City council silent on payout costs

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 04/01/2013

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The Christchurch City Council refuses to reveal how much the redundancy payments made to more than 60 workers it laid off in the past financial year cost ratepayers.

In the financial year ended June 30, 2012, the council made 63 staff redundant.

Most were employed in the parking unit, which has been hit hard by the closure of the central business district, the Christchurch Art Gallery, which has been closed to the public since the February 2011 earthquake, or in the council's recreation and sports facilities.

The Press made a request under the Official Information Act for details of how much the redundancies had cost the council, but it declined to release information, citing privacy reasons.

The 63 workers were not the first council employees to lose their jobs as a consequence of the quakes.

In June 2011, the council said it was disestablishing 171 staff positions because of the damage to its facilities. It managed to find jobs in other parts of the council for 127 of those staff, but 44 lost their jobs.

Those redundancies cost the council about $750,000.

The council has also refused to release details on the number of staff it dismissed in the past financial year or the reasons for their dismissal.

Human resources general manager Chris Till said the council was not disclosing the information because of privacy reasons.

Till said the council was not facing any legal action as a result of the dismissals.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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