At a recent meeting, the Staff Association Council endorsed motions which condemned and deplored the proposed latest cuts.
Over several weeks, Staff Association Councillors have received overwhelming feedback from members on the shock announcement made by Chief Executive Larry Marshall on 4 February.
Staff Association members immediately raised concerns about the rationale behind the proposal – including how specific scientific areas were selected – as well as criticising the lack of transparency behind the move.
All motions condemning the actions of CSIRO Executive were unanimously supported by Staff Association Section Council as a clear articulation of the opinions of the wider membership.
A motion was also passed condemning the payment of bonuses to senior executives while hundreds of CSIRO jobs are under threat.
Other issues discussed at Council included the Government’s innovation agenda, the SROM project, Data61, upcoming workplace and community campaigns as well as continuing to facilitate member engagement and participation.
The CSIRO Staff Association Council condemns and deplores the proposal by the CEO Larry Marshall to effect sweeping structural changes and job losses in CSIRO. The process preceding the proposal lacks integrity and it would have a devastating impact on public-good science including environmental and climate research fields.
As a consequence of the 4 February CEO announcement of research and job cuts the CSIRO Staff Association Council declares that it has lost confidence in the competence of the CSIRO CEO, Executive and Board to look after the interests of public sector science.
We believe the CSIRO brand and reputation has been damaged by the proposal and media interviews. There has been no staff consultation on the proposal and impacts of the 10% clawback of business unit funding. The integrity of our science and the relations with our partners is at risk. The CEO’s proposal is not justified by staff input to the CSIRO Strategy which did not set priorities for science areas.
The Staff Association membership is committed to uphold the integrity of the organisation and the respect for staff. We call for suspension of the proposal until genuine consultation with all staff has occurred.
Section Council strongly criticises the CSIRO Executive Team (ET) for accepting exorbitant financial bonuses prior to proposing further significant staffing cuts and calls on the ET to declare their intentions with respect to seeking bonuses for this financial year.
ET bonuses should not be awarded at a time when:
- An effective pay cut is faced by staff due to inadequate Executive leadership on enterprise bargaining
- Back to back restructures and re-directions of business unit research are indicative of poor decision making by the ET
- Failure to secure adequate funding from governments persists
- The ET fail to champion public good science and the long term interests of our science and scientists
- The organisation fails to effectively deal with an ongoing culture of bullying
- 1 in 5 staff have lost their jobs already over the past two years.
We would find it completely unjustified and insulting to staff should ET financial bonuses be sought and awarded by the CSIRO Board in the current circumstance.