The union representing workers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has warned that Australia’s premier science agency appears braced for another round of significant job cuts, with news that dozens of scientists now are facing redundancy.
Describing the proposed job cuts as a response to market demand, CSIRO Executive has confirmed plans to sack 42 scientists from its Mineral Resources unit and cut an additional 15 jobs from the Sydney laboratory home to the organisation’s breakthrough Wi-Fi research.
“More than 1 in 5 CSIRO jobs have been lost since the 2013 election of the Coalition Government, an unparalleled tragedy in the history of Australian science and research,” CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski said.
CSIRO Executive appears to be facing a further deterioration in external earnings, sparking fears of yet another round of job cuts. While the broader CSIRO picture is likely to become clearer over coming weeks; senior management have confirmed dozens of potential job cuts in the Mineral Resources business unit and Data61.
Based on information provided to the Staff Association, more than forty research jobs in Mineral Resources are at risk with the Clayton, Waterford and Pullenvale sites to be hardest hit.
Meanwhile some 15 positions at Data61’s Marsfield laboratory in Sydney have been declared potentially redundant.
Management have acknowledged that there are problems with the performance assessment process across the organisation and committed to solving the issue; in a significant victory for CSIRO employees following action by the Staff Association.
Citing multiple examples of inconsistencies across nearly half a dozen business units, the Staff Association lodged a formal dispute in an effort to clean up the Annual Performance Assessment (APA) process and to protect affected CSIRO employees from possible disadvantage to individual career development and promotions.