News Briefs

Nurse clocks 1,500 hours of overtime; eMentorship helps women overcome barriers in IT; Survey assesses LGBT-friendly employers; HRPA elects new board directors; Alberta adopts Maritime health and safety campaign; U.S. employer health-care costs increase 7.3 per cent
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/04/2010

Nurse clocks 1,500 hours of overtime

Cape Breton, N.S. — Cape Breton health officials are examining the district’s labour policies after a report revealed the health authority paid a critical-care nurse nearly $140,000 in overtime during 2008-2009. The nurse was paid for working 1,500 extra hours that year, while two other nurses in the same field were paid a combined $110,000 in overtime, found Nova Scotia’s auditor general. Only a limited number of nurses have critical-care experience, said district chief executive John Malcom, and the nurses were filling in where there were a lot of vacant positions. The health authority expects another big overtime payout for 2009-2010 because staff with flu-like symptoms were asked to stay home to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus.

eMentorship helps women overcome barriers in IT

Toronto — The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance – Women in Technology Forum is launching an eMentorship program to match chief information officers with aspiring female information technology managers. CIOs participating in the pilot program, sponsored by Microsoft Canada, will act as mentors to their mentees through in-person, email and teleconference exchanges. The program’s ultimate goal is to provide mentees with access to influential and experienced mentors who can provide them with the tools they need to advance their IT careers.

Survey assesses LGBT-friendly employers

Montreal — Major international corporations are being invited to participate in a survey to measure performance around issues related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s International Business Equality Index helps corporations understand how they are performing in this area relative to other companies and provides a comprehensive assessment to help enhance global practices and policies. The deadline to complete the survey is May 15 and the results will be released on June 10.

HRPA elects new board directors

Toronto — The Human Resources Professionals Association has elected five new board directors. Tom Bursey, Louise Taylor Green, John Hardisty, Carol McLaughlin and William Palamar will begin their three-year terms after the Ontario HR association’s annual general meeting on May 14.

Alberta adopts Maritime health and safety campaign

Edmonton — Alberta has launched a workplace health and safety campaign. TV and radio advertisements focus on how to avoid injuries that can be caused by everyday objects such as a bucket, ladder or nail. The government’s goal is to reduce injury rates by 25 per cent by the end of 2012. The ads originally ran in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, and have since been adopted by New Brunswick.

U.S. employer health-care costs increase 7.3 per cent

Washington — Average health-care costs for employers in the United States increased by 7.3 per cent in 2009 compared to 6.1 per cent in 2008, found a Thomson Reuters survey. The study analyzed insurance claims for 144 companies between 2007 and 2009. On average, employers spent US$3,341 per beneficiary per year in 2009 — US$611 for pharmacy costs (a 4.3-per-cent increase) and US$2,730 for medical costs (an eight-per-cent) increase.

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