Dispute lodged over questionable redundancy processes

The Staff Association has notified CSIRO of an industrial dispute relating to application of the redeployment and retrenchment provisions of the Enterprise Agreement (EA) in both the Minerals and Manufacturing Business Units.

Concerns have been raised by members regarding; consultation over the proposed change, the management of group assessment processes and the provision of specific information to potentially impacted staff.

CSIRO’s position is not consistent with the Enterprise Agreement

Staff Association representatives met with CSIRO Human Resources (HR) to seek a resolution to the dispute, however despite early progress, the Staff Association believes CSIRO is not acting consistently with Schedule 3 of the EA.

Members have informed the Staff Association that they have been identified as potentially redundant even though they are being transferred to another Business Unit.

The EA provides that individual staff should only be identified as potentially redundant if their position is not required by CSIRO as a whole, not just in one Business Unit.

CSIRO’s position is, that unless there is absolute certainty that the transfers will occur, the organisation will continue to identify these positions as ‘likely to become potentially redundant’. The Staff Association disagrees with CSIRO’s position on this matter.

Group assessments a major concern

Members have reported that in some cases, assessments are occurring where staff at different CSOF levels are being assessed for redundancy within one group, with no clarity on the CSOF level of the role/s that CSIRO requires in the future.

The EA provides that assessments must occur ‘against the organisational requirements for the role/s developed in line with the applicable work classification standards’. Staff cannot expect to have a fair assessment and decision making process if the classification levels of the required role/s are not even defined.

CSIRO has responded that cross-CSOF level group assessments are occurring to allow for ‘flexibility’ in classification levels in the roles to be retained. CSIRO claims it is assessing staff against their current work classification and believes this is a fair process as it provides more flexibility and opportunity for staff at different CSOF levels to retain their role.

The Staff Association believes this process has no transparency or fairness, as staff – and supposedly senior management and HR – do not know the future role/s that they are being assessed against.

Staff Association representatives will be meeting with HR soon to further consider this matter. If you are personally impacted by a group assessment process, please contact your Staff Association delegate or organiser and email csstaff@cpsu.org.au

Provision of information to potentially redundant staff

Part 6 of Schedule 3 of the EA provides for individual staff to be provided specific information in writing if it is determined that their position is potentially redundant. The Staff Association’s view is that the information provided to many staff is generic in nature and lacks the required justification of why that particular position in CSIRO has been identified.

We are asking all members that have received this information, to provide a copy of the letter to the Staff Association (email csstaff@cpsu.org.au ) and/or to sign the letter to confirm the involvement of the Staff Association as a representative.

What happens next?

The Staff Association will strongly represent members interests and enforce the provisions of the EA. In the coming week, we will be requesting a meeting with HR as well as senior CSIRO management, including Jonathon Law and Keith McLean. If the dispute cannot be resolved, the matter may be referred to the Fair Work Commission.

Campaign against further job cuts will continue

The beginning of 2018 marks a significant increase in tempo of the campaign against further job cuts at CSIRO. Staff Association representatives will lobby the Federal Government and other politicians to stop the ‘death by a thousand cuts’.

CSIRO needs to be funded adequately and staff morale must be credibly rebuilt.  Additionally, we will be asking Staff Association members to be active in public campaigns to protect key research capabilities and sites.

Non-members need to join

The Staff Association only provides support to members. If you are aware of non-members that wish to join for assistance or to support our campaigns for CSIRO jobs and working conditions, please ask them to email csstaff@cpsu.org.au or speak to a local delegate or organiser.

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