CEO Comments on Council Restructuring

15 May 2013

Wellington City Council’s Chief Executive, Kevin Lavery, has updated Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Councillors relating to the change process that has been under way at the Council.

Mr Lavery briefed the Mayor and Councillors yesterday as the Council also responded to an information request from the Public Service Association (PSA).

The PSA has sought a wide range of information about the Council’s restructuring and change process and its outsourcing of some services to private contractors.

Mr Lavery’s main points:

  • As of this week, there are 1349 permanent employees at the Council. This number can change daily as employees join and leave the Council. This figure does not include casual or ‘temp’ staff.
  • 235 positions have been disestablished at the Council between 1 July 2011 and 30 March 2013. This includes vacant positions that were not filled at the time of the particular change proposal.
  • 155 contestable positions have been created between 1 July 2011 and 30 March 2013. The priority has been to provide opportunities for internal applicants to apply for these positions, before going to the external market. 96 employees were successful and have been redeployed into these positions.
  • The overall number of permanent positions in the organisational structure at the Council has reduced by 80 positions between 1 July 2011 and 30 March 2013.
  • A large proportion of the staff affected by outsourcing since 1 July 2010 have been re-employed by new contractors.

Mr Lavery says while he accepts the need for change at the Council is to align the organisational structure with its strategic direction, he acknowledges that turnover of permanent staff at the Council has been high. 

“There are some factors unique to our workforce that contribute to this - such as the nature of our workforce and the high proportion of part-time employees (33% of our permanent workforce is part-time). In addition in some years this is also affected by change in service delivery options (eg CitiOperations or Venues). Our turnover also reflects the change process that we are undertaking.

“Settling on our final structure, addressing the results of our culture survey, leadership development and training will be a key part in addressing turnover issues.”

He added that as agreed at the Council meeting on 4 April, there will be a workshop on future possibilities for the Council’s service-delivery options which is scheduled for late June.

“The PSA and other interested unions will be welcome to input into this work.”