Council job cuts bill hits $500,000
The Nelson City Council has paid out more than $500,000 in redundancy compensation in its reorganisation.
The restructure has now resulted in 49 position being disestablished - with 18 staff made redundant, 22 staff accepting alternate positions and nine vacant roles axed.
The council's chief executive, Clare Hadley, said today: "We are returning to a more traditional local government model that allows us to focus on the new core purpose of the Local Government Act. The focus is on streamlining the organisation, being more efficient, doing the work once and doing it right."
While the reorganisation came into effect on October 14, the figures have just been released and show the cost of the redundancies is $578,000.
Mrs Hadley, who was appointed to the council last December, said the ongoing salary savings would be $1 million a year.
The council will contract out its parking operations to Nelson company Environmental Inspections Ltd, but has decided not to go ahead with its proposed contracting out of the Brook Valley Holiday Park services.
The cost savings from contracting out the parking operations are expected to be $40,000.
Environmental Inspections is already contracted to provide the council's noise control, animal control, liquor licensing and air quality monitoring services. It is 50 per cent owned by Stephen Lawrence, and the other 50 per cent by Robin Whalley and Brent and Sandra Higgins.
In total the number of fulltime equivalent staff has reduced from 236 before the reorganisation to 220.
An internal staff Kenexa Best Workplace Survey conducted in the leadup to the reorganisation showed many staff were unhappy, with comments about bullying, a sense of fear and criticism of the leadership.
Figures released to the Nelson Mail today show 29 council staff have resigned this year to the end of September, compared with 25 throughout all of last year.
Experienced staff who lost jobs include the executive manager of the regulatory division, Richard Johnson, who was acting chief executive until Mrs Hadley was appointed, manager parks and facilities Paul McArthur, and principal adviser city development David Jackson.
The council is now headed by a senior management team of Mrs Hadley, group manager infrastructure Alec Louverdis; group manager support services and acting group manager community services Hugh Kettlewell; chief finance officer Nikky Harrison; kaihautu Geoff Mullen and acting group manager strategy and environment Nicky McDonald.
Changes in the reorganisation that have not gone ahead are the proposed creation of a fixed-term manager for venue marketing and festivals, the proposed creation of an asset engineer for roading, and graduate asset engineer positions in the asset management business unit did not proceed.
Changes in the libraries staffing and services were still being worked on, Mrs Hadley said.
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