There’s been a rapid resumption to bargaining at CSIRO following the summer hiatus, with Executive releasing a timetable for consideration of a new collective agreement over coming weeks, ahead of an all-staff vote expected in late February.
The developments come after both the conclusion of formal negotiations late last year and the release of the results of a Staff Association member poll conducted in December; which revealed a significant mood shift in response to Executive’s revised pay offer.
While CSIRO Executive confirmed that a proposed agreement was submitted to the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) for policy approval last December, a comprehensive document was only supplied to union bargaining representatives late last week.
Despite the avoidable delay, Staff Association negotiators are now checking the proposed agreement for drafting inconsistencies – especially necessary given the large amount of content up for change – to help speed the approval process.
Meanwhile, Executive bargaining representatives have announced a roadshow that will tour CSIRO sites around the country over coming weeks to sell the deal.
Staff Association representatives will also conduct a national series of paid time and lunchbreak workplace meetings throughout February to consider the key features of the proposed agreement compared to the union’s bargaining claim.
The results of December’s poll revealed a big change in the sentiment of union members following consideration of Executive’s revised pay proposal; comprised of an 11.2 per cent increase over three years (4% in the first year, followed by 3.8% and 3.4%) plus back pay to November 2023 and an additional one-off payment equivalent to 0.92 per cent of base salary.
More than 1,400 Staff Association members took part in the poll, where 58 per cent of respondents agreed that the revised proposal represented the best outcome CSIRO staff could expect to achieve while 42 per cent of participants rejected the offer.
In an earlier poll of union members held in October, 81 per cent of respondents rejected Executive’s initial offer of 11.2% over three years which did not feature any backpay or additional payments.