700 council jobs safe

AFTER more than two years of uncertainty the 700 workers at the Fraser Coast Regional Council can now sleep peacefully knowing that they will still have a job after March next year.

In a welcome disclosure, Mayor Mick Kruger last night promised that every one of their jobs “is now absolutely safe”.

“We will not be sacking a single worker after the jobs moratorium period ends on March 15,” Mr Kruger told the Chronicle.

The deal struck with the unions when councils across Qld amalgamated in March 2008 was that workers would have three years’ job tenure. After that it depended on how their individual councils were going as to whether staff would keep their jobs or be let go.

Some 40,000 council workers across the state have been anxiously counting down to March 15 next year, many of them wondering if they will have a job after that date.

When the Fraser Coast Regional Council amalgamated, close to 700 people were employed.

“We’ve lost a few through natural attrition and with the sound management by the CEO Andrew Brien and his executive we’ve managed to keep operating without replacing some of those.”

Local Government Association of Queensland executive director Greg Hallam says that councils have been “hamstrung” by the requirement not to shed staff.

He said 25 per cent of councils had indicated they would be shedding staff when the moratorium was over.

Mr Kruger said he and the CEO had decided earlier this year they would visit every department within the council and talk to workers.

“We did just that and the prominent question was ‘Is my job safe?’

“Now, with detailed forward planning taking us past the March 15 date next year, we can vouch for everyone’s job and that is a lot better news than many councils across Qld will have.”



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