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White Wash At Dental School

PSA Press Release
June 3, 2004

White Wash At Dental School

The PSA is calling the University of Otago’s attempts to get union members’ concerns around the Dental School addressed a ‘whitewash’, PSA organiser Mark Ryan said today.

“In August 2003 the PSA raised with the University significant membership concerns about the way the Dental School was being managed. These concerns covered high workload issues, the safety of Dental School Staff as a result of the actions of some members of the public, health and safety issues about the work stations of some staff, inappropriate appointment procedures at the School and long delays in replacing staff who had left the School.”

Mark Ryan said that the union went to university management in August last year but got an unsatisfactory response.

“In November of 2003 we went back to them with the outstanding issues. We had no response to the outstanding issues so we eventually went to the Vice Chancellor in March of 2004 to get some action. If our members had hoped that his intervention was going to resolve their serious concerns then they were disappointed - the response that we finally got to our approach six months ago is a whitewash. Despite the very real problems that general staff face in the Dental School, management have simply exonerated their own actions and left our members no further ahead."

"As a consequence morale continues to suffer, members continue to work in an over-crowded and unsafe facility and we have personal grievance actions pending for some individuals. The lack of response underlines a very real reluctance by management to deal with the issues sensibly and to fulfill their obligations to staff. The union intends to raise these matters with the University Council as the governing body responsible for ensuring the effective management of the institution."

The PSA represents General Staff at the University of Otago.


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