SECURE FUTURE: CEO Chris Murdoch  says the job cuts are necessary.
SECURE FUTURE: CEO Chris Murdoch says the job cuts are necessary. Contributed

Livingstone council restructure

LIVINGSTONE Shire Council's organisational health check will result in 34 positions being scrapped, 10 of which are already vacant.

The council provided further details of the internal staffing shuffle on Monday afternoon after staff and unions had been formally notified.

In February, chief executive officer Chris Murdoch said the council had to tighten its belt following the results of its first organisational health check since the council de-amalgamated from Rockhampton Regional Council at the start of 2014.

Ms Murdoch said the organisational health check allowed the council to review how it was functioning and to identify opportunities for improvement.

While the cutbacks struck a blow to those affected, the news was not all bad, with new positions created to address specific areas of resource need identified by the organisational health check.

"An independent team from the University of Technology Sydney Centre for Local Government undertook the organisational health check over a six-month period from May to November 2017, specifically focusing on organisational culture, service delivery, organisational design (including structure), as well as building capacity and capability within the organisation,” Ms Murdoch said.

"This was foreshadowed at the community meetings held in August/September last year and the need for council to grow into a smaller, more efficient and effective organisation over time, which would involve reducing our staff profile over the next three years.

"The challenging economic conditions over the past few years have meant that council has needed to stimulate the local economy with projects that have provided employment and a substantial injection of spend into local business.”

Ms Murdoch said in comparison, the next three years would be a period of consolidation with a reduction in the council's capital spend.

She said as major projects came to completion, there would be a corresponding reduction in the council's workforce.

"A number of positions have been held vacant in anticipation of the restructure and there are a number of contracts and temporary employment arrangements that will end over the next six months or so, which will reduce the impact on the permanent workforce.

"Our commitment throughout this process is to ensure staff are treated fairly, are appropriately consulted on the proposed changes and supported throughout the process.

"The changes to implement the new structure, once determined, will occur through a process of voluntary separations, redeployment and natural attrition.

"Staff were advised in June 2017 that council intended to reduce its staffing profile and the process undertaken has involved considerable engagement with the workforce.

"The new structure takes a contemporary approach to service delivery.”

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