Jobs will be lost and other staff may take pay cuts in the latest restructure of Rotorua city's maintenance staff.

InfraCore, a Rotorua Lakes Council-controlled organisation, has confirmed up to five jobs could go in the latest "re-organisation" which is aimed at ensuring the business delivered a cost-effective and efficient service to the community.

InfraCore operated from a Vaughan Rd depot and Queens Dr nursery, and maintained Rotorua's gardens, parks, reserves and cemeteries, as well as the city's water and wastewater networks and land drainage systems.

The re-organisation, which would be finished in July, would involve changes to some roles and a small number of roles being formally disestablished. Options, including redeployment, were being worked through with affected individuals.

Advertisement

Staff and unions involved in the restructure have told the Rotorua Daily Post some staff were being asked to take pay cuts - including some of more than $3 an hour.

Infracore has also confirmed part of the changes could see some work sub-contracted, which would impact a further three staff members.

The council set up InfraCore three years ago, replacing Castlecorp. It was owned by the council but run as a separate business holding contracts with the council.

There were currently about 140 staff, including 13 in management roles.

Infracore chief executive Tim Hammond said in a statement in response to Rotorua Daily Post questions the business was the primary contractor for the council andit had an "obligation to deliver efficient, competitive and financially sustainable services".

He said Infracore had made improvements to what was a loss-making operation to achieving break-even results and had lifted service standards.

ROTORUA DAILY POST
8 Jun, 2018 10:25am
3 minutes to read
ROTORUA DAILY POST
8 Jun, 2018 1:35am
3 minutes to read
ROTORUA DAILY POST
31 May, 2018 1:37pm
4 minutes to read

"Key to this has been the improvements made in the planning, organising and management capabilities of the organisation. The re-organisation of our operations is part of ongoing efforts to deliver value for money."

He said part of the focus of the re-organisation was ensuring the skills mix of staff was matched to the work being carried out and adjusting staff levels where the workload didn't match.

InfraCore last week went back to staff with the outcome of the re-organisation following a consultation process which, Hammond said, resulted in some changes to the initial proposal.

First Union organiser Phil Graham said one staff member, who had agreed to redundancy, had worked for the council, and then InfraCore, for more than 50 years - starting when he left school.

He said there had been low morale at the site for several years as a result of the business losing contracts and therefore jobs - including the city's rubbish collection when it went to recycling in 2016.

Northern Amalgamated Workers Union regional organiser Robert Popata said although the numbers impacted weren't large, many staff members were council workers who had decades of experience.

"We are talking about people who have been there 20 years plus. Like a lot of councils throughout the country, they are saying we want more work for less money."

One worker, who spoke to the Rotorua Daily Post on the condition they remained anonymous, said they had several qualifications and years of experience yet was being asked to take a pay cut earning only $2 more an hour than the minimum wage, which was currently $16.50.

The worker said they now hoped the Labour Government would push the living wage of $20.55 an hour to being the minimum wage - meaning the pay cut wouldn't be as bad.