CSIRO set to lose one in five staff over two years

New analysis from the union representing workers at the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) reveals that job losses at the national laboratory will be worse than originally forecast, resulting in the loss of one in five employees over a two year period.

Federal Government budget cuts totalling $115 million have wreaked havoc on the organisation, resulting in hundreds of jobs lost and the cancellation of important research.

Counting the cost of cuts 

CSIRO cuts worse than expected

CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski warned that the size and scale of the cuts were larger than expected.

“The job losses are ten percent higher than forecast following the Federal Budget cuts and CSIRO’s internal restructure. As the Government has slashed funding into CSIRO, it has at the same time damaged the confidence of industry to invest in CSIRO research,” Mr Popovski said.

The analysis predicts that 878 positions are expected to be cut at CSIRO by the end of June 2015, a 14.7 per cent cut to the workforce over the financial year. This is larger than CSIRO management’s earlier forecast of approximately 770 job losses.

One in five CSIRO jobs set to go

Combined with the 513 jobs cut in the previous financial year; CSIRO is forecast to cut 1,391 jobs over a two year period ending 30 June 2015  representing a 21.5 per cent cut to the workforce, or the loss of in five CSIRO jobs.

“Declining external investment from business partnerships prompted CSIRO management in March  to announce an internal restructure. However the Abbott Government’s federal budget – containing a brutal $115 million funding cut – dealt a hammer blow,” Mr Popovski said.

“CSIRO now faces the unprecedented loss of one-in-five staff over a two year period. Australians who believe in The Clever Country will be utterly dismayed by this news,” he said.

Location impact

In total numbers, the 2014-15 job cuts will be highest in Victoria (221) the Australian Capital Territory (167) and New South Wales (161) where more than half of the CSIRO workforce is located.

However when the predicted job losses are considered as a proportion of the existing workforce, Tasmania (76) Western Australia (79) and South Queensland (116) will be hit hard.

The release of the analysis – built on management documents provided to the Staff Association – comes a week following the release of an internal CSIRO report showing staff morale and confidence in senior leadership plunging to record lows.

“The Staff Association calls on the Government and incoming Chief Executive Larry Marshall to arrest this downward spiral, urgently restore funding and rebuild morale in the proud organisation that is CSIRO,” Mr Popovski said.

More information


To arrange an interview with Sam Popovski email anthony.keenan@cpsu.org.au or call 0410 330 764.

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