Congratulations to City of Ryde – the winner of this year’s LGEA Employer of Choice Award. Ryde beat a very competitive field of shortlisted nominees to be named the best council overall in our second year of running the Award.
The LGEA designed our Employer of Choice Award as a way of highlighting the workplace needs of our members, whilst also promoting the sorts of benefits that councils are able to provide in order to attract and retain skilled professionals within their organisation. Nominees are assessed against our selection criteria which include terms and conditions of employment, career structure and commitment to professional development. The universal characteristics of an LGEA Employer of Choice are:
- Respect – for the profession and the work that engineers and professionals do within local government;
- Recognition – of the role played by LGEA members and their Association within the Council; and
- Reward – for the value of work and contribution made by LGEA members at work
City of Ryde – 2016 LGEA Employer of Choice
For some time now City of Ryde has been the standard bearer for the professional development of LGEA members in local government. The Council has a generous, well-established professional development system, with employees encouraged and financially supported to attend conferences and workshops and to undertake training courses in their field. Support is also provided to members to attain and maintain professional registration including RPEng.
The City of Ryde employs a significant number of engineers and technical professionals (more than 40) and has an eye firmly on the development of future talent by offering an ongoing cadet programme which allows for four university students to undertake a paid 6 month work experience placement each year. Furthermore, Council provides opportunity to student engineers from a number of universities to allow them to complete their compulsory work experience unit prior to graduation and often offers them a continuing placement following the completion of their studies.
Whilst the City of Ryde does not have an enterprise agreement it does offer industry competitive terms and conditions of employment. Ryde was one of the first councils to pay the Civil Liability Allowance within the Sydney metropolitan region, and a market allowance is paid to a significant number of LGEA members to attract and retain their skills within the Council. Members also have access to flexible hours and rostered days off. Council’s vehicle leaseback scheme is attractive and is available to a significant number of LGEA members.
One of the things which set Ryde apart from the other nominees was its approach to performance management and its recognition of high performers in the workplace. Under its’ scheme, employees who perform well or who have made a special contribution are publically recognised through various individual and team awards and employees are also eligible for the payment of performance bonuses. This focus on recognising and rewarding achievement has helped to build a culture of performance and pride within the Council.
City of Ryde also supports the involvement of unions in the workplace and demonstrates a genuine commitment to consultation on matters of workplace change. LGEA representatives are always made to feel welcome at Ryde Council.
City of Ryde was nominated for the Award by LGEA delegate Charles Mahfoud, who described Council as ‘dedicated to endorsing the great professional services engineers provide to local communities.’ There to collect the Award on behalf of City of Ryde was Anthony Ogle, Manager Asset Systems at City of Ryde.
2016 LGEA Employer of Choice: Shortlisted Councils
In congratulating the City of Ryde on their win, we also extend our congratulations to Lake Macquarie City Council; Port Stephens Council; Riverina Water and Mid Coast Council for being shortlisted by our panel of judges, and commended for the support that they provide to engineers and engineering in local government.