through discussions occurring with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and the Department of Finance (DoF) – not with bargaining representatives. At the latest meeting on the 4th of August, Staff Association representatives were again told “we will not talk to you about discussions with the APSC”. It is these discussions that have developed the agreement offer that we now believe is likely to be made to staff within a month.
What do we know about what is likely to be in this agreement offer?
Management did divulge that the offer would be “complex”, “heavily streamlined” (stripped of a range of working conditions and rights), would contain a pay offer, would look “very different” from the current agreement and that there would be a range of explanatory material provided to staff. We expect the pay offer to be the “standard” 1.5% per annum with no back pay being dictated by the APSC. The agreement offer is currently awaiting final “approval” from the DoF.
Through specific questioning, Staff Association representatives did manage to ascertain that some of the conditions management had previously indicated they may cut are now off the table. Included amongst these are increasing the APA test to “exceeds expectations” in order to achieve a performance and development step and reduction or abolition of the year end shutdown. This is similar to changes that have been made in other agreement offers in the Australian Public Sector following widespread industrial action by union members.
It still appears inevitable however that the agreement offer will be substantially worse overall than the current agreement, in an unprecedented move to send the working conditions and rights of CSIRO staff backwards. Any such offer will be opposed by the Staff Association.
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