Auckland Council Chief Executive Stephen Town comments on staffing numbers.
The Auckland region continues to experience exceptional population growth, which puts pressure on our services and means we need to invest more than ever before. In the last year alone, Auckland Council invested $2 billion throughout the region and is earmarked to invest a total of $26 billion through the 10-year Budget.
However, while Auckland grows, we know that our organisation is unable to grow at the same rate and there will always be tight constraints on how much we can increase our workforce. Therefore, our challenge is to make sure our efforts are always focused on frontline services and delivery functions, and that we continue to adapt and set the organisation up so that it is functioning as efficiently as possible both now and in the future.
We also need to take into account what our staff are telling us – that in some areas there are too many layers, we need to remove barriers and duplication of effort, and we need to empower them to solve problems for our customers.
In reality this means that over the next 10 months we will look to reduce roles in some areas of the organisation in order to meet our FTE and budget targets this financial year and make room for growth in our frontline and delivery services.
We’re forecasting potential redundancies of between 100-160 staff over the next 12 months, which equates to approximately 1.5 percent of our workforce.
First and foremost, this will be achieved by removing vacancies and through natural attrition, but it will also mean the disestablishment of some roles and changes to reporting lines in some cases. Over the next few months, each member of the executive leadership team will be working with their divisions and directorates on what this means for individual teams and people.
While maintaining financial restraint and discipline around staff numbers is nothing new for us, I acknowledge that change can be difficult and we will do everything we can as an organisation and as leaders to support our staff if their roles or reporting lines are impacted over the next few months.