The Change the Rules campaign – focused on overhauling Australia’s workplace laws and building a fairer system – has picked up pace in CSIRO with the launch of a Staff Association initiative set to run until early 2019.
With a federal election approaching that will feature wages, conditions and workplace rights as a key battleground, a recent series of national Change the Rules rallies drew hundreds of thousands of union members and supporters into the streets of Australia’s capital cities and regional centres.
Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski said that CSIRO staff across the country would be asked to commit to supporting the Change the Rules campaign.
The debate over staff representation on the CSIRO Board – similar to arrangements at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – continues to build with extensive discussions planned in the new year ahead of the federal election.
Quentin Dempster – former ABC journalist and board member – addressed CSIRO Staff Association members across the country recently about workplace democracy and the role of a staff-elected director.
Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski said that enthusiasm at the CSIRO workplace level encouraged further development of the concept.
A Bureau of Meteorology plan to centralise all weather forecasting in Melbourne and Brisbane within two years has ignited fears that regional communities will bear the brunt of job cuts and a loss of local expertise.
The radical plan is the brainchild of Bureau Chief Executive Dr Andrew Johnson, the former head of CSIRO’s now-defunct Sustainable Ecosystems division, whose tenure coincided with significant cuts to regional science.