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Galway City Council plans to grow workforce next year


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway City Council plans to grow workforce next year

From the Galway City Tribune – The City Council is aiming to grow its workforce to well over 600 people through the course of 2023 from its current figure of 540 – although the recruitment of staff continues to be an ongoing issue.

City Council Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, in his Annual Budget 2023 report, said that while numbers employed by the local authority were now similar to 2008 pre-recession figures, staffing levels weren’t sufficient to tackle increasing workloads.

He outlined that the current numbers employed by the City Council stood at 540 – with approximately 10% of those working on a part-time basis.

“We do need to take on more staff and we are actively recruiting people across a number of departments. Our aim is to bring our total employment numbers to over the 600 mark, during 2023,” Mr McGrath told the Galway City Tribune.

In his report, he outlined that the Council was facing ‘ongoing recruitment challenges’ and especially so in specialist areas as ICT (Information and Communication Technology), technical grades and finance.

“This is additional to a high level of staff turnover and significant loss of corporate memory as a result of increasing retirements, something which is being experienced throughout the wider public service.

“There is also a noticeable shift in employment patterns across the public service since the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. Staff vacancy rates consistently range about 10% at any one point in time and the availability of a wide range of work life balance schemes further reduces the level of workforce available at any one time by a further 10-15%,” the Chief Executive has stated in his report.

He also pointed out in his report that there are currently ‘requests on hand’ from across all service divisions (of the City Council) for the employment of more than 70 additional staff in 2023.

As regards street cleaning and litter management staff, the Chief Executive said that the Council traditionally employs eight additional seasonal outdoor workers during the busy summer months – they are now also seeking to hire four additional permanent staff in this area during 2023.

Eight additional staff are also to be recruited in the Housing Maintenance section of the Council with the aim of ensuring that vacant houses are turned around [new tenants installed] as quickly as possible with long-term void properties refurbished with minimal delay.

Mr McGrath also said in his report that a nationally agreed ‘blended working policy’ had been rolled out in the City Council with up to 250 staff expected to avail of the scheme.

“The overall scheme will allow for up to two-days a week remote working for staff whose role has been deemed suitable. The availability of this facility will be a positive in attracting new staff, and position Galway City Council as an employer of choice,” said the Chief Executive.
This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune, November 11. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. The print edition is in shops every Friday.

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