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The big bully theory investigated at CSIRO

Premium science org rife with bullying

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Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation - better known as CSIRO - is rife with bullying according to an assessment by workplace relations body Comcare.

The bullying claims follow investigation of a dozen claims from employees. Comcare has since issued an improvement notice to the organisation, ordering it to improve processes used to protect staff against psychological injuries caused by bullying and harassment.

According to a Fairfax Media report, a group of former and current CSIRO employees that allege bullying have recruited law firm Maurice Blackburn to fight their corner.

The CSIRO has stated that it will comply with Comcare’s demands which include a review and improvement of CSIRO's governance systems around the management of workplace misconduct and of allegations of bullying; training to CSIRO staff regarding misconduct, bullying and workplace conflict; support and management of workers exhibiting psychological distress or injury and implementing systems that will ensure regular workplace hazard and risk assessment of psychosocial risk factors.

Last month, the wireless ICT division, one of CSIRO’s most profitable research units was hit with unexpected staff cutbacks attracting the ire of the union. The CSIRO Staff Association described the job cuts as baffling given the unit’s lucrative outputs, which include important WiFi patents. ®

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