What to expect in enterprise bargaining this year

The Staff Association provided a FAQ on the Enterprise Bargaining 2020 campaign to members in late June.

Since then, the fight against the implementation of the Average Staffing Level (ASL) cap in CSIRO has intensified, but it’s now time to consider what’s in store for enterprise bargaining for the rest of 2019.

Staff Association Council strategy

The Staff Association Council, made up of representatives from every State and Territory, endorsed a plan for Enterprise Bargaining 2020 at a recent meeting on 1 August.

The plan outlines the strategy, potential tactics and indicative activities for each month up until the nominal expiry of the current Enterprise Agreement on 14 November 2020.

What’s the plan?

The Staff Association plan includes strategic imperatives to seek to prevent delays in enterprise bargaining, ensure the protection of existing conditions, allow for development of new conditions and the achievement of decent pay outcomes.

The precise tactics and activities will be further developed with members as the campaign proceeds and will not be disclosed to CSIRO senior management.

What has the Staff Association done so far?

The Staff Association has written to the Minister for Science Karen Andrews, formally requesting that the Government’s bargaining policy not apply to CSIRO. In response, the Minister stated that ‘…my office and the department do not have responsibility for such policies, and I suggest that you contact CSIRO directly to discuss further.’

The Staff Association has also been compiling a comprehensive list of issues raised by members since the current agreement commenced in 2017.

These issues range from updating existing clauses through to new initiatives to support a better work environment for CSIRO staff.

What will be happening next?

Later this month the Staff Association will commence the process to develop our bargaining position, through the distribution of a survey to all members.

The survey will be the first step to ascertain the views of members on the key issues that the Staff Association will be progressing in bargaining.

What’s planned for the rest of 2019?

Workplace activities, including member meetings and morning teas, will enable members to get together and discuss enterprise bargaining issues with Staff Association delegates and organisers.

The Staff Association will be seeking to take an endorsed bargaining position to CSIRO senior management early in 2020, so that negotiations on a new Enterprise Agreement can begin as early as possible.

Does the Staff Association control the formal commencement of bargaining?

No. Under the Fair Work Act, bargaining commences when ‘the employer agrees to bargain, or initiates bargaining for the agreement’.

As a result, the Staff Association’s objective in coming months is to put maximum pressure on Chief Executive Larry Marshall and the Executive team to initiate bargaining early in order to achieve a new agreement in time.

Not a member?

If you’re not a member and want to support the achievement of better pay and employment conditions at CSIRO, join the Staff Association today. Visit www.cpsu-csiro.org.au, email csstaff@cpsu.org.au or talk to your local workplace delegate or organiser.

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