Win for staff with CSIRO performance assessment back on track

Management have acknowledged that there are problems with the performance assessment process across the organisation and committed to solving the issue; in a significant victory for CSIRO employees following action by the Staff Association.

Citing multiple examples of inconsistencies across nearly half a dozen business units, the Staff Association lodged a formal dispute in an effort to clean up the Annual Performance Assessment (APA) process and to protect affected CSIRO employees from possible disadvantage to individual career development and promotions.


In early August 2017, the Staff Association lodged a formal dispute with CSIRO on the grounds that the APA section of the CSIRO Enterprise Agreement (EA) had been breached.

As a result of that action, CSIRO Human Resources (HR) recognised that business units are operating on different APA timelines. Specifically, HR recognised that staff in many business units have been requested to complete APA’s prior to 31 August – the date clearly stipulated in the enterprise agreement

CSIRO HR has also acknowledged that these occurrences are not consistent with the correct operation of APA  provisions and timelines as outlined in the EA.

Know Your Rights 

Fairness and equity concerns

HR management have admitted that decisions have been made by Reward Review Committees in some business units prior to the APA completion date of 31 August. The Staff Association has voiced concerns that this could result in disadvantage to some CSIRO employees. The union is currently representing several Staff Association members where this appears to have occurred.

Need advice?

  • Members concerned about the application of APAs are advised to contact the Staff Association at for immediate, individual assistance.

Welcome outcome

The positive step undertaken by CSIRO HR to fix problems with the APA process has been welcomed by the Staff Association. Discussions are ongoing regarding how CSIRO improve the alignment of the APA cycle and Reward Review Committee timelines.

The Staff Association is committed to greater opportunities for the career development of all CSIRO staff through an APA process that is fair, transparent and consistent across the organisation.

More work to be done

The Staff Association is continuing to press the matter with CSIRO HR. The union is seeking formal correspondence from  management to all staff in business units where officers were required to complete APAs early, stating that:

  • CSIRO recognises that there have been concerns raised by the Staff Association in relation to the business unit’s requirement for APA’s to be completed early
  • CSIRO will work with the Staff Association to develop an agreed APA process that will commence in the next APA cycle and improve opportunities for the career development of staff
  • Officers who believe they have been disadvantaged by the business unit’s APA or reward assessment timelines can contact their local Business Unit HR manager or union representative.

The importance of enforcement

With the conclusion of EA negotiations, the Staff Association’s focus shifts to the enforcement and protection of CSIRO workplace conditions and rights.

Staff Association members and delegates will continue to campaign against inconsistent APA processes across CSIRO to protect career development and the fair application of the performance rewards system.

Join the Staff Association

Now, more than ever, CSIRO staff need to work together. If you have a colleague in the workplace who is not yet a member, please ask them to join. For more information please contact the Staff Association at or speak to your local delegate.


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