Late last year CSIRO advised staff of plans to introduce of a new Alcohol and other Drugs Policy (AOD). Given the time of year, concerns raised by members and the number of staff on leave during the summer holidays, the Staff Association requested an extension to the implementation of the policy to allow genuine consultation to commence.
Union representatives met with CSIRO managers responsible for the draft AOD Policy in early February.
The union has also requested direct representation on the AOD Workgroup to ensure that the important concerns raised by staff – including privacy, equity, process, procedures being fit for purpose and health and safety matters – are appropriately considered when drafting new policies.
However, it’s clear that had Executive engaged in genuine consultation with staff and their unions prior to the release of last year’s draft; the prospect of retrofitting a policy designed for mining and construction workers to somehow suit a science and research environment, might have been avoided.
We’ve received an unprecedented response from employees across the organisation who want a policy that is fit for purpose, suitable for the work CSIRO staff perform and designed with the health and wellbeing of staff as top priority, not an afterthought or second order justification.
The situation presents CSIRO with another opportunity to follow the Federal Government’s recommendations for improving consultation in Commonwealth workplaces.
This latest failure to engage staff serves as a potent reminder that strengthening rights to genuine and meaningful consultation at CSIRO must remain a key focus during this year’s Enterprise Agreement negotiations.
Staff are encouraged to provide feedback directly to CSIRO’s forums on the draft AOD policy. Members can also provide feedback to independent Health and Safety Representatives, workplace delegates or Staff Association organisers.
A democratic workplace where staff are respected is built on engaged employees and active union members. Help make better CSIRO by joining the Staff Association today.