Enterprise bargaining negotiations continue with CSIRO Executive on track to release an enterprise agreement proposal for review over the Easter break.
However management’s pay offer – effectively less than 1 per cent per annum given the three year delay – will leave CSIRO staff well behind comparative salary levels across the research industry.
Better than last time
It’s clear this new proposed enterprise agreement (EA) will be far better than the deal staff rejected in November last year. Approximately 90 per cent of rights and conditions of the exisiting EA could be retained. By comparison, the November offer stripped 75 per cent of EA clauses.
However the Federal Government’s bargaining policy still poses real danger for CSIRO job security and pay rates.
CSIRO Executive’s pay offer of 6.5 per cent – 3% on commencement, 2% after 12 months, 1.5% after 21 months – over a 39 month agreement is effectively less than 1 per cent per annum given the three year delay in reaching agreement.
On average, it equates to about half the rate of consumer price index (CPI) increase since 2014. The pay offer is the standard proposition that agencies in the public sector are currently offering through the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC).
The Staff Association has not agreed to the pay offer. In the opinion of union negotiators the offer would reduce real salaries and demonstrates a lack of respect for the incredible work CSIRO scientists and staff perform in service of Australia.
Negotiators estimate the pay offer would also place CSIRO salaries between ten and twenty per cent behind equivalent salary levels at research intensive universities and private sector competitors for at least another three years.
The APSC is currently reviewing all clauses of the EA proposal, including those that have already been ‘agreed’ in the negotiating room between Staff Association and CSIRO bargaining representatives.
There may be reductions in rights and conditions arising from this for important clauses such as consultation and representational rights.
Next week, the Staff Association will provide members with another update, including a detailed and comprehensive analysis of CSIRO Executive’s proposal. Members will also be provided with information on the timing of upcoming Staff Association workplace meetings.
Watch this space
CSIRO Executive intends to provide the proposed EA to staff for a review period over Easter and April school holidays. There is no timetable as yet for a formal consideration and vote period. The earliest this would occur is in May.
Staff Association members have achieved a lot over three years by sticking together, saying no and campaigning for a better offer. The coming days and weeks will determined if this particular offer will be good enough.