This is the twentieth in a series of fact sheets to assist CSIRO union members better understand and enforce our rights at work.
The source of these rights is contained in the new CSIRO Enterprise Agreement
2011-2014 (EA) at schedule 2. The agreement is attached at right.
What is the standard form of employment in CSIRO?
Indefinite employment (tenure) is the standard form of employment for CSIRO
officers (Clause 1(a))
Are there any specific categories of employment for which term employment
must be used?
Yes. Where appointment is as a designated Post-doctoral Fellow for which a
training/ development program has been devised or where appointment is as a
designated trainee in a bona fide apprenticeship scheme or a government
sponsored employment and training scheme (1(d)).
Are there specified conditions for Post-doctoral Fellows?
Yes. These are contained at Clause 3 of Schedule 2 of the agreement and more
information can be found in Fact sheet
17 Post Docs.
Under what other circumstances may CSIRO appoint an officer for a specified
CSIRO may appoint an officer for a specified term in the following
where the appointment is to cover the temporary absence of another
where the appointment is clearly of a limited term nature in that the
has specifically designed objectives related to the period of the
requires skills which cannot be provided by existing employees or
requires the commitment of resources beyond the capacity of the existing
number of indefinite staff; and
on the balance of probabilities, after the work is completed there
will be no ongoing need for the skills being sought or there will be
sufficient competent indefinite staff available to satisfy the
requirements of ongoing existing and foreseeable funded activities.
to cope with seasonal periods of peak load;
where CSIRO wishes to employ a recognised specialist in a field for
a short period;
where an external appointment is made to a management position;
where a specified term appointment is preferred by the appointee and
this is acceptable to CSIRO; and
where an officer requests access to transition to retirement
There will be no link between the funding source (e.g. external funding for a
project) and the decision to appoint a person on a term (1(c)).
What is the duration of specified term employment?
The duration of specified term employment can vary subject to the following:
for Post-doctoral Fellows the term must not exceed 3 years (2(a));
for all other officers, no single term of term employment shall exceed 5
However, CSIRO must conduct tenure reviews if it seeks to employ officers on
single or multiple terms beyond 4 years (in the first instance) and then beyond
Can term officers be considered for indefinite employment?
Yes, in the following circumstances:
they are candidates for externally advertised positions; or
they were originally recruited through a competitive selection process
and are candidates for internally advertised positions or
in the opinion of CSIRO it is desirable to offer indefinite employment
without a position being advertised.
When does my term tenure employment status need to be reviewed?
Under Clause 9 of Schedule 2 of the agreement CSIRO must review within 3
months of the 4 year and 7 year term employment point whether further employment
is appropriate and whether it will be offered on a term or indefinite basis. The
details of this process are set out under this Clause.
Do term employees have particular rights specified in Schedule 2 of the
Yes. Specified term employees are entitled to be:
informed of their rights and options in respect to applicable
superannuation schemes on commencement or when their employment situation
required to participate in the APA process when employed for periods
exceeding 3 months
eligible for performance rewards on the same basis as an indefinite
exempt from a further probation period (subject to certain conditions)
eligible for applicable relocation entitlements (subject to certain
conditions) (Clause 5(a))
paid a separation payment on completion of a period of term employment
if CSIRO does not offer further employment (Clause 6 of Schedule 2 of the
What about if CSIRO terminates my specified term employment?
When CSIRO terminates an officer’s employment prior to the completion of a
specified term (except if it is due to inefficiency or misconduct) the officer
be given two weeks notice of early termination
be given access to redeployment
be entitled to the applicable separation payment and
in respect of the period of service terminated, be able to negotiate
Do I have access to redeployment if I am a fixed term officer?
Yes providing that:
you were appointed following a competitive recruitment process; and
have at least 4 years aggregate employment, provided that no breaks
between periods of service exceeds 6 months.
Consideration of any outplacement benefit will be at CSIRO’s discretion.
Can I join the Staff Association if I am a term employee?
Absolutely! The Staff Association has run a number of successful campaigns on
behalf of specified term employees and offers a lot of support and expertise to
members on specified terms.