CSIRO Staff Association members voted to endorse the union’s bargaining position by an overwhelming majority. Nearly 800 members participated in the online ballot, with over 91 per cent of electors voting to approve the position.
The bargaining position was based on the responses of nearly one thousand Staff Association members who took part in an online bargaining survey.
Our bargaining position, explained
This expanded version of the bargaining position includes explanatory notes (italicised text) for each component of the claim.
A BETTER AGREEMENT
1. No reduction in current terms and conditions of employment.
Conditions in the Enterprise Agreement are to be built upon, not reduced.
2. All entitlements in terms and conditions and in CSIRO policy to be incorporated into the Enterprise Agreement.
Examples of applicable entitlements include classification and salary on appointment and long service leave.
3. Nominal Expiry Date of 30 June 2017.
A three year agreement. However, the date may vary depending on the quality of a proposed outcome to members on pay and conditions.
4. The Staff Association reserves the right to add further claims based on member consultation.
Member feedback on specific matters not covered in existing claims can be brought forward to negotiation meetings. This may include responses to Government guidance on bargaining and specific CSIRO management proposals.
PAY AND REMUNERATION
5. Salary increases of 3.5% per annum. Should Enterprise Agreement 2014 not be finalised until after 17 August 2014, back pay will be paid.
3.5% per annum as a pay outcome (backdated if delays occur) would be acceptable to a majority of members, subject to a better overall Agreement.
6. A minimum 15.4% employer superannuation contribution for all staff (non-CSS and non-PSSdb).
Staff who choose to join a superannuation fund other than PSSap currently receive 9% (not 15.4%) from CSIRO. This is inequitable and inconsistent with superannuation choice.
7. All salary-related allowances to be adjusted with salary increases. All other allowances to increase as appropriate (e.g. applicable ATO rates).
Allowances to be treated in the same way as they are currently in the Agreement.
8. Increasing the minor expense payment to $20 per day.
Currently $15. It has not been increased for decades. Only applicable in the absence of an advance payment or when ‘out of pocket’ expenses are not claimed by receipt or justification.
9. Improving access and options for salary packaging.
The options have been progressively limited and accessibility is poor. Best practice examples of other Government employers will be considered.
10. Inclusion of payment of health care and education costs upon the recruitment of staff who are non-Australian citizens or permanent residents. Inclusion of support for staff employed on 457 Visas, including assistance on permanent residency.
Payments are currently made in some cases, but CSIRO has complete discretion. Very little equity or transparency. Many staff on 457 Visas receive inadequate support, particularly in relation to liaison with other Government organisations.
11. Updating first aid allowance provisions to reflect changes made to first aid training standards.
To reflect current practices in training and accreditation.
PRODUCTIVITY AND CLASSIFICATION
12. Reduction in the number of Executive managers and abolition of performance bonuses. Identified savings to be returned to the overall staff salaries pool.
Executive-related costs to be reduced, especially given the context of job losses and financial constraints at CSIRO, and returned to science and the employment of staff.
13. Reduction in bureaucratic processes, with identified savings to be returned to the overall staff salaries pool.
Efficiencies to be implemented, including in the context of CSIRO’s Organising Arrangements Review and related processes, and returned to science and the employment of staff.
14. Abolition of the CSOF Level 3 Enhanced barrier to advancement.
The driving purpose of a barrier to limit advancement of some administrative functional roles has become redundant in CSIRO and serves no justifiable purpose.
15. Abolition of five yearly performance reviews for staff at CSOF Level 7 and above.
The driving purpose of a special review to ensure performance at higher levels has become bureaucratic and superfluous. Alternatively, the APA process should be used appropriately.
16. Reduction in the number of advancement steps at CSOF Level 2 and CSOF Level 3 to five.
CSOF Levels 4 and above each have between three and five steps from entry to maximum classification point. CSOF Levels 2 and 3 each have nine steps. It does not take nine years for staff within CSOF Levels 2 or 3 to develop maximum competency in their role. Five steps would achieve better consistency with higher levels and reflect competency improvement rates.
17. Improving redundancy and redeployment processes including: strengthening redeployment provisions and consultation timeframes; abolition of over-67yo exclusion to redundancy entitlements; improved access to estimates of redundancy entitlements.
Substantial improvements were made in the last Agreement. Further improvements are based on learning from the 2013 redundancy process. No discrimination to entitlements based on age.
18. As a minimum, CSIRO to retain all current regional sites and staffing. Remote localities provisions to recognise all research stations where work by CSIRO officers is performed.
The Agreement to give genuine effect to the commitment to regional sites in the CSIRO Strategic Plan. Allowances to reflect any work that is required to be performed at remote locations.
19. Inclusion of a commitment to ensure the job security of CSIRO officers can not be undermined by the use of contractors and labour hire.
Current consultation/justification provisions are applicable when decisions to outsource are initially made. However, there is a need to strengthen the provisions to deal with ongoing outsourcing arrangements at CSIRO involving contractors and labour hire.
LEAVE AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
20. Updating maternity/parental leave provisions to reflect changes to Federal legislation. Include full parental leave rights for same sex couples.
The Agreement to reflect new legislated entitlements to maternity/parental leave. No discrimination to entitlements based on same sex relationship.
21. Introduction of provision for domestic violence leave.
Leave to be provided in exceptional circumstances involving domestic violence. Based on leave provisions in other Government agency agreements.
22. All public and locally observed holidays for all sites to be listed in the Enterprise Agreement.
Currently all holidays are not listed in the Agreement, thereby being subject to change through State/Territory law or local government. Listing individual holidays strengthens the retention of all holidays for the life of the Agreement.
PARTICIPATION AND RIGHTS
23. Strengthening staff consultation to ensure it occurs before significant decisions are made.
Improvements were made in the last Agreement. A further improvement is needed to ensure consultation on initiatives or proposals occurs before decisions are made.
24. Strengthening rights for union delegates and organisers to represent members in APA, promotion and performance processes.
Improvements were made in the last Agreement. A further improvement is needed to allow members to be represented by union organisers in meetings such as performance processes (currently not permitted).
25. Inclusion of a misconduct procedure and an improved grievance procedure, including to reflect recommendations of the Pearce Investigation report.
The misconduct procedure is currently in CSIRO policy, not the Agreement. Need to simplify access to, and application of, grievance, misconduct and related procedures in the Agreement. Need to ensure application is consistent with recommendations of the Pearce Investigation report.
26. All staff to have the right to reasonable workloads. Inclusion of a provision for staff to have unreasonable workloads reviewed at anytime.
Workloads and allocations are not currently addressed in the Agreement. A new clause would enable unreasonable workloads to be reviewed. Best practice examples of other Government employers will be considered.
27. Recognising the provision for capability days in the Enterprise Agreement.
Capability days are not currently addressed in the Agreement and are therefore not enforceable by the Staff Association on behalf of members.
28. Improving access to child care facilities including expanding current centres and developing new centres and partnership/provider arrangements.
Improvements have been made during the life of the current Agreement. Need to strengthen clause to incorporate timeframes for consultation, demographic/demand analyses and feasibility assessments.
Have your say
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