CRC calls shots in DSC jobs row

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

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.’’

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