CSIRO staff stage national protests over Government funding cuts

Staff at the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) will hold national protest meetings on Thursday, in opposition to harsh federal budget measures will cost hundreds of jobs, site closures and cuts to whole areas of research.

Media: Contact Anthony Keenan on 0410 330 764

During last month’s budget, the Federal Government’s announced a $115 million funding cut to Australia’s premier scientific organisation, in addition to indirect measures that will affect CSIRO such as cuts to Cooperative Research Centres (CRC), the Australian Climate Change Science program and Department of Industry initiatives such as Industry Innovation Precincts.

CSIRO metropolitan staff to protest Thursday 26 June  

CSIRO employees in capital cities will hold a series of mass meetings to protest against cuts to funding, jobs, research and site closures. Staff will rally during lunchtime at major CSIRO sites in Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.

Canberra – Staff will gather at 12.30pm, Thursday 26 June at CSIRO Black Mountain, outside the Ecosystems Science Building.

North Ryde – Staff will gather at 12pm, Thursday 26 June Meet outside CSIRO North Ryde, Julius Ave.

Melbourne – Staff will gather at 12.30pm, Thursday 26 June in the open space, near the Gate 5 entrance of CSIRO Clayton.

Brisbane – Staff will gather at 12.30pm, Thursday 26 June on the front lawn near Evacuation Point 1, QCAT (Pullenvale)

Perth – Staff will gather at 12pm, outside the main entrance of CSIRO Waterford, Perth.

Adelaide – Kintore Avenue Staff will gather at 12.30pm, Thursday 26 June in the South Meeting Room and Waite Laboratory Staff will gather at 12.30pm, Thursday 26 June in the Main Seminar Room.

Hobart – Staff will gather at 12.30pm, Thursday 26 June at outside CSIRO Hobart, Battery Point

These protest meetings follow similar events earlier this week at CSIRO regional sites all over the country including Alice Springs, Armidale, Atherton, Geelong, Griffith, Geraldton, Myall Vale, Narrabri, Newcastle, Townsville and the St Lucia and Dutton Park workplaces in Brisbane.

CSIRO facing cuts crisis

Staff Association Acting Secretary Dr Michael Borgas said the numbers of CSIRO jobs already gone and those still forecast to go represented an unprecedented situation.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that CSIRO faces a jobs crisis, we could be looking at the largest reduction in staffing at CSIRO in the organsisation’s history.

“The CSIRO faces a cut of 700 staff in the coming year of 2014-15. This number of 700 is made up of 420 jobs lost to direct government cuts and 280 jobs gone as a result of the organizational restructure and cuts to important support functions.

The 700 is on top of 477 jobs already cut over the past twelve months, which includes the results of the federal government’s public sector recruitment freeze.

“And the cuts are set to continue. Management forecast that Government cuts will cost another 80 in the year 2015/16. “Add it all up and we’re talking about a 19% cut to CSIRO’s workforce in only two years,” Dr Borgas said.

Research areas to be hit include: neuroscience and colorectal cancer; Geothermal research, carbon capture and storage and liquid fuels; manufacturing research including bioscience, nanoscience, device engineering and systems, and high performance metal industries;  urban water; terrestrial biodiversity; Marine biodiversity, marine habitat mapping; and Radio Astronomy.   

Media: Contact Anthony Keenan on 0410 330 764

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