Demand for detail on management offer as CSIRO staff reach sad milestone

The Staff Association has written to the CSIRO Chief Executive seeking detail of a management proposed enterprise agreement likely to be released in coming weeks.

Meanwhile Staff Association members will mark the sad anniversary of the nominal expiry of the current agreement with a series of national workplace meetings and discuss the next steps in the campaign to protect CSIRO working conditions.

Letter to the Chief Executive demands detail

During the most recent negotiation meeting, the management bargaining team revealed that they were close to finalising a proposed agreement and pay offer – likely to feature heavy stripping of current CSIRO working conditions – which had been developed behind closed doors with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and Department of Finance.

Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski has written to CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall asking for both detail of the proposed agreement and time to analyse the offer prior to general release. By contrast, management received the Staff Association’s democratically endorsed bargaining position back in December 2013.

“We were advised that this agreement offer – negotiated behind closed doors with the APSC and other Government departments – is proposed to be released to all staff and bargaining representatives concurrently,” Mr Popovski said.

“Our view is that this process is inconsistent with CSIRO’s values and demonstrates poor faith in “negotiating” under theFair Work Act 2009. It circumvents bargaining representatives, thereby preventing representatives from viewing the offer and seeking feedback from staff they represent to take back to Enterprise Agreement discussions.”

Dr Marshall has responded to the Staff Association letter claiming that CSIRO does not yet have the necessary approvals to release the proposed agreement to staff or bargaining representatives.

“In the context of our commitment to openness and transparency for the release of our offer, I have asked CSIRO’s Negotiation Team to consider the Staff Association’s request to be provided with CSIRO’s offer ahead of staff and to discuss possible options further with all Bargaining Representatives,” Dr Marshall said.

Send an email to mark a sad anniversary

While still in operation, the CSIRO Enterprise Agreement 2011-2015 nominally expired on 16 August 2014. Some twelve months on and senior management have failed to table a proposed replacement or pay offer. CSIRO staff received their last pay increase in July 2013.

It’s a sad anniversary made all the worse by management’s callous support for Government policy that seeks to cut CSIRO working conditions following a two year period where 1 in 5 jobs have been lost.

Members are asked to mark this sorry milestone by sending an email to the Chief Executive and the Board expressing their concern and disappointment. The Staff Association has produced an email template that you can use or adapt to send your message to CSIRO leaders. Simply cut and paste the email copy into your own message.

National membership meetings underway

Protected industrial action – in the form of work bans targeting effort logging and unpaid overtime – is continuing throughout August. Staff Association members are protected and encouraged to keep the pressure on management by continuing to apply the bans.

Meanwhile a series of national membership meetings – scheduled to occur during break times – will take place over the next fortnight. The meetings are designed to provide an update on enterprise bargaining negotiations and discuss the next steps in the campaign to win a fair enterprise agreement at CSIRO.

It’s also an opportunity for members to invite colleagues who are not members of the union to meet Staff Association members and find out why membership makes a big difference to working at CSIRO.

Join today 

For more information on your local meeting or joining the Staff Association, talk to your delegate, organiser or

3 thoughts on “Demand for detail on management offer as CSIRO staff reach sad milestone

  1. I am intrigued by the sentences in Larry Marshall’s letter: ‘We recognise the important role all our Bargaining Representatives are playing in the EA process. Equally, our staff are of critical importance because it is their Agreement process too.’

    This seems to indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the bargaining process. Bargaining takes place between management and the staff’s representatives, not between management and staff. Staff are free to choose their representatives before bargaining commences, but they are not directly part of the bargaining process.

  2. Larry Marshall also said he will ” take an active interest outside the negotiating room”.
    What we need is a CEO that is willing to lead the negotiating team and stand up to the governments backward changes to worker rights.
    Bring it ON Larry.


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