Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Update on Deep Space Centre EBA negotiations forrom ETU organiser Mick Koppie

Peter Moss - Wednesday, April 18, 2018
ETU organiser Mick Koppie reports:

Another day in the ditches fighting it out with the forces of evil.

Members of ETU, AMWU and Professionals Australia gathered in front of the guard hut at the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex today from 13:30 to 14:30 as one in a series of one-hour stoppages.

We have been trying to negotiate an agreement for over 12 months with CSIRO. They realise under the “umbrella” of CSIRO and the Federal Government bargaining standards we are getting nowhere.


They have said in newsletters that we are making “good progress” and “reaching agreement” on a number of clauses. How are we reaching agreement – well, take away or modify 35 clauses then restore some of them reaching agreement.

Two weeks ago we decided that the existing overtime ban was not improving CSIRO negotiating skills. We know this is driven from the top down – Michaelia Cash is the responsible Minister. Responsible is using the term very loosely.

Members decided to up the ante and add to the overtime ban with daily one -hour stoppages. These were to lead up to the NASA launch – 17th April. It was thought CSIRO would have sensible discussions by then. They haven’t.

The big crunch is coming – a launch in the US tomorrow will be interrupted by another site stoppage at 13:30. Members will be sitting on the grass outside the front gate enjoying chips and dip.

On Wednesday, after the launch and stoppage, Members will be presenting Management with a notice of dispute. This will be to further assist them in negotiating skills.

This dispute is a glowing example of broken rules. Management, by negotiation, changed shift arrangements at the site as per the EBA. Members had to go with the changes because they were “consulted”.

In the meantime, the modest log of claims was completely ignored, and multiple changes introduced. The unions had to apply to Fair Work and get a ballot to vote to take industrial action but with five days’ notice. No level playing field here.