On 31 October 2013, Chief Executive Megan Clark emailed all CSIRO staff advising an immediate recruitment freeze covering external recruitment and any new or renewal of term or casual contract employment arrangements. Read the email here.
Staff Association reaction
The Staff Association is opposed to the freeze and concerned that the decision threatens the next generation of innovation. The latest cuts follow the loss of more than 200 positions earlier this year, with management then citing pressure on external revenues and private sector investment. Read more here.
Update – Dispute Notified
The Staff Association has written to CSIRO and notified a dispute, as per the terms of the enterprise agreement.
Read more in this report from ABC Rural here.
How many jobs might be lost?
While CSIRO management have described the freeze as an ‘interim’ arrangement, no end date has been set. Management’s latest comments suggest that the restriction will apply indefinitely. As of 30 June 2013, CSIRO employs 1,473 casual, indefinite or term staff – about 22 per cent of the total workforce. While management have denied that these 1,400 positions will be lost, they have also failed to clarify how many jobs are threatened or how long the freeze will continue for.
What areas of research will be affected?
Again, management have failed to clarify which areas of research will be affected by the hiring restriction. The Staff Association has written to management, setting out a series of issues for urgent clarification. Management have provided a written response, plus a supplementary response, however their letter has failed to answer key questions.
Chief Executive Megan Clark recently gave evidence before Senate Estimates and was asked several questions on the issue. Read the transcript here.
What happens next?
The Staff Association is strongly opposed to this round of job cuts from CSIRO management. The union will also be supporting individual members affected by the freeze.
A full range of activities will also be considered as part of a wider campaign to protect critical research and jobs at CSIRO.
Know your rights
The Staff Association produces fact sheets on a range of workplace issues. Two particularly relevant fact sheets in the current environment relate to:
The complete set of resources can be found here.
Support for members
Members in need of support are encouraged to contact their local Staff Association delegate for initial advice. More information, including how to find your local delegate, can be found here.
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