Scientists, technicians and administration staff from CSIRO, ANSTO and other science agencies will attend rallies and events in capital and regional cities on Tuesday, August 29, 2000.
They are taking this action as part of a growing public campaign to force the Federal Government to reconsider its plans to outsource their information technology (IT).
According to the CSIRO Staff Association and the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), government proposals to outsource IT infrastructure and services are one of the most significant threats ever to face science agencies and should be stopped.
Affected organisations include CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Nuclear Science Technology Organisation, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australian Geological Survey Organisation and the Australian Antarctic Division.
Dr Pauline Gallagher, CSIRO Staff Association Assistant Secretary said
scientists fear for the future of their work and CSIRO as a
The Government wants to put IT systems in CSIRO out to tender
out by the end of the year, and appears to have no idea of the serious
impact this will have on CSIRO research activity, said Dr
CSIRO's success relies on teamwork and the IT people are
an important part of that team. Outsourcing make no sense.
Dr Chris Dyt, Scientific Officer with the CSIRO Division of Petroleum
Resources in Adelaide is involved in building hydrodynamic fluid
models for predicting sediment distributions in ocean
basins. Understanding the quality of sediments allows for more
reliable oil exploration.
We have contracts with US oil companies to
do this work and everything I do involves using the computer. We are
constantly adding to and changing the program. If I have a problem and
I can't fix it myself, then I can get help within an hour or two, but
if it is outsourced there may be a couple of days down time while I
wait for someone who understands the system, to come.