NEWS BRIEFS: February 26, 2001

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|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/23/2001

ORIENTATION KEY TO RETENTION OF NURSES

Toronto — Nurses who receive supportive, comprehensive and informative introductions to their workplaces have clearer expectations of their roles and are more likely to stay with their employers, says Irmajean Bajnok of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. The association is developing a plan for orientation programs, and will launch pilot programs. Current programs are inconsistent in scope and intent, often too short and not based on principles of adult education, Bajnok says.

PAY HIKES FOR TOP BUREAUCRATS

Ottawa — Senior civil servants in the federal government received an 8.7-per-cent pay raise in response to what Treasury Board president Lucienne Robillard called a looming staffing crisis in the upper ranks of the bureaucracy. At the highest rank, a federal civil servant could make base and bonus compensation totalling more than $300,000 a year. A government-appointed salary committee recommended the move, noting a serious lack of young managers in the civil service and a large group of upper level staff nearing retirement. Opposition parties are critical of the raises, as are unions who say their membership has been left out of the raise hikes.

MORE TECH PROFS NEEDED, GROUP SAYS

Ottawa — A group representing top Canadian tech employers like Nortel, Mitel and JDS Uniphase wants Ottawa to come up with $500 million over five years to hire more university technology professors able to teach in specialized areas. A skills shortage is developing in universities, says eMPOWER Canada, which estimates tech firms involved in microelectronics, photonics, optoelectronics and wireless engineering will need to hire 30,000 university grads in these fields in the next five years, but schools are on track to produce only a-third of the required graduates.

ENVIRONMENT BECOMING BAD FOR BUSINESS

Ottawa — Canada’s environment is not getting the attention it deserves and if things don’t change Canadians’ quality of life and the economy will both ultimately suffer, says the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. Governments have been preoccupied with fiscal matters at the expense of the environment and that imbalance must be addressed, said Stuart Smith, a member of the round table — an independent body appointed by the prime minister. The economy cannot prosper without a healthy environment, Smith said.

DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT TOOL KIT

Halifax — A new resource to help employers and job seekers with disabilities connect is available in print (three books) and CD-ROM versions. “The tool kit has been created to fill the gap in information about accommodating and hiring people with disabilities,” said the kit’s developer Joan Cummings of the Maritime School of Social Work in Halifax. In addition to HR strategies for recruitment, management and evaluation, the kit includes information to help job seekers and a reference manual. For information contact the Nova Scotia Disabled Persons Commission at (902) 424-8280.

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