Job security and consultation top priorities for council staff in Hawkes Bay

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The Public Service Association says job security and ensuring staff have a voice in any change processes are top priorities regarding local body amalgamation plans for Hawkes Bay.

The Local Government Commission has just released its draft reorganisation proposal for Hawkes Bay which would see the five councils in the region merged into one large council, along with a number of local community boards.

The PSA is the largest union representing local government workers and says the way any change is implemented must be carefully considered.

“We know from our extensive involvement in the Auckland Council amalgamation that the transition process is critical and it’s an area the Local Government Commission needs to take a good hard look at,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.

“While the amalgamation is still only a proposal at this stage, it will still cause a lot of stress and anxiety for staff, especially as redundancies are envisaged.”

She says staff need to have meaningful input into how local services and jobs are designed so they can continue delivering the high quality services that Hawkes Bay residents require.

“It also needs to be made clear that all efforts will be made to retain staff, current employment contracts and conditions will be honoured, there will be no forced relocations, and that all staff are properly supported through any change.”

The PSA wants to make sure that if the proposal does go ahead, it is handled and implemented in the best and fairest way possible to council workers and the communities they serve.

It will be engaging with the Local Government Commission on a number of issues and will be making a full submission on the draft proposal on behalf of its members.