New structure to save council $2.5 million in wage costs
A COMPLETE overhaul of a regional council’s structure will create more than $2 million in wage savings a year.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council today met for a special meeting to consider proposed changes to its organisation structure.
The meeting ran for just 10 minutes before councillors unanimously adopted the changes.
The realigned structure is the second stage of an organisational effectiveness review, affecting the management level and below of the council.
A report seen by councillors estimated the changes would provide $2.5 million in wage savings in the first full year following its implementation.
It’s unclear at this stage whether the structural changes will cause job losses.
While the subject of job losses wasn’t directly addressed at the meeting, in supporting the motion councillor Janice Holstein noted there was a large increase in the workforce nine years ago.
“This organisation after the 2011 floods had huge numbers of staff added to the workforce, which was needed at the time,” Cr Holstein said.
“Since most of that work some years ago has been completed, we’ve moved towards getting back to where we need to be.”
CEO Ian Church noted the council would be “consulting with affected staff and the unions” in the lead-up to the adoption of the structure on July 1.
Mr Church also said the changes would result in a reduction of services offered by the council.
“(It’s) a significant saving and, yes, associated with that is some reduction in service level and we see that around some of the things we’ve moved out of in terms of regional development and obviously the Staging Post (cafe),” Mr Church said.
Deputy Mayor Jason Cook voiced support for the changes, telling the meeting the new structure was about “changing the culture of our council of how we do business”.
“The wages of local government are a lot higher than what our public sector is,” Cr Cook said.
“We need to be mindful of the output that we’re doing with that … We’ve got to make sure we’re spending that money wisely.”
READ MORE: Federal MP’s pledge for inland rail review
The organisation effectiveness review was conducted by Winners at Work and all employees were given the opportunity to provide feedback during the process.
Mr Church noted the comments from staff had been important in producing the new structure.
“During the review, staff actually told us that they wanted us to break down silos within the organisation, that they wanted us to find efficiencies and that they wanted us to create a culture that supports an effective, efficient, forward-thinking organisation,” he said.
It is expected the changes will be fully implemented by September 30.