Goldenfields Water County Council’s (GWCC) general manager has resigned and will depart the organisation with immediate effect.
Andrew Grant, who was in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours awarded the Public Service Medal for “bringing innovation and efficiency” to GWCC and outstanding managerial and leadership skills, sought and was granted a medical retirement, effective from January 22, and will not return to work.
At the time of his resignation, Mr Grant was embroiled in a dispute with several employees over allegations he subjected them to systematic intimidation and harrassment, in a case currently before the Industrial Relations Commission.
Workers walked off the job on Thursday last week in a show of no confidence in the GWCC board’s ability to resolve the ongoing stand-off, which has been ongoing since June.
In a statement, GWCC chairman Peter Speirs said he hoped the dispute before the commission would now be brought to a close.
“Negotiations are under way to deal with the subject matter of these motions and to also bring to an end the current proceedings before the Industrial Relations Commission,” he said.
“GWCC acknowledges the supportive actions of its staff by calling off threatened industrial action and hopes that this spirit of goodwill will apply to the management of the motions (passed by United Services Union members). Negotiations have been scheduled over the next six weeks and GWCC is hopeful of both positive and permanent outcomes.”
The GWCC statement did not specify the content of those motions, while United Services Union organiser Rudi Oppitz did not return calls on Thursday.
Mr Grant’s role will be filled for the time being by acting general manager Phillip Rudd, who has met with staff this week.
“He has indicated that he will work with them to achieve positive outcomes for the future,” Mr Speirs said.
Mr Speirs said he hoped Mr Rudd’s appointment would lead to the union withdrawing its motions.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.