The world is changing and our Future Workforce Forum addresses how that fact impacts the local government workforce - staying the same is not an option. To attract and retain quality talent to local government it's recognised that we'll have to do things very differently.

For those interested in and/or responsible for the shape of the local government workforce this Forum, being held on 20 & 21 June in Wellington, will provide the tools and techniques to help the sector make those changes. Registrations are now open and more details on the inspiring mix of topics and expert speakers can be found in our website here.

Insights from the Operational and Management Effectiveness Programme

We've just released a media statement detailing the interesting insights that the 26 'Foundation' councils - those that joined the Programme last year - have found in their recently released reports.

While noting that there are some differences between NZ and NSW in respect to council operations the report shows that the 26 New Zealand councils are generally performing as well or better than many NSW councils (79 councils in NSW took part). The reports also identified areas where improvements can be made.

Highlights from the survey sample reports include:

> Workforce Profile: In NZ there were 5.4 FTE per 1,000 residents compared with 8.2 in NSW councils.

> Gender Diversity: Women comprise 57% of the overall workforce in NZ councils compared to 41% in NSW. NZ councils are also actively building the pipeline of female leaders. Female managers were promoted at twice the rate of male managers in NZ councils in FY15, with a promotion rate of 7.8% compared to 3.9% for male managers.

> Role of Finance: 92% of NZ councils have a CFO who is part of the senior leadership team, compared to 59% of NSW councils. Future focused business insight activities consume 34% of finance effort among NZ Councils compared to 20% in NSW councils, and 92% of NZ councils report to management on a monthly basis, compared to 54% of NSW councils.

> Staff turnover in year one: The NZ median staff turnover rate of employees in their first year of employment is 16.8% (NSW 18.4%), However, the median overall staff turnover rate for NZ councils of 13.3% compares less favourably with that of NSW council’s 10.2%

> Automated billing: NZ ratepayers appear to be earlier adopters of electronic rate notices with a median of 1% of total rate notices delivered electronically, compared to a median of 0.4% for NSW councils. Automated billing allows councils to reduce paper and postal costs, and improve cash collections. NZ councils also collect 32% of their rates via direct debit, compared to only 7% in NSW councils.

> Capital project expenditure: NSW councils spend a median of NZ$527 per resident on project capital expenditure, compared to a similar NZ council median of $506.

The media release can be found in our website news section here and more information (and the application form) can be found here. Councils wishing to apply and take advantage of the Early Bird rate for this programme should complete and return the application form to reach our office no later than 10am on Monday, 2nd May.

Upcoming SOLGM Events

Our Annual EA/PA Forum is the next of our Annual Leading Practice Forums. It's on in Wellington on 12 & 13 May. You can find more information about what's being delivered from expert presenters such as Debbie Mayo-Smith, Amy Scott and WorkSafe's John Tulloch, here.

WEBINAR: What's happening with Holiday Pay? - Friday, 13 May at 10am

There’s been a lot of public comment, not all of it well-informed, about employer miscalculation of holiday pay. This webinar will separate the facts from the hyperbole. Register for it here.

Project Management is on 19 & 20 May in Christchurch. Register here for this comprehensive two day course.

A two day training on the topical issue of Managing CCOs and Alternatives is being held on 30 & 31 May in Wellington. Find out more and register here.

A workshop on Changing Demographics is on 11 July in Wellington (please note the date change from 30 June). This interactive one day event is an opportunity to gain an understanding about how changing demographics could impact communities and how to plan for those changes. Find out more and register here.

A full list of our upcoming events can be found in our Event Calendar.

WorkSafe’s Asbestos Liaison Protocol

WorkSafe are raising awareness of their “Asbestos Liaison Protocol” which has been developed in collaboration between WorkSafe and local government bodies as a pilot in the Hutt/Wairarapa region. The purpose of the Protocol is to enable a co-ordinated cross-government response to asbestos related incidents and to clarify agency jurisdictions. If you would like to attend a local meeting to discuss the aim of the protocol, what asbestos related issues we face, our respective jurisdictions, and what it means to sign up to and implement the Protocol please contact WorkSafe on 0800 030 040.