Uralla GM dispels “Myths” about staff numbers

Published on 12 March 2019

12 March 2019

 Uralla GM dispels “Myths” about staff numbers

Uralla Shire Council’s Budget Review and Finance Committee has received a report from the Uralla General Manager (GM) Andrew Hopkins which Mayor, Michael Pearce, believes will bring an end to myths about a burgeoning administration.

The measure of the number of staff at a council is the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff.

“FTE has typically been calculated by identifying the number of staff at a council on the day of the last pay for the financial year,” said the GM.

However, since commencing in late 2016 Mr Hopkins has noted stark fluctuations in the FTE staff number reported in the Council’s Financial Statements.

“The number of FTEs reported has varied significantly over the years” said Mr Hopkins.  “In 2013 it was 106, then in 2016 it was 132, then in 2017, my first year, it was 120 and last year it was 136. 

Early this year I requested the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to investigate this matter. At the February 2019 Council meeting Cr Tom O’Connor also commented on the variations and requested a report on the new positions created since 2015.”

Mr Hopkins said that using a controlled analysis of the years 2013 to 2018, “where the parameters of the analysis were held constant for each year, the FTE was calculated to be 113 in 2013 (as opposed to 106) and 129 in 2018 (as opposed to 136).  Additionally, it was found that since 2014 there have been 13.6 additions to staff FTE, 4.6 were in the administration and nine were in Council’s aged and community care business units (which are funded 100% from non-ratepayer revenue sources).  However, there were also five positions removed from the administration during that period.  Therefore, the net increase in FTE seems to have all been in the aged and community care business units and there appears to have been no material increase in the administration staffing numbers”.

Mayor Michael Pearce said he hoped that this evidence would put to rest the rumours which were circulating about staff increases.  “The assessment undertaken by the GM and CFO is logical and sensible and clarifies the staffing numbers of the organisation.  The local government services element of the organisation has always been lean in terms of FTEs when compared with similar sized councils”.

 [ENDS]

Jane Ogden – Coordinator Community Development and Engagement

Andrew Hopkins – General Manager

For further information contact:  Andrew Hopkins or Simon Paul    Tel: 02 6778 6300