Auckland Council on track to cut staff numbers by 500

Auckland Council is on track to cut about 500 jobs this financial year in a response to a $500 million hit from the effects of Covid-19.

In the past three months, the council has trimmed 129 full-time-equivalent jobs, of which 23 staff were made redundant. Resignations, retirement and end of contracts accounted for the other job reductions.

Two weeks ago, Auckland Transport chief executive Shane Ellison announced about 115 roles will be disestablished, but said there are gaps in other parts of the council-controlled organisation that impacted staff can apply for.

He said Covid-19 had imposed tight controls on recruiting staff and contractors, seeing the workforce reduced by 144 from 2069 to 1925 people.

He said a further 6 per cent of roles are proposed to be disestablished, but the loss of contractors and resignations in priority areas meant many of those affected by the restructure are likely to be offered new roles.

“We will be adopting a flexible approach to these changes to mitigate the impact to our people,” Ellison said.

The drop in job numbers in the three months to the end of September at council is part of a $120m savings target for day-to-day running costs in this year’s emergency budget.

Part of the target is reducing full-time-equivalent staff numbers from about 6500 to about 6000. The latest reduction takes the number of full-time-equivalent staff to 6341.

A paper going to the council’s finance and performance committee on Thursday said areas being considered for fewer jobs include project management, learning and development, grants administration, and transformation/change management.

The paper, written by finance officers, saidthe council has achieved $78m towards the $120m target, an increase of $9m in savings from August.

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