Wellington Council is looking at a smaller workforce with discussions in place for redundancies.
Nanjing Night Net

There are reports of five redundancies to be offered to staff, while seven existing staff vacancies will not be filled, including three casual employment contracts which will not be renewed.

General manager Michael Tolhurst will recommend to council that as part of their budget preparations the workforce levels not be reliant on non-guaranteed state and federal funding, especially “within the current uncertain economic climate”.

“Where federal or state government is provided to specified employment positions, if that funding is not forthcoming from either the state or federal governments, those positions will cease from July, 2014,” he said.

“These recommendations to council to reduce staff numbers are not made easily.

“Staff have been briefed on these changes and those several individuals potentially impacted upon will be provided with every support to successfully transition out of council.”

Mr Tolhurst said this approach was consistent with the drive for efficiency and effectiveness.

“If Wellington Council is to be sustainable in the long term as a stand-alone council these steps are a necessary first part of that process,” he said.

“The approach we are proposing also places local business in a good position to assist with the provision of an increasing range of support to Council.”

“Wellington Council staff have consistently provided solid and devoted service to the community and that approach will no doubt continue.

“We just need to be smarter about how we deliver services and better manage the scarce resources we have to deliver those services to people in our community.

“The changes provide our staff with the opportunity to become multi-skilled and be increasingly valued by our community.

“If we don’t take this initiative then it is likely someone else will take the decision out of our hands.”

Wellington’s mayor Rod Buhr said becoming more sustainable into the future could involve making difficult decisions.

“Regrettably we have to let some people go as part of that process,” he said.

“Council will do everything it can to make sure the affected people are treated with dignity and that the appropriate assistance is made available to them.”

In December 2013 Mr Tolhurst presented a business sustainability action plan to council, based on building a pathway forward.

He said the basis of the approach would be to reduce operating costs, cost and agree to levels of service and reduce stores, vehicles, plant and equipment holdings.

Another plan is to increasingly engage local business, particularly in peak demand periods, to do work in support of council’s operations.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.