Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Staff cuts loom for Auckland Council

Auckland Council employees were today briefed about the first phase in a proposal that will see changes to the way work is delivered across the Council and a reduction in staff numbers. 

Chief Executive, Jim Stabback says the change was signalled late last year when the Annual Budget process began, and with confirmation of the council group’s $295 million budget challenge.

He said it was now time to start making the necessary adjustments to the organisation, in order to deliver savings and prepare for a more sustainable future.  

“We could easily just focus on employee numbers here but I want to stress that this change proposal is about reshaping ourselves to deliver for Auckland in an even more efficient and sustainable way,” said Mr Stabback.

“This will allow us to continue to achieve savings targets without needing to constantly make one-off cuts and ensure that we have room to deliver work in growth areas and major infrastructure development.”

He said the proposal identifies places where Council can merge functions for greater efficiency and to reduce duplication.

“It looks at how we can centralise some resources and services across the council group; and, as a result, it proposes changes to our staffing profile.”

“Our people are at the centre of everything we do and we care for them and value their contribution to Tāmaki Makaurau. We are engaging with them on this change proposal and expect to see some changes to the draft we have presented this week.”

Mr Stabback said discussing final numbers of staff impacted was neither straight forward or fair on those impacted. 

“However, I have long signalled that becoming a leaner organisation more sharply focussed on its future would require a reduction in workforce. During this phase of the process we have looked at both vacancies and the number of people in roles, which will enable us to achieve that reduction in our workforce,” he said. 

“These changes will be applied to a mix of senior roles where, for example, teams or functions may be merged, and to roles where we believe structural changes can achieve efficiency.”

Council staff have been invited to provide feedback on the change proposal over the next three weeks. Mr Stabback said he and the executive leadership team will then consider that feedback and expect to confirm the proposal in mid-May.  

Further change work will be aligned with the adoption of the Annual Budget 2023/2024 and the implications brought by any cuts to projects and programmes confirmed in the budget, he said.

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