Preliminary findings from a survey tracking the impact of the implementation of the Government’s staffing cap at CSIRO glimpse an organisation increasingly constrained and failing to secure growth opportunities as the cap chokes research and collaboration.
The intensified application of the Average Staffing Level (ASL) cap across the public sector means that CSIRO is now actively restricting recruitment despite having the resources – often from external earnings not government appropriations – to hire more staff to meet demand.
Early results from a survey asking CSIRO employees to share experience on the impact of the cap indicate that increasing workloads, job insecurity and growing pressure on customer relationships are some of the major concerns of members, CSIRO Staff Association Sam Popovski said.
Recent CSIRO staff survey results – while demonstrating overall improvement in organisational morale and purpose – also shows a lack of progress on collaboration, employee recognition and reward as well as trust in senior management.
The 2019 edition of the CSIRO all staff survey was conducted in May and attracted a 73 per cent response rate. Completed by external contractor Willis Towers Watson; the survey report characterised the results as “mostly trending in the right direction.”
However, despite clear improvement in staff engagement and good ratings on health and safety, diversity and confidence in line management; some of the results betray a stubborn lack of progress at CSIRO, Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski said.
Recent media attention on a High Court ruling relating to the dismissal of an Australian Public Service employee has generated discussion on the decision’s ramifications for staff working at CSIRO and across the federal public sector.
The decision by Australia’s highest court – finding in favour of an appeal sponsored by the Federal Government – overturns a ruling by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) which had sided with the former Department of Immigration employee at the centre of the case.