Work­ing to solve trans­port is­sues

Kapiti News - - News -

Hav­ing al­ready writ­ten to the op­er­a­tors and the unions, the GW Coun­cil is se­ri­ous about our de­sire for this to oc­cur quickly.

Greater Welling­ton Re­gional coun­cil­lors called an ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing last week to dis­cuss the GWRC con­tracts with pub­lic trans­port op­er­a­tors.

I can’t share the de­tail of our lengthy dis­cus­sions in the pub­lic ex­cluded part of the meet­ing but I wanted to share that we re­solved to con­tinue to urge all par­ties to seek agree­ment re­gard­ing col­lec­tive em­ploy­ment agree­ments.

Spe­cially, we are urg­ing the Tramways Union and bus op­er­a­tors, whom the coun­cil un­der­stand are in ne­go­ti­a­tions over drivers’ wages and con­di­tions, to take up the coun­cil of­fer to fa­cil­i­tate dis­cus­sions.

There is com­plete com­mit­ment from coun­cil­lors to see the em­ploy­ers and the unions sit down to­gether, with in­creased ef­fort and com­mit­ment, and reach a work­able agree­ment that meets the needs of work­ers, pas­sen­gers and the bus com­pa­nies.

Hav­ing al­ready writ­ten to the op­er­a­tors and the unions, the GW Coun­cil is se­ri­ous about our de­sire for this to oc­cur quickly.

And just as every­body else is frus­trated, so too am I.

How­ever, be­cause it is not the em­ployer, re­gional coun­cil is un­able to di­rect em­ploy­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions, or for GWRC to use ratepay­ers’ funds to pay bus drivers di­rectly.

That’s a real­ity of the lo­cal gov­ern­ment en­vi­ron­ment where parts of the op­er­a­tion busi­ness of a coun­cil is set up at arms length from the ac­tual coun­cil or­gan­i­sa­tion.

That’s one of the rea­sons I’ve al­ways per­son­ally op­posed move­ments to­wards CCOs (Coun­cil Con­trolled Or­gan­i­sa­tions) such as the model for con­trol of wa­ter com­pa­nies.

So we have to work within the law of the ex­ist­ing busi­ness model which has been in place for many years, within the re­al­i­ties of em­ploy­ment leg­is­la­tion which is con­trolled by cen­tral gov­ern­ment to help reach a work­able agree­ment.

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