CSIRO enterprise bargaining negotiations have started on a positive note with Staff Association and Executive bargaining representatives meeting for the first time.
Meeting participants included members of the Staff Association bargaining team, CSIRO Executive team as well as two individual bargaining representatives.
Other unions – invited late last week but unavailable to attend on short notice – will participate in following meetings.
“With negotiations starting late after CSIRO’s mid-June submission to the APSC, it’s really important to get a move on,” Staff Association Secretary Susan Tonks said.
Prior to the meeting, the Staff Association put forward a comprehensive schedule for upcoming enterprise agreement (EA) negotiations, spelling out clear timelines and topic focus to best manage the late start to bargaining.
“We need to make up for lost time. The proposed schedule is intensive and calls for two meetings each week to get CSIRO negotiations moving. After the long wait, CSIRO staff deserve to see swift and positive progress at the bargaining table,” Ms Tonks said.
“I’m pleased to report that following our meeting, CSIRO Executive have agreed to a bargaining commencement schedule that will deliver ongoing negotiations taking place weekly or twice weekly from early August through to late September.”
At the next meeting on 3 August, the Staff Association will formally present the union’s bargaining claim; the union’s starting point for negotiations that was developed over many months of staff consultation across CSIRO and democratically endorsed through a national series of workplace meetings.
“Our bargaining priorities are clear, comprehensive and represent the considered views of Staff Association members,” Ms Tonks said.
“We know CSIRO staff want to see a significant pay increase, equitable access to superannuation, better conditions, workplace rights protected and more respect through genuine consultation,” Ms Tonks said.
The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) Circular on Union representation in Commonwealth agencies outlines the rights that union delegates have and can exercise.
This includes delegate’s access to reasonable communication with colleagues about important workplace issues, such as the progress of bargaining negotiations.
CSIRO union members and staff can expect to receive up to date bargaining information from the negotiation table from workplace Staff Association delegates and as per the APSC’s own advice.
“We believe that all CSIRO staff should be able to fully participate in a bargaining process that is well-informed,” Ms Tonks said.
CSIRO management have also outlined an opt-in method for staff to receive “EA information from a union bargaining representative” via contacting the relevant union through a My CSIRO page.
The next negotiation meeting is scheduled for Thursday 3 August.
Staff Association representatives will focus on presenting the key elements of the union’s bargaining claim, to determine a clear set agenda on items that can be discussed while CSIRO Executive await further approval from the APSC.
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