Council jobs saved from the chopping block - for now
AN overhaul of Gympie Regional Council’s internal structure will not include job cuts any time soon, CEO Shane Gray has revealed.
Following the delivery of Mr Gray’s 100 day report on the council, the CEO said there was a clear position when it came to job losses in the organisation.
“It’ll be as a last resort,” he said.
“What I’m looking to do is maximise the potential of the people we have.”
Possible job cuts have been a sore spot since the election.
Possible cuts were flagged in June amid concerns about the council’s ongoing operational losses and a surging staff bill, expected to hit $41 million this financial year.
But the plan went pear-shaped when the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission was forced to step in on behalf of the Services Union, which accused then acting CEO Pauline Gordon of disregarding commitments given to them only days earlier.
Mr Gray’s position on staff job security follows the unveiling of his proposed restructuring of roles within the council.
His structure, endorsed by the council at a special meeting on Monday, includes three directors (corporate financial services, infrastructure services, and community sustainability), managers for the water services and human resources branches.
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A new asset facilities manager position will be created too.
Mr Gray said the restructure was not about going old school but rather back “to what made sense”.
This will include moving water services back under the infrastructure branch; it would also bring the different council departments on to the same page.
“We’ve got our own halls, leasing, swimming pools, commercial entities but because we’re a bit siloed, different departments looked after different aspects of the asset base,” he said.
“What we’ve found is because our asset plans aren’t great, and our long term maintenance and ongoing capital replacement wasn’t consistent, it made sense to bring it all into one place.”
Proactivity was the watchword when it came to fixing problems by using the council’s own
“sparkies, chippies and plumbers” where possible.
This should reduce the need for outside contractors.
“When we started having a look at our procurement and contractor reviews and our preferred suppliers, there just seemed to be no consistency,” Mr Gray said.
“I want to treat every dollar like it’s mine, which in turn is council’s, which in turn is the community’s.
“Money is tight.
“There’s no doubt when we start to crunch some numbers and we work out what critical maintenance needs to be done, versus the new stuff … there’s probably a bigger hole than we thought.
“There's a lot of nice things to have. I want to ensure we do the things we need to have first.”
Mr Gray is aiming to have the new leadership in place by the end of the year.