THE number of directors and managers at South Gippsland Shire Council will decrease under an organisational restructure proposed this week by CEO Tim Tamlin.
The position of Corporate Services Director, currently occupied by June Ernst, will be abolished and the workload shared by the other three directors and the managers, who will also see their numbers decrease. Instead of 18 managers and co-ordinators reporting to four directors, there will only be nine reporting to three directors. A number of new positions will be created in the organisation and several current positions removed.
Mr Tamlin said that 13 positions will be directly affected, and staff will be offered redeployment and the chance to take redundancies if they choose.
In total, there will be a reduction of just 0.5 EFT (Equivalent Full Time) positions. Additional savings will be made through the downgrading of several positions.
“For some individuals affected, this may be a difficult time,” acknowledged Mr Tamlin. “We will be offering the appropriate support and guidance during the transition.”
He said he had already consulted with many staff and union representatives to ensure the objectives are understood and that opportunities for feedback are provided.
“The next step is to continue consulting with staff to make sure nothing has been overlooked and that we have aligned our functions appropriately to ensure best service delivery. I need input from everybody to achieve the best outcome for the organisation and our community.”
“This is about realigning staff, not downsizing,” insisted Mr Tamlin. “It’s about up-skilling and higher performance, which will eventually return favourable results for the bottom line.”
“This is not a cost cutting exercise. It is to strategically position the organisation to take advantage of our changing operating environment. The new structure will be supported by further developing staff, embracing new technologies and enhancing systems and processes to increase productivity and the effectiveness of Council’s services.”
Mr Tamlin said the organisational review arose partly out of constant pressure to do more with less. The federal government has reduced the grants it gives to local government, the state government has flagged the introduction of rate-capping, and as if that is not enough, costs at both federal and state level are constantly being shifted down the line to local government.
Advances in technology in recent years have also made an organisational restructure logical.
“The proposed structure will support me in delivering greater operational value to the ratepayers and better support the council in meeting community needs,” said Mr Tamlin. “It provides much greater opportunities for staff to provide a higher level of service and/or even more services without additional cost.”
A staff consultation process will run for three weeks, with the structure being finalised in approximately five weeks.
Mr Tamlin said he was hopeful that the new structure would be in place at the start of the next financial year.