AT LEAST 35 people are likely to be made redundant and a directorate disbanded as part of the Baw Baw Shire’s Organisation Structure Review.
A draft copy of the review circulated among staff yesterday and provided to the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen today outlined the changes, which could see a further 45 people lose their jobs to outsourcing, the creation of 26 totally new positions, and the modification of another 11 positions.
The Community Services directorate, presently without a director after previous head Shane Cagney left the council, will be disbanded to form a three-directorate structure: Community Assets, Corporate and Community Services, and Planning & Economic Development.
Many of the people to be made redundant have been with the organisation for a long time, and in a number of cases a new position with a slightly different title will be created after they leave.
Staff have told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen some employees found out they had lost their jobs from concerned friends and not from those responsible for the changes.
Planning & Economic Development will see the biggest number of job losses, with 12 people to be made redundant and one moved onto retirement. Ten totally new positions will be advertised.
Community Assets will see nine redundancies and six totally new positions will be advertised.
Corporate and Community Services will see six people sacked and two new full time positions created.
The entire IT, OHS and Human Resources departments have been flagged as potentially outsourceable, putting the jobs of a further 15 people in doubt. Elsewhere in the directorate another 15 positions are potential outsourcing targets.
In communications all seven customer service officers will be made redundant, with six similar new positions created to replace them. Another position will also be made redundant, the new position of Business Improvement Officer will be created and the vacant Grants and Advocacy Officer position filled.
Staff feedback will be assessed early in March before the final structure is advised by the CEO on 11 March.
The Australian Services Union will meet with Baw Baw on 25 February.
In an unsigned open letter included in The Weekly – the council’s internal newsletter – a spokesperson assumed to be CEO Helen Anstis said Baw Baw was “operating in a dynamic and changing economic and political environment with increasing expectations from the community, without the price tag attached.”
“In addition to the external environmental factors, we have a number of vacant positions, and with our imminent relocation to Drouin there is a real opportunity for us to review the organisation to take on these challenges.
“In meeting the challenges being faced by Local Government as a sector, and maximising our opportunity with the relocation to Drouin, we need to look at all the services we provide, how we provide them and, ensuring we are best placed to provide them.
“In the past I have asked staff for their ideas about process improvements, smarter ways of doing things and reviewing service levels and services. A number of teams have already participated in Best Value Service Reviews, which have highlighted opportunities for improvement. These are being acted upon but there is a need to do more.
“So while it is one thing to be reviewing the services and service standards in order to find operational savings, it is also important that we look at all the services we provide; are we best placed to provide them or are there better and more appropriate service providers that we could be partnering with to achieve the best outcome for our community? The management challenge is to achieve savings that are sustainable and do not disadvantage our community. The services they need should be delivered at a level and cost they can afford or are willing to pay. This is going to require some detailed conversations with our community over the coming months as we undertake service reviews.
“In support of this overall services review, we are also reviewing the organisation’s structure and the Executive Leadership Team and I have prepared a draft for your consideration. In preparing this DRAFT structure we have listened to your ideas and for the opportunity to work smarter and more collaboratively across the organisation.
“In developing this structure we have focused on Council’s Vision, Mission and Values, as well as the key performance objectives for the two years remaining of this Council Plan and setting the organisation up for flexibility in service delivery into the future.
“The principles we used in developing this structure included:
- “Simplify the way we go about our work;
- “Streamline and improve decision making;
- “Build resilience and flexibility into our organisation so as to adapt to the changing environment; and
- “Be agile enough to deliver services to our community that are affordable and meet expectations.
“Further to these principles, we also acknowledge that we need to live and breathe our values and behaviours; that we must all walk the talk and feel empowered to hold ourselves and our colleagues to account when we don’t. We have not made these decisions lightly. I have made myself available to talk to you, as have the Directors. Many have taken the opportunity to provide their feedback and ideas, some have been very proactive in designing a new paradigm for Local Government in Gippsland, with a shared service model that has merit and will require further investigation. I thank those staff who have actively participated in these well rounded and robust discussions.
“In this DRAFT structure you will note that:
- “The organisation now has three Directorates and I retain Community Information, including the Performance Reporting Framework, Council Plan and Organisation Improvement through Best Value and Service Review processes.
- “There are a number of management positions that have been refocused and may lead to redundancies.
- “Some services have been identified for further investigation regarding Shared Service opportunities with our local government colleagues or other forms of delivery depending on the outcome of a service review.
- “Some positions have been completely reviewed with significant changes made to position descriptions to provide greater flexibility in the service provided and scope for improved efficiency. Where this has occurred there may be redundancies.
- “We have looked at the programs and services we provide and have redesigned the organisation to capture the skills, knowledge and experience of staff to deliver these services.
- “We have created a fixed term contract position for a ‘Business Analyst’ to assist with the Best Value Service Reviews and Business Improvement processes so that we can continue to adapt and design affordable services now and into the future. This position will be critical in assisting with the Service Reviews to be undertaken and streamlining processes.
- “The creation of the new Assets and Recreation Team is a logical improvement given the synergies that exist in service and asset planning and for better managing the recreation asset portfolio into the future.
- “We have also included an additional resource in to the Recreation Team to assist with managing the Warragul Leisure Centre contract and Committees of Management at our reserves and halls.
- “Combining the Emergency Management staff with Building and Regulatory Services places all enforcement activities under the one umbrella to provide improved management of all our regulatory activities.
- “Creating the new Infrastructure Planning, Programs and Waste Team provides a one stop shop for infrastructure planning through delivery of all capital works in the Long Term Infrastructure Plan (LTIP), integrated with subdivision development and construction management, to ensure consistent outcomes across this entire portfolio. Including waste management in this team provides for consistent contract management outcomes.
- “A number of changes are proposed to the Fleet Service area to better reflect the progress and future of the current fleet reforms underway, together with building works planning support for the wider Urban Operations area.
- “Creating a single Coordinator across all Parks, Gardens and Sportsfields will ensure better works planning and delivery across this entire suite of activities, consistency of standards and outcomes and better management of the increasing demands upon this service.
- “Customer Service has been reviewed with a more consistent workforce going from predominantly part-time employees to full-time with rotations to occur across Drouin and Warragul. Further discussions are to be undertaken with the Council regarding the continued provision of service at Trafalgar.
- “Local Laws Officers will become multi-disciplinary with Planning enforcement, Parking, Animal, Asset Protection and Local Law enforcement. School-Crossing supervision will remain the same.
- ‘The Statutory Planning structure has been amended to include new planning officer positions.
- “Strategic Planning will become a multi-disciplinary team providing strategic planning for both land use and social planning as well as undertaking community development activities and implementing both the Baw Baw Health and Wellbeing Plan and Active Transport roles.
- “In addition to Strategic and Statutory Planning this department will now also include Environmental Planning and Delivery with the Natural Environment Team, Waste Education and Environmental Planning forming a new team.
- “Economic Development is being moved to be a direct report to the Director Planning and Economic Development and will focus on providing Executive Support to the Business Advisory Board, and will implement the Economic Development Strategy that was adopted by the Council in 2014.
- “The Arts and Culture Team will remain the same with the addition of the Economic Development Events Officer joining the team. The department will now report through to the Director Planning and Economic Development.
- “The Human Services Team is predominantly unchanged however the disability planning component of the work will be discontinued. This service relies on DHS to refer clients and the service has not been and is not meeting targets; there are a number of local providers and it is expected that the funding model will change significantly at the end of the financial year. The PAG Administration role will discontinue, with the work to be absorbed by the PAG supervisor role. The role of Home Based Support Admin will increase to a full time position. The role of ADASS Team Leader Program Support will discontinue and the PAG (ADASS) Support role will increase by 0.5. Minor changes will be made to the roles of Social Support Admin Officer and the Volunteer Officer where meals co-ordination will move from the roles to Home Based Support Services and the two roles will focus on volunteer management, recruitment and support for the entire HACC group of services. There are no changes to the Family and Children’s Services Department and the Immunisation Service contract remains with the manager. The team will now be incorporated in to a new Corporate and Community Services Directorate and be renamed Community Services.
- “The new Corporate and Community Services Directorate will continue to provide support services to the organisation with Finance and Procurement unchanged. Human Resources, Payroll, Information Technology, Learning and Development, OHS & Risk and Business Information services are to be reviewed to identify the best and most appropriate service delivery model including shared service or outsourced options.
- “There has been a freeze placed on all vacant positions in the organisation. If the position is still required then we want to maximise redeployment opportunities as appropriate.
- “The Executive Leadership Team is also reviewing the teams that are going to Drouin once the renovation is complete. At this point in time, consideration is being given to retain the Community Services Team at Civic Place. Finance, Business Information and Communications will potentially move to Drouin. Staff are unlikely to sit within Directorates, but where they may have more appropriate working relationships with other teams, for example Sub-Divisions and Infrastructure Planning with Strategic Planning to ensure we get a comprehensive outcome to future planning decisions and on the ground assets.
“If we achieve the above, we set ourselves up to deliver the highest quality and affordable services to our community and create an organisation that is focused and prepared for the reshaped future of Local Government in Victoria.”
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