This disclosure has prompted the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance to issue the following media release.
RATEPAYERS' ALLIANCE QUESTIONS AUCKLAND COUNCIL'S ESCALATING STAFF NUMBERS
With nearly 200 Full Time Equivalent staff being added to the Auckland Council payroll in the 2015-2016 financial year, the Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance is questioning how many of those jobs are really necessary for ensuring the delivery of core services that Aucklanders actually need or want.
Whilst Auckland Council argues that an increasing population justifies the employment of additional staff, the Ratepayers' Alliance does not accept that employing people to act as 'Walking & Cycling advocates' and other similar positions should be a priority. The focus should instead be on delivery of necessary infrastructure to help alleviate housing and transport issues.
Jo Holmes, Spokesperson for the Ratepayers' Alliance says:
"Ratepayers were promised a leaner and more efficient Council under the Super City legislation, but year after year they see Council adding to its bloated workforce. Furthermore, this is a workforce in which not a single person has been held accountable in the last six years for the cost blow-outs and errors sailing close to incompetent bungling, such as the headquarters cladding debacle, and the IT system overrun. Ratepayers are being made to pick up the tab for these blunders time and time again."
"Ratepayers have been crying out for Council to trim the fat within its own operations but instead it has gorged itself on higher salaries and bloated its expanding ‘waste’ line."
“Last year I put up an amendment during the 10-year budget debates to at least hold council staff costs for three years. However a majority of councillors voted it down. Well we’ve now exceeded $803m and ratepayers can look forward to the council’s annual wage bill hitting $1 billion in the coming years if the Labour Party maintains control.
“Phil Goff was number three in the last Labour Government when public sector numbers and staff costs soared. He talks a big game, but his track record in this area is appalling.
“Six years ago the ratepayers of Auckland were promised that the Super City would do ‘more stuff with less staff’. We’ll every year since without fail, Auckland Council’s staff numbers and costs have climbed as this Mayor has completely squandered the opportunity to deliver the benefits of amalgamation.
“Sure we need more of certain people to keep up with Auckland’s development and infrastructure boom. However let’s hold the line and prioritise those staff. Instead this council just endlessly adds on staff and costs, without seriously reviewing the organisation’s more discretionary roles.”
“This just confirms that Auckland Council staff costs and numbers deserve to be a major issue during this year’s local body election,” says Mr Brewer.
Total full-time equivalents, across the Auckland Council group, also increased from 9,678 to 9,870 in the past 12 months.