Uralla Shire Council’s Budget Review and Finance Committee has received a report from the Uralla general manager Andrew Hopkins, which Mayor Michael Pearce believes will bring an end to persistent rumours circulating about burgeoning administration costs within the council.
... the net increase in FTE seems to have all been in the aged and community care business units.Andrew Hopkins
Mr Hopkins said the measure of the number of staff at a council was the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff, which was typically calculated by identifying the number of staff employed by a council on the last payday for a financial year.
“The number of FTEs reported has varied significantly over the years,” Mr Hopkins said.
“In 2013 it was 106, then in 2016 it was 132, then in 2017, my first year, it was 120 and last year it was 136. Early this year I requested the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to investigate this matter.
"At the February 2019 council meeting Cr Tom O’Connor also commented on the variations and requested a report on the new positions created since 2015.”
Mr Hopkins said that since 2014 there were 13.6 additions to staff FTE, 4.6 in administration and nine in council’s aged and community care business units (funded 100 per cent from government sources). There were also five positions removed from the administration during that period.
"Therefore, the net increase in FTE seems to have all been in the aged and community care business units and there appears to have been no material increase in the administration staffing numbers," Mr Hopkins said
Mayor Michael Pearce said he hoped that this evidence would put to rest any rumours circulating about staff increases.
"In reality we've looked at these figures and Cr O'Connor was more than satisfied with our investigation," Cr Pearce said.
"We've got some great community aged services here and we do it with 110 per cent involvement and activity, and it's exactly where the full complement of staff we've got there should be.
"The local government services element of the organisation has always been lean in terms of FTEs when compared with similar sized councils, and the assessment is logical, sensible and clarifies the staffing numbers of this organisation."