WORKFORCE PLAN

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1 ADOPTED 25 JUNE 2012

2 Contents Council Vision Statement... 1 A Workforce Plan as an integral component of Integrated Planning and Reporting... 1 Workforce Strategy objectives... 1 Introduction and Overview... 1 Links to our Community Strategic Plan... 2 Current workforce profile... 2 Observations on our Workforce... 5 Gender... 5 Indigenous Employees... 6 Future workforce profile... 6 Employment Costs... 6 Our Work as a Council... 6 Workforce Issues... 7 Workforce Strategies to fill identified gaps... 7 Organisational threats... 7 Retirements... 8 Action Plan... 8 Workforce Plan

3 Council Vision Statement A leading, innovative and creative community, proud of our place in history, offering opportunity with the best of country living. In all our dealings we will show and grow leadership; be positive and work together; value each other and what we have; create opportunities for our next generations. A Workforce Plan as an integral component of Integrated Planning and Reporting The NSW Department of Local Government has advised: Workforce planning is an important part of the new Integrated Planning and Reporting framework. Council s workforce strategy will form part of the Resourcing Strategy, helping to meet the community s priorities and aspirations, as expressed in the Community Strategic Plan, by having the right people in the right places with the right skills doing the right jobs at the right time. The development of an effective workforce strategy will enable Council to plan its future workforce needs to deliver goals, focus on the medium- and long-term and also provide a framework for dealing with immediate challenges in a consistent way. Workforce Strategy objectives A principal strategy of Cowra Council s workforce planning is for Council to be seen as a desirable place to work, not just for security of employment and award wages but because the work it undertakes is valuable and contributes to the economic, cultural and recreational wealth of the community. Planning a workforce for the future is a critical exercise to ensure there are sufficient numbers of appropriately trained and skilled employees to carry out the work that needs to be done. Having appropriate trained people in specific areas will give Cowra Shire Council the best chance to meet its obligations for the future. The Workforce Plan is one which will be updated on a regular basis to provide Council and management with a framework for staffing decisions based on the Council s Community Strategic Plan, Delivery Program and Operational plan. Introduction and Overview Council s core business focus has been and remains the provision of water, sewer and waste services for its residents, planning, building and other regulatory services and the provision and maintenance of its sealed and unsealed roads system throughout the shire. In addition Council has provided for the development and maintenance of recreation, sporting and cultural facilities, ovals and sports fields, library, art gallery, saleyards and airport. In recent years Council has added additional responsibilities of community projects and has committed to stronger ties with external groups such as the Cowra Business Chamber and Cowra Tourism Corporation. Council has made considered choices in respect of what functions and activities it is able to undertake and administer. It has also recognised community and government pressures to undertake additional areas of responsibility. Workforce Plan Page 1 of 10

4 Links to our Community Strategic Plan Cowra Shire Council s Community Strategic plan lists seven key areas with a total of 32 strategic objectives. For each of these, Council is identified as one or a combination of the following:- Provider Facilitator Advocate. Council s Workforce is an organisational tool to undertake its role in these areas. Current workforce profile The following table and graphs provide an overview of Council s workforce and identifies by Department and area, the number of full time equivalent employees based on a 35 hour week for indoor staff and 38 hours for outdoor staff. Total number of employees is currently 185, however this table excludes 15 casual staff currently available for the Aquatic Centre. Department Permanent & Contract Full Time Equivalents Contract & Temporary FTEs Total FTEs General Manager 5 5 Corporate Services Executive Community Projects Human Resources 1 1 Art Gallery Risk Management 1 1 Information Services 4 4 Finance Customer Service Civic Centre Hall 1 1 Environmental Services Executive Planning 4 4 Building & Regulatory 3 3 Ranger 1 1 Infrastructure & Operations Executive 4 4 RTA Co-ord 1 1 Cowra Works 1 1 Cowra Works - Construction Cowra Works - Maintenance Cowra Works - Water & Sewer Project Engineers Depot/Workshop 9 9 Technical Services Cowra Services - Executive 2 2 Cowra Services - Parks & Gardens Cowra Services - Noxious Weeds 2 2 Cowra Services - Aerodrome & Cemeteries 3 3 Cowra Services - Aquatic Centre 1 1 Cowra Services - MRF Cowra Services - Saleyards Workforce Plan Page 2 of 10

5 Cowra Shire Council s total workforce in age groupings Corporate Services age groupings Workforce Plan Page 3 of 10

6 Environmental Services age groupings Infrastructure and Operations (excluding Waste, Water and Sewer) age groupings Workforce Plan Page 4 of 10

7 Infrastructure and Operations combined age groupings for waste, water and sewer Observations on our Workforce The average age of a Council employee is 44 which is approximately 4 years above the average age of the Cowra Shire Population. Our workforce is ageing and over the next 10 years approximately 20% will be eligible for retirement should they choose to retire at age 65. There are insufficient numbers in the Council s existing age brackets from and to make up for losses through natural attrition. There are significant numbers of employees undertaking manual work or are in the older age brackets who will require close monitoring to ensure injuries and health issues are minimised. The automation of some Council functions and advances in technology in the future may alleviate such issues. Gender The majority of our work force is in Infrastructure and Operations and due to the physical nature of the workforce is mainly male. The following graph provides an overall view of the entire workforce. Workforce Plan Page 5 of 10

8 Indigenous Employees Cowra Council currently has three employees who identify themselves as indigenous. This represents 1.6% of our workforce and is significantly below Cowra Shire s Indigenous population being 6.3%. Future workforce profile As a key component in its Workforce planning, Council will be required within the next four years to identify its workforce needs for the future. This will involve a study utilising Gap Analysis techniques. By examining the Job Role, demand over each 4 year period and the supply over the 4 years, the gaps in our workforce will become apparent. Strategies will then be developed to recruit for those positions Employment Costs Salary and wages costs increased by less than 3% in the years 2009/10 and 2010/11 resulting mainly from Local Government State Award increases together with a small increment in the number of positions required to be added to the organisational structure and minor increases associated with employees having increases in their pay levels due to competency reassessment. It is anticipated that salary and wage costs will increase by approximately 4% per year for the next two years due to agreed Local Government Award increases of 3.25 % pa together with competency level adjustments and reconfiguration of the salary system based on the completion of the Job Evaluation project. Council will also review vacancies as they arise to enable maintenance of appropriate service levels while identifying any opportunities to maximise efficiency and productivity. Our Work as a Council Council staff works for the community as a whole to provide services: a water supply that meets all standards, waste collection, recycling, a state-of-the art sewer system, drainage and roads together with cultural, recreation and social facilities and a saleyard and airport. The maintenance of all the assets associated with these services is the principal component of our work as a Council and is linked intrinsically to Council s Asset Management Plans. Workforce Plan Page 6 of 10

9 Workforce Issues The following significant issues have been identified:- 1. An ageing population associated with an ageing workforce. 2. Concerns particularly with those in labouring roles and potential impacts on their health and resultant Workers Compensation claims. 3. A shrinking labour market will mean less applicants for positions vacant within the Council. 4. Younger employees have different expectations in respect of how employment complements their lifestyle. 5. Younger employees expect to have many jobs in their lifetime over different disciplines. 6. An accelerated loss of corporate knowledge with the retirement of long serving employees over a relatively short period of time. 7. The ability of a workforce to cater for an increasing level of services as well as new services not traditionally undertaken by Cowra Shire Council (community services). 8. Skills shortages particularly in professional areas including accounting, engineering and town planning. 9. Difficulty in filling some positions necessitating labour hire and contract employees for short term projects. 10. Demand for more information and services to be made available electronically. 11. Pressure and stress on employees to do more with less. Workforce Strategies to fill identified gaps Council has commenced preparation of and will develop and maintain an active and dynamic employment trainee program. Council s experience in recent years has been that numbers of applicants from outside the area are diminishing and this trend is expected to continue. Council considers that growing our own is a better strategy and to that end, will be looking to invite school and TAFE leavers to come into our workforce for development, both inhouse and coupled with distance education. Council will also be looking to attract increased numbers of aboriginal applicants to more closely reflect the composition of the Cowra community. The Australian Traineeship Program in the early 1990s was a successful mechanism that resulted in a number of employees being trained and later remaining in the workforce. The system operates in a similar way today and provides for a traineeship with a subsidy to develop and train staff and provide them with a recognised qualification over a period of 12 months. While no guarantees can be given, experience has shown that these trainees are often able to be experienced applicants for positions that may arise. Organisational threats A major topic for discussion in regional Councils has been the potential State Government s interest in removing Water and Sewer from local government control. Workforce Plan Page 7 of 10

10 There would be significant effects on Council s workforce however it needs to be stated that there is no immediate basis for concern. Continuation of rate-pegging may see a gradual diminution of Council s ability to provide an increasing range of services required by the community. Council looks to resist the significant pressures for State Government cost shifting. Council looks forward to ongoing direct funding from the Commonwealth particularly for roads and infrastructure. Potential loss of RMS works if put out to competitive tender. Retirements Over the past 5 years there have been on average two to three employee resignations per annum resulting from retirements. This trend is expected to continue. While there is no set retirement age, such decisions are personal and often related to financial circumstances, level of and performances of superannuation and financial markets. As a general strategy Council may consider flexible work arrangements to retain employees on a part time basis, meeting their needs and assisting Council to manage transition while retaining crucial corporate knowledge. Action Plan In order that Council recognises its responsibilities for its work force through its workforce planning the following Action Plan has been developed showing the Priorities, the Objectives and the Performance Measure/s in each case. Action Plan Priority Position Performance Measure 1. Ensure that our workforce is structured to meet Council s delivery and operational plans Council to review organisational structure Develop a skills gap analysis technique to identify gaps in order that strategies can be developed to either manage the gap or fill it. Develop not only policies but actions to improve training and education of our staff particularly as technology and functions change. Conduct exit interviews with employees to identify opportunities for improvement. Ensure that competency and performance of employees are managed appropriately and in accordance with policies and procedures. Review to be carried out within 12 months from Council election. Technique is developed, agreed and applied and results collated and reported to Manex. Human Resources to review existing policies and their applicability in April and October each year and advise Manex of results. Interviews to be conducted by Manager Human Resources and results provided to relevant directors for relevant action. Directors to review on a six monthly basis. Workforce Plan Page 8 of 10

11 Priority Position Performance Measure 2. Promote Cowra Council as an attractive place to work Review how succession planning may be used to replace positions upon the incumbent s retirement or departure. Identify higher grade position opportunities as part of employee training. Value and develop coaching/mentoring skills within the organisation to ensure transfer of corporate knowledge. Develop, a Traineeship Plan for all departments within Council. Regular review of Council s employment conditions in line with peer council s and employers. Participate in appropriate careers markets and similar strategies to promote home grown employment. Balance the potential of flexible working conditions with the organisation s needs in order to increase the numbers of applicants. Develop a public relations employment campaign promoting the opportunities for working at Cowra Shire. Within the overall employment plan develop and pursue a long term home-grown employment strategy. Maintain strong relationships with local educational institutions, employment businesses and staff professional associations. Promote Council s commitment to a safe work environment and support the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Research and recommend policy and procedures to ensure transfer/maintenance of corporate knowledge and to enable phased retirement. HR Manager to prepare draft strategy for review by Manex on succession planning. To be incorporated in midterm and annual staff performance review process. Directors to review managers and supervisors to ensure that coaching and mentoring occurs as a regular supervisory function. Plan is implemented and regularly monitored to deliver agreed number of trainees into the workforce each year HR Manager to review by December each year. HR Manager to enquire and respond positively to invitations to attend career markets. HR Manager to prepare annual review in September of potential for flexible working arrangements for council staff. Manex and HR and Public Relations officer to prepare ongoing campaign by August HR to develop a draft Home grown employment strategy for Manex consideration. HR to meet with Cowra TAFE and high schools to advise of Council s employment procedures and careers. Council s employment policies to be reviewed by August Employment Policy to be reviewed by August Workforce Plan Page 9 of 10

12 Priority Position Performance Measure 3. Securing a diverse workforce. Council will develop and maintain a culture that is supportive of social justice, equity and diversity in the workplace and reflects the values of the wider community through EEO considerations and employment processes that welcome and cater for:- Women People of all ages Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders People from racial, ethnic and ethno religious minority groups People whose first language is a language other than English People with a disability who may or may not require adjustment in the Review options for increasing availability of part time work to enable retention of corporate knowledge while assisting employees to balance their work and private lives effectively. Develop a Recruitment/ Selection Procedure. Research feasibility to encourage employment within EEO target groups to ensure Council s workforce is well balanced and reflects community demographics. Promote and communicate Council s employment policies. Implement strategies to increase the access of indigenous people to positions within Council. workplace. 4. Safety and Risk Management Council will in its workforce planning, constantly monitor, improve and review its EEO and work health safety issues to ensure that staff are safe, happy and healthy through:- Highlighting the role and functions of EEO to increase employee awareness and provide EEO training and support for Council staff. Ensure all staff work in a safe environment. 5. Monitoring and Evaluation The Workforce plan requires review and monitoring in light of current and projected circumstances will be developed. Employment Policy to be reviewed by August Procedure to be documented in Draft by 31 December 12. HR Manager to research and report by September HR Manager and Public Relations Officer to prepare draft PR strategy. HR Manager to review and employment polices by September 2012 Manager Human Resources to monitor EEO legislation and employee awareness and update training as required. Risk Management Officer to provide formal written reports and feed back to Safety Committee on relevant issues. A platform of review will be completed by 31 December 2012 for 6 monthly and annual reviews thereafter. Endorsed by Cowra Shire Consultative Committee on Wednesday 4 April 2012 Workforce Plan Page 10 of 10

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