Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Council and PSA meet over bullying

Public Services Association National Secretary Brenda Pilott. Photo / Supplied
Public Services Association National Secretary Brenda Pilott. Photo / Supplied

A council union is raising concerns about bullying at the Hamilton City Council - but a senior manager says there aren't any problems.

Public Service Association national secretary Brenda Pilott said staff had issues with the council including bullying and the union was meeting council management next week to address their concerns.

Ms Pilott was reluctant to go into specific details about the claims until the meeting.

The union represents about 150 council staff.

However, council organisational development general manager Olly Te Ua disagreed there was a bullying problem.

Last year former council worker Bob Brown said an independent investigation found there was no substance to his claims he had been bullied by his bosses, but refused to comment on bullying claims now facing the council.

However, the Herald understands there are several.

But Mr Brown said the council was withholding the actual report and findings from the investigation from him and argued it was not independent.

"I'm not going into any detail of anything that's current at the moment," said Mr Te Ua. "All I will say is ... there are always current HR issues."

Councillor Ewan Wilson said concerns about a bullying culture had been raised with him by staff members and he had passed this onto chief executive Barry Harris.

Mr Wilson said early indications were there seemed to be some unresolved bullying issues.

Meanwhile, the council has confirmed about 60 roles will be scrapped in the next three years as the council looks to wipe $12 million from its budgets, reduce services and carry out its organisational review, to be completed by the end of the year.

- NZ Herald

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