The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced that it has started a process of reorganising its support staff. This is part of the Council's reorganisation of its operating model, to allow the implementation of its new strategy, and follows on from its successful science, engineering and technology staff reorganisation, which was completed in September.
Staff whose roles remain fundamentally the same under the new structure as they were under the previous structure have been issued with confirmation letters stating that they continue to be employed in their current roles. But part of this process has involved the issuing of Section 189 retrenchment notices to some support staff.
However, the CSIR is determined to avoid involuntary staff dismissals. Rather, it is offering a range of options, including early retirement, and voluntary retrenchment packages (the latter being combined with, for those who so wish, full-time study packages with vacation work and CSIR internship opportunities).
“Furthermore, the CSIR is exploring available opportunities with stakeholders for possible transfers, and will also consider half-day or reduced working hours for those interested in securing such lifestyle adjustments,” stated the Council in its press release. It is seeking to carry out all these processes on a case-by-case basis.
The new support staff structure that has been approved by the CSIR board is – Enterprise Risk Management, Facilities Management, Finance, Human Capital, Legal and Compliance Services, Procurement, Safety Health Environment and Quality Services, and Strategic Communication. The implementation of the new structure should be largely finished by the end of this year.
“The new support structure is tailored to ensure a fit-for-purpose support base that is optimised for efficiency and quality outputs, in response to the revised CSIR operating model and the capability output requirements that align with the CSIR’s strategic objectives,” it said. “The CSIR is confident that these changes will support the ultimate goal of fulfilling its mandate of improving the quality of lives of South Africans through science and technology.”