Super-city lessons must be applied for Nelson/Tasman merger
1 February 2012
Super-city lessons must be applied if Nelson/Tasman merger goes ahead
Applying the lessons from the Auckland local government transition process is vital if voters give the go ahead for a merger between Nelson and Tasman councils, says the PSA.
The public sector union, which represents members in both Nelson and Tasman councils, says it has extensive experience in mergers and restructurings and expects to be fully involved in the transition planning if the merger takes place.
“The PSA’s recent experience in the Auckland super-city transition would be an invaluable asset to the Transition Committee and we can add considerable value to the process that lies ahead in Nelson/Tasman,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.
“We have been talking with our members in anticipation of this merger and provided a submission to the Local Government Commission on behalf of our members at Nelson and Tasman councils.
“Establishing a detailed, fair and transparent change process which involves staff and their union will be critical to the success of any merger between the two councils.
“Naturally, we are concerned at the potential for job losses and urge the employers and the Transition Committee to retain the skills and expertise of council staff to the greatest possible extent.
Our experience shows that the associated one-off costs, such as those incurred through redundancies are often under-estimated when mergers are being considered. The social and economic impact on local communities from job losses also needs to be considered.
Our members are concerned at the possibility of disruption of services during the 6-month transition period, which they will need to manage at a time when job losses are threatened. It is important to both staff and the community that the Transition Committee moves quickly to provide certainty about the processes to be used and consults closely with the PSA,” says Brenda Pilott.