Negotiations crawl on as management confirm no agreement vote before Christmas

Senior management are sticking with their plan to strip CSIRO workplace conditions and rights despite hundreds of Staff Association members recently taking part in national strike action.

Staff Association representatives met with the management bargaining team in Canberra for the twenty-third time since formal talks began in July 2014. While a further meeting is scheduled in mid December, management have confirmed they do not intend put their proposed offer out for an all staff vote before year’s end.

No chance to vote No

Management’s decision to deny staff an opportunity to vote on the proposed offer before Christmas is the latest in a long series of delays that have cruelled the bargaining process at CSIRO. Even worse, management continue to display reluctance in pushing back against the Australian Public Service Commission’s (ASPC) restrictive bargaining policy.

The result is an effective stalemate and management are increasingly derelict in their duty to ensure employment relations at CSIRO are handled in a professional and efficient manner. While the Staff Association remains committed to constructive discussions this latest stalling tactic by management is clearly unacceptable.

Members of the Staff Association Executive will meet with Chief Executive Larry Marshall at the upcoming Consultative Council meeting and make a direct appeal for a change in direction.

Positive signals on leave

Management did make some encouraging noises on developing two new leave options; specifically Family Violence and Adoption leave. While any positive discussions in this area are welcome, the detail on the application, access and enforcement of conditions remains unclear.

Early signs are that management intend any new leave provisions are to be located in CSIRO policy – not the legally enforceable enterprise agreement – which could prove a major stumbling block.

Public Sector bargaining heats up

In contrast to the situation at CSIRO, bargaining in other parts of the public sector is proceeding to votes. Workers in the Murray Darling Basin Authority, the first agency to vote after the change to the Government’s Bargaining Policy made earlier this month, have voted to reject the proposed enterprise agreement. In particular there are some big votes on the way in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Humans Services and the Tax Office.

With increasing industrial action and multiple No votes continuing across the public sector, the CPSU is launching a Campaign Fund – effectively a crowdsourcing exercise – to support campaigns to protect public services, jobs and workers’ rights.

Donations will be sought from CPSU members, members of other unions and the general public. The Campaign Fund will be used help CPSU members who face losing a lot of pay because they are taking large amounts of industrial action or are being stood down. Funds will also be used to support ongoing campaigns to protect jobs, rights and public services from Government attacks.

Make a difference and join today

Help protect CSIRO conditions and rights by joining the Staff Association. For more information on membership talk to your local delegate or organiser, email csstaff@cpsu.org.au or call (03) 8620 6348.

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