A strategy overhaul and restructure at CSIRO’s Energy Business Unit is expected to result in dozens of job losses for researchers across Australia.
In a national presentation to all Energy staff in early March, senior management admitted that the financial position of the business unit has weakened significantly; citing a ‘revenue shortfall’ in external earnings due to ‘major projects finishing’ and describing the current budget position as ‘not realistic’.
‘Our financial position driven by falling revenue is not sustainable,’ the presentation states and ‘uncertainty is severely impacting staff… the status quo is not an option (and) our strategy requires a shift in capability and focus.’
Following the last bargaining negotiation meeting, the Staff Association reported to members that CSIRO management were considering changes to existing Enterprise Agreement (EA) entitlements on relocation and redundancy.
The Staff Association’s position in negotiations is no change to either of these important EA clauses.
CSIRO has admitted to a Senate committee that the application of the Government’s Average Staffing Level (ASL) restrictions has fuelled massive growth in the use of labour-hire and contactors at the expense of ongoing and fixed term employment.
Elsewhere, a scathing report from a separate parliamentary investigation into public sector service delivery has called for the immediate lifting of the ASL cap; agreeing with a Staff Association submission made last year that predicted the policy would drive an outsourcing boom at CSIRO.
Chief Operating Officer Judy Zielke revealed the extent of the growth in contract and labour hire staff, reporting an increase of more than 130 per cent since last July.