Management defend Matrix review consultation

Management have rejected a call from the Staff Association to consult more meaningfully with CSIRO employees as part of the Organising Arrangements Review.

The Staff Association recently wrote to senior management, voicing concerns about the level of staff consultation in reviewing the Matrix.

“Following our discussions at Consultative Council… the Staff Association is concerned at the inadequate staff consultation that has occurred to date and the apparent lack of commitment to broad staff consultation in coming weeks,” wrote Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski.

“We urge CSIRO to consult with staff as a matter of urgency, not only because valuable input and feedback will be derived, but also in order to build trust and integrity with staff in devising and implementing potential alternative organising arrangements.”

In response, CSIRO Deputy Chief Craig Roy defended management’s approach to the Organising Arrangements Review (OAR).

“We believe that the level of information available to the review on the views of staff, and engagement with staff in the conduct of this particular review is appropriate at this time given its current scope and timeframe – further engagement will be important as the project continues to develop,” Mr Roy said.

To support his assessment, Mr Roy cited management’s all staff survey, the work of a forty-strong OAR reference group, 150 staff interviews from across CSIRO including Staff Association representatives, consideration and acknowledgment of the Staff Association’s Matrix review survey report and discussions with Consultative Council.

“We are very open to continued engagement and feedback from the CSIRO Staff Association in meeting the project outcomes agreed with the Board, and happy to continue to engage with you frequently and substantively in testing findings, options and recommendations,” Mr Roy said.

Mr Popovski said that the level of staff consultation employed by management required improvement.

“We disagree that the staff feedback obtained to this point is adequate to make a consultative decision on future options to replace the current organising arrangements at CSIRO. In particular, this is because the future options are not being made available to all staff for consideration and input.”

“We fear that failure to conduct staff consultation on the future options may compromise the level of trust and commitment of staff in implementing potential alternative organising arrangements. We believe that this is a significant risk to the future management of CSIRO by the Executive Team and the Board.

“The Staff Association strongly urges CSIRO to revise its approach and fulfil its consultation obligations on this matter of high significance to staff,” Mr Popovski said.

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