CRC calls shots in DSC jobs row
CAIRNS Regional Council CEO Peter Tabulo has the sole power in determining the number of staff to transfer over to the new Douglas Shire Council.
In the de-amalgamation implementation Regulation 2013, under section 55, it states that the CEO of the continuing local government must decide the positions that are to be transferred.
It was recently announced 163 positions would be transferred across, with 18 of those being vacancies and with 114 staff already located in the Douglas region, that leaves 31 staff being forced to move from Cairns to Mossman and without any job security.
CEO Peter Tabulo, who has been privy to all decisions made in the structuring of the new council as part of his position on the transfer committee, was asked by the Gazette why the decision was made to transfer 31 staff when he knew there were only 14 positions available and what was the reason behind the decision. His response was:
‘‘Under the regulations provided, staff who have been transferred remain employees of Cairns Regional Council until December 31 and become employees of Douglas Shire Council on January 1,’’ he said.
‘‘Any issues surrounding ongoing employment will be the responsibility of the new Douglas Shire Council.’’
Mr Tabulo wished not to comment further on the issue.
Under the CRC’s Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, called the Certified Agreement 2012, there are to be no forced redundancies and ‘‘Council will not forcibly retrench any Employee for the duration of this Agreement’’.
The EBA states that other sol- utions should include retraining and job redesign, and voluntary redundancy should be only a last resort.
Minister for Local Government David Crisafulli, who has been overseeing the whole de-amalgamation since announcing a referendum last year, could not find fault at Mr Tabulo’s decision.
‘‘We set a range for the Cairns Regional Council to work within when deciding staff transfers so it could balance its requirements, and not use the new council as a dumping ground for staff, and they are working within that range,’’ he said.
Division 10 councillor and mayorelect Julia Leu said this issue needs to be sorted out as a matter of urgency. ‘‘The sole power given to the CRC CEO under the deamalgamation legislation is wrong and should be challenged,’’ she said. ‘‘I feel very much for the staff involved; it’s a cruel act being played on them and CRC are using the legislation to shed staff at our expense.
‘‘I have appealed to both Minister Crisafulli and Cook MP David Kempton for them to step in, as they have consistently and publicly stated they want the new Council to work and that we should have a lean organisation. Well, forcibly transferring 30 staff for 14 positions is certainly not helping.’’