Despite several attempts made by Staff Association representatives to resolve the consultation dispute, Larry Marshall and the CSIRO Executive have failed to implement an acceptable process. Staff want a genuine opportunity to meaningfully influence the proposal to cut jobs and public good research.
It is now likely that the dispute will be escalated to a formal conference at the Fair Work Commission on Thursday.
What’s happened so far?
The dispute was formally lodged by the Staff Association with the Fair Work Commission on 5 February. The Commission listed the date of Thursday 10 March to hold a conference between the parties if the matter remained unresolved.
The Staff Association subsequently wrote to CSIRO seeking urgent resolution given the current impacts occurring to staff. Members of the CSIRO Executive Team, including Larry Marshall have had several discussions with Staff Association representatives. CSIRO management are refusing to implement a whole of organisation consultation process to address the matters raised by the Staff Association in the dispute.
Consultation has not occurred
The provisions of the CSIRO Enterprise Agreement state that consultation facilitates informed decision making. On matters that affect the employment of staff, consultation provides staff and their representatives with a genuine opportunity to influence the decision maker.
The Staff Association contends that staff have not received this opportunity with respect to the job cuts proposal as outlined by Larry Marshall’s email to all staff on 4 February.
Furthermore, the Staff Association asserts that the current consultation processes occurring at a Business Unit level – however compliant they may be or not – can not in any way can compensate for the lack of consultation that has occurred on the overall change initially proposed by the Larry Marshall and his Executive Team.
Staff Association representatives will continue to seek to resolve the dispute with CSIRO directly before the conference at the Fair Work Commission scheduled for this Thursday. A dispute update will be provided to members following the conference.