Tired ChCh council workers earn day off
Fri, 09 Nov 2012 6:22p.m.
By Tom McRae
Most Cantabrians would appreciate an extra day off a month after working through the quakes, and that's exactly what the Christchurch City Council has done for their employees.
Two thousand council workers are getting the perk, but it hasn’t gone down well with the city’s residents. And with a recent rates rise it has ignited a storm of controversy, with business leaders saying it will cost the council millions.
Council boss Tony Marryatt introduced the extra leave to ease stress on overworked employees.
In an email to staff, Mr Marryatt said: "Keeping our city going and rebuilding it at the same time remains a marathon, not a sprint, and pacing ourselves for the job right now, and the job ahead, is absolutely crucial".
And it's not a first for council workers: they've already had an extra six days of paid leave since the February quake.
“I think it's a good, sensible, humanitarian idea at a time when this organisation, above many others in the city, is faced with a great deal of stress,” says Christchurch mayor Bob Parker.
But business leaders disagree, saying it will cost up to $6 million in lost productivity.
“You don't go carte blanche and give thousands of staff members a day off a month for a year ahead just because you think they're tired,” says Peter Townsend of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.
But Mr Parker says staff deserve the break.
“Our people are tired, we're starting to lose staff and to replace staff, retraining staff is an expensive process, and we want to reward them for their hard work.”
What has also struck people as unfair is the workers on the front line repairing the infrastructure of the fractured city aren't included, as they work for a council-owned company.
The extra days off for those that are eligible are already locked in and will run until next November.
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15/11/2012 8:46:06 p.m.
Just for the record ...
- we get 4 weeks a year - like everyone else.
- being self employed is a choice - what has that got to with anything?
- most of us are also part of that tired group of rate payers with families and broken houses.
In addition to that, a very large number of us are also at the coal face- assisting other rate payers with similar situations.
- I dont see anything to support the basis for comparison on how hard we work. I know I work damn hard ... I see alot of people around me doing the same ... and this has been much worse over the last 20 months.
I think it is really nice that our employer is acknowledging the pressure we have been under - why isnt yours?
ps ... if they are non working ... dont they already have a day off?
15/11/2012 10:37:40 a.m.
Obsence waste of rate payers money. they already get 4 or 5 weeks leave a year. This on top of the 6 extra days they have had is simply wrong. Other people are working just as hard, if not harder. Its all too easy to give away other peoples money. CHCH will not get another cent from me
10/11/2012 10:51:00 a.m.
OMG aren't four weeks a year plus public holidays enough? What about all the self employed people who don't get paid holidays or sick pay.
9/11/2012 9:09:56 p.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
QUOTE: "Most Cantabrians would appreciate an extra day off a month after working through the quakes, and that's exactly what the Christchurch City Council has done for their employees." WOW and the Council Admin Staff get this bonus for just feeling tired while the poor old hard working, not working, overtaxed, overRated, diligent, struggling ratepayer is just tired of the never ending rate increases, the continued arrogance of both the Mayor Bob Parker and their CEO Tony Marriot who just implemented this idea without any public consultation or passed by the other Councillors - nothing has changed. This is the same council that is charging 50% rates on red stickered properties. Then to rub more salt into the wounds the poor old frontline worker at the coal face of every road, footpath, park, drain, collecting rubbish, recycling and assisting residents, get nothing because of a technicality - they work for a Council owned company. CEO's are good at double speak. I suppose around the rest of NZ if we see a council employee yawn, we will just have to give them a good decent slap just to keep our rates from going up.
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