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Firm opportunities for most Rotorua Aquatic Centre staff

Firm opportunities for majority of Rotorua Aquatic Centre staff

The majority of Rotorua Aquatic Centre staff now have options for employment with Community Leisure Management (CLM) which is to manage the facility on behalf of Rotorua Lakes Council.

“When Council made the decision last month to partner with CLM they were very clear they wanted us to ensure that we looked after staff, and that we did all that we could to provide new employment and/or redeployment opportunities,” Rotorua Lakes Council Sport and Recreation Manager Rob Pitkethley says.

“We’ve been working hard with the staff, their union and CLM to achieve this while also negotiating the partnership contract. There have been some very tough conversations, as would be expected when implementing a change like this. However we’ve seen a hugely positive response and commitment from CLM to our staff and as a result now have firm options of employment, with CLM, for 36 of the 38 permanent staff, at the same pay and on similar conditions.”

All 28 lifeguards and swim tutors received job options with CLM last week.

As of today 8 of 10 remaining staff – duty managers, supervisors, administration and front-of-house staff – also have firm options for employment with CLM.

“We’re committed to continuing to work with CLM and the remaining two staff members to see what options may exist for them. We’re also continuing negotiations with all parties to finalise terms and conditions for the CLM roles which have already been offered,” Mr Pitkethley says.

“We expect some staff will ultimately opt for voluntary redundancy – a few have already indicated they wish to do that – but we’re very pleased the majority have the opportunity for continued roles at the centre with CLM. Like CLM, we believe continuity of service is important and value the skills, experience and local knowledge of our existing staff.

“We are disappointed about inaccurate information that has been circulated publicly but we continue to work through this process in good faith. Our focus has been on finding the best possible outcome for all 38 staff at the centre and we’re very pleased with the positive response from CLM.”

All staff now have time to consider their options and make a decision. They will be retained on the council payroll until the end of January next year when the change in management is expected to take effect.
“CLM is a very experienced pool operator with an outstanding record of working with the communities it operates in,” Mr Pitkethley says. “They will improve and extend the service offered by the Aquatic Centre, will save the Council up to $700,000 every year and through this changeover process are also demonstrating the potential to be an excellent employer.”


Background

· Council is required, under Section 17a of the Local Government Act, to review services at least every six years to ensure ongoing efficiency and effectiveness of services. The Aquatic Centre review included looking at current management of the facility and consideration of alternative management options. The review included interviews with staff at the centre.

· Council made a decision last month to partner with CLM for management of the centre. Council retains ownership and control of the community outcomes sought from the services and programmes run at the centre. CLM will deliver on these outcomes.

· The partnership is expected to result in improved outcomes for the community through new and extended programmes and initiatives and will also provide savings for council of approximately $700,000 per year (being the difference between how much it was costing council to run the centre in-house and the cost of contracting CLM to manage it).

· CLM will seek to increase revenue through increased use of the facility as a result of improved and expanded services and programmes.

· All current services and programmes will continue and there will be no change in fees with the changeover.

· Council dealt with the matter in confidential so Aquatic Centre staff could be notified first, to protect staff’s privacy and due to the commercial nature of matters discussed.

ends

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