More detail has been released regarding Chief Executive Larry Marshall’s controversial plan to cut hundreds of jobs from CSIRO with no Australian state or territory spared from the cuts.
Management documents outlining Dr Marshall’s proposal emerges as the country readies for a Federal Election where the major parties have identified the contribution of science and research to economic and public benefits.
The documents predict some 317 redundancies with a staggering 441 staff affected across six business units.
However total proposed redundancies could reach as high as 370 with the inclusion of Data61 (25) and Research Support (comprised of 21 finance / project support positions and 7 jobs from Victoria’s Clayton laboratories).
CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski said the proposed cuts should be stopped immediately.
Marshall refuses to listen
“The full extent of Dr Marshall’s damaging plan is starting to emerge. If allowed to continue, Australia’s research effort in key industries will be diminished and science jobs will be lost around the country.
“Both Treasurer Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten mentioned CSIRO by name as they outlined their plans for the Australian economy this budget week.
“It’s obvious that Dr Marshall and CSIRO Executives are out of touch and have stopped listening to politicians, the public and scientific community.”
Fight for jobs not over
Mr Popovski said the Staff Association will continue to campaign against the proposed cuts at CSIRO, stressing that several legal, industrial and political options remain at the union’s disposal.
“The fight for CSIRO jobs is far from over,” Mr Popovski said. “We’ll examine these documents before considering next steps which may include an escalation of our legal strategy to stop these short-sighted cuts.”
Oceans and Atmosphere
The Oceans and Atmosphere science unit is facing up to 74 job losses that are set to impact across a staggering array of research programs and projects. Affected areas include; the measurement and sample collection of paleo greenhouse gas emission, observation and modelling of air quality, analysis of climate variability, extreme weather and climate services, generalist marine ecology and much more.
Job losses will be felt hardest in Melbourne (32), Canberra (14), and Tasmania (12) with more positions to go from SE Queensland, Northern Australia and Western Australia.
Land and Water
Documents show that up to 85 jobs at the Land and Water science unit are potentially affected with 67 FTE positions due to be shed. Research areas at threat include; biodiversity, organismal ecology, restoration ecology and landscape management, routine chemical analysis and analytical services, urban water and systems research, behavioural, political and social science advice and consultancy, and soil archive and sample maintenance.
Brisbane (21) may bear the brunt of cuts followed by Canberra (17) Melbourne and Tasmania (18), Adelaide (13), Perth (8) and Northern Australia (8).
Up to 128 Manufacturing staff are anticipated to be impacted, with 42 predicted to be made redundant. There will be a review of science effort across chemistry, biology, materials science and engineering research.
Redundancies in Manufacturing are expected to hit hardest in Victoria; with 26 jobs set to go from Melbourne’s Clayton laboratories and another 10 from Geelong. Syndey is expected to lose 7 positions.
63 Agriculture staff are expected to be affected resulting in 26 redundancies across six sites. Research capability across the organisation looks likely to be affected across the board with the science unit opting to increase workloads while cutting staff.
Job losses will be largest in Brisbane (10), followed by Canberra (10), other sites (7) and Armidale (2).
The Minerals science unit will cull around 40 positions, comprising of 33 redundancies with a number of term positions not set for renewal.
Cuts will affect process science and engineering capabilities, exploration geoscience, online analysis, and control and resource characterisation capabilities.
Exact numbers on the location of redundancies are not yet known but it is anticipated that Perth will be heavily targeted, followed by Melbourne.
Food and Nutrition
20 staff from CSIRO Food and Nutrition will be cut. There will be a reduction of research in areas such as small animal models of human health and broader food safety capability in favour of industry-led research.
Sydney (10-11) will lose most followed by South Australia (8).
Finance and Project Support
CSIRO also plan to cut 21 positions from Finance and Project support; mainly administrative and project support for researchers. Exact location details are still to be determined.
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