More than 2000 staff across the country at CSIRO took part in a two-hour strike in late March over pay and conditions.It is the first time in the 80-year history of the national science research body that scientists have taken nation-wide strike action.
The CSIRO staff association, part of the CPSU, has rejected management’s offer of between 3.25 and 3.75 per cent a year pay rise. According to the Association’s Secretary Sam Popovski, “3 per cent per annum over the next three to four years does not cover rising living costs and means that CSIRO will struggle to retain and attract world class staff.”
Management also wants to deny staff access into major organisational changes and staffing decisions. Bargaining has been going on for seven months without agreement, leading to 91 per cent of staff voting to support industrial action in a protected action ballot. More strike action is likely if management does not come to the table. As the Association said, “management needs to understand we are very determined to fight off this substandard deal because it threatens to undermine the world-class work of CSIRO.”

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