As we begin a new year, the Staff Association will turn up the pressure again on the Federal Government, CSIRO Board and CSIRO Executive to scrap the application of the Average Staffing Level (ASL) cap.
New figures from CSIRO Executive demonstrate the devastating effect of the ASL cap on staff and the organisation; with 510 jobs lost in CSIRO in the last six months (5405 employed staff at 31 December 2019 compared to 5915 staff at 30 June 2019).
Most of the job losses have been in casual and specified term contract positions. CSIRO’s ASL figure at 31 December 2019 was 5249, just short of the target figure for 2019-20 of 5193.
The latest bargaining negotiation meeting between Staff Association and CSIRO representatives made further progress, with all clauses in Part C of the Enterprise Agreement (EA) being considered.
The Staff Association reached agreement in-principle on 10 of the 17 clauses of Part C, as no parties made claims to change substantive provisions of these clauses in the current EA.
However, CSIRO management and Staff Association bargaining representatives could not agree on pay or superannuation.
Australia’s summer bushfire emergency – described as both unprecedented and indicative of the effects of climate change – has also focused attention on the contribution of public science organisations such as CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.
Both organisations formed part of a bushfire science roundtable convened by Science Minister Karen Andrews earlier this month that brought together top scientists and experts from across government laboratories and research agencies.
CSIRO will now coordinate several new initiatives as part of the Federal Government response to the bushfire emergency and recovery. The development marks a big turnaround for CSIRO’s bushfire research which was subject to job losses in 2014 as a result of funding cuts from the then newly elected Coalition.