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Council’s workforce overhaul: report

Friday, 13th June, 2014

By Andrew Robertson

City Council’s workforce restructure is set to deliver a leaner organisation filled with multi-skilled staff.

A confidential report seen by the BDT has revealed more details about the planned changes to Council’s workforce.

The April report for councillors states that 20 full-time equivalent positions will be cut and the overall workforce reduced by 31.

That figure includes eight vacant positions in the current structure, but not in the proposed new structure.

The changes will also result in an estimated 22 redundancies, according to the report, and the creation of 19 new positions.

Another 32 staff would be redeployed with most requiring additional training and development.

“The final number of redundancies will depend on how many current employees successfully apply for new positions,” the report says.

It goes on to say reducing staff numbers will affect some areas of the workforce more than others, with clerical, finance administration and management roles to be the hardest hit.

Changes to the requirements of individual positions are also expected to be widespread, according to the report.

Numerous position descriptions will be amended to incorporate “multi-functional responsibilities” that will require staff to be “multi-skilled and work collaboratively across teams”.

While the overall number of staff will be cut the report states that it will not come at the cost of the services Council provides. 

This was mainly due to the fact that most staffing changes are in administration and management.

“It is intended that structural changes in these areas will be implemented in conjunction with more effective work practices, and additional staff skill development, such that current community service levels are maintained,” the report says.

The figure of 20 full-time equivalent positions differs from the 18.5 announced by Council last week.

Yesterday general manager Therese Manns yesterday confirmed the correct number was 18.5.  

“Like any process involving significant workplace reform, changes can take place. That is why this proposal is open to staff consultation,” she said.

Council has already announced it will axe five senior management positions and create three new, more senior roles, including deputy general manager.

Another 20 jobs will also be 

lost at the Shorty O’Neil Village by the end of the month. 

Ms Manns would not comment on whether the planned changes would see more staff taking on more responsibilities, and whether that would be reflected in their wages. 

“What I can say is that we remain open and genuinely committed to an inclusive staff process when it comes to the review,” she said.

“It would not be conducive to our staff to comment further on a process that is in the early stages of consultation.”

She said the workforce review was continuing and that affected staff “continued to be engaged”.

Ms Manns also said it was “very disappointing” that a confidential report had been given to the media.

United Services Union industrial officer Greg Golledge said yesterday he preferred not to comment on plans to changes some position descriptions within the council.

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