How to create a crisis of integrity – CSIRO and the Murray-Darling

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This week’s release of the report of the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission has exposed a crisis of science integrity and maladministration at the highest levels in CSIRO, writes Sam Popovski. 

THE DAMNING report didn’t hold back in revealing how CSIRO science has been ignored or used in a misleading way on multiple occasions by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

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Staff Association representation to improve Data61 promotions and career advancement

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Swift action from Data61 Staff Association delegates has secured a management commitment to improve promotion processes and career advancement opportunities. Elsewhere, Data61 union representatives have raised serious concerns over the Morrison Government’s controversial encryption legislation.

Last November, several issues regarding the promotion process were raised at Data61 workplaces around the country; specifically, the maintenance of deadlines for promotions applications given management failures to meet feedback deadlines on Confluence by more than two months.

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It’s up to us to make it happen in 2019

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Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski previews the year ahead for Staff Association members and CSIRO

PREDICTING THE YEAR ahead in CSIRO is difficult at the best of times, but even more in 2019.

Much of the work we do is influenced by funding, from both government and industry. While funding and staffing levels have stabilised somewhat since the devastating cuts of 2014, workloads are excessive and the quest to secure additional funding is intense.

CSIRO has refocused its strategy. A greater integration of digital and data research has improved capabilities but failed to deliver the financial returns that are required for longer term sustainability.

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Labor open to CSIRO staff director as Government plots mid-budget research cuts

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The prospects for the introduction of a CSIRO staff-elected director received a boost with recent changes to Labor’s platform supporting the initiative. Meanwhile the Coalition Government has foreshadowed an effective cut to Australian research – via indexation to block grant programs – worth more than $300 million.

During the party’s national conference held in Adelaide, Labor made changes to the economic chapter of the platform, supporting “the establishment of a staff-elected position on the CSIRO Board.”

CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski welcomed Labor’s willingness to engage with the staff-elected director concept.

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