12/04/2016 - 07:51

Western Power cuts 215 jobs

12/04/2016 - 07:51


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Western Power cuts 215 jobs

Western Power advised its staff yesterday that an estimated 215 roles are no longer needed as the utility continues a three-year program that has already cut more than 300 jobs.

The latest changes were unveiled by acting chief executive Guy Chalkley, who said Western Power was focused on lifting efficiency but insisted it also maintained its commitment to safety.

“We have seen significant improvements in our business in recent years,” Mr Chalkley said.

“But at the same time, WA has experienced a shift in economic and industry conditions, along with lower household energy use from solar power and more energy efficient appliances.”

The utility said changing customer needs and falling demand had driven a new works program, which meant fewer employees were needed across the business.

Western Power has introduced a voluntary redundancy program to try and fill the 215 roles it says are no longer needed.

It is the first time a voluntary redundancy process has been offered at Western Power, and will involve a month-long employee consultation process.

Mr Chalkley told Business News the 215 positions would be spread across white collar and blue collar positions.

He said this was on top of 140 job reductions over the past six months, achieved through natural attrition (not filling vacancies that arise).

Together, these cuts amount to a 10 per cent reduction in staff numbers.

They come after the energy utility cut staff numbers from 3,725 to 3,572 over the three years to July 2015.

Since then, it has engaged consulting firms McKinsey & Company and PwC to help it achieve further efficiency improvements.

Yesterday’s announcement came six weeks after former chief executive Paul Italiano said Western Power was committed to delivering savings of $300 million to $400 million a year.

Mr Italiano said at the time that staff cuts would be a last resort.

Mr Chalkley told Business News the utility was achieving more efficient delivery of its services.

“We’re getting smarter with technology to identify where work needs to be undertaken,” he said.

Mr Chalkley said the utility was also reaping benefits from its large investment program of recent years.

The job cuts come after Premier Colin Barnett backed the privatisation of Western Power after the 2017 state election, in a deal tipped to raise about $15 billion.



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