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Christchurch City Council contingency plans

23 March 2005

Christchurch City Council contingency plans in place

The Christchurch City Council has a contingency plan in place for when its largest union strikes tomorrow 24 March, between 10am and 2pm.

Council General Manager of Human Resources Philippa Jones, says the plan aims to keep any disruptions to a minimum.

“Essential services will not be affected,” she says. “Customers may have some difficulty contacting Council staff, so if non-urgent calls could be held off until 2pm, it would be appreciated.”

The industrial action comes after 10 months of negotiations between the Council and the Southern Local Government Offices Union.

“Council’s top priority in these negotiations has always been to reduce inequities in current pay levels where staff on lower grades are paid above market rates, while staff on higher grades are paid below market levels. This makes it difficult for Council to recruit and keep skilled staff in key areas.

“Council has proposed a range of one-off payments and wage increases for staff which will help to ensure fairer pay levels; we were disappointed that the offer was not presented by the Union to its members,” she says.

Under the offer no staff would have had their pay reduced. Other existing conditions including hours of work, overtime, redundancy, sick leave, holiday provision and annual service allowance based on tenure are also not affected by the Council’s current proposal.

Council will be seeking to resume negotiations after Easter.

ENDS


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