DCC staff numbers, trending down

DCClogo_landscape (1)

The council’s total staff count [was] down from 710 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in 2011 to 644 by October last year.

### ODT Online Thu, 7 May 2015
Council plans put IT jobs under cloud
By Chris Morris
Up to 15 jobs are under a cloud as the Dunedin City Council considers outsourcing part of its information technology department. Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose yesterday confirmed consultation had begun with staff over the organisational review, which “changes a number of positions” within the council’s ICT department.
Read more

The latest proposed changes formed part of the council’s new ICT plan 2015-19 adopted in March. (ODT)

Dunedin Digital Strategy (PDF, 2.1 MB)
This is the city’s first Digital Strategy. It has been created through community consultation, research and with guidance from a Digital Strategy Steering Team.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO, Site, What stadium

37 responses to “DCC staff numbers, trending down

  1. Cars

    In principle, this is of course a very good and necessary move by the council, assuming that said leavers are not hired as more costly consultants. The aim of the DCC should be to minimise cost of running expenses which includes lowering staff numbers and using less and less expensive consultants. If running costs are not reduced, then these moves are a waste of time and PR space.

  2. Rob Hamlin

    A buried gem here –

    “That included the council’s decision to outsource water maintenance work to Christchurch City Council-owned company City Care in late 2013, which saw the loss of about 30 staff, most of whom transferred to City Care.”

    This presumably means that Ch Ch City Council, hardly an exemplary organisation, can manage our water from 350 k’s distance and make a profit out of it too – all for less than they can do it on a not-for-profit basis (DCC) or loss basis (The Grady Gang). – Speaks volumes, not surprising that TGG had to get out of town up north ‘cos they couldn’t sharpen the pencil.

  3. Calvin Oaten

    Never mind about council staff, what about the $7.5m spread across just 100 Delta staff?

  4. Cars

    Great point Calvin, Delta was the DCC, so the Delta staff wages bill Should be added back to DCC staffing in any comparison as should the staff on all the other clipon companies.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      But Cars, isn’t the point of clipons that good results can be proclaimed, unpleasant truth filed under “don’t look at us”?

  5. Cars

    Hype, most of a bureaucrat’s time is spent protecting his and his bosses job (excuse the his replace it with her if necessary).

  6. Yet DCC staff costs keep trending up…

    On 7/05/15 1:42 PM, “What if? Dunedin…” wrote:

    Elizabeth posted: “The council’s total staff count [was] down from 710 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in 2011 to 644 by October last year.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 7 May 2015
    Council plans put IT jobs under cloud
    By Chris Morris
    Up to 15 jobs are under a cloud….”

  7. Phil

    I suspect that the IT department is currently way over-staffed when compared to their normal daily work demand. At first glance there is one fulltime IT support person for every 10 DCC employees in the Civic Centre building. Handy if there should be a sudden failure that affects the whole organisation, but the rest of the time they must struggle to fill in their timesheets effectively. As Sue has likely identified. Many of these internal empires have been discretely built up under a number of years, as the salary drawn by a DCC manager is largely determined by the number of staff they have working for them. That is why City Property employed a number of cleaners and restroom attendants themselves, instead of contracting out the work to specialist companies.

  8. Anonymous

    Staff numbers are trending upwards. Headcount is actually back over 700.

  9. Calvin Oaten

    It’s classic ‘Parkinson’s Law’ wherein the job expands to fill the time available to fulfill it. As there is no defined time limit, then it goes without saying, the job/s expand exponentially thus requiring more people to cope with the expansion. It’s a creeping ailment powered by money. As already noted, the more people under supervision at all levels the higher the remuneration. What better incentive fro the very top down to promote the status quo?

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s sensible, logical: “the more people under supervision at all levels the higher the remuneration” – until it’s put through the “perverse incentive” and “unintended consequences” filters.

    Although it’s so sensible and logical the same rule does not apply when what has increased is the work load. It’s not so bad for cleaners on an hourly rate (often with “flexible” – the boss flexes, the worker bends) hours, they get more hours per week when someone leaves, isn’t replaced, and their job is done by fewer people. Where it sucks is the same situation where the worker(s) are on a non-flexible but steady wage, $$ per year. How often does one see “efficiencies” introduced by reducing staff, yet how seldom are the losses from the high-paid end?

    This silliness has been recently illustrated in Dunedin by the increase in Carole Heatly’s salary. It was a damn good salary already. The “business” – health needs of people in the region – is struggling, underperforming. The increase could have funded something useful. Hands-on workers for instance.

  11. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Thu, 18 Jun 2015
    Council delays ICT decision to early July
    By Chris Morris
    The axe continues to hover over staff as the Dunedin City Council considers outsourcing part of its information technology department. It was confirmed last month the council was consulting staff in its ICT department over a proposed restructure that could affect up to 15 jobs.
    Read more

  12. Elizabeth

    DCC confirms 15 roles within IT to be disestablished, nine new ones created.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 29 Sep 2015
    IT jobs lost in council restructure
    By Chris Morris
    Three staff have left the Dunedin City Council and others could follow after a restructure of its information technology department. Details of the overhaul came months after the Otago Daily Times first reported in May up to 15 jobs were in doubt as the council considered outsourcing part of its IT operation.
    Read more

    Recent unsubstantiated news….

    Submitted on 2015/09/22 at 7:12 pm

    According to 39 Dunedin News tonight:

    ● Dunedin City council employs about 900 staff.

    ● 116 DCC staff don’t have guaranteed hours of work.

    DCC is phasing out all zero-hour contracts. Timeline unknown.

  13. Elizabeth

    Loving this at ODT Online:

    Monty Python or Yes Minister?
    Submitted by keithmcc on Tue, 29/09/2015 – 12:35pm.

    Are Ms Graham and council serious?

    They have no idea if council will spend more or less. They are part way through a restructure. They are going to hire another senior manager when council is already top heavy. And they are going to spend the next 6 months stringing along the current employees with a hint of maybe they will be re-employed in one of the new roles.

    Really great caring people management. And no idea if ratepayers will be better off. I’m pretty sure they won’t be – outsourcing almost never saves money and more managers definitely cost big money.

    I suppose whoever is running IT now can take a pay cut to help pay for the new manager – Ms Graham volunteering for that?


  14. Anonymous

    What is the new senior IT Manager going to manage? Everything is outsourced.

    • Diane Yeldon

      Hmm, at the Annual Plan meeting today, I heard CEO Sue Bidrose say that the DCC had already upgraded its computer/ IT capability and that it had been essential for them to do so or it would have become dysfunctional. So I wonder if this means personnel have been moved on and work outsourced for the specialised stuff and there has recently been expenditure on hardware. Or did someone at the DCC change their mind about outsourcing IT?
      I was a bit concerned when I read about the decision to outsource DCC’s IT capability. Webmapping is IMO one of the things the DCC has done really well and I assume this is/was done by staff with computer expertise. Years ago, before the barricades went up, I had a talk with one of these professionals and was very impressed by his expertise and professionalism. Pity to lose someone like that.
      The trouble with outsourcing IT (and I have a son in the business) is that the standard of IT just doesn’t merely diminish as you get cost-competitive – it totally disappears. And dysfunctional IT makes staff in all departments and at all levels bad-tempered, frustrated and seriously un-productive. IT and internal and external tele-communication systems are absolutely critical services IMO. Worth paying for in-house and retaining and up-skilling good professional staff who are hard to find.

  15. Elizabeth

    Not kosher surely, another ‘DCC’ staff member (off to the side, with $50K of our RATEPAYER MONEY, and we weren’t consulted)

    ### ODT Online Tue, 29 Sep 2015
    Project to liven up underused spaces
    By David Loughrey
    Art, music or literature should be on offer soon in empty retail spaces in Dunedin, with a Wellington not-for-profit organisation introducing its project for rejuvenating underused CBD sites to the city. Urban Dream Brokerage, run by public art organisation Letting Space, is in Dunedin this week interviewing candidates for a job as a ”broker”, communicating with both building owners and artists to put the project into action.
    Read more



    From: Cara Paterson
    Sent: Wednesday, 16 September 2015 12:52 p.m.
    Subject New Dunedin role

    Dear colleagues and friends,

    Exciting news! The Urban Dream Brokerage service is being piloted in Dunedin and we’re looking for a part time broker.

    Please share this job listing with your networks.

    Any queries or questions please contact Helen Kirlew Smith
    [phone and email address deleted -Eds]

    More information on Letting Space
    And our service Urban Dream Brokerage

    Kind regards

    Cara Paterson
    Community Advisor – Arts
    Dunedin City Council

  16. Anonymous

    They move faster than the Gigatown crew, certainly. Job ad went out 16/9 and interviews are today 30/9

    • Elizabeth

      So the inside running was ex DCC staffer Tamsin Cooper.
      Head hunted, friend of friends ?

      ### ODT Online Tue, 6 Oct 2015
      Boost for urban art
      By Rhys Chamberlain
      Dunedin’s empty spaces are about to get a makeover and a leading New Zealand designer has been appointed broker for creativity. Tamsin Cooper got the nod to be the Urban Dream Brokerage creative projects and commercial sites broker and will be part of a panel selecting artworks to liven up under-used CBD spaces around the city.
      Read more

  17. Calvin Oaten

    We ain’t seen nuthin’ yet! Jinty’s running amuck again. She is keen to encourage community groups (note plural) and guess what? Staff will be deployed to advise and assist. Shades of the Mosgiel swimming pool centre. This development has the real potential to take off and ‘nutters and fruitcakes will come out of the woodwork with their hands held out looking for sustenance. How much the proposals might cost, Jinty doesn’t know until staff reported back, she said, and “was precisely what these guys are going to be reporting back on.”
    She says, “If there one fundamental of democracy it’s about providing for and effecting access to council across the city.” Wrong Jinty, the other thing is spending money you don’t have on projects you don’t need and can’t afford. But then that has never slowed you down one bit has it?

  18. Elizabeth

    LOL interesting! At ODT Online………..

    Use existing staff
    Submitted by nobodydie on Wed, 30/09/2015 – 8:05pm.

    Please don’t make any more unsustainable appointments of Council staff – there is already a Community Development team which is under-utilised.


    Council staff were told to investigate how DCC could provide a service for community groups based on geographic areas, and encourage areas where community groups did not exist to form them, if they wanted to.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 30 Sep 2015
    Keen to encourage community groups
    By Craig Borley
    A scheme to power up Dunedin community groups is being investigated by council staff and could lead to a swathe of new ones across the city. The proposal was put forward by Dunedin councillor Jinty MacTavish this month and endorsed by the council “for purposes of investigation” by council staff.
    Read more

  19. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 25 Jan 2016
    DCC staff resignations reach 460 over past four years
    By Chris Morris
    Hundreds of Dunedin City Council staff have resigned during a sometimes torrid four-year period for the organisation. A breakdown released by the council, following an official information request, showed 460 of its full- and part-time staff had resigned since the start of 2012, while a further 21 had been made redundant.
    Read more

    DCC staff statistics: (via ODT)

    2012: 156
    2013: 110
    2014: 94
    2015: 100

    2012: 5
    2013: 3
    2014: 8
    2015: 5

    Sick days
    2012: 3862.14
    2013: 3884.84
    2014: 3932.39
    2015: 4274.49

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Are there actually fewer staff members than there were in 2011, or have those who left been replaced, and disestablished roles balanced by newly created team leaderships, facilitators, “broker for creativity” and their support staff?

      • Elizabeth

        Carefully not stated, we note.

      • Hype O’Thermia
        I don’t have the numbers for 2011 but I do have those for 1990/91 compared with the number for 2012 (see below). They show a substantial rise over that period. One can only wonder why, as the city hasn’t grown in that proportion nor has the council’s level of productivity exhibited any discernible increase that one is conscious of.

        DCC staff levels 1990-91

        Total 446.2

        Staff levels 2012
        Total 687
        Percentage increase 153.97%
        As to why they should be leaving in such droves is also a matter fo conjecture. The mind boggles.

        • Gurglars

          Maus, there is a need for real comparison of numbers previous to determine when Delta morphed from the council. In fact the comparison is even worse than you have depicted because Delta staff have to be added back to DCC staff to get an apples vs apples fair comparison.

  20. Calvin Oaten

    These stats ought to be sending a strong message to the Mayor and council that there is something seriously wrong with the culture in that establishment. Apart from the resignations/turnover which is staggering in itself, to me the real indicator that they just don’t want to be there is in the sick days. For a FTE level of 650, those stats are phenomenal.
    It all starts at the top. CEO or Mayor/Council? Take your pick.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Councillors are fenced off from direct interactions with staff, aren’t they? They (Council) hire the CEO then the CEO hires and manages the staff (well, it’s a bit more complex, layers of [ir?]responsibility till you get right down to the men and women who do the chores).

  21. Lyndon Weggery

    The problem under the Local Government Act is the separation of “governance” from “operations” where Mayor and Councillors are responsible for the former. However we still elect them to keep a close eye on things and more importantly ask the right questions when reports are tabled. The sad state of affairs over South Dunedin flooding last year shows that this has not been happening. They have had a 3 Waters Strategy with attaching Integrated Catchment Management Plans since 2011 and in hindsight if even a portion of the recommendations were faithfully implemented (and those Councillors on the Infrastructure Committee should have ensured they were) then the flood damage on 3 June 2015 arguably would have been a lot less!!

  22. Kleinefeldmaus

    January 25, 2016 at 1:53 pm
    Delta ‘morphed’ from the DCC before 1990/91.

    • Richard Stedman

      “We’re a team of more than 500 skilled professionals, with a dedication and passion for the job.” Delta website. Delta was morphed from the DCC Works Dept after the Lange Govt screwed up the local governance system. What a cock-up!!!!

      {Link added. -Eds}

  23. Gurglars

    So add 500 dedicated professionals so defined by the myriad of $150k imposters to the 700+ DCC employees and you get 1200 public servants in a population of 120,000. Add on the Uni staff, the social welfare and the old chip shop mantra that the fish and chip shop owner is supporting the city’s economy singlehandedly suddenly looms as a reality.

    Georgie Orwell had it right, the pigs are not only running the trough, but the whole joint! (pun intended)

    With a median income of $24,000 it seems to me that we now have the low wage economy necessary for the production of real goods. Let’s do it, Dave’s 10,000 plus jobs adding $10,000 per job is a clear nonsense and has no chance of becoming reality.

    To do it New Zealand needs to legally ensure the Australian owned banks loan for real business not the increase in house prices they now exclusively support which adds zero productivity to the economy and loads of debt to tax and ratepayers already being robbed by the current bureaucracies.

    • Richard Stedman

      Gurglars, What we really need is a Govt with enough credibility to unravel the crap system created by Lange and his inept mates so we can rid ourselves of the overpaid and overstuffed bureaucracies that are the scourge of this country.
      There was a time when this city was run by a council comprised of capable people with a desire to serve their community. Now we have a gaggle of dreamers and meddlers and the odd unemployable greenie who are content to wallow in the trough of public largess and abdicate any responsibility for the mess they are allowing the bureaucrats to drag us into.
      It’s hard to credit, but the citizens of Dunedin actually voted for this (but not all of us).
      The coming election will be a telling time for the long-suffering Dunedin resident. What was the old proverb? You get the governance you deserve. Brace yourself for no change!!

  24. Gurglars

    A- men

    Or it might be


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