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6000 Council jobs are in the hands of Unions

Media Release (For immediate release)

6000 Council jobs are in the hands of Unions.

6000 council employees anxiously await tomorrow’s announcement regarding the structure of Auckland’s Super City. The fear that existing staff levels could be slashed by as much as two thirds has left Council employees hanging while they await their fate.

Although most Council employees are not members of a union, Laila Harre, ex Secretary of the National Distribution Union, and now Human Resources and Change Manager for the Councils and the Public Service Association, will dominate decisions regarding all Council employees continued employment.

Max Whitehead, Principal of the Whitehead Group, is heading an independent Council Employee Advisory. He says this new organization is the only independent voice for nonunion employees. “Many Council employees are afraid their decision not to pay unions fees may now cost them their jobs,” says Mr. Whitehead. “In the past, these people have only seen their union’s assist management in depreciating their employment conditions, and have subsequently been unwilling to join their union. Mr. Whitehead says the Council Employee Advisory will stand up for any Council employee - particularly nonunion members. “We will insist on a full and fair consultation process for every council employee,” he says.

Mr. Whitehead continues: “We’ve had a huge number of Council employees call us seeking confidential independent advice as they fear their voices won’t be heard over the Unions during any consultation.”

Mr. Whitehead says he has written to Laila Harre seeking involvement in any future discussions.

About Whitehead Group:

The Whitehead Group is a leading human resource and employment firm. With more than 20 years experience in human resources in New Zealand and Australia, clients include Auckland City Council, Ports of Auckland, Shell Oil, Feltex Carpets Limited, Nufarm New Zealand and Nuplex Industries. The Whitehead Group specialises in Bargaining/Negotiating, Collective Agreements with unions, Employment Relations, Human Resources, Employment Agreements, Personal Grievances and Employment Law.

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