On 31 October, Chief Executive Megan Clark announced in an email to staff that CSIRO was implementing an “interim” recruitment freeze “in line with hiring restrictions implemented by the Federal Government across APS agencies.
As a result, external recruitment at CSIRO has been frozen. Term and casual employment contracts will not be renewed unless ‘mission critical’. Post doc appointments and indigenous cadetships are exempt.
Update from management
CSIRO have now confirmed that the decision to implement the freeze was that of the Executive team alone and not as a result of a direction from Government. So why is CSIRO reducing science capability by implementing a freeze voluntarily?
Read the letter from management here.
It appears the answer may be financial. In their most recent letter to the Staff Association, management revealed that “current staffing levels are above budgeted levels for 2013/14”.
Key Questions remain unanswered
Three weeks since the hiring freeze was announced and despite repeated requests from the Staff Association to management for clarification, key questions remain unanswered.
- How long will the recruitment freeze remain in place? The latest responses seem to indicate that the “interim” restrictions may now apply indefinitely.
- What areas of science and which sites will be impacted? CSIRO management’s response has simply failed to answer this question.
- What percentage of work performed by CSIRO staff will be declared mission critical? CSIRO’s response failed to answer this question.
- How many post doctoral fellowships and indigenous cadetships will be quarantined from the freeze? Again, CSIRO’s response failed to adequately address this question.
CSIRO staffing levels are falling
In information provided by management to the ABC it appears CSIRO staffing levels have already dropped below 6,300 following this year’s redundancies. With the freeze progressively reducing non-ongoing employees it looks like CSIRO staffing numbers – and science capability – may continue to diminish.
The Staff Association is strongly opposed to this round of job cuts from CSIRO management. The union will be supporting individual members affected by the freeze.
A full range of activities will also be considered as part of a wider campaign to protect critical research and jobs at CSIRO.
Visit our campaign website for regular updates.