CSIRO enterprise bargaining negotiations continue to progress, with discussions between Staff Association and Executive representatives focusing on job security, including employment arrangements for specified terms and casual employees.
Negotiations also covered proposed changes to family and domestic violence leave and advice from the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) which paves the way for the return of previously-stripped content back into enterprise agreements.
Staff Association representatives presented the union’s position on job security, which calls for indefinite, ongoing employment as the usual and preferred basis for employment at CSIRO.
The union’s model clause sets out improved employment reporting requirements, the establishment of strategies to reduce insecure employment at CSIRO and provide pathways to permanent work for specified term and casual employees, as well as content aimed at limiting and reducing the use of labor-hire contractors and consultants.
CSIRO Executive negotiators proposed changes to align the organisation with national standards aimed at converting casual staff to secure employment and extending their access to paid family and domestic violence leave.
The Staff Association position proposes a defined entitlement of at least twenty days family and domestic violence leave, noting that national employment standards guarantee a minimum of ten days paid leave, as well as comprehensive support for staff and increased privacy protection.
Executive representatives indicated a preference to remove restrictions on the number of paid days altogether to ensure staff have access to as much leave as needed in this situation.
Discussions on the topic will continue once Executive provide a detailed proposal, in writing.
Recent advice from the APSC has addressed the legacy of the previous government’s bargaining policy, which resulted in extensive stripping of conditions from enterprise agreements.
‘There is a benefit to including substantive employee entitlements in the enterprise agreement, where they are visible and readily accessible to current employees and managers,’ the advice states.
‘Agencies in agency-level bargaining may negotiate to include in their enterprise agreement existing substantive employee entitlements (excluding procedural matters) previously in an enterprise agreement and currently located in policy… in these circumstances the agency does not require the prior approval of the APSC.’
Staff Association representatives have also renewed calls for CSIRO Executive to provide more written detail outlining their proposals; in an effort to make up time lost due to the delayed start of negotiations.
The list of topics that Executive has raised in discussion but provided no worded clauses is extensive, including; voluntary redundancy, public holiday substitution, cashing out and purchased leave, sick and carers leave and family and domestic violence leave.
Executive’s reluctance to accompany topic discussions with written proposals reduces the effectiveness of negotiations and puts further pressure on the bargaining timetable.
The next negotiation meeting is set for Tuesday 22 August. Union negotiators will present proposals covering dispute resolution, science integrity and seek clear feedback on the introduction of pre-decision consultation at CSIRO.
The Staff Association website has been updated with bargaining information and resources; including the union’s priorities for negotiations, complete bargaining claim, latest news plus a selection of posters, flyers and promotional materials available for download.
Visit www.csirostaff.org.au/bargaining for more information.
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