Stratford District Council is splitting teams in half as part of Covid preparedness plan

Some team members are now working remotely. Photo/NZME

As Aotearoa New Zealand settles into phase three of the Omicron Covid Response Plan, the Stratford District Council team have settled into a new way of working.

Stratford District Council CEO Sven Hanne said the focus on business continuity means many employees are now working remotely on some days a week.

“All staff who work from the main building on Miranda Street are now part of one of two teams, working remotely on some days and from their desks on others. The two teams do not cross, which minimizes the risk of entire departments being affected by the virus at the same time.”

Every staff member working from the main building, along with the mayor and elected officials, were placed on one of two shifts, he says.

“The intention is that we can continue to provide essential services such as water, wastewater, stormwater, roads, building and resource permits, etc., without any disruption due to the virus.”

Library and pool teams are working with their own systems to minimize risk as well, he says.

From a customer perspective, access to municipal services has generally not changed, he says.

“You can always pick up the phone and talk to whoever you need, or visit our help desk and access all the information you need.”

Vaccine passes aren’t needed to get to the service counter or the library, he says.

“While we have introduced a vaccine pass system for some pool sessions, this has been done in a way that maximizes the potential use of the pool, whilst ensuring that everyone can use it at some time of the week.”

Vaccination mandates have also not been introduced for all council staff, he says.

“We went through a process with staff to assess the risk that each individual role carried. This was fairer for everyone and allowed us to identify which roles required vaccination versus which did not. “

• Disclaimer: Editor Ilona Hanne is married to the CEO of Stratford District Council

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