In response to the plan of three staff unions of leisure services to march on July 1, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department gave the following response today (June 25):
The department attaches great importance to the views of staff unions and has kept in close contact with them. Views and suggestions expressed through the established channels will be actively considered. While the department respects the right of the staff unions to freely express themselves, it hopes that questions and suggestions can continue be discussed through the existing communication channels established between the department and the unions. The department does not encourage them to take matters to the street. The department believes that through continuous communication with the unions, colleagues can up hold team spirit and effectively implement the department’s policies to provide the public with quality services.
The department has launched the new operation mode since 2002, which in the main merged the Amenities Officer Grade and the Recreation and Sport Officer Grade into the Leisure Services Manager Grade. The objective is to provide more professional and a one-stop service to the public, and thereby enhance the quality of leisure services. The merger did not involve Amenities Assistants.
Under the new mode, training is provided to equip staff with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their duties, including venue management. Guidelines, including that on procurement procedures, are also provided to them.
As for tree management, most of the department’s Certified Arborists have all along been assigned to take up duties related to tree management. At present, there are 40 Certified Arborists in the department and 34 of them are assigned with duties related to tree management. The department has also enhanced training on tree management for the staff. As for individual issues mentioned by the unions, the department has maintained close contact with the unions and colleagues to respond and take follow-up actions proactively.
The department understands that the workload of staff has increased in the recent years and the demand of the public has raised. The department will seek additional resources and manpower when there is sufficient justification.
Ends/Thursday, June 25, 2009