The careers of CSIRO Education staff hang in the balance as senior management continue work on a major overhaul of the organisation’s education and outreach programs.
Staff Association representatives met with senior CSIRO managers this week seeking more detail on the new model and the likely impact on Education jobs.
The changes could spell a further decline in science education for Australian primary and secondary school students.
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An earlier review conducted by private consultants in November last year canvassed several options, including ceasing all educational programs to schools and closing CSIRO’s education centres.
The review into CSIRO education and outreach programs began late last year, with management engaging Paili Consulting to produce an options paper. The subsequent report – which surfaced in November – immediately sparked concern among Education staff across the country.
Options canvassed included ceasing all educational programs to schools and closing CSIRO’s education centres, to outsourcing the centres to private providers and embracing a digital-only delivery model.
Following the negative reaction to the report’s unsentimental conclusions, senior management conducted a series of meetings with staff as part of wider stakeholder consultation process.
New model light on detail
Management have since released a proposed model for education and outreach programs named CSIRO Experience. While the proposal sets out key principles and charts a timeframe to implementation, key details such as the impact on jobs and careers are omitted.
The proposed model is also silent on the fate of Education centres and whether these might be closed or privatised.
Education staff already face an uncertain future. With a high percentage of casuals and contract staff, Education is uniquely exposed to CSIRO’s recruitment freeze.
According to management’s timeframe, the new model will be finalised by April. The remainder of 2014 will entail preparation and transition to the new system, before implementation on 1 January 2015.
Have your say
The Staff Association is calling on Education staff to share their thoughts on the review process. Post a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org