Astronomy and space science hit hard by CSIRO budget cuts

Funding for astronomy and space science at Australia’s Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is set to take a major hit courtesy of government budget cuts.

The Federal Government will slash science funding at CSIRO by $115 million resulting in hundreds of job losses, cuts to research and site closures.

CSIRO’s Astronomy and Space Science Division – responsible for the science that led to the development of Wi-Fi – has confirmed that funding cuts will cost jobs, scholarship programs and signals an uncertain future for radio telescope facilities in Parkes and Narrabri.

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All eyes on DHS negotiations

While CSIRO management has only recently declared their support for the Federal Government’s regressive workplace agenda, formal negotiations for a new enterprise agreement have only just begun and there is still a way to go in the bargaining process.

However the situation at the Department of Human Services (DHS) is more advanced. Formal negotiations have been underway for some time and DHS management have been pushing a tough agenda during talks with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU).

DHS is the single largest department in the Australian Public Service, both in terms of staff and scope. Comprised of frontline public service agencies such as Centrelink, Medicare Australia and the Child Support Agency, DHS has almost 30,000 employees in 600 locations around the country.

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First cuts to jobs and research, now management targets working conditions

Confirming fears that they will pursue the Government’s regressive bargaining agenda, CSIRO management have used the first set of formal negotiations to reveal their intent to strip protections, rights and content from more than 50 per cent of the clauses in the current enterprise agreement.

The move to attack working conditions comes hard on the heels of the Federal Budget which slashed science funding resulting in hundreds of CSIRO job losses, deep cuts to research and site closures.

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