CSIRO job cuts total 64 so far

The CSIRO is still working through job cuts that could see as many as 200 roles go.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

While the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has warned 200 jobs will go due to cuts at Austraila's peak research organisation, the CSIRO, CEO Dr Megan Clark has indicated that many of the staff will be redeployed, as the organisation has already reduced its headcount by 64 in the last year.

In April the CPSU warned that a 2.5 percent cut to the CSIRO due to cuts external organisations were making in research funding for the CSIRO would mean as many as 200 of the 6500 employees at the CSIRO could lose their jobs.

Clark told a Budget estimates hearing today that there were a total of 200 roles affected by the cuts but that the final number of redundancies had yet to be determined.

"There are around 200 people affected but in terms of the final number of redundancies, that needs to await the completion of our process of potential redeployment throughout the organisation as well as opportunities for retraining."

As of the end of April, the organisation's headcount had been reduced by 64 positions. It was difficult to determine which other staff would be affected.

The CSIRO indicated at estimates that once a position is being made redundant, the staff member holding that position goes through an eight-week to two-month process to look at opportunities for redeployment or retraining.

"At this stage I cannot give you an absolute number because we rely on redeployment," Clark said.

Yesterday CSIRO announced that Clark would have her five-year term as CEO extended by another year until the end of 2014.

The announcement was criticised by opposition parliamentary secretary for science Richard Colbeck given the original term extended beyond the September federal election.

The CSIRO board appoints the CEO, but Science Minister Don Farrell confirmed that Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the rest of Cabinet approved the decision prior to the announcement.

According to Farrell, CSIRO chairman Simon McKeon attempted to inform opposition science spokesperson Sophie Mirabella of the reappointment on the Thursday and Friday of last week, but when Mirabella did not return calls, he resorted to notifying her of the appointment via SMS.

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