Fight looms between quake workers, bosses

By Alex Mason

City Care workers plant trees in Cathedral Square. Photo / Geoff Sloan
City Care workers plant trees in Cathedral Square. Photo / Geoff Sloan

A fight is looming between earthquake repair workers and their bosses over the city council's controversial free days off.

The Star revealed last week that the Amalgamated Workers Union had made a written request to City Care to consider giving staff some extra time off.

This came after city council chief executive Tony Marryatt said stressed out city council staff could have a day off each month until next November in recognition of the pressure they had been under because of the earthquakes.

But the offer didn't extend to City Care staff who have been on the frontline roads and other infrastructure. City care is part of Christchurch City Holdings Ltd, the investment arm of the city council.

Union assistant secretary Lindsay Chappell said yesterday he had been told senior management at City Care were currently discussing the matter.

"I'd hope to know [their answer] by the end of the week," he said.

But yesterday City Care reiterated to The Star its position of last week - that they will not be granting any extra time off to their employees.

Said Mr Chappell: "The next move will be to approach CCHL if it's a flat 'No', which I suspect it might be."

But CCHL chief executive Bob Lineham was not offering the union any hope.

Mr Lineham said the company "will stay out of it entirely".

"Part of our philosophy is that we do not get involved in the management of individual companies," he said.

"It's up to them how they manage their staff."

Said Mr Lineham: "Our response [to the union] will be that we do not interfere with the management of City Care."

Mr Lineham would not comment on whether he thought City Care workers should receive extra leave along with city council staff.

- CHRISTCHURCH STAR

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