The intention of this blog site is to provide a point of contact and information for current and former employees of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) who have experienced bullying, harassment, victimisation or other forms of anti-social behaviour as a result of their employment with CSIRO.
We encourage all current and former staff of the CSIRO who have experienced such behaviour to contact us via the groups email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VictimsOfCSIRO
- Starting in 2002, concerns have been raised as to the development and growth of a management culture of bullying and intimidation at CSIRO. This link summarises those concerns over the years: Listing of Public Information on CSIRO – 2 – Bullying and Intimidation – Brief History of the Concerns
- Scientists have been denied the free speech that is an inherent part of being a professional scientist. This link summarises those concerns: Listing of Public Information on CSIRO – 3 – Bullying and Intimidation – Censorship of the Professional Views of Scientists
- In 2009, a new Chief Executive was appointed to CSIRO amidst promises of a “Zero Harm” policy toward workplace bullying and intimidation. This link summarises what happened thereafter: Listing of Public Information on CSIRO – 4 – Bullying and Intimidation – A New Chief Executive in 2009
- In recent years, incidents of bullying and intimidation have continued and even increased. We are aware of more than 60 scientists who have had often horrific experiences at the hands of CSIRO managers and executives. The stories of 14 high-profile scientists can be found herelisting-of-public-information-on-csiro-5-bullying-and-intimidation-involuntary-separation-case-studies-of-14-senior-scientists. The story of a single CSIRO Division can be found here: Listing of Public Information on CSIRO – 6 – Bullying and Intimidation – Case Study of a CSIRO Division. The stories of two further employees can be in the stories section of this website.
- Most recently, scientists Warwick Raverty and Sylwester Chyb have publicly complained of “endemic” and “systemic” management bullying and intimidation at CSIRO. Raverty has publicly exposed the “many acts of bullying and intimidation” he saw and was subjected to at CSIRO. His story can be viewed in the media section of this website. Chyb has sued CSIRO in Federal Court and obtained a Comcare investigation into his case. His story can be viewed in the media section of this website.
- Despite numerous complaints by these and many other employees to the Chief Executive, various senior executives, and even the Board of Directors at CSIRO, nothing has been done.
- In 2012, seven ex-CSIRO scientists jointly hired a legal team and wrote to Comcare requesting a formal investigation of the workplace practices and management culture of CSIRO.
- In Senate Estimates hearings on 28 May 2012, CSIRO executives were questioned about management bullying and harassment at CSIRO. They claimed to be unaware of the problem and cited a statement in a confidential Comcare report which appeared to suggest that no problem exists. The transcripts of their responses can be found here and here. However, nothing could be further from the truth. We have, as individuals, written to them, met personally with them, emailed them, requested formal investigations by them, and even sued them in one case. In our oppinion, it is preposterous, misleading and deceptive for them to say that they were not aware of the extent of the problem.
- Shadow Minister of Science, Sophie Mirabella issued a statement after the Senate Estimates severely criticising and condeming CSIRO. Her press release can be read here.
- Comcare wrote to CSIRO after the Senate Estimates expressing their extreme displeasure at the disclosure of the confidential report and stating that the quote used by CSIRO was “out of context” and that CSIRO also failed to disclose to the Senate that “the draft report also contains preliminary findings that the CSIRO breached its occupational health and safety duties with respect to its handling of some of the allegations of bullying made by anad against Dr Chyb”. Comcare demanded that CSIRO “issue a correction to hansard as soon as is practicable”. Read the Comcare letter here.
- In summary: CSIRO appears to have little respect for its staff, its legal obligations, the regulator (Comcare), and even the Senate and Parliament of Australia.
Who Are We?/Our History
The Victims Of CSIRO group was formed in mid-2011 as a result of conversations between a number of former CSIRO employees who all shared common experiences of bullying, harassment and/or coercive behaviour whilst employees of the CSIRO. It soon became apparent from the large body of information between the former employees that this was a significant issue requiring a coordinated approach to address effectively.
A number of our members have previously approached CSIRO at both Senior Executive and Board level to address these issues without success.
Our purpose is to provide support and advocacy for those who have experienced inappropriate workplace behaviour. We feel that effective communication and collaboration between affected parties and a focused approach in pursuing and addressing the damaging workplace culture within the CSIRO is the only way to effect positive change within the organisation.
Our group is made up of members with long-standing affiliations with the CSIRO (in some cases spanning decades) who are passionate about public standing and integrity of this much loved and respected Australian public institution. Similarly we are highly dismayed by the apparent dilution of the integrity and standing of the institution as a result of the purely selfish interests of a number of very highly placed individuals who do not have the best interest of the CSIRO at heart.
Our intentions have not been, are not, and never will be to diminish or damage the reputation of the CSIRO.
What we are not able to do
We are not able to provide legal advice… etc.