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Encouraging signs on Akld’s local govt workers


PSA MEDIA RELEASE
December 3, 2009
For Immediate Use
Encouraging signs on retaining Auckland’s local government workers

The Public Service Association says there are encouraging signs that the Cabinet has listened to the union in its call to hold onto Auckland’s local government workforce in the creation of the new ‘super city.’

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide has this afternoon announced Cabinet decisions for a third bill to complete the legislative framework for the formation of the single Auckland Council.

In the section on employment and staff issues the Cabinet decisions state: “The Auckland Transition Agency is working through issues and talking to staff and their unions. There is no requirement for staff numbers to be reduced, and existing council services will still be required.”

Cabinet has also decided that: “Staff transferring to the Auckland Council need to have their existing working conditions protected as far as possible so they are the same on day one of the new council as they were on the last day of the old.”

“Since talk of a ‘super city’ began we’ve said that Auckland needs to retain existing council staff in the transition to a single council,” says PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff.

“That’s because Aucklanders rely on their local government workers for essential services such as clean water, reliable roads, rubbish and waste water removal.”

“There are encouraging signs that Cabinet and the Local Government Minister have listened to our call to not to use the creation of the super city as an excuse for large scale job cuts.”

“We’ve said all along that would have disrupted the delivery of vital services to 1.4 million Aucklanders and there’s an indication that the Cabinet and the Minister have taken our view on board.”

“We‘re also encouraged that the government appears to have recognised the need to protect the working conditions of council staff in the transition to the ‘super city’.”

“We now need to see what the legislation actually says about retaining jobs and working conditions for Auckland local government workers.”

“Local government workers in Auckland remain anxious about their jobs and working conditions as we move closer to the formation of the ‘super city’.”

“We’ve established a good working relationship with the Auckland Transition Agency.”

“We’ll continue to remind the agency that Aucklanders needs to retain their skilled and experienced local government workforce to ensure they continue to receive vital services.”

“And we’ll continue to work to retain the working conditions of Auckland’s local government staff so they have what they need to do the work that Aucklanders rely on,” says Richard Wagstaff.

The PSA has 2600 members working for Auckland’s eight local authorities and council-controlled organisations.

ENDS

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