In defence of our school cross­ing su­per­vi­sors

Mansfield Courier - - OPINIONS/PEOPLE -

LET me ad­dress my con­flict of in­ter­est in this mat­ter.

I am the re­lief to the re­lief school cross­ing su­per­vi­sor.

As such I work for the coun­cil an hour or two a term.

Hav­ing just re­tired, if I lose that time I will not be the least wor­ried.

How­ever, I do worry for the treat­ment of the per­ma­nent cross­ing su­per­vi­sors - Di, Lisa, Val, Kirsten, Kylie and Jo.

They are highly skilled work­ers with their lives, and the lives of the school stu­dents, in their hands.

The job is a par­tic­u­larly dan­ger­ous one with all su­per­vi­sors re­count­ing near misses.

They also work in all weather - 40 de­gree heat in sum­mer and cold and rain in win­ter - no air con­di­tioned of­fices for them, or head­ing back to base at the first drops of rain.

Yet, when the coun­cil needs to find $700,000 in sav­ings, they be­come the first tar­get.

Sug­ges­tions that teach­ers might take on the role, af­ter they have al­ready worked a long tir­ing day, is lu­di­crous. So too is the use of vol­un­teers. This is not Meals on Wheels, but a dan­ger­ous job in all weather that any vol­un­teer would soon tire of.

Coun­cil’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer has asked Mans­field ratepay­ers to come up with sav­ings ideas. I have one for you Mr Green. Get out of your of­fice and walk around your em­pire at ‘head of­fice’.

Any staff not work­ing on rates, roads, rub­bish and home care, shake their hand, thank them for their ser­vice and tell them they may be em­ployed when times get bet­ter.

Some 74 staff at ‘head of­fice’ is too many.

Re­silience of­fi­cers and in­clu­sive­ness teams, or what­ever they are now called, are OK when times are good.

They are a lux­ury that can­not be af­forded when times are tight.

What­ever you do leave the cross­ing su­per­vi­sors alone.

They are the front­line pro­tect­ing our most vul­ner­a­ble, our chil­dren, on be­half of their par­ents.

Peter Hunt, Mans­field should have been fore­cast­ing the rate cap.

It is ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing that it only now ap­pears to have hit the radar of coun­cil.

I was the fi­nance man­ager at Mans­field over four years ago.

One of my great­est con­cerns dur­ing my ten­ure was the mas­sive in­crease in the salary of the CEO.

For a tiny coun­cil it was not jus­ti­fied.

Since I have left I have also noted se­nior man­ager salaries have in­creased dra­mat­i­cally.

For a tiny busi­ness, this is fi­nan­cial sui­cide.

An­other as­ton­ish­ing and un­pro­duc­tive sys­tem in place at coun­cil is the hir­ing of part timers and job shar­ing – i.e. where a full time job is per­formed by up to three staff each work­ing a day or two a week.

This costs coun­cil as a sin­gle per­son would get through the role quicker than the two and have ca­pac­ity to do more.

This would negate the need to put on ex­tra staff and save money.

So, when I hear coun­cil putting the fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion on res­i­dents and stat­ing that the only so­lu­tion is to cut ser­vices, I feel an­gry.

The very first thing an or­gan­i­sa­tion should do be­fore that, is to look within the coun­cil for money be­ing wasted.

The items I have high­lighted above are very ba­sic and very rel­e­vant.

They need to look at salaries and re­late them back to the size of this coun­cil.

I be­lieve if they did this prop­erly, they would find at least $100,000.

In ad­di­tion, if coun­cil re­placed part timers with full timers to per­form the jobs, they would find that the full­time equiv­a­lent of the part timers would per­form the jobs in much less time, re­sult­ing in more dol­lar sav­ings. David But­ler, for­mer Mans­field res­i­dent

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