The cost of council's savings

REDUNDANCY costs at Coffs Harbour City Council have exceeded $3.6 million in two years as part of measures management says will ultimately benefit the community.

The redundancy costs - covering the 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years - are part of the council's three-year Transformation to Sustainability program.

The T2S program has involved a restructure of the council and although figures for the exact number of staff made redundant have not been released, a report this week revealed the cost of redundancies reached almost $2.9 million last financial year.

The report states those costs have been met by annual savings associated with the program.

Savings are predicted to reach $30.3 million over a 10-year period, a figure the council states will benefit the organisation and "ultimately the community".

The council's general manager, Steve McGrath, said achieving the same levels of service to the community was a core feature of the program.

He said the controlled redundancy process had followed a defined process under instruments of the Local Government State Award.

"What we did was effectively look at how we were delivering services, and whether the positions we had were fit for purpose," Mr McGrath said.

"There were some roles that, because of the changes of the position description, the position was gone and in some cases a new position created."

Mr McGrath said staff had been provided the opportunity to apply for new positions or deployed to other roles, before the redundancy process commenced.

He said the majority of redundancies had been higher-tier positions, as opposed to roles including field staff.

Forty-one staff were placed on a two-year salary maintenance program, where they are paid on former salaries after being appointed to lower grade positions.

The T2S program last year formed part of the council's application to the Fit for the Future reforms that along with measures including a two-year rate rise, passed the test of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

The report will discussed by councillors at next Thursday's Coffs Harbour City Council meeting.


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