Park network cost- cutting
TOWNSVILLE City Council will stick with contractors to maintain its parks network in a bid to save $ 4.1 million over five years.
However, Mayor Les Tyrell has promised no regular council employees will lose their jobs.
The decision to keep the outside workforce was brought under review as the original agreement was scheduled to come up for reassessment this month.
Cr Tyrell said workers had been consulted with on many occasions.
‘‘ We’ve given a commitment to retain our current workforce for the other four sectors,’’ he said.
‘‘ We have had a number of discussions with the unions and workers about the agreement.’’
Executive manager of Parks Services, Ray Collins, said the council remained aware of staff’s concerns throughout the deliberation process.
Cr Tyrell said the use of outside contractors had been in place for the past 15 years.
‘‘ We see it as an opportunity . . . for us to look at ways of providing efficiencies,’’ he said.
Mr Collins said they would now work with parks staff to improve workplace practices to make council more competitive with the private sector.
‘‘ During the review, we had a great response from staff who themselves came forward with a range of suggestions on how to improve parks operations,’’ he said.
‘‘ Using internal staff in four of the five sectors, council is hoping we can look at those inefficiencies.’’
Mr Collins said the new contract for the private operators would last for a three-year period.
‘‘ A working group has been set up with staff representation to evaluate and implement opportunities to improve our productivity and efficiency over the next three years.
‘‘ The whole aim is to implement a specification that will be uniform across all sectors in-house.’’