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CSIR finalising implementation of fit-for-purpose organisational support structure

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The CSIR is at an advanced stage of implementing its new strategy, a move that will see the adoption of a re-organised CSIR-wide operating model.

To this end, the science, engineering and technology (SET) staff reorganisation and confirmation commenced in August 2019 and this process was completed successfully in September 2019. After a rigorous process of reviewing and benchmarking against our peers, both locally and internationally, in October 2019, we commenced with the reorganisation of our support staff across the CSIR.

Contact Person

David Mandaha

+27 (12) 841 3652/072 126 8910

dmandaha@csir.co.za

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is at an advanced stage of implementing its new strategy, a move that will see the adoption of a re-organised CSIR-wide operating model.

To this end, the science, engineering and technology (SET) staff reorganisation and confirmation commenced in August 2019 and this process was completed successfully in September 2019. After a rigorous process of reviewing and benchmarking against our peers, both locally and internationally, in October 2019, we commenced with the reorganisation of our support staff across the CSIR.

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. 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.

As such, the CSIR Board recently approved the new structures for support staff (Finance, Procurement, Human Capital, Legal and Compliance Services, Enterprise Risk Management, SHEQ Services, Facilities Management and Strategic Communication, as well as the operationally embedded support staff). The implementation of these structures has started and it is expected that it will be largely completed by the end of the 2019 calendar year.

The current phase, which is the final phase, will see many support structures and positions being re-designed to make them more relevant to achieve the new CSIR strategic intent. In this regard, staff members whose roles were materially retained in the newly designed support structures, received confirmation letters stating their continued appointment in their current roles. This allowed the CSIR an opportunity to clearly define existing roles that become redundant or change materially within the new structures.

There are many opportunities for staff members who are affected by the transition to the new support structures, as a result of the creation of a number of new roles or redefining roles that will allow focused career enhancement and/or refinement. To allow for meaningful consultations on these opportunities to commence, this week, the affected staff members received section 189 notices, in terms of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act 66 of 1995), and the first consultation is scheduled to take place on 7 November 2019.

As the rationale for the reorganisation is largely to develop a fit-for-purpose support base that is enabling and efficient, the CSIR made a principled decision that the reorganisation should not result in any involuntary terminations, and has provided the affected staff members with assurance in this regard.

The reorganisation process will inevitably result in revised positions that do not align with all existing staff members’ career aspirations or skills sets and, in some instances, an over compliment of certain categories of support resources. To the extent that staff cannot be accommodated within the new structures and alternative positions within the CSIR, there are numerous alternatives that will be implemented on a case-by-case basis to ensure continued gainful employment for all those who remain affected at the conclusion of the reorganisation process.

To this end, voluntary separation packages and early retirement options will be available for those who wish to explore these options. Full-time study packages will be made available, in combination with voluntary separation packages, to allow further career development for staff members so inclined. The latter will be supported by vacation work and internship opportunities at the CSIR and, where appropriate, deployment within the CSIR’s Youth Employment Services programme.

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.

Should the remaining affected staff members not wish to pursue any of these alternatives, the CSIR will retain these members for redeployment in special projects and assignments requiring their relevant skills and, in particular, in support of the various small, medium and micro enterprise support initiatives we undertake. All affected staff members will also enjoy the benefits of support in terms of alternative employment pursuits, including assistance with the development of their curriculum vitaes, registration with and support of a recruitment agency, etc.

Although all efforts are being made to accommodate staff and provide the comfort of continued job security, the CSIR acknowledges that reorganisation and change are never devoid of uncertainty and anxiety. Therefore, our wellness programme is available for all staff members to ensure that they and their families have professional support on hand to assist during this transition period.

At the CSIR, we trust that although disruptive, the changes we are making will strengthen our resolve and ability to be the accelerators of socioeconomic prosperity in South Africa through leading innovation.

Issued by:

David Mandaha: CSIR Media Relations Manager
Tel: 012 841 365
Mobile: 072 126 8910
Email: dmandaha@csir.co.za

About the CSIR:

The CSIR is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. Constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1945 as a science council, the CSIR undertakes directed and multidisciplinary research, technological innovation, as well as industrial and scientific development to improve the quality of life of all South Africans. For more information, visit www.csir.co.za

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