Council to end parking services contract, staff to be re-employed on living wage

Press Release – Service And Food Workers Union
The Wellington City Council has today voted not to continue contracting out its parking services and instead to directly employ the workers.

“The council’s decision to take parking services in-house and directly employ this part of their workforce is a good decision for the existing workforce and the city,” said Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) National Secretary, John Ryall today.

The parking services workers are members of the SFWU.

“It is our understanding that the existing workforce will be able to move to these jobs,” said John Ryall. “This is great news for our members and their families, as they will also move to the living wage, along with the rest of the Council’s directly employed workforce.”

John Ryall said this was great news for Wellington residents and visitors parking in the city, as it will ensure the parking workforce is stable, skilled and experienced.

He said the parking workers were currently paid poverty wages, work very long hours and were reliant on bonuses paid for high-ticketing rates to survive.

“Our parking warden members are working up to 70 hours a week and are on rates as low as $14.10 an hour, no matter how much experience they have. They do a tough and important job and they should be valued for their contribution to the running of the city. This move by Council values the workforce,” he said. “Taking the parking services workforce in-house and paying them the living wage also signals that this Council is serious about addressing poverty and inequality in Wellington City,” said John Ryall.

“Last week Council took the first step, voting to move all directly-employed staff to the living wage by July and also making a firm commitment to achieve the living wage for workers employed by CCOs and by contractors. This is one way to advance the commitment that commitment.”

John Ryall said the SFWU was looking forward to working with Wellington City Council to ensure all the CCO and contract workers, in work such as cleaning, hospitality and security, were moved to the living wage in this council term. The New Zealand living wage is currently $18.40. It will be independently reviewed early in 2014.

Wellington.Scoop: 120,000 reasons to bring parking in house

News from WCC
The Wellington City Council is to establish an internal unit to run the Capital’s parking services. Today’s meeting of the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee ratified the proposal that the service be directly run by the Council from 1 July 2014.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown supports the move to bring parking services in-house. “Parking services are a critical function for the Council. Bringing them in house makes sense from an ambassadorial, financial and human resources sense. This move delivers a greater focus on customer service, better value for money and better oversight on parking operations.”

The new arrangement follows a “robust and thorough” tender process, says Mayor Wade-Brown. She adds that it will align parking services with the Council’s ‘City Host’ on-street ambassador service, which was also brought in-house earlier this year, and the introduction of new technology to assist motorists, such as parking sensors and mobile apps.

Councillor Andy Foster, the Chair of the Transport and Urban Development Committee, says the time is right to return to an in-house service. “A shift to bring the work back to the main Council organisation will have a number of benefits, especially in allowing more flexibility to introduce new technology and for wardens to have a more ‘ambassadorial’ function. We will also save money and have more direct control – which will lead to a more nimble service – one that can make changes and respond to the needs of the city and the public more effectively.

“Parking enforcement might be unloved – but it is a necessity in any city for a number of reasons – mainly maintaining road safety and giving all motorists a fair chance of getting a car park. If we had no enforcement the city would quickly grind to a halt and the livelihoods of retailers and businesses would be put at great risk.”

Parkwise has provided the Parking Wardens since 1996 and Tenix has processed the tickets since 2001. Cr Foster says the companies will continue to operate until 30 June. In the meantime there is a lot to be done to set up the new organisation while continuing ‘business as usual’.

Tenix and Parkwise have been informed of the Council decision and the Council will provide opportunities for staff to apply for jobs with the new unit.

Changes expected to accompany the transition include:

Easier methods to pay for parking including paperless coupons.
On-line methods to correspond with Council including resident permit applications and appeals.
A new look for the Parking Wardens who will also have the most up-to-date handheld technology.
The payment of the Living Wage to parking staff.

 

3 comments:

  1. Watcher, 17. December 2013, 19:04

    A slap in the face for long serving Councillors who have constantly opposed this initiative, and a big thanks to all “new” Councillors who campaigned to bring this service back in-house. Hopefully this is the start of some sensible policies.

     
  2. Rosamund, 18. December 2013, 10:12

    Congratulations to the members of Committee. Disappointed that their discussion was all in secret. WCC’s next step should be to bring Citi-Ops back in-house to collect our rubbish and recycling from our backdoors. Locals employed by our Council to provide a service to its citizens. Installation Art (ie: piles of rubbish and recycling bags) will then become a thing of the past. Hurrah!

     
  3. Albert Tatlock, 18. December 2013, 12:51

    Using John Ryall’s hours and rates above, I’m surprise there isn’t a queue of Spanish, Irish and Portuguese applying for a parking warden job since they can make $47,000 a year and that’s before the ‘commission’ kicks in.

    No wonder car parking and towing is one of the most profitable, if not the most profitable business, in Welly (leaving aside the tax break computer geek industry). All you need is a ‘spoil sport’ attitude to life: ticket ‘em and tow ‘em and you’re living sweet

     

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