Last night Newcastle City Council unanimously resolved the following regarding the General Manager's outburst:
1 Having obtained from the General Manager an explanation of her actions in this matter and on the basis of its legal advice Council:
(a) is satisfied that by making certain statements attributed to her in the Newcastle Herald on Saturday 5 May 2007, the General Manager has acted in breach of clause 11.3 of her contract of employment - terms of the said clause 11.3 are attached as a Appendix A; and
(b) expresses its disappointment and serious concern about the General Manager’s breach of her contract of employment and the resulting negative publicity for Council and warns the General Manager against any further breaches in her dealings with the media.
2 Council acknowledges the General Manager has expressed regret about her comments and the negative impact those comments have had on Council.
3 Council further directs the General Manager to develop, for Council's consideration, a draft Policy on “Public Comment by Council officials on Council Affairs” and as an interim measure, pending the General Manager’s further report, the Council proposes to adopt the draft Policy on those matters as prepared by its solicitors.
4 Council further notes that in accordance with the terms of her contract of employment, the General Manager’s annual performance review will be conducted in July 2007 (with an experienced facilitator as allowed by the contract, preferably appointed by the Local Government & Shires Association) which Council sees as an opportunity to address some of the issues referred to by the General Manager in recent statements.
5 Council reaffirms its commitment to continue building a professional and constructive partnership with the General Manager and Council’s Strategic Management Team.
Clause 11.3 of the General Manager’s Contract of Employment:
11.3 The employee covenants that in all dealings with the media the employee will use their best endeavours to ensure positive publicity for the Council in accordance with Council’s communication policy.