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Geoscience Not-So-Open Day

By Gungahlin Al - 26 August 2008 10

For many kids, the Science Week is most notable for two things: the Daleks and panning for gold and sapphires at the Geoscience Open Day. Yet anyone who didn’t see the ads  saying that the Geoscience day was “postponed” until October probably had some very disappointed kids on Sunday.

Some were no doubt doubly disappointed if they were caught out by the World of Science show not being on on the Sunday either – the Science Week dates ran until Sunday 24th, but unless you had a magnifying glass to help you read the calendar in the Canberra Times liftout, you would have missed that the WOS only went until Saturday.

The Canberra Times has shed some light on the Geoscience problems today – it was a staff v management dispute.

Management claimed “it has become clear in recent days that we just weren’t going to have enough staff present on the day”. But staff said “the open day was cancelled after management discovered union members planned to distribute leaflets and balloons calling for ‘fair pay at GA’.”

Seems there’s a lot of demand for these folk over in the mines, and the pay disjunct is taking a toll on those left behind.

And in case anyone from Geoscience is reading, when you do hold the Open Day in future, could you please move the gold panning ponds from the cold shaded south side of the building to that lovely warm northern side? The kids end up very wet and frozen.

UPDATED: The ABC reports on GA staff protesting.

What’s Your opinion?


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10 Responses to
Geoscience Not-So-Open Day
sepi 7:31 pm 26 Aug 08

I thought the funniest bit was where management had created a great new space for breastfeeding mums, muslim worship and the sickbay – all in the one disabled toilet!!

Granny 5:54 pm 26 Aug 08

DaveSmith said :

… management are offering their staff a pay increase that will see them close to the bottom of the public sector league table on pay rates…

If this is true, then it is outrageous!

Why not just send our best and brightest off to work in the salt mines and whoop them good if they get ideas above their station … (rhetorical)… like getting paid more than the most junior public servant for instance!

Good grief! I bet they’re happy they pursued a ‘career’ in science ….

Davo111 5:35 pm 26 Aug 08

lol fair enough mate, I thought they were a little older.

peterh 5:22 pm 26 Aug 08

Davo111 said :

peterh said :

my daughter is very interested in rocks at the moment, lucky we didn’t mention the GA event to her.

Peter, Might be worth taking the kids for a quick visit to the ANU Open Day this Saturday. I’m not sure what the Research School of Earth Sciences is organising, but it’s always an interest to walk around and look at all the rock displays. I’m currently studying in the faculty myself 😉

davo, I appreciate the thought. I have a bit of trouble with the twin pram these days, and the buggers grab anything at ground level. My daughter is placated at the possibility of being able to find her own sapphires at the rubyvale fields.

(if she can’t, i have a couple of parti colors I can add to her sieve)

can’t stop the lapidary instinct, too much fun to be had camping…

Davo111 5:09 pm 26 Aug 08

peterh said :

my daughter is very interested in rocks at the moment, lucky we didn’t mention the GA event to her.

Peter, Might be worth taking the kids for a quick visit to the ANU Open Day this Saturday. I’m not sure what the Research School of Earth Sciences is organising, but it’s always an interest to walk around and look at all the rock displays. I’m currently studying in the faculty myself 😉

DaveSmith 1:59 pm 26 Aug 08

Hi Skidbladnir

I thought it likely that a site like the Riotact would have come across the issues at Geoscience as a pretty responsive blog on ACT community issues and I wanted to ensure that people understand what is going on (and I’m just back from a rally at Geoscience!) All in all its another part of my job to be across all forms of media.

And thanks Al in relation to negotiations. The staff there are certainly helping Australia earn big bucks so I hope there is a bit more than a trickle down.

Regards

Dave

peterh 12:07 pm 26 Aug 08

I second that move for the panning area. very hard to find sapphires in a dark area, you need the light of the full sun.

my daughter is very interested in rocks at the moment, lucky we didn’t mention the GA event to her.

she is looking forward to our trip to emerald and sapphire later this year….

Skidbladnir 11:47 am 26 Aug 08

Part of me finds it a bit strange that industrial relations reps (negotiator?) for the professional body involved are able to respond to RiotACT posts within the hour.

That said, way to put forward a point and welcome to the Riot.

Gungahlin Al 11:31 am 26 Aug 08

Good luck in your negotiations Dave. The staff there always do a fantastic job for the open days, and it was most unfortunate that the management chose to pull it – a tactic that seemed to have backfired.

Frankly it’s a wonder they have any of you left, given the mega dollars you’d likely all be able to get with the mining companies…

DaveSmith 11:20 am 26 Aug 08

Hi

Its probably not completely accurate to characterise the not so open day as a staff v management dispute as at least 150 staff were prepared to volunteer their free time to run the open day (as they do every year). I think there is a suggestion that management were concerned that the open day may have provided some sort of forum for their staff in relation to this pay dispute (management are offering their staff a pay increase that will see them close to the bottom of the public sector league table on pay rates)but I think they spooked themselves in this regard. The staff at Geoscience are committed professionals – its just a pity management won’t recognise that in the way they treat them by not negotiating in good faith.

Cheers

Dave Smith
Association of Professional Engineers,
Scientists and Managers Australia

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