Rotorua Lakes Council says all but two of the 38 staff affected by the Rotorua Aquatic Centre outsourcing now have "firm options of employment" with the pool's new managers.
However, a protest march to the council is still going ahead tomorrow with more than 300 expected.
The unions representing the staff have also pushed ahead with legal action against the council over what they say was a lack of consultation. Documents were filed with the Employment Relations Authority on Monday.
Council sport and recreation manager Rob Pitkethley said in a statement the council was clear when it made the decision last month to partner with Community Leisure Management (CLM) it wanted to look after staff and do all it could to provide new employment or redeployment opportunities.
"We've been working hard with the staff, their union and CLM to achieve this while also negotiating the partnership contract and there have been some very tough conversations, as would be expected when implementing a change like this," Pitkethley said.
"However we've seen a hugely positive response and commitment from CLM to our staff and as a result now have firm options of employment, with CLM, for 36 of the 38 permanent staff, at the same pay and on similar conditions."
He said all 28 lifeguards and swim tutors had been given job options with CLM.
Eight of 10 remaining staff – duty managers, supervisors, administration and front-of-house staff – also had firm options for employment with CLM, he said.
"We're committed to continuing to work with CLM and the remaining two staff members to see what options may exist for them. We're also continuing negotiations with all parties to finalise terms and conditions for the CLM roles which have already been offered," Pitkethley said.
"We expect some staff will ultimately opt for voluntary redundancy – a few have already indicated they wish to do that – but we're very pleased the majority have the opportunity for continued roles at the centre with CLM."
He said the council believed continuity of service was important and valued the skills, experience and local knowledge of existing staff.
"They (CML) will improve and extend the service offered by the Aquatic Centre, will save the council up to $700,000 every year and through this changeover process are also demonstrating the potential to be an excellent employer."
But Northern Amalgamated Workers Union organiser Robert Popata said staff offered "firm options" weren't getting their hopes up until they saw contracts. He said while the rates might well be the same, they might not include penal rates.
He said there was ongoing discussion about whether staff offered new employment with CML were still entitled to redundancy.
Popata said tomorrow's march was seeking the council reverse its outsourcing decision. An online petition signed by more than 5500 people would be presented.
Protesters will march from Kuirau Park at 9am, along Arawa St and on to Hinemaru St before going inside the council building before its 9.30am start.
He said the group would respect the rules of council meetings, including that they didn't have speaking rights.
"But we want these councillors to see the families they are impacting ... it's more of a symbolic gesture."
All staff will remain on the council payroll until the end of January when the change in management is expected to take effect.