Crookwell Gazette 25 October 2018
Several staff positions are being “reviewed” at Upper Lachlan Shire Council (ULSC) as part of a management review and restructure.
The mayor, John Stafford, said the restructure’s purpose was ‘not financial, but instead designed to improve efficiency’.
ULSC general manager John Bell also said there was no intention to decrease current staffing numbers.
However, the council has entered into a formal industrial dispute with the United Services Union about the restructure.
The dispute is presently before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC).
The council resolved to begin the restructure in may 2018 in a closed session at council.
Councillors were acting on advice from their director of works and operations, Mursaleen Shah.
Minutes of the meeting, released in June, showed that the process would cost $70,000.
“Under the organisational restructure, several positions are being reviewed,” said Cr Stafford in an official statement.
“Council is seeking to change its organisational structure to enhance deliverability and accountability to the community through better asset management and better delivery of infrastructure services, including better project management of major projects,” the statement continued.
“Barring a few positions. there are little to no changes to the existing roles.
“The nature of organisational restructures within any organisation s such that there will be some parties who would prefer to maintain the status quo.”
United Services Union official Stuart Geddes confirmed the dispute would be heard again at the IRC before Commissioner John Murphy on November 18.
With 148 staff, changes to the ULSC works and operations department could lead to losses of between 25 to 30 jobs, Mr Geddes said, if the Roads and maritime Services contracts were affected.
Mr bedded said the restructure was reviewing the entire works and operations department, but the council would not say which positions were affected.
It is believed that at least three senior management staff have already taken redundancy packages.
One of these roles was believed to have impacted a senior staff member with highly regarded sector experience and qualifications in negotiating RMS contracts.
Confidential documents seen by the Crookwell Gazette showed job roles had been downgraded and other positions had amalgamated responsibilities.
The documents also showed that the realignment of the works and operations department was in stage one of four stages.
Stage one includes senior management, Workplace Health and Safety (WHS), procurement and store positions.
Outdoor staff, in stages two and three, are not yet under review.
Mr Bell said the “organisational restructure is expected to have a minor operational impact, which could result in small delays in the delivery of some services.”
Cr Stafford’s statement said that any organisation, “and Council is no exception,” must continue to evolve.
“I am sure the community expects no less,” Cr Stafford said in an official statement.
“It is unreasonable to expect that we should continue to do things the same way in an ever-changing environment,” his statement read.
Cr Stafford also dismissed rumours of amalgamation with Goulburn Mulwaree Council.
Both premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton had reassured all councils there would be nor forced amalgamations.