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ChCh: Council's largest Union is set to strike

13 December 2006

Council continues preparations as its largest Union is set to strike

Christchurch City Council has completed its preparations to ensure the impact to residents is minimised during a 24-hour strike by its largest union which is due to begin at 11am tomorrow (Thursday, 14 December).

The Council has given the Southern Local Government Officers a commitment that it will consider any proposals it made this week in a bid to avert strike action, but Council GM Human Resources Philippa Jones said none was forthcoming.

As a result of the strike most libraries and service centres will be closed, but no essential services such as water supplies, sewerage treatment or rubbish collection, including EcoDepots, will be affected by either strike.

Civic Offices will be open for all services except cash payments (cheque and EFTPOS available). As well, the Council call centre, all pools and recreation facilities, Council parking buildings, Christchurch Art Gallery, South, Upper Riccarton and Parklands libraries and all Early Learning Centres 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 increases to their 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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