CSIRO Staff Association Councillors met in Melbourne recently to discuss a range of topics – headed by the resolution of enterprise bargaining – and to appoint new Executive and Council members to vacancies created due to redundancies.
Job security, CSIRO structure and strategy, diversity and inclusion, science policy and community campaigning also featured in conversation.
Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski said that the two day meeting focused heavily on breaking the bargaining deadlock at CSIRO.
“Council representatives understand the desire of staff to resolve bargaining and achieve a fair pay rise now, however not at the expense of working conditions or by trading off legal rights,” Mr Popovski said.
New look Council
New appointments to several Staff Association Executive and Council positions have been made due to vacancies created as a result of CSIRO redundancies.
“These appointments have been made by Council to replace vacant positions until the next CPSU general election which is expected later this year,” Mr Popovski said.
South Australia’s Sonia Grocke is the new Staff Association President. Sonia’s previous position of Vice President will be filled by Victorian Councillor Melissa Skidmore, who joins Western Australia’s Elizabeth Hulm in the other Vice President Role. Canberra’s Scott Wilkinson remains as Treasurer.
Newcastle’s Mike Collins will represent New South Wales on Council while the Western Australian vacancy will be filled by Perth’s Steve Charles. A vacancy remains for the Victorian Concillor position previously occupied by Melissa Skidmore.
Mr Popovski paid tribute to outgoing Western Australian Councillor Patrick Merrigan and New South Wales representative Yalchin Oytam.
“For over 25 years, Patrick has saved jobs, protected workers rights, stopped bullying and discrimination, kept the boss honest and asked everyone to join the union. It’s called being a super union delegate. Thanks Patrick Merrigan from me and the hundreds of CSIRO workers that have benefited from your selfless contribution.
“Over the last five years, Yalchin Oytam represented members as both New South Wales Councillor and North Ryde delegate. Yalchin never took a backward step, stood up for fairness and justice in the workplace and passionately advocated for the value of unionism in CSIRO,” Mr Popovski said.
Mr Popovksi made special mention of long-serving Staff Association President Michael Borgas.
“Michael has been President of our Association since 2001. Over his career Michael has witnessed five CSIRO Chief Executives, six Board Chairs, six Prime Ministers and fourteen Science Ministers, and met with nearly all of them.
“Michael has been the Staff Association expert on research policy including; science in the US, UK, Germany, Science and Technology Australia, the Chief Scientist’s Office, the issue of science integrity and international issues. He knows as much about the history of science in Australia than anyone and he knows as much about the history of our union than almost anyone. In today’s world, that’s priceless.
“Michael is already a life member of the CPSU and our union, but it’s never been about the accolades for him. It’s never been about just the end result either. I can only hope Michael, that it’s been as rewarding for you as it has been for our Councillors, our delegates and members to have the privilege to fight the good fight with you as our President each and every day,” Mr Popovski said.