Future uncertain for water staff

The Dunedin City Council has confirmed Christchurch City Council-owned company City Care has been awarded the tender to maintain Dunedin's water and wastewater network.

City Care was confirmed as the DCC's preferred provider in October.

City Care, which has contracts to provide the same services with 12 local authorities across New Zealand, will take over the work on February 28.

DCC water and waste group manager Laura McElhone yesterday said the job futures of 30 DCC staff directly affected by outsourcing the work were still being worked through.

Eight had been offered jobs with the DCC.

There were 22 jobs available with City Care, but the positions available were not all exactly the same roles as staff had within the water and waste water department, she said.

Offers to the staff would be made before Christmas.

The number of redundancies, if any, would be small, but would be unclear until people responded to the offers.

Dr McElhone said the contract was expected to deliver annual savings of at least $350,000, increasing after the first year.

The value of the annual contract was $4.6 million a year, with an additional $159,000 of transition costs, such as training and IT set-up costs, in the first year.

She reiterated that no Dunedin companies did this sort of work on the level required.

City Care's general manager national maintenance Tim Gibson said the company was looking forward to working with the DCC and to establishing a presence in Dunedin.

- debbie.porteous@odt.co.nz

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