Costs don’t add up for resident

A Canning resident is concerned over City employee costs.
A Canning resident is concerned over City employee costs.

Ms Ryan said the suspension and local government reform could not be blamed for a hike in City employee costs, which she estimated to be in the millions.

‘We are now seeing very high levels of expenditure on new staff and training,’ she said.

‘I don’t believe a democratically elected council would have agreed to this, especially at this uncertain time of reform.’

Ms Ryan said she did not agree with the City providing each employee with $1000 training vouchers under its All Employee Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.

‘The people of Canning could be forced to pay over $1 million additional monies to employees, when they are already assured extraordinarily generous benefits should they lose their jobs under local government reform,’ she said.

Under the Local Government Act, if an order is made to amalgamate or abolish a council, then a local government employee’s contract cannot be varied to make employment terms less favourable.

That is unless two years has passed since the order was made, or acceptable compensation has been made.

Canning chief executive Lyn Russell said eight new permanent Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff positions and 17 new temporary FTE staff positions had recently been created.

She said this was to keep up with the workload associated with a growing population and to prepare the City of Canning for local government reform.

Ms Russell said new permanent and temporary staff costs budgeted in 2014-15 was just under $3 million.

She said the City had offered their entire staff, which is about 1100 people, training vouchers to improve skills and knowledge.

‘The training voucher is designed to ensure that staff are prepared to meet the challenges presented by local government reform, prepare themselves for competing employment in new local government entities and to ensure services of the highest quality continue to be provided to the community,’ Ms Russell said.