The City of Canning will look to save between $3million to $4million in employee costs by reducing ‘unsustainable’ staff numbers under one its biggest organisational shakeups ever.
Councillors endorsed the restructure at a confidential meeting on January 31.
It included merging the city’s five directorates into four ‘program’ areas and the loss of economic development director Dr Mike Mouritz.
Canning chief executive Arthur Kyron, who was appointed in July last year, was leading the restructure and has put a pause on hiring new staff.
Last year the city spent $59.7million on employee costs, $5.4million more than the amount of rates revenue it received.
In April last year Examiner Newspapers reported the city was the only WA council with a population under 100,000 with more than 690 full time equivalent employees.
Mr Kyron said current staffing levels, including many management positions, were too high and would be brought down by offering redundancies and redeployments, but it wasn’t just about reducing costs.
“I think the current staffing levels are unsustainable when you compare them to like and larger councils in WA,” he said.
“Some of it is financial in terms of reducing our employment costs some of it is around focus, how we focus our resources within the organisation.
“What isn’t driving this is a singular view on cutting costs, but it’s getting the best mix of cost, resourcing service delivery and transformation initiatives.
“The redundancies and redeployments will be an outcome of that.
“I’ve already started the process of talking to some people whose position will be redundancies.”
Mr Kyron made similar employee cost cuts in his previous role at the NSW based Waverly council said he was taking a humanistic approach offering career guidance and training opportunities for redundant staff.
He said the vacancies resulting from the hiring freeze could also be used for redeployments.
“If those vacancies accumulate then those vacancies can be used for potential redeployment of staff who’s position have been made redundant,” he said.
“This needs to be a humanistic approach, a compassionate approach to the change.”
Under the organisational change five program areas will be made including the office of the CEO, commercial, community care, environment and sustainable development.
Mr Kyron encouraged the city to have ‘the courage to be amazing’ and embrace the restructure.
He said program based organisational structures would increase accountability, reduce duplication and improve productivity.
It was also aimed at improving job satisfaction and improve alignment between the city’s different units.
Consultation with staff began seven months ago and Mr Kyron was hoping to have the biggest changes completed by March with ongoing reviews until the end of the year.