This is the first of a series of fact sheets to assist CSIRO union members to better understand and enforce our rights at work. The source of these rights is the new
CSIRO Enterprise Agreement 2011-2014 (EA). Consultation is covered in a number of sections of the EA with the primary reference being clause 57 - Staff Participation
Members are encouraged to read this section of the agreement in its entirety. The agreement is attached at right.
Why is consultation important?
Because it facilitates informed decision
making, and provides officers and their representatives (e.g. union delegates)
with the opportunity to influence the decision maker (clause 57l).
may consultation take?
Consultation may take many forms but regular meetings are
encouraged to provide an avenue for sharing information, receiving feedback,
generating ideas and resolving workplace issues in an environment of cooperation
and trust (clause 57m).
When must consultation occur?
Consultation must occur at
two distinct stages. The first is where initiatives or proposals have
implications for the employment of staff or the way work is performed, CSIRO
shall consult with affected officers and their representatives (clause 57k).
second stage is where CSIRO has made a definite decision to introduce a major
change to production, program, organisation, structure or technology and the
change is likely to have a significant effect on officers (clause 57a). In this
circumstance, consultation shall occur before the major change is introduced
Are there particular consultative forums specified in the
Yes. Consultative Council is held twice a year and is a forum for
representatives to meet with the CSIRO CEO and Executive to discuss issues that
have organisation wide impact. The following matters will be some of the issues
to be discussed in 2011:
initiatives to support the psychological health and
well being of staff;
staff and science capabilities at regional sites;
allocation to projects; the application of clause 11 (market related employment)
employment of trades apprentices.
What may happen if consultation
does not occur in accordance with the agreement?
Under the provisions of the
disputes settlement provisions of the agreement (clause 87) the parties must
first try and resolve the dispute at the workplace level. If this does not
resolve the issue, the matter may be referred to Fair Work Australia.