YMCA staff face axe
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.