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AgResearch consulting staff on proposed staff reductions

AgResearch consulting staff on proposed staff reductions

AgResearch is consulting with staff about a proposal to reduce scientist and technician roles in areas where customer demand and the potential to create impact for New Zealand is decreasing, AgResearch Chair Sam Robinson announced today.

“AgResearch must balance shifts in our sector’s research needs – and therefore revenue – with the need to respond to emerging science opportunities to maximise impact for New Zealand’s pastoral sector.

“Declining R&D investment in some areas means that we are currently facing a significant and ongoing funding challenge in those areas. While both private sector and Government revenue is increasing in other areas, our net science revenue is forecast to be $5.3 million less for FY16 compared to FY15.

“We are therefore consulting with our staff from today on a proposal to reduce science staff in areas of shrinking demand. Combined with recruitment planned in areas of growing demand, this would mean a net reduction of 15 scientists and 41 technicians at AgResearch in the 2015/16 year.

“We propose to reduce by 33 scientist roles and 50 science technician roles in areas where customer demand and the potential for impact is reducing.

“This proposal is partially offset by the recruitment of 18 new scientist roles and 9 new science technician roles in areas of growing customer demand and Government investment, such as the areas where we were successful in the 2015 MBIE Science Investment round. The net reduction in positions would be 56 in total.

“These proposed changes are consistent with our overall strategy for science and what we have identified with our customers. We do not intend to completely stop research in any particular area. We are working closely with our stakeholders to ensure we continue to deliver to their needs.

“This is a difficult time for our people and they are our first priority through this process. We will be consulting with our staff on what’s been proposed and listening to their feedback before making any final decisions,” Mr Robinson said.

“We expect to make a decision on the proposals at the end of October following consultation.”

Ends


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