Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough

Top of the south councils agree to union pay rise

- KATIE TOWNSHEND

‘‘The agreement marks a new direction for our members at Tasman, Marlboroug­h and Nelson City Councils who have said they expect more from their employers and saw the best way of achieving this by coming together to form a MECA.’’ – PSA organiser Ian Hoffmann

The three councils across Te Tauihu (the top of the south) have agreed to a combined pay rise for union members.

The Public Service Associatio­n Te Pu¯ kenga Here Tikanga Mahi negotiated for the first Multi-Employer Collective Agreement in the local government sector.

The agreement covers members at Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council and Marlboroug­h District Council.

Under the agreement, collective pay rates increased between 5% and 9.2%, with the highest increases going to those in the lowest pay bands, PSA organiser Ian Hoffmann said.

The agreement also included a ‘‘member only benefit’’, and provided greater transparen­cy about pay rates for different roles.

Hoffmann said the agreement also expanded the number of people who were eligible for the collective agreement at Nelson and Tasman councils.

‘‘The agreement marks a new direction for our members at Tasman, Marlboroug­h and Nelson City Councils who have said they expect more from their employers and saw the best way of achieving this by coming together to form a MECA,’’ Hoffmann said.

PSA members at the councils had adopted the motto ‘‘Ducks Fly Together’’ – a reference to the Mighty Ducks movies – to signify unity.

‘‘Throughout negotiatio­ns we flew together,’’ Michelle Watts, delegate and library assistant/customer service officer at Marlboroug­h District Council said.

‘‘The status quo was not adequate and the MECA approach really did fit the bill.’’

Michael Ogden, PSA delegate and geospatial analyst at Nelson City Council, said the joint approach was a ‘‘new day’’ for the sector.

‘‘It’s been so exciting to watch our members advocating alongside staff at the other councils, and we’ve seen that we’re stronger when we stand together.’’

Angela Holland, delegate and cataloguin­g librarian at Tasman District Council, said they did not achieve everything they set out to, but the agreement was a ‘‘critically important first step’’.

Hoffmann said the short-term agreement was a first step and both parties would return to the negotiatin­g table for a new agreement in the new year.

 ?? ?? Marlboroug­h District Council staff are covered in the new collective agreement.
Marlboroug­h District Council staff are covered in the new collective agreement.

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