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Claim from dog control officers prompts lockout

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New claim from dog control officers prompts partial lockout

Christchurch City Council has issued a partial lockout notice to its eight dog control officers who are seeking a more than 50% increase in their daily standby rate to attend calls on Banks Peninsula.

This extra $50 a day standby payment would be on top of their present $101 a day or $707 a week. Under the claim this would increase to more than $1000 a week and they also want an additional $150 for any call out to Banks Peninsula. This is on top of their normal salary, which is about $42,000.

The Council's General Manager Human Resources Philippa Jones says dog control officers who are members of Southern Local Government Officers Union have put a ban on attending call outs on Banks Peninsula to support their claim. "This action is unfair and selective. They are refusing to service a part of our community even though they are being paid more than $700 a week to do so. This demand is unreasonable and yet another example of the real anomalies in the way some of our people are paid," Ms Jones says

Meanwhile the Christchurch City Council has continued with preparations for a three hour strike tomorrow after receiving no counter proposal from the Southern Local Government Officers Union this week to avert strike action.

The Council gave the union a commitment last Friday that it would consider any proposals it made in the week ahead, but Ms Jones said none was forthcoming.

Council has gone ahead with its contingency plans to ensure that disruption to residents during the strike from 11am to 2pm is minimised. Council has also received notice of a second strike from 11am on Thursday 14 December to 11am on Friday 15 December. Planning is already underway for this strike.

As a result of tomorrow's strike there will be some disruption to libraries and service centres, but no essential services such as water supplies, sewerage treatment or rubbish collection, including EcoDepots, will be affected by either strike. The Council call centre, all pools and recreation facilities, Council parking buildings, Christchurch Art Gallery and the South, Upper Riccarton and Parklands libraries are among the services that will remain open.

Ms Jones said the strike is extremely disappointing. "The Council is trying to make positive changes to its remuneration structure that will help achieve the goal of Christchurch becoming a world-class city," she said.

The Council has made a $7.5 million offer to union members over three years which includes salary increases ranging from 6% to 21% depending on an employee's grade, backdated to 1 July 2006.

"Currently, some staff on the lower grades are paid 12% more than the market rate while those on the higher grades whose skills are in demand are paid 20% below the local government market rate," Ms Jones said.

Under the Council's proposal, all current employees would receive percentage increase in salary over the three years.

The Council's offer is within the Council approved budget and would have no impact on the rates paid by residents.

Ends

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