Following protest meetings against cuts to jobs and research – involving more than a thousand CSIRO employees in worksites all over Australia – the Staff Association has written to the Government seeking urgent talks.
No time to lose
Staff Association President Dr Michael Borgas said that it was time to start the conversation.
“There’s a widespread lack of understanding about the science that Australia does, particularly in our national, public laboratories and that’s got to turn around.
“So the sooner we can start those conversations the better, but we’re not pretending that we’re going to get an instant outcome.
“There’s not a second to lose because we can’t afford this sort of short sighted cut to happen again,” Dr Borgas said.
New Senate will examine Innovation
Dr Borgas called on Staff Association members to get involved in an upcoming inquiry focussing on science and research.
“The Senate’s Economics References Committee will soon begin an inquiry into Australia’s innovation system.
“It’s a great opportunity for members to help make the case for greater investment in Australian science and the development of a truly sustainable funding model for CSIRO.”
“The Staff Association will soon survey members to help form our submission to the inquiry. We’re also calling for any members interested in taking a more active role in the inquiry to join a special working group,” Dr Borgas said.
To register your interest in joining the Innovation Inquiry Working Group, please email us with your contact details.
Message for Macfarlane
In a letter to the Minister, Dr Borgas pointed out that the action was unusual for CSIRO staff.
“Scientists did not take this action lightly. The Government’s $115 million funding cut has set CSIRO on a path that will result in the largest number of job losses in the organisation’s history.
“Staff are also deeply concerned at cuts to important research and the impact on Australia’s national interest,” Dr Borgas writes.
Meeting with the Minister
“Minister, we respectfully request to meet with you and your staff to relay the concerns of CSIRO employees directly,” Dr Borgas writes.
“Similar to the opportunity afforded to employees of the manufacturing industry, we believe that CSIRO staff deserve the chance to meet with you directly and demonstrate the importance of CSIRO’s science to Australia’s future.”