Flagships to rule in CSIRO restructure. But many questions remain.

What are the key features of the new structure?

Divisions will be abolished and replaced with a new structure comprised of nine Flagship “homes”, where all “impact science” staff will be based. The other two “operational lines” in the structure will be National Facilities (ATNF/ASKAP, Marine Research vessel, AAHL and Australian Collections) and Commercial Services (Education, Publishing, Technical Services, Advisory/SME engagement and the Australian Collaborative Innovation Network). The other part of the overall structure is a distinct sector containing all support functions (IM&T, Finance, HR, HSE etc.).

A process of mapping all staff to their Flagship home is scheduled to be completed by 1 July 2014. Staff not currently allocated to a Flagship will be mapped to a ‘platform’ within their Flagship home. The first version of the mapping is to be completed for consideration by CSIRO Executive in early April.

Staff Association meets with senior management.

On 18 March the Staff Association met with Deputy CEO Craig Roy and senior management/HR. In introducing the meeting, the Deputy CEO stated that overall the response to the restructure announcement has been positive (including from external stakeholders), but that understandably many staff have concerns about how the restructure will affect them individually.

How many jobs will be lost as a result of the restructure?

Frustratingly CSIRO Executive are not prepared to provide an estimate at this stage. The only response to Staff Association questions on job losses was that “it will not be 500”. The current uncertainty is causing confusion amongst staff as well as driving media speculation. The likelihood of redundancies from management levels and from Divisional support areas appears certain.

What do we know about the process for selecting new Flagship leaders and deputies?

There will be 20 new positions created (9 Flagship Directors, 9 Deputy Directors and 2 Commercial/BD) relative to 21 impacted staff (current Divisional Chiefs, Flagship Directors and the GM, Commercialisation). These new positions, along with the CSIRO Executive, will make up the new Executive Management Council (EMC). Successful applicants to the new positions will be announced in about a week by the CEO. The positions will all be covered by the EBA and the process being used is consistent with Redeployment and Redundancy procedures.

What about other leadership and management roles?

Obviously, the first part of the restructure will not result in a large management cull (10 to 8 on the Executive plus 21 to 20 at the EMC level). Instead, there are more dramatic changes likely at the management levels below. The new “Research Team Leaders” who are expected to be given delegations equivalent to current Deputy Chiefs, are likely to number around 100. Current Deputy Flagship Directors, Deputy Chiefs and other key science leaders, currently numbering over 200, may all be in the mix for the Research Team Leader roles.

 No Annual Directions statement until after the Federal Budget.

At the meeting with the Deputy CEO, Staff Association representatives were advised that an Annual Directions Statement will not be released until after the Federal Budget on 13 May 2014. This is understandable given uncertainty about the Abbott Government’s approach to public sector funding and jobs and potential recommendations arising from the Commission of Audit process.

Some consolidation planned in support areas.

The Deputy CEO indicated there would be some “consolidation” of functionality in support areas, with references to Business Development, Commercial and Communications. The Staff Association also asked specific questions about other support areas, including project support, IM&T, finance/admin services, and submitted that these areas had already been endlessly restructured. CSIRO undertook to have further discussions with Staff Association representatives about specific support areas at forthcoming meetings.

No sites to be closed as a result of the restructure.

The Deputy CEO clearly stated that there was no plan to close any CSIRO sites as a result of the restructure process, other than progressing the consolidations that have already been announced (e.g. Black Mountain and Clayton).

How can Staff Association members influence the implementation of the new structure?

Staff Association members will be able to influence the outcomes arising from changes to organisational arrangements. Please continue to:

  • ·         Provide feedback to your Staff Association delegate, organiser or by email to csstaff@cpsu.org.au
  • ·         Talk to your colleagues about joining the Staff Association, if they are not yet members.
  • ·         Talk to your fellow Staff Association members and your organiser about arranging Staff Association forums to collectively discuss the changes arising from the new structure.


Staff Association representatives are having regular meetings with CSIRO management/HR. The next meeting is scheduled on Wednesday 26 March. It’s important that members supply comments, opinions and questions.


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