The union representing workers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) says that while Australian science and research has been largely overlooked in the Turnbull Government’s Federal Budget, it appears there will no repeat of the savage job cuts experienced in the Abbott era.
CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski joined other representatives of the Australian research community in the lukewarm response to the budget.
“From a science and research perspective, it’s an underwhelming budget at best. There’s no major investment and the research infrastructure roadmap remains under wraps. Apart from a handful of measures there’s little good news.
The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has stepped up the attack on CSIRO rights and working conditions with changes to Executive’s proposed agreement that remove all rights to staff consultation before decisions are made.
Recently, the Staff Association reported that additional cuts had been made to CSIRO Executive’s proposed enterprise agreement (EA) due to APSC intervention. These cuts included all rights that support on-site childcare provision at CSIRO, staff representation and measures to reduce bureaucracy.
Overall, Staff Association negotiators estimated that these extra cuts would result in 85 per cent of existing rights and conditions – down from 90 per cent – remaining in the proposed EA, if adopted.
CSIRO Executive bargaining representatives have informed the Staff Association of significant Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) intervention on the latest enterprise agreement (EA) proposal only just recently reviewed by CSIRO employees.
The APSC has targeted new clauses and content that have specifically not been discussed since negotiations recommenced in November last year; following the comprehensive rejection by CSIRO staff of management’s first proposal.
The Federal Budget does little to repair the damage that is being done to Australia’s essential public services and public policy capacity, according to the Community and Public Sector Union.
CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said the budget measures represented a continuation of short-sighted and unfair cuts to public services.
“Since 2013 the Coalition Government has made $7.6 billion worth of public sector cuts, hollowing out essential services, policy capacity which has resulted in service delivery and policy failures,” Ms Flood said.