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Minister needs to come clean on merger plans for CRIs

Minister needs to come clean on merger plans for CRIs

If the government intends to go ahead with a radical revamp of the country's crown research institutes (CRIs) it needs to come clean and say outright what it is proposing, says the PSA, the union that represents workers employed in the CRIs.

"Indications that the eight institutes are to be merged into three super-CRIs are causing distress and uncertainty amongst our science sector members. That's counterproductive and does nothing to support the work of scientists," says the union's National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

"Our members welcomed last year's CRI Taskforce review that looked at how CRIs could best deliver on priorities and the research needs of industry and business. The review involved a huge amount of input and consultation from our CRI members and others.

"If there's to be any further restructuring of CRIs, scientists on the ground need to be fully involved in the review process".

"The chair of the most recent review recommended that the government make no immediate changes to the number of CRIs; so if merger plans are afoot we would certainly be interested in hearing the government's rationale for them.

"We'd also want to know what costs and efficiencies the government expects to gain from such a move".

"Any potential gains from possible mergers have to be weighed up against the inevitable human and financial costs".

"There's no point in undertaking the cost and disruption of restructuring if the gains don't merit it," says Brenda Pilott.

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