ACC boost for Dunedin

Dave Cull.
Dave Cull.
Dunedin is set to pick up more than 40 new jobs if a proposed move of the Accident Compensation Corporation from northern centres goes ahead.

The proposed move has been hailed as ''just great news'' by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, who said it was testimony to the reliability of the Dunedin workforce.

It has gone down less well in Wellington and Auckland, which would lose their ACC centres, and the Public Service Association (PSA) said it was ''surprised and disappointed'' by the news.

ACC already has a significant presence in Dunedin, with about 430 roles across three sites.

An ACC spokesman said the proposal was to consolidate four contact centres into two, in Hamilton and Dunedin.

Staffing levels would remain the same at 157, but 23 roles in Auckland and 64 in Wellington would go.

Those 87 positions were likely to be ''fairly evenly split'' between Dunedin and Hamilton.

The spokesman said the plan was in a consultation phase, and the corporation was seeking feedback from affected staff before a final decision in late June.

If the proposal was confirmed, ''we would look to make the changes in February next year''.

ACC would assist people who wanted to relocate, and support those who did not by offering redeployment where possible, or by helping them prepare for their next role outside ACC.

New staff in Dunedin would be housed at Otago House, where ACC already has space, if the proposal went ahead.

The reason for proposing the consolidation was having two call centres instead of four would make it easier to have consistent work practices, and allow greater flexibility to handle peak demand periods.

''Ultimately, that means better customer service,'' the spokesman said.

The PSA said yesterday its members were surprised and disappointed at the proposal to close two call centres in Auckland and Wellington.

Late last year the Dunedin City Council announced it had backed out of an undertaking to allow the Frederick St car park to be used for the $300million redevelopment of Dunedin Hospital.

Instead, the council agreed it would not discuss or negotiate with any other party other than ACC relating to the sale and purchase of the property for 12 months. In that time, ACC would investigate the feasibility of a multistorey building in which it would consolidate its operations.

Mr Cull said yesterday the council always knew when ACC consolidated there would be a need for more staff.

Of the potential move of the jobs, he said: ''That's vindication of Dunedin's reputation as having a really loyal, consistent, reliable workforce.''

Other companies had discovered when they moved from Dunedin to other centres workers were not nearly as reliable.

''It makes sense to not have everything concentrated on the very high cost centres like Auckland and Wellington.''

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

Comments

Why ODT are you allowing Cull to take the glory for this? he would have done nothing to help it. IMO he and the Greens are the down fall of Dunedin.

 

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