Commitment to nurturing staff

Article image - Commitment to nurturing staff ParksWide staff.

Whitehorse City Council values the contribution of its dedicated people in delivering more than 100 different services to 155,000 residents in the community. These staff also assist in managing Council assets valued at approximately $1.7 billion.

Council’s workforce is approximately 1121 employees, many of these in part time roles. As at 30 June 2010, there were 647 equivalent full time (EFT) positions.

Whitehorse has a high percentage of staff who live locally with approximately 44 per cent of the workforce, living in the municipality.

Council prides itself on providing a safe and enjoyable working environment and management is committed to ensuring the wellbeing and harmony of all employees to ensure they achieve Council’s objectives to the best of their ability.

Council’s Human Resources Strategic Framework and its Collective Agreement are central to its human resource management strategies. The core values and standards of performance required by all staff are set out in the agreement highlighting teamwork, professionalism and a commitment to residents and customers.

In 2009/10 there were 147 vacancies advertised for the organisation, the majority being vacancies from employees leaving the organisation or being promoted. The turnover rate for Council staff overall was 12.49 per cent.

Listening to staff

Whitehorse City Council employees are consulted in a range of ways including a comprehensive intranet service. Its Consultative Committee is an important consultation mechanism for employees comprising five employee delegates and five management representatives who oversee industrial issues and provide advice to management on developing a harmonious, productive and satisfying workplace.

The committee and union representatives completed the negotiation of a new Collective Agreement in 2009 that became effective in February 2010. This agreement provides Council with an ongoing and constructive employee relations framework. Extensive consultation mechanisms are also in place for OH&S processes.

Learning and development

Council encourages all employees to reach their full potential by pursuing and developing their career and professional interests. A range of formal and informal learning opportunities and development activities are provided. These have been identified in consultation with management and employees through Council’s Performance Appraisal and Development Program.

Family-friendly work/life balance

Whitehorse City Council strives to be an employer of choice and is committed to assisting employees in managing the balance between work, family and outside interests. Council’s wide range of flexible work practices and family-friendly provisions include:

  • the ability to purchase additional annual leave
  • return to work on reduced hours after parental leave until children have reached school age
  • job share arrangements to assist with returning to work on reduced hours after parental leave
  • phased retirement
  • working from home
  • flexible hours arrangements
  • paid maternity (16 weeks) and paternity (2 weeks) leave
  • assisting with the cost of childcare for out-of- hours meetings that employees are required to attend
  • carer’s leave.