Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale Rob Williams

Ipswich council staff cost more than waste and roads

A COUNCIL'S most visible services may be its roads, parks and waste management but the Ipswich council spends more on its staff than those three categories combined.

In the 2015-16 budget, the council set aside $77.99 million for employees and $72.2 million for waste, parks and roads combined.

But the council's spending habits are far from unusual, with staffing costs a major expense for most Queensland councils.

 

Ipswich City Council has defended the amount it spends on staff - pointing to its role as one of the region's biggest employers.
 

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Ipswich deputy mayor Victor Atwood said the council would not be able to provide existing services without spending so much on wages.

"We are a service delivery business which relies on employees to deliver services. It is not unusual that the largest single cost is employees," he said.

"Ipswich City Council is a significant employer and this would be a similar situation for most local governments."

Councillor Atwood said the council employs 1020 staff and worked to find staffing efficiencies where possible.

"Council continuously reviews its operations and makes appropriate changes to work organisation, structure and service delivery where efficiencies can be gained and service is not compromised," he said.

Negotiations on a new certified agreement between staff and the council is yet to begin after the last agreement ended almost a year ago.

"The current certified agreements nominally expired on October 1, 2014.

Council did attempt to renegotiate replacement agreements but was unable to achieve this because the unions did not wish to enter into negotiations under the legislation enacted by the former LNP Government," he said.

The council and unions are waiting for a Labor Government-initiated review to be completed before negotiations begin. They are not expected to begin this year.

- APN NEWSDESK



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