The union representing CSIRO workers has lodged a fresh dispute with the Fair Work Commission, seeking to prevent hundreds of job cuts that would permanently damage Australia’s premier science organisation.
Action is being taken now because CSIRO management is continuing to pursue career ending forced redundancies, with at least 317 staff expected to be sacked including world-leading scientists and engineers in areas including climate change, biodiversity, landscape management and food safety.
The CSIRO Staff Association, which is a section of the CPSU, has today lodged a dispute on the basis that CSIRO management including chief Larry Marshall ignored proper and agreed procedure by targeting individuals and business units for job cuts.
The Fair Work Commission is continuing to consider a previous dispute around a lack of consultation around the job cuts.
CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said:
“The CPSU, including the CSIRO Staff Association, is doing absolutely everything possible to stop these destructive and short-sighted cuts before it’s too late. These cuts have exposed Malcolm Turnbull’s hollow rhetoric around science and innovation, as he says one thing and does another.
“These illogical cuts have provided plenty of motivation for our members in CSIRO as they’ve campaigned for the defeat of the Turnbull Government on Saturday. They know that Labor has committed to stopping these cuts. This new action in Fair Work shows we also have a far broader and longer term strategy to save CSIRO.
“There’s no logical reason to be cutting CSIRO jobs, especially in critical areas like climate change, and we believe management’s approach breaches CSIRO’s enterprise agreement. We are working to stop staff being forcibly terminated,” Ms Flood said.
CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski said:
“It’s hard to remember a more grim or desperate time in CSIRO’s history. We’re providing as much support as we can to hundreds of staff who have dedicated their lives to science.
“The fundamental capacity of CSIRO has been hollowed out by previous job cuts, so there are genuine fears that cutting more jobs in such an inconsistent and haphazard fashion might be tipping point from which the organisation may never recover,” Mr Popovski said.