AgResearch, PSA at odds over survey

A dispute has erupted between AgResearch and the Public Service Association over the union's decision to release a survey showing only 1% of respondents were happy to shift as part of restructuring.

The survey released last week also showed more than 40% of the 104 respondents who have been told their positions would be moved as part of the organisation's Future Footprint plan, intended to retire or find work elsewhere, rather than move.

AgResearch chief executive Dr Tom Richardson said in a statement it was ''deeply disappointing'' the survey was released before the PSA had any discussions with AgResearch management or the staff involved.

''A number of our staff, including delegates, have contacted management expressing their bitter disappointment at the union's actions,'' Dr Richardson said.

The release of the survey also broke an agreement made between AgResearch and the PSA, he said.

''The PSA had originally undertaken the survey as a basis for a co-operative union and AgResearch approach to supporting staff through the Future Footprint proposal,'' he said.

Dr Richardson also told Radio New Zealand recently that staff had resigned from the union over the release of the survey, but did not respond to questions on the issue by the Otago Daily Times.

PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff disputed the suggestion number of its AgResearch members had resigned from the union as a result of its decision to release survey results Mr Wagstaff was aware ''one person may have'' left over the decision, but no more than that.

He was also unaware of any agreement between the union and AgResearch about the release of the survey.

''There seems to be a misunderstanding about that,'' he said.

The ''real issue'' was the results of the survey, which the union was looking forward to discussing with AgResearch next year.

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