Council prepares for possible reduced service levels due to COVID impacts on staff
As the impacts of the rapid spread of the COVID Omicron variant hit workforces across Australia, Singleton Council is preparing for the possibility of temporarily reduced service levels as staff, suppliers and contractors are forced to isolate.
Management strategies are in place across the organisation to avoid contact between crews and individuals, including rostering, social distancing and PPE (personal protective equipment) to ensure vital services continue as best as possible.
But General Manager Jason Linnane said the reality of COVID implications, particularly as the number of infections rises, means there may be circumstances where reduced service levels are unavoidable.
"As we all learn to live with COVID, Council is constantly adapting how we manage the situation as best we can to keep our staff and customers safe, support those people impacted by COVID, and deliver the high standard of service our community expects," he said.
"However, while we're taking every action possible to ensure the delivery of services as usual, there may be occasions when our response times are delayed that are unavoidable.
“In these situations, we are thankful to our community for their patience and understanding and reassure everyone that our commitment to doing the best job possible for our residents and businesses will never falter.”
Mr Linnane said Council had acted quickly and in some cases beyond government and NSW Health advice in each phase of the pandemic to protect staff and customers, as well as the provision of services.
"Where possible, staff continue to work from home and precautions are being taken for workers in essential services such as water and sewer, the waste management facility and infrastructure services to continue to be onsite safely," he said.
"However, given the ever-changing nature of the pandemic and the impact it is having on staffing and contractor availability, it may mean that we need to reprioritise work and may take longer than we'd like to respond to and fix customer requests.
“We will communicate any changes and impacts on service levels to our community and customers as soon as possible, so that we can support each other to keep everyone safe and our community services operating as best as possible.”