Auckland Council’s Finance and Performance Committee yesterday (Thursday 29 July) agreed to put its maintenance services business unit, AIM Services (AIMS), up for sale.
This decision reflects the council’s commitment to delivering the services that Aucklanders need in the most efficient and effective way. The rationale for the decision was underpinned by a robust evaluation of all aspects of the AIMS operation. AIMS is performing well but lacks scale to realise its full potential and a new owner could develop and grow the business while providing career opportunities for AIMS staff.
Finance and Performance Committee Chair Cr Desley Simpson says the decision has taken into account the opportunities that a sale would realise, including improved service delivery, the growth of the AIM Services business and the development and support of its staff.
“We considered the impact on staff very carefully, no one takes decisions about the careers of others lightly. Any potential purchaser would be required to retain the frontline workforce and this would be agreed through the negotiation process,” she says.
Cr Simpson notes that the council has an obligation to provide value for money services to the community, and this is more important than ever, given the impact of Auckland’s rapid growth and the disruption of COVID-19.
About AIM Services
Amenities and Infrastructure Maintenance Services (AIMS) is a business unit of Auckland Council which provides maintenance services that include arboriculture, cleaning, indoor plants, landscaping, open space maintenance, waste management, litter control and removal, and project construction.
AIMS’ main customer is Auckland Council and provides full facilities maintenance services in five out of the 21 local board areas of Aotea/Great Barrier, Waiheke, Albert-Eden, Puketāpapa and Whau.
Auckland Council currently outsources the majority of similar services to other providers in the active, competitive and professional supply market.
How will this affect AIMS staff?
AIMS has approximately 300 staff and the council has been working with AIMS management and unions to communicate this decision to them.
The evaluation of potential purchasers will be heavily weighted towards ‘people’ and before a purchaser will be considered, it will have to confirm that it will offer, as a minimum, employment to all frontline service employees on the same terms they’re currently on.
Most of AIMS is made up of frontline service delivery staff, however for those people who are not in one of these roles, if the purchaser does not require their services, they will be provided with career transition and redeployment support and all efforts will be made to find them an alternative role.
About the sale
The sale process will commence immediately, but it will still take some time to identify the best purchaser and complete the transition. The sale and purchase process remains confidential to protect commercial interests and maintain the integrity of the process.