Christchurch City Council, Amalgamated Workers Union agree
Christchurch City Council and the Amalgamated Workers Union of New Zealand (AWUNZ) have established a new agreement
covering about 300 employees at the Botanic Gardens, the Wastewater Treatment Plant, libraries drivers and at the pools
and leisure centres.
The new arrangement replaces two old agreements. The staff members covered recently held ratification ballots and
endorsed it by a ratio of more than nine-to-one.
Philippa Jones, the Council’s general manager of human resources, says the new agreement is an example of the style of
relationship the City Council is seeking with all unions representing its employees. The aim is for both employer and
unions to take responsibility for promoting quality community service.
“This document’s based on principles and good faith,” she says. “It introduces new market-based pay scales and ensures
that all staff covered will get either a percentage pay increase or a one-off lump sum payment. By the end of October
next year, when the agreement expires, they’ll all be being paid at least the median of the national local government
market rate for their positions.
Ms Jones says the union’s negotiation group made a forceful case for the problems and issues faced by frontline staff
but worked constructively with the Council’s team to solve the issues each side had. “These negotiations focused on the
interests of union members and on the Council’s vision and goals. The City Council wants to acknowledge the commitment
of the 25 delegates,” she says.
“Like other agreements we’re now trying to update, the old documents in this case were full of rules about what each
party could and could not do. The final decision of the union members in ratifying the agreement is a strong endorsement
of both the process and outcome of the negotiations.”
- The AWUNZ agreement covers about 14 per cent of the workforce. Christchurch City Council employs about 2200 people
(1590 full time equivalents).