Coun­cil plans to re­tire now

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

ONE hun­dred and forty staff work­ing from the Moss­man of­fice of the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil could be hav­ing a very merry Christ­mas if they ac­cept a re­dun­dancy pack­age.

Late yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, the coun­cil of­fered all of its 1440 staff who meet the el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria to ap­ply for a re­dun­dancy pack­age as part of the Your Ca­reer, Your Choice Vol­un­tary Re­dun­dancy Pro­gram.

Sim­i­lar to all busi­nesses, coun­cil has to adapt to the changed eco­nomic con­di­tions that we face, CEO Lyn Rus­sell said.

Coun­cil has al­lowed and costed for 50 peo­ple, or 3.5 per cent of its work­force, to ac­cept the re­dun­dancy pack­ages.

“Coun­cil is ac­count­able to ratepay­ers and we need to be fi­nan­cially re­spon­si­ble at all times,” Ms Rus­sell said.

“By in­tro­duc­ing the vol­un­tary re­dun­dancy pro­gram we will be able to con­tain op­er­at­ing ex­penses, in­clud­ing wage costs and main­tain re­al­is­tic staffing lev­els as our de­pressed lo­cal econ­omy re­cov­ers.

“The of­fer is en­tirely vol­un­tary and no em­ployee will be forced to ap­ply for, nor ac­cept, a vol­un­tary re­dun­dancy pack­age.

In de­cid­ing who will be of­fered a vol­un­tary re­dun­dancy pack­age, con­sid­er­a­tion will be given to the im­pact on coun­cil’s over­all struc­ture, de­liv­ery of ser­vice and cus­tomer ser­vice.

Some po­si­tions within the or­gan­i­sa­tion have been af­fected by changes in tech­nol­ogy or re­duced work vol­umes due to eco­nomic down­turn, Ms Rus­sell said.

All staff were ad­vised of the plan yes­ter­day. Coun­cil has also sent in­for­ma­tion to the var­i­ous unions in­volved. con­tinue dis­cus­sions with unions later this week. Only staff who are full-time and who have been em­ployed at Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil for at least 12 months as at De­cem­ber 13 will be el­i­gi­ble.

“The vol­un­tary re­dun­dancy pro­grams will of­fer a po­ten­tial op­por­tu­nity for some coun­cil of­fi­cers and we are pro­vid­ing in­ter­ested staff with ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion and sup­port so they can as­sess if this pro­gram suits,” Ms Rus­sell said.

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