YMCA staff face axe

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page - By Janie Smith

ABOUT 100YMCA staff may be made re­dun­dant af­ter the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s con­tracts at four Auck­land recre­ation cen­tres were can­celled.

The Auck­land City Coun­cil re­cently awarded the con­tracts for the Lyn­field Recre­ation Cen­tre, Glen Innes Pool, Pt Erin Pool and Otahuhu Recre­ation Cen­tre to Com­mu­nity Leisure Man­age­ment.

The con­tracts were held by the YMCA and were due to ex­pire this year.

YMCA Auck­land chief op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer Arvid Ditch­burn says staff and man­age­ment are strug­gling to un­der­stand the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion not to re­new the con­tracts.

“Our im­me­di­ate con­cern is for the wel­fare of our staff at those cen­tres who will be im­pacted the most by the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion.”

One Lyn­field staff mem­ber, who did not want to be named, says her hus­band was re­cently made re­dun­dant and the news has come as a heavy blow.

“I’m hav­ing some time off, it’s just too much. It’s just heart­break­ing.”

The woman has been with the YMCA for more than a decade and while she hopes to keep work­ing at the cen­tre af­ter the man­age­ment change, she says the tran­si­tion will be diffi

Mr Ditch­burn says man­age­ment has met with the 100 af­fected staff and will sup­port them through the change.

“Staff have been pre­sented with three sce­nar­ios with re­gards to em­ploy­ment, how­ever the YMCA is not able to guar­an­tee their em­ploy­ment past the June 30 con­tract end date. Re­gret­tably, one of those sce­nar­ios is re­dun­dancy.”

Mr Ditch­burn says the news came as a shock be­cause the YMCA has been op­er­at­ing at Glen Innes, Lyn­field and Pt Erin for more than 14 years and has had strong com­mu­nity sup­port at Otahuhu since the fa­cil­ity opened three years ago.

“YMCA of Auck­land has in­vested mil­lions of dol­lars into coun­cil owned fa­cil­i­ties over the past decade, of­ten trans­form­ing run-down cen­tres into vi­brant well run and val­ued com­mu­nity meet­ing places.”

Mt Roskill’s Cameron Pool will also be taken over by Com­mu­nity Leisure Man­age­ment af­ter be­ing pre­vi­ously op­er­ated by the Roskill Aqua-Sport Cen­tre.

Com­mu­nity Leisure Man­age­ment gen­eral man­ager Craig Carter says the com­pany will meet with all ex­ist­ing staff to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion.

“We were in the same po­si­tion four years ago when we lost two con­tracts to the YMCA at Pan­mure and One­hunga so we know ex­actly what they are go­ing through.”

He says staff will be en­cour­aged to ap­ply for jobs at the cen­tres.

A coun­cil spokes­woman says the con­tract re­newal process was com­pet­i­tive and pro­pos­als were as­sessed against a num­ber of cri­te­ria, in­clud­ing pro­grammes, cus­tomer ser­vice, strate­gic align­ment to coun­cil, track record and price.

YMCA kept its con­tract at the Eller­slie Recre­ation Cen­tre.

The new man­age­ment agree­ments are for four years, with a pos­si­ble two-year ex­ten­sion at the coun­cil’s dis­cre­tion.

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