CSIRO employees are in line for a pay boost following the Federal Government’s announcement of interim workplace arrangements for the public sector.
The Interim Arrangements – announced by Finance and Public Service Minister Katy Gallagher – includes a 3 per cent pay rise for Commonwealth employees over the next twelve months.
“The Public Sector Interim Arrangements will apply to Commonwealth employees with an annual pay increase due before 31 August 2023,” Minister Gallagher said.
According to advice provided by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC), the policy will see ‘any previously scheduled wage increase payable during the operational life of the Interim Arrangements… adjusted to 3 per cent’ and applies ‘to all Australian Public Service (APS) and non-APS Australian Government entities.’
A spokesperson for Minister Gallagher confirmed that CSIRO are included in the Interim Arrangements.
“The CSIRO and the staff who work there have been well and truly on the frontline of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Right from the early stages, the CSIRO was providing advice to inform the government’s response.”
“The decision is a show of good faith, includes the staff at CSIRO and recognises the hard work of CSIRO employees while the Federal Government works toward a broader approach to bargaining.”
The current CSIRO Enterprise Agreement includes a final annual pay increase of 2 per cent, due to be paid in November 2022. The effect of the Interim Arrangements should see that scheduled pay increase rise to 3 per cent.
‘Agencies and employees are encouraged to make short-term determinations under relevant legislation to provide a timely remuneration increase,’ APSC advice states.
In the case of CSIRO, the additional pay top-up could be implemented via the Science and Industry Research Act which allows for the Chief Executive to determine ‘the terms and conditions of service… of officers.’
In a statement, CPSU acknowledged that while the pay increase ‘is an improvement on the previous government’s public service wages policy, we expect to be able to achieve more through bargaining… 3 per cent is well below inflation and does not address cost of living pressures.’
In a recent poll, CSIRO Staff Association members identified pay as the top issue for upcoming enterprise agreement negotiations.
CSIRO employees are encouraged to complete the Staff Association’s bargaining survey, which seeks the views of staff on pay and remuneration, working conditions, job security, and respect at work.
The additional pay increase is just one feature of the Interim Arrangements that will operate until 31 August 2023 while consultation and development of a comprehensive workplace relations policy Commonwealth employment gets underway.
‘The Australian Government aims to re‑establish the public service as a model employer and employer of choice, and to best facilitate the delivery of essential Australian Government services to the community,’ the APSC advice says.
Other topics covered in the Interim Arrangements include family and domestic violence support, workplace consultation, union delegates rights and dispute resolution.
The CPSU said the Interim Arrangements heralded a ‘new era for the public sector and public sector workers.’
“CPSU welcomes the Albanese Government’s announcements on a new approach to APS bargaining and industrial relations,” National Secretary Melissa Donnelly said.
“We look forward to working with the Government to rebuild public sector capacity and improvements for workers.”