CSIRO strike action ups the pressure on senior management

RV Investigator

RV Investigator

Recent strike action by Staff Association members has increased pressure on senior management to abandon the Federal Government’s unfair bargaining policy and guarantee the employment rights of CSIRO staff.

This latest escalation by union members to protect working conditions saw mass numbers of CSIRO workers walk off the job across the country.

Some of the highlights included a community protest in Perth outside the office of Employment Minster Michaelia Cash, the attendance of CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall at the Sydney strike meeting, and a show of solidarity on the high seas aboard the RV Investigator.

New South Wales

Nearly 100 members at the North Ryde site in Sydney attended a strike meeting where they heard from guest speakers Larry Marshall and Staff Association Section Secretary Sam Popovski. One Staff Association member mentioned that it was the first time in his 30 year career that a CSIRO leader had fronted staff about enterprise bargaining negotiations.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, union members and supporters held a community protest outside the office of Employment Minister Michaelia Cash’s office in West Perth, sending a direct message that any moves to strip CSIRO or public sector rights will not be tolerated. Staff Association members in Waterford also stopped work.

Victoria and Tasmania

There was a big turnout in Victoria. At Clayton, members walked off the job for morning tea with their fellow colleagues from Wellington Road, Aspendale, Highett and Parkville. Members congregated at the main entrance in a colourful display. With a visit from Science Minister Christopher Pyne and CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall expected in the afternoon, some members left messages in chalk on the entrance road.

Geelong Staff Association delegate Garry Crameri gave a rousing speech to AAHL and Waurn Ponds members, as well as local media who were in attendance. Werribee Staff Association members visited the local Member of Parliament’s office and to communicate their concerns, resulting in an article in the local paper.

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Members in Tasmania met at the Battery Point flagpole for morning tea and a speech from CPSU Regional Regional Secretary Jess Munday.

Meanwhile out at sea, Staff Association members on the RV Investigator held their own demonstration to show their disappointment with management’s poor performance at the negotiating table. Staff Association members posed for a photo and sent management a big ‘X’ – a clear message that there will be ‘no deal’ to any offer that strips working conditions from the enterprise agreement.

Australian Capital Territory

In Canberra, members assembled for a morning tea on the front lawns at Black Mountain. Staff Association Treasurer Dr Scott Wilkinson spoke about state of negotiations, and delegate and post doc Anton Wasson gave a compelling talk about the value of science and increasing importance of publically funded research in a changing world.


Staff Association members in Queensland stopped work at Dutton Park for a sausage sizzle, and in Pullenvale and St Lucia where morning tea was provided. Members voiced their disappointment with senior management’s approach to negotiations, and discussed the prospects of a community campaign to pressure politicians and policymakers to increase investment in Australian science.

At QCAT there was a stimulating discussion about the state of play with negotiations and the Governments chaotic approach towards bargaining.

South Australia

Dozens of Adelaide members met at both Kintore Avenue and Waite Campus for breakfast and a barbie. Members resolved to remain resolute in opposing senior management’s attack on working conditions.

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, email a report or photos to csstaff@cpsu.org.au, or get active on social media using the hashtag #supportCSIRO.

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