News briefs

More Ontario H&S enforcers • Fired and ‘humiliated’ • Quebecers take more days off to move • Good year for N.S. pensions • 1,299 miles for wellness • Missed vacations bemoaned

More Ontario H&S enforcers

— Ontario is hiring 200 new health and safety inspectors, nearly doubling the number of enforcement staff. The government will target 6,000 workplaces with poor health and safety records that represent 21 per cent of injury costs. On a related front, the province is giving employment standards officers the power to issue fines of $300 to employers that fail to comply with the Employment Standards Act.

Fired and ‘humiliated’

— Union leaders are complaining nurses disciplined by the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia are being vilified publicly. The heads of both the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union and the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union objected to the college’s web posting of details about the suspension of a nurse who stole drugs from a hospital and made errors while working high. And earlier this year, the college named a fired nurse in newspaper ads it bought to advise the public about the revocation of the person’s licence. The nurse had made 51 errors in seven months.

Quebecers take more days off to move

— On average, employees in Quebec take 2.56 days off when they move, compared to British Columbians who book off only 1.17 days when they haul their belongings to a new home, a study by Royal LePage Relocation Services states. Atlantic Canadians average 2.06 days, Ontarians 1.77 days and employees in the Prairies will take 1.27 moving days.

Good year for N.S. pensions

— Nova Scotia’s two major public-sector pension plans turned in better than expected results for 2003. Both the Public Service Superannuation Plan and the Teachers’ Pension Plan doubled the targeted rate of return in 2003, for a 14-per-cent gain over the previous year. The public-service plan was strengthened with a one-per-cent contribution rate increase for existing employees, along with a matching increase from the employer.

1,299 miles for wellness

Randolph, Vt.
— Employees at CFM Corporation’s Randolph, Vt., plant have taken up a health challenge to walk 1,299 miles — representing the distance from Vermont to CFM’s head office in Mississauga, Ont. Twenty teams of five people each will wear pedometers recording their daily steps. Prizes are awarded as employees accumulate enough miles to cover the distance to sister plants in Vermont and Ontario en route to the head office.

Missed vacations bemoaned

— When it comes to vacations, 43 per cent of about 600 Canadians polled said the biggest mistake they made with their last holiday was not taking enough time off, a survey of by staffing firm OfficeTeam states. “Employees fearful of falling behind often put off vacations or limit breaks to long weekends,” said Diane Domeyer of OfficeTeam. “Lean staffing levels have left many professionals with increased pressure at work, but this makes the need to recharge more vital than ever.”

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