CSIRO’s Board has announced the reappointment of Chief Executive Larry Marshall’s contract until the end of the decade.
Chairman David Thodey confirmed the move in an email to staff, following a two day Board meeting in Sydney.
“Dr Marshall has our support to continue to implement (the) Strategy 2020,” Mr Thodey said.
The news was accompanied by the release of an all staff survey at CSIRO that reported what Dr Marshall described as “lowering morale,” and the results of an independent review by Ernst and Young into the restructure that resulted in the loss of hundreds of research positions.
Staff morale is a serious problem
“The Staff Association welcomes the full release of these two reports. We are analysing the results and recommendations,” said CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski.
“However even a cursory examination of these reports confirm the terribly low morale of staff, the poor restructure processes that have occurred this year and the lack of confidence and trust in CSIRO senior management.”
“Staff need concrete outcomes and changes before morale can improve and the reputation of CSIRO can be restored,” Mr Popovski said.
More questions to come
The organisation will be subjected to more scrutiny over coming months. In October, Executives will travel to Parliament and face Senate Estimates. CSIRO was also referred to the Commonwealth Auditor General earlier this year for investigation into management conduct during the restructure process.
Mr Popovski renewed the Staff Association’s demand for an independent, external review of CSIRO’s governance and corporate management; a move backed by Labor and the Greens prior to the 2016 Federal Election.
“CSIRO needs to be led better to return to doing what it does best. Public good science for the Australian people as well as research to assist Australian industry,” Mr Popovski said.
Attack on rights and conditions must stop
Despite the low morale and lack of confidence, senior management have continued to attack the working conditions and rights of CSIRO staff, Mr Popovski said.
“Staff are demanding that CSIRO resolves the enterprise bargaining dispute by offering a reasonable deal.
“There should be no cuts to working conditions and rights, period. However for management to propose this direct attack on staff – after we’ve experienced the worst cuts to funding and jobs in CSIRO’s history – is appalling.”
“Larry Marshall’s contract has been extended but the deep problems confronting CSIRO staff won’t go away anytime soon.”