Looking for answers on redundancies

The Staff Association continues to seek answers from management on the size and scope of job cuts across CSIRO.

Redundancies in CSIRO – update – 23 May 2013

Under budget pressures, the CSIRO Executive has made the decision to cut staffing numbers, with about 200 staff likely to become potentially redundant. The Staff Association is working to:

  1. minimise the number of involuntary redundancies;
  2. ensure that voluntary redundancy substitution and redeployment processes occur;
    1. enforce consultation and entitlements contained in the CSIRO Enterprise Agreement (EA);
  3. scrutinise potential savings, such as CSIRO’s contractor and consultant expenses; and
  4. ensure all members are treated fairly and respectfully.

At what stage is the redeployment/redundancy process?

Initial consultation with staff and the Staff Association has occurred for the vast majority of Divisions. Four Divisions (PI, ET, CAFHS, CLW) have provided the Staff Association with more detailed information on officers likely to become potentially redundant in accordance with Part 3 of Schedule 3 of the EA. These Divisions have had further meetings with the Staff Association to consider the options and measures to reduce the need for, and mitigate the impacts of, redundancies. All other Divisions will be having similar discussions with the Staff Association in coming weeks.

How can members help out?

If members have feedback and suggestions to help mitigate the number of involuntary redundancies, they should contact their Staff Association delegate or organiser. Delegates and organisers have access to the information under Part 3 of Schedule 3 of the EA to support members and are compiling feedback and raising issues. Members can also raise issues directly with Divisional management and/or HR and we recommend that this is done via email which is copied to a Staff Association delegate/organiser. Also, if you would like a members meeting in your workplace, contact your delegate/organiser as soon as possible.

What has happened with the audit of contractor costs requested by the Staff Association?

Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski recently met with representatives of Finance and HR. This followed a formal request from the Staff Association for an audit of contractors and associated costs. This matter has also previously been raised with the CEO and CFO at Consultative Council last year. At the meeting, both Finance and HR indicated that there was a lack of CSIRO-wide transparency on contractors, including labour costs. HR has requested that all Divisions provide details (by no later than mid-June) on all contractors, to determine if ongoing CSIRO jobs can replace contractor work. Finance indicated that further work on the coding of contractor expenses was needed, because the current coding didn’t allow for meaningful categorisation of contractor expenditure. This work would not be completed in time to provide any information that would assist in the current process to mitigate redundancies.

Given the inadequacies with this predicament, the Staff Association is now actively enforcing accountability at the level of Divisional management and HR, who are providing information to the Staff Association on contractor use in their respective Divisions and the measures they are taking to identify potential savings and replace contractors with CSIRO jobs where possible. If members have feedback to provide on contractor use in CSIRO, please contact the Staff Association.

What if there are problems with consultation?

Members should immediately raise this with your Staff Association delegate/organiser. The Staff Association will intervene to ensure all processes are conducted appropriately and will lodge formal disputes where necessary, such as the current dispute on the proposed Finance restructure (see recent Wavelength article). Members have also provided feedback to the Staff Association highlighting concerns about the lack of transparency of science planning and prioritisation leading up to Annual Directions Statement announcement and consequential decisions. The Staff Association is raising these issues on behalf of members directly with Divisional Chiefs/HR and further, we have made this the major agenda item with the CEO and Executive Team at Consultative Council on 17 June.

How is the Staff Association helping at the workplace level? 

Staff Association delegates/organisers are directly supporting members through the redeployment and redundancy processes. In particular, we are striving to represent all members in meetings held with Divisional management and HR. If your delegate or organiser is unavailable to attend a meeting, either change the meeting time so they can participate, or ask a Staff Association colleague to attend with you. It is essential that members do not attend any meetings alone. Information has been provided to members on the redeployment and redundancy processes, but if you have questions or feedback at anytime, please contact us.

What if affected individuals are not Staff Association members?

The Staff Association is only able to provide support and representation on behalf of members. If you know of affected individuals who are not Staff Association members, then they must join for us to be able to provide advice and further assistance. Their membership forms can be handed to a Staff Association delegate or organiser, or sent through fax to 03 8620 6347 or scan and email to csstaff@cpsu.org.au

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