CSIRO under pre$$ure

financial_pressureA recent survey of CSIRO employees has revealed the effect of financial pressure on Australia’s premier scientific research agency, with more than three quarters of respondents saying their work had been affected by budget cuts and falling funding.

More than 250 staff took part in the December online survey, conducted by CSIRO Staff Association.

Of those that responded, 76 per cent said that cuts to programs, internal savings measures – such as the Federal Government’s ‘efficiency dividend’ – or retreating private sector investment had created a climate of financial pressure that was affecting research.

The results demonstrate the corrosive effect of job and funding cuts – the central thrust of the CPSU’s Cuts Hurt campaign.

Download a copy of the survey report here.

Some 57 per cent of survey participants reported job cuts across the organisation over the past twelve months.

Staff views on the impact of this pressure in the workplace will make uncomfortable reading for management charged with responding to allegations of bullying and harassment in CSIRO.

More than two thirds of respondents nominated an increase in workplace stress and heightened anxiety as an impact of the financial pressure.

Worryingly, a further 46 per cent of participants reported some experience – direct or indirectly – of bullying, harassment and discrimination in CSIRO.

More than half of staff surveyed reported less time for innovation as a result of financial pressures and subsequent constraints on research, with administrative processes such as matrix management and the deeply unpopular effort logging system blamed for making the problem worse.

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