Christchurch council staff get extra holidays

Stressed Christchurch council office workers will get an extra day's paid holiday each month but it looks like their colleagues who are helping rebuild the quake-damaged city won't be getting it.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that city council workers will receive one extra day's paid holiday each month from now until November next year in in recognition of the pressure they have been under since the big quakes in February 2011, and September 2010.

An estimated 850 people work for city-council owned City Care but spokeswoman Phillipa Webb said: "We will not be granting our employees extra leave."

City Care is part of Christchurch City Holdings Ltd, a city council company.

Ms Webb said city council policies did not apply to City Care but the union which represents City Care workers believes that the holiday offer should also cover them.

Amalgamated Workers Union assistant secretary Lindsay Chappell said: "We are currently putting a written request forward for [City Care to give] some consideration to workers. They are the people at the front line."

Some had worked 24-hour stretches after the quakes, he said.

"There's no denial these people put in the effort and probably a darn site more than someone behind an office desk," he said.

The city council yesterday declined to comment on the City Care issue.

Just under 2000 city council staff will be eligible for the days off, which have been called staff support days.

City Care achieved a strong financial performance for the year ended 30 June 2012, returning a net profit after tax of $16.5 million and a substantial increase on the previous year's profit of $11.3 million.

Revenue for the year increased considerably from $237 million in 2011 to $354 million, a rise of 48 per cent. The increase in revenue is largely as a result of the work undertaken after Christchurch's earthquakes and aftershocks.

- By Alex Mason of The Star

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