Opportunity for new Wellington City Council to set fresh direction with staff

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The Public Service Association says the new Wellington City Council has the opportunity to set a fresh direction for Council staff by putting an end to restructuring and outsourcing and ensuring that the living wage becomes a reality.

Staff have been faced with almost constant upheaval and restructuring over the past two years with no sign of any let up.  Almost two million dollars has been taken out of the Council’s libraries budget over the past three years and more cuts are planned.

 

PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott says the restructuring and outsourcing has led to job losses, cuts to staff hours and on-going uncertainty.

 

“Despite promises from the new Chief Executive that restructuring would end, it has continued in the Parks and IT departments and more is proposed in the economic development team,” she says.

 

The PSA says the Council is also choosing to pay its staff less. In the recent pay review the Council decided to pay below the market average. 

 

Brenda Pilott says “in local government the average wage movement is 2 per cent but the Wellington City Council is only increasing wages by 1.5 per cent, and that is only to people who meet performance targets.”

 

She says implementing the Living Wage must also be given priority.

 

“The mayor and former Council did make a welcome commitment to the living wage in principle and to work on a plan to implement it to staff and contractors.  It must not lose momentum on that and turn Wellington into a living wage capital,” she says.

 

The PSA also says with local body amalgamation a real possibility in the Wellington region, it’s important that staff are represented and can contribute to that process.

 

“As the largest union in local government and with our involvement in the Auckland Council merger, the PSA has a lot of experience and would want to play a part in any amalgamation discussions and decisions.”

 

“I congratulate the new councillors on their election and urge them to now grab the opportunity and encourage a fresh approach in the way that the council manages and deals with its staff,” Brenda Pilott says.