CSIRO staff union fights back at job cuts

Report by Lucy Barbour, ABC Rural

The CSIRO Staff Association plans to take Australia’s premier research and science organisation to the Fair Work Commission over its decision to cut hundreds of jobs.

The Federal Government says up to 600 non-permanent CSIRO employees, including scientists and support staff, could lose their jobs as part of the organisation’s hiring freeze, but the staff association believes the number will be closer to 1400.

CSIRO Staff Association secretary, Sam Popovski says the pledge to lodge a dispute to the Fair Work Commission has about 1000 staff signatures.

Read this story on the ABC Rural website.

“The complaint is that there’s been no consultation with staff, staff representatives or the staff association prior to the imposition of this recruitment freeze and very little information provided subsequently,” he said.

“It doesn’t allow staff to understand which jobs will be on the line and also, this hiring freeze is categorised as temporary, without an end date.”

“We think that there is some challenges to actually get that information out of CSIRO but we are appealing to CSIRO’s not just technical and legal obligations to staff, but also their moral and their support aspects to staff,” he said

“To actually behave as proper managers and give this information to staff so we can support each other through this difficult time.”

Mr Popovski says the association has informed the CSIRO of its plans and it hopes to meet with management before lodging the dispute..

In a statement, the CSIRO said it has been in ongoing talks with the staff association and those discussions will continue.

A spokesperson said, “In accordance with our Enterprise Agreement dispute resolution clause, the staff association is seeking a meeting with senior management in the first instance. If the staff association does not agree the issue has been resolved it may then refer the matter the Fair Work Commission.

“We are hopeful any outstanding issues can be resolved before it came to that.”

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