Staff Association representatives continue to advocate for stronger measures to support staff during the COVID pandemic, with a call to CSIRO’s Situation Management Team (SMT) to introduce site-specific COVID Safe plans.
Why have a COVID Safe plan?
For many staff that have continued working on site and those that will intermittently work on site in coming months, COVID safety at each workplace is paramount.
To date, CSIRO management have done a reasonable job in minimising risks and providing staff with resources and equipment to enable a safe workplace. The SMT have also developed a COVID Safe plan which applies to all CSIRO workplaces.
So what’s wrong with CSIRO’s plan?
The plan is too generic. It summarises the measures CSIRO is undertaking across the entire organisation for COVID safety. It fails to outline site-specific measures or provide guidance to staff for their work location.
In the Staff Association’s view, the plan also breaches Victorian Government requirements for Melbourne sites that are under Stage 4 restrictions. In Melbourne, organisations with multiple premises ‘must complete a COVID Safe Plan for each workplace’ and outline specific measures in their plans.
What has the Staff Association called for?
Our representatives have called on the SMT to develop COVID Safe plans for each CSIRO site. The current generic plan should be used as a basis for the site-specific plans. Other more detailed information relating to each site, including information currently on myCSIRO, should be consolidated with the generic plan to form the site-specific plans.
Even though the Staff Association is calling for consolidated, specific COVID Safe plans for every site, in the first instance Melbourne sites under Stage 4 restrictions must be the priority.
SMT response and next steps
Following discussions with the Staff Association, SMT representatives have now agreed to develop site-specific COVID Safe plans for two sites, Clayton and Werribee. These sites were nominated by the Staff Association as absolute priorities.
The Staff Association will review the plans developed for Clayton and Werribee and continue discussions with the SMT this week to strengthen COVID Safe planning for other Melbourne sites as well as CSIRO locations nationally.