Council quake leave opposed

11:26 pm on 15 November 2012

Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce is demanding an inquiry into the granting of 11 days extra leave to Christchurch City Council employees.

The extra leave was granted by council chief executive Tony Marryatt in recognition of the extra work the 2400 staff have been putting in following the earthquakes.

Chamber chief executive Peter Townsend says a reward of this sort should be given in recognition of an individual's performance and should not be handed out to everybody regardless of how well they have done.

Mr Townsend says the extra leave effectively adds another 5% to the cost of running the council and this will ultimately be borne by ratepayers.

He says he wants an inquiry into why Mr Marryatt granted the extra leave without informing councillors.

Mr Townsend says this flies in the face of a recent audit that called for councillors to be informed about major decisions.

Mayor Bob Parker has justified the decision, saying Mr Townsend is incorrect to say the change will increase costs.

Mr Parker says it will actually save the council money in the long term by helping to retain staff.

He says the leave won't be extended to those repairing power lines and roads because that work is carried out by standalone council-owned companies.