2008-12-19

Red Hot off the Press - AgResearch Media Release ' Nine AgResearch staff given redundancy notice'

Nine AgResearch staff given redundancy notice

19 December 2008

Nine AgResearch scientific and technical staff have been given three months notice of redundancy following the recent disestablishment of their scientific and technical positions. AgResearch is currently in discussion with three more staff and may be issuing them with notices of redundancy within the next few weeks.

The redundancies affect three of AgResearch’s four campuses with the majority at the Institute’s Ruakura campus in Hamilton with five, two in Palmerston North and two in Lincoln while Invermay near Dunedin is not affected.

AgResearch CEO, Dr Andrew West says a few of the staff affected may be able to be redeployed into other scientific areas that require additional staff and AgResearch will pursue such opportunities.

The Science Sections affected by the disestablishment of positions are Dairy Science & Technology, Animal Health and Textile Science & Technology.

Dr West says the number of staff who are being given notice of redundancy is about half the number that would have been affected if it wasn’t for the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology making available a funding package of $1.8 million over 18 months to retain some of the positions. “We were able to use this transitional funding from the Foundation to help us retain scientific and technical capabilities that will support farmers and the food and textile industries.”

He says whilst it is regrettable that any of AgResearch’s staff should be losing their jobs, it is a relatively low percentage of the approximately 650 research staff AgResearch employs across 4 campuses and two centres.

Dr West says AgResearch will also look to identify any potential cost savings in corporate functions in the new year.

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