Letter to the editor

Thursday, 2 November 2017

A letter from City CEO Kelvin Spiller in response to the Geelong Advertiser's article (27/10/17) on the transformation project.

Your article ‘City Hall culture crisis: as bad as ever’ (27/10/17) was an example of unbalanced reporting, presenting the views of one Australian Services Union (ASU) organiser.
As noted in your story, the City of Greater Geelong was in caretaker mode due to the council election, and was therefore unable to make a detailed response to your journalist’s questions.
To provide further context, this story appeared in the final stages of the City negotiating an enterprise agreement with the ASU and other unions. Agreement is yet to be reached.
There have been no complaints lodged with IBAC.
Since last week I have received feedback from many staff expressing disappointment and frustration with your negative and unbalanced story.
The actual story is that hundreds of staff right across the organisation have achieved a tremendous amount over the past 18 months.
Our efforts have focussed on improving workplace culture, including development of an organisational purpose and values, leadership skills, and a positive duty ethos.
A range of projects collectively called ‘Transformation’ is still underway to modernise systems and processes – a total overhaul of the way we do things – to improve productivity and responsiveness to the community.
The 28 Transformation projects cover governance, strategy, planning and monitoring; people and culture; and the management of finances, assets, risk, ICT and stakeholder relationships.
We have made considerable progress in each of these areas.
I am extremely proud of the contributions of our staff over the past 18 months.
There is no doubt that rapid change can be challenging, but the commitment and work ethic of our hard-working employees should be commended.
Kelvin Spiller
City of Greater Geelong