Coast council job cuts sound alarm at workers' union
LIVINGSTONE mayor Bill Ludwig has given a glowing endorsement of the council's leadership team under CEO Chris Murdoch as it embarks on a restructure which will see jobs go.
Cr Ludwig yesterday said Ms Murdoch and her team were currently working in an "inclusive” way with the work force to look at the most effective ways to implement efficient changes.
His comments come as a leading union representative aired his concerns about the impact the job cuts would have and stepped up the pressure on the council saying alarm bells were ringing.
Secretary of The Services Union, Neil Henderson, yesterday put the pressure on Cr Ludwig and his fellow councillors to "do the right thing”.
"Council has made decisions which of course have had cost impacts and have been great for the community, but do have consequences,” he said.
"So, to wipe your hands of this decision-making and then to lay blame at the feet of what happened over four years ago, has our alarm bells ringing.
"The Services Union will be watching very closely and will continue to fight for local jobs.”
Cr Ludwig responded to these claims saying the union was fully involved in the consultation process of these plans.
"The CEO and her team fully briefed the union on the reasons and methodology of this restructure,” Cr Ludwig said.
"Council's focus has always been on job creation and we have employed hundreds of people within council over the years.”
Council said it's unclear how many positions would be impacted and yesterday refused to comment on speculation about 30 positions potentially impacted.
A number of these positions would likely involve workers on projects coming to the end of its lifespan.
Cr Ludwig asked for patience as "we find the best outcome for everyone”.
Early this week, Ms Murdoch issued a statement detailing the need for a restructure following an independent "health check” from an independent university.
Ms Murdoch yesterday declined to expand on a statement though further information is expected to be provided by the end of the month.
"I have to commend the CEO, her team and the work force for the professional way they have approached this,” Cr Ludwig said.
"The fact that they are doing this in such an inclusive way and striving to get the best outcomes for the community is important.
"Chris Murdoch has been like a breath of fresh air.”
Cr Ludwig said council management were currently working with staff to discuss the report and options to move forward.