Wellington Scoop

Regional Council offers to help negotiations between bus operators and drivers

News from Greater Wellington Regional Council
The Greater Wellington Regional Council met today regarding its contracts with public transport operators, urging all parties to seek agreement regarding collective employment agreements.

Speaking after the meeting, Chair Chris Laidlaw urged the Tramways Union and bus operators the Council understood were in negotiations over drivers’ wages and conditions, to take up the Council offer to facilitate discussions.

“We are urging the employers and the unions to sit down together, redouble efforts, and finally reach a workable agreement that meets the needs of workers, passengers and the bus companies.

“We have already written to the operators and the unions and the Council is very serious about our desire for this to occur quickly.

“As adjustments are made to its initial performance, we want the travelling public to experience the bus network improvements and this also means the unions and the employers trying their hardest to come together and reach an agreement.

“This was the same situation in place when contracts were negotiated under the previous network.

“However, because it is not the employer, the Regional Council is unable to direct employment negotiations, nor use ratepayers’ funds to pay bus drivers directly.

“In the meantime the Council wants to do all it can within the law to help reach a workable agreement and we are ready to do all we can to facilitate this,” Laidlaw said.

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  1. greenwelly, 3. October 2018, 15:23

    Sounds like today’s meeting had its moments 🙂
    “Angry protesters storm regional council meeting over Wellington bus drivers’ dispute”

  2. Michael Gibson, 3. October 2018, 15:38

    I would be more comfortable if the Minister of Local Government had used S.258 of the Local Government Act and appointed a Crown Observer who could have gone into Public-Excluded Council Meeting and kept an eye on things for us.
    I am convinced that the contracts which the Council has signed are badly drafted and should be independently re-assessed.

  3. Roy Kutel, 3. October 2018, 16:46

    MG: Contracts badly drafted? But GWRC employed numerous law firms with different areas of competency costing millions of dollars to ensure the bus contracts were watertight. And also note that GWRC has written a 600+ page contract document to cover every aspect of the contract including uniforms and window advertising. Do we need more lawyers to draft even more stringent legal contracts?

  4. Graham Atkinson, 3. October 2018, 16:49

    Michael I believe all the PTOM contracts were drafted by MoT and all tenders wer e assessed by teams including GWRC and NZTA officers and outside advisers with probity monitored by Auditor General officers.

  5. Michael Gibson, 3. October 2018, 18:21

    Blimey, they are standard contracts are they? Everything must be alright then! No need for any concern – sorry!

  6. peter brown, 3. October 2018, 18:47

    it makes you wonder what highly qualified experts, who get paid a lot more than bus drivers, know.

  7. Jonny Utzone, 3. October 2018, 20:50

    G. Atkinson. You mention the Auditor General in the contracts – does that mean she/he has a conflict of interest in his/her letter to the GWRC about their performance?

  8. Graham Atkinson, 4. October 2018, 12:38

    Probably not JU as the AG role was to monitor the probity of the process; tenderers had to name every individual involved in the preparation of their tender and then, to avoid any conflicts of interest, all the people involved in assessing the tenders had to identify any associations they had with those individuals

  9. Miss Sensible, 6. October 2018, 13:18

    From observing this whole bus thing I wouldn’t let the GWRC & Chris Laidlaw facilitate eating an icecream – they’d just drop it, cry, & blame everyone else.