Invercargill City Council staff shake-up proposed

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The Invercargill City Council Building on Esk St, Invercargill.

A STAFFING shake-up has been proposed by the Invercargill City Council (ICC).

The proposal was distributed to employees on Monday and a copy of the document was leaked to the Otago Daily Times on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear if the proposal would lead to job losses.

ICC chief executive Clare Hadley declined to talk about numbers on Tuesday night, and pointed out the document was internal.

Invercargill City Council chief executive Clare Hadley.

However, she took issue with the proposed changes being characterised as sweeping.

“The reasoning behind the changes are outlined clearly in the document.

“The council and the community are looking for something different from the council.”

Among the key issues identified by ICC’s leadership team was the need for “a greater sense of urgency in the way we perform our activities”, greater engagement with the community and improved delivery of capital programmes.

Changes would include combining two communications teams, centralising information systems and creating a procurement team to manage risk, audit, contracts and fleet management. A processing team would be established for revenue, rates and purchasing. A combined archives and records team would be under one manager.

The council proposes five groups: customer and environment; finance and assurance; infrastructure services; leisure and recreation; and strategy and engagement.

Fewer employees would be needed for customer services, planning and building support.

In leisure and recreation, a community development team would be disestablished.

A new position for museum, arts and culture would be created.

Several team leaders would have their positions disestablished but other positions would be created.

Some positions, now vacant, would be disestablished.

An initial proposal was shared with staff in February, when awareness about Covid-19 was starting to build. The consultation period ended during lockdown.

ICC decided to split the works and services group in two and an interim group manager of infrastructure was appointed.

Other decisions were postponed at that time, however, and have reemerged to be considered now.

The report comments: “Covid-19 has reshaped our world and challenged our way of life.

“As we think to the future, it becomes obvious that we need to structure our organisation to adapt to the changing world we live in and the changing circumstances of our residents and ratepayers.”

The deadline for staff feedback was June 22.

A final decision was expected on June 26 and the changes would be implemented from July.

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