Council staff given extra leave

Christchurch City Council staff will get an extra day of paid leave each month between now and next November in recognition of the pressure they have been under since the earthquakes.

The ''staff support days'' have been introduced by council chief executive Tony Marryatt, who is recommending staff use the extra leave to ''rest, recuperate and recharge, ideally away from Christchurch ... for a long weekend''.

In an email sent to all council staff, Marryatt acknowledged that the past two years had been tough on them and that many were feeling ''pretty tired''.

''Keeping our city going and rebuilding it at the same time remains 'a marathon not a sprint' and pacing ourselves for the job right now, and the job ahead, is absolutely crucial,'' he said.

To that end, the council would introduce an additional day of paid leave a month for all staff.

''Taking these days, along with your normal leave days, will help you be as resilient and fresh as possible for the job ahead,'' Marryatt said.

Council human resources general manager Chris Till said the council executive team had approved the extra leave, which could be achieved without the council incurring any additional costs.

''Staff will work together to help deliver normal levels of services and work schedules,'' he said.

Asked to explain the rationale behind the extra leave, Till said unique times called for unique approaches.

''Staff have worked tirelessly for the last two years. We are proud of everything that has been achieved in the midst of all the work, personal and domestic pressures that we all face in Christchurch,'' he said.

"It is important that staff continue to be capable of performing the job of rebuilding the city, keeping our swimming pools and libraries going, fixing the roads and pipes and keeping Christchurch a place people want to live in. 

''We are a good employer and we genuinely care about our staff and the difference they make.''

The Press