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A Friday Note - 5 December 2014

Have a think about our rail teams working over the weekend sorting out a level crossing and changing station platform lights amongst other things.  For those not experienced in rail, track possessions take a huge amount of coordination. This one has been prepared very quickly and let’s hope the weather is neither too hot or wet for those on track.

Safety

This week we saw another tragedy on the roads, with seven people affected directly and thousands indirectly.  Sometimes we think of the families and the emergency services.  Our staff who are involved in road safety also bear considerable grief as these deaths keep continuing.

We have just completed a safety audit on one of our construction jobs (just as the tragic death of 54-year-old man at the new hospital site occurred).  One of the key messages from Manuel Delgado: We can never ‘outsource” our responsibility for safety.

Rejuvenation

One of the commitments I made in response to staff was to reduce the layers of management and provide opportunities where possible for more people on the ground. 

To date some 30 per cent of our executive have indicated their plans to leave the department.  While most of the savings will go to the bottom line of our budget, I am pleased to advise that two apprentice electrical signal persons at Mile End will be engaged on a permanent basis. 

Of course many areas want more staff.  The reality is that we can't just keep adding in a constrained budget.  Each work group needs to consider sensible savings , as does the executive.  We are looking, for example, at how these two apprentices might also support our highways people, etc.

We have also converted 14 positions to ongoing appointments for Indigenous staff and we have recruited the first of five people with intellectual disabilities as we rejuvenate the department to the benefit of all parts of our community.

Disability

“At least I can take the ‘blind’ glasses off,” said Peter Auhl as we tested a few executives on the International Day for People with Disabilities on our bus, tram and rail systems (a link to the story of the journey is below).  There were lots of issues.  How do we change this conversation, get action and make a difference?  As Sandy, a regular wheelchair user, advised: Start with the easy stuff.

Staff Recognition

The first staff recognition function is to be held on Thursday 18 December at 2.00pm at the Adelaide Convention Centre for staff who have worked 35+ years in government.  Invitations are in the process of being distributed for these staff.  A response is required by Thursday 11 December.

Have a good weekend.

Michael Deegan