The most recent bargaining meeting resulted in some late developments to CSIRO Executive’s Enterprise Agreement (EA) proposal, however these last minute changes have done little to mitigate significant cuts to CSIRO rights and working conditions contained in the existing EA.
Concessions by management to retain EA clauses on childcare and bureaucracy reduction are important, but there was no other movement on key issues – including consultation – during this set of negotiations.
Near enough not good enough
78 clauses from the current EA are now retained and agreed. However 16 issues are not agreed including; individual flexibility arrangements, work classification standards, rates of pay, consultation, representation, specified term criteria, outsourcing and casual employment.
Despite strong and sustained advocacy following the defeat of Executive’s original proposal last November, Staff Association negotiators estimate 20 per cent of the rights and working conditions from the current EA are set to be cut through this proposal and would become legally unenforceable.
The trade off
In exchange for these significant cuts to conditions, CSIRO Executive have offered staff a 6.5 per cent pay rise over 39 months – or an average of less than 1 per cent per annum given the lack of back pay.
Earlier in May, the Staff Association consulted staff on the EA proposal, which at that point, retained 90 per cent of existing rights and conditions. Since then, the intervention of the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has removed another 10 per cent of enforceable EA content.
Recent feedback from the majority of members is clear: the CSIRO Staff Association should recommend that staff vote No to this or any similar proposal when it proceeds to an all staff ballot.
CSIRO Executive has now submitted the EA proposal to the APSC for a final assessment, which the Staff Association has been advised could take two to three weeks – or longer. Clearly, the Executive’s current proposal could further deteriorate and is highly unlikely to improve following this final assessment.
Membership meetings this June
The Staff Association will be conducting workplace meetings around the country in mid June (dates to be provided shortly) and more detailed information will be available on the CSIRO rights at stake and the choice that staff have.
In the meantime an updated version of the Staff Association’s comparison document is available. For more information and other resources visit our campaign page or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org