THE BAW Baw Shire has released its finalised organisational restructure document, which states 35 positions at the council will be made redundant.
A council spokesperson said a total of 28 new positions will be created in the restructure, meaning a net loss of seven employees for the organisation.
The final financial impact of the restructure is unknown and will be determined over the next two months after redeployment opportunities have been finalised.
Many of the people who have lost their positions in the restructure have been with the organisation for a long time, and in a number of cases a new position with a slightly different title will be created after they leave.
Staff received notification they were no longer required yesterday.
The first draft of the restructure, released to staff on 17 February, listed the same number of positions to be made redundant, as did the second draft.
A spokesperson for the Australian Services Union, the group representing many staff, told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen last month the second draft varied little to the first, with some positions previously to be made redundant no longer listed as such and a small number of jobs previously considered safe marked as redundancies.
Baw Baw and the union met several times between the first and final drafts. ASU Gippsland organiser Cameron Wright told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen he had “walked out with a really positive mindset” following initial talks.
The council/union negotiations had no set deadline, which had frustrated some staff who said they did not have “any trust or faith in the organisation anymore” and simply wanted to leave.
After the first draft was released, Baw Baw CEO Helen Anstis told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen the restructure had been prompted by the resignation of then-director Shane Cagney.
“Every time there’s a resignation in the organisation, any proposal for a new employee comes to the executive team and we debate whether or not we need that employee, or do we need them somewhere else in the structure?” she said.
“With the number of vacant positions we had in the structure, a resignation of a director and another senior manager, the time was right to look at the structure overall, and that’s what we’ve done.
“What we’ve looked at is the position in the structure – how is the position best utilised to deliver the council plan? That’s what we’re looking at.
The draft restructures also mapped a plan to merge the council’s four directorates into three, and mooted possible future outsourcing opportunities.
‘A difficult process for the organisation’
Breaking the media silence she had kept during the negotiation period, Ms Anstis said today the restructure had been difficult for the organisation.
“Over the past two months we have worked with staff, the unions and the Fair Work Commission to ensure that the new organisational structure is equipped to tackle the challenging times that lay ahead for local government,” she said in a media release.
“This has been a difficult process for the organisation, especially for the staff whose roles have been made redundant. We are doing all that we can to support our staff, and a range of support services in the form of employment assistance, training and counselling services are available to those affected.”
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