The CSIRO action was announced after negotiations for a new industrial deal broke down again this week. Photo: Andrew Sheargold The CSIRO action was announced after negotiations for a new industrial deal broke down again this week. Photo: Andrew Sheargold
杭州桑拿

The CSIRO action was announced after negotiations for a new industrial deal broke down again this week. Photo: Andrew Sheargold

The CSIRO action was announced after negotiations for a new industrial deal broke down again this week. Photo: Andrew Sheargold

Scientists and workers at the CSIRO will launch industrial action on Thursday as anger boils over at management’s refusal to budge from the federal government’s “hostile” bargaining policy.

The escalation is the latest in a wave of workplace unrest spreading through the federal public sector, with thousands of employees from 14 agencies taking action over pay and conditions.

CSIRO staff association secretary Sam Popovski said the decision to begin national work bans was made after negotiations for a new industrial deal broke down again this week.

He said the feud was due to senior managers’ insistence on sticking to the Abbott government’s public sector bargaining policy, which prohibits wage rises unless they are traded for conditions or productivity increases.

CSIRO is seeking to increase working hours, reduce redundancy entitlements, cancel a day of Christmas leave and tie salary progression to higher performance standards, according to the union.

Mr Popovski said staff had suffered deep budget cuts of more than $110 million last year, causing site closures and hundreds of job losses. Any attempt to slash working conditions would be strongly resisted, he said.

From Thursday, work bans will include staff refusing to work unpaid overtime, attend face-to-face meetings with management, respond to internal voicemail and log efficiency data.

“If senior management won’t stand up for CSIRO staff and continue to attack working conditions, they cannot reasonable expect their cooperation in measuring their scientific efficiency,” Mr Popovski said.

A CSIRO spokesman said it was working within existing legislative and policy requirements to “come up with the best possible offer for our staff”.

“We hope that through further negotiations we will soon be in a position to table an offer,” he said.

“We continue to discuss bargaining matters affecting our staff and unions at the negotiating table. Our next meeting is scheduled in May.”

Bargaining for new workplace deals affecting almost 160,000 public servants has been underway for about 12 months but to date no agreement has been reached in any of the 117 agencies.

There is industrial unrest in Agriculture, Tax, Defence, Human Services, Veterans’ Affairs, Environment, Employment, Geoscience Australia, the Australian Institute of Criminology, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Bureau of Meteorology.

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