Existing council workers face cuts in wages and conditions under the Super City set-up, sources say.

New recruits are reportedly being hired at 20 per cent to 30 per cent less than existing staff and questions are hanging over childcare and holiday conditions.

There are also reports of experienced council staff not getting interviews for jobs in the Super City and anxiety over how long it is taking the agency to finalise jobs for 3500 staff still going through the "change" process.

Former trade union leader and Alliance MP Laila Harre, who is heading employment matters for the Auckland Transition Agency, said existing council staff would not receive less pay for doing the same or a substantially similar job.

She said if council staff chose to accept a "substantially different job" on less pay, Super City legislation provided for six months salary protection at their current pay, or longer if that was provided for in their employment agreement.

In those cases, their pay would match the rate for the job at the end of the salary protection period, she said.

Ms Harre said the agency was working to "harmonise" pay and conditions between the eight councils, which meant some workers would be paid the same or more, but not less under legislative provisions.

Asked if the pay differences would eventually be set at one level, resulting in pay cuts for some staff, she said: "That will be a matter for the staff and management of the new organisations to resolve over time."

The Public Service Association, which represents about 2700 workers at the eight councils in Auckland, did not want to discuss current negotiations with the agency over pay and conditions.

"That process hasn't concluded but we will be talking to members in the next couple of weeks and are hopeful of a positive outcome," a PSA spokeswoman said.

Northern Amalgamated Workers Union secretary Ray Bianchi, whose union represents about 1000 frontline council staff - zookeepers, gardeners and park rangers - said members had been transferred to the Super City on their existing terms and conditions.

Council staff and politicians, however, have reported concerns about pay and conditions at the Super City, described by one source as "a fairly austere model".

One Auckland City councillor said democracy services advisers and co-ordinators faced a 20 per cent and 30 per cent pay cut respectively for similar-sized roles in the Super City.

A Waitakere City councillor said many senior staff applying for tier-three jobs at the Auckland Council and the Auckland Transport Authority faced a 20 per cent pay cut for doing a similar job.

Ms Harre said new jobs had been sized by applying the same criteria used by the council.

There are concerns at Manukau City Council that childcare subsidies of between 10 per cent and 25 per cent for council staff will be rolled back or scrapped under the Super City.

One Waitakere City councillor said on the surface staff were being given a short-term guarantee, but the "Auckland Transition Agency is most certainly screwing down wages and conditions".

"What we are seeing in Waitakere is that our best brains are not bothering to apply because they are seeing this set up as an organisation that doesn't value talent and they are being head-hunted by private industry and Australia," the councillor said.

Auckland Regional Council councillor Joel Cayford said key staff were not even getting interviews, citing the case of a senior planner at North Shore City Council who was overlooked and landed a plum job in Brisbane.

North Shore City councillor Grant Gillon said 60 per cent of council staff were still going through the process and were in a state of limbo.

Have your say

Have you had your pay and conditions cut for a job at the Super City? Contact newsdesk@nzherald.co.nz