Archive for February, 2015
Threats of a walk-out by CSIRO employees again suggests that CSIRO management have completely failed to listen to their employees. This will be a significant test of character for the CSIRO Staff Association who have recently and quite publicly stated confidence in the CSIRO’s new leader, Dr Larry Marshall. With somewhere around 800 fewer jobs, CSIRO staff at all levels are under significant pressure to work are harder and are now being asked to do so with longer working hours and cuts to their conditions for a paltry pay increase which will not even satisfy the rise in the cost of living.
Unfortunately under such circumstances workplace bullying and other psychosocial factors are provided with a fertile environment in which to thrive. To date CSIRO management have completely failed to address the spectre of workplace bullying in any meaningful fashion.
Employees, and the Australian Tax-Payer should rightly be angry that CSIRO Management in 2014 wasted more than $4.5 million on a sham bullying and misconduct investigation that even by the admission of CSIRO management itself was never empowered to actually investigate matters of bullying and misconduct (see: https://victimsofcsiro.com/2014/07/29/ct-article-bullies-4-5-million-csiro-nil/).
If CSIRO Management can afford to waste such money on such a gratuitously self-serving public relations exercise that convinced no-one but the CSIRO’s management itself, surely it can find the money to provide a reasonable cost of living adjustment for the organisation’s majority of hard working employees without requiring them to accept unreasonable an intolerable cuts in their hard won conditions.
After all, it has been historically demonstrated that the top 100 or so employees continue to enjoy pay increases of as much as 20% or more and are arguably less-reliant on such indulgence than less well paid employees, many of whom are struggling to meet everyday living expenses on wages which total considerably less than the average senior executives annual “at risk component” (known in most other workplaces as a performance bonus!)
A word of advice to the CSIRO Staff Association from Victims of CSIRO group, “Don’t ignore the plight of your members while you are off securing the next substandard Enterprise Agreement as you have done so often in past”
CSIRO scientists threaten walk-out over pay, conditions
Thousands of scientists and researchers at the peak government science agency are threatening to walk off the job, saying their working conditions are under attack.
Strike action at the CSIRO will open another front in the federal government’s fight with much of its workforce over pay and conditions, with workers in several Australian Public Service departments either threatening or already engaging in industrial action.
The CSIRO’s Staff Association will take the first steps this week towards a campaign of action aimed at forcing their bosses to the negotiating table after being warned to expect little in the way of pay rises and cuts to their working conditions.
The association says the organisation’s management has not yet shown its hand on wages but that bosses want longer working hours at its workplaces throughout Australia, to axe days off around Christmas, slash redundancy provisions and slow progress up the CSIRO career ladder.
Association president Sam Popovski said on Friday that CSIRO workers were angry and frustrated at the glacial pace of negotiations on a new enterprise agreement for the organisation’s 5350 workers and ready to take strike action.
The scientists and researchers’ workplace agreement expired in August 2014, they have not had a pay rise since mid-2013 and are facing the loss of about 1300 jobs, more than a quarter of the present workforce.
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CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall made it clear in a letter to the association this month that the wage deal would be in line with the federal government’s tough public sector bargaining guidelines with no pay rises on the table without “productivity offsets” which in other agencies have translated as cuts to conditions and longer working hours.
“Under the circumstances and in accordance with the CSIRO Minister’s direction, we must continue to work within the requirements of the bargaining policy to develop the best possible pay offer, working conditions and Enterprise Agreement for our staff,” Dr Marshall wrote.
In response, the staff association says it will apply to the Fair Work Commission for a Protected Action Ballot at CSIRO, the first step in the legal process for walk-outs and other industrial action.
“Negotiations for a new enterprise agreement at CSIRO have effectively stalled, with CSIRO management’s support for the federal government’s unworkable bargaining policy – which mandates cuts to working conditions, rights and pay – proving to be the major stumbling block,” Mr Popovski said.
“CSIRO staff are genuinely frustrated and dismayed by management’s decision to target workplace rights and conditions, especially following the brutal cuts to jobs and research.”
The staff association wrote to Dr Marshall early in February urging the chief executive to step outside the bargaining policy in developing a new wage deal, to commit to growing the organisation after years of cuts and to commit to preserving its scientific integrity and independence.
In the letter, Mr Popovski argued that staff morale was at an all-time low and less than one-third of workers’ believed in their bosses’ ability to lead the organisation.