News briefs

Mobile career information • Keep lid on bureaucrat pay, business group says • N.S. building new strategy to attract immigrants • More bullying complaints than expected • How about a Minister of Retirement? • Top employers for older workers

Mobile career information

Edmonton
— The Alberta government has created a Careers in Motion touring motor home to link Albertans with employers. The refurbished 1975 motor home is a labour market information centre on wheels that will travel across the province in the coming months. Visitors will be able to search online for information on hundreds of jobs and careers, training programs and employment opportunities. They will be able to e-mail, fax or phone the prospective employer, explained Human Resources and Employment Minister Clint Dunford. For additional information, visit www.gov.ab.ca/hre/careersinmotion.

Keep lid on bureaucrat pay, business group says

Ottawa
— Ottawa must hold the line on wage levels for public servants threatening strikes, said an association of small- and mid-sized Canadian employers. Wage premiums in favour of federal public employees distort the labour market, said Catherine Swift, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, in an open letter to the prime minister. “Small businesses competing for skilled workers in this type of distorted environment are at a major disadvantage,” she wrote. “When private-sector wage increases are running on average at about 2.5 to three per cent, there is no justification for asking taxpayers to finance larger wage gains in the public sector.”

N.S. building new strategy to attract immigrants

Halifax
— Nova Scotia is seeking public input to craft a new immigration strategy. A discussion paper, A Framework for Immigration, asks the public to provide input into matters such as creating welcoming communities, awareness and education programs, and marketing Nova Scotia as an immigration destination. Copies of the paper are available at www.gov.ns.ca/immigration or by calling (902) 424-5200. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 15. Feedback can be provided by e-mail to [email protected].

More bullying complaints than expected

Quebec City
— Nearly 500 complaints have been filed under Quebec’s four-month-old workplace bullying law, according to the province’s labour standards board. The board expects more than 2,000 complaints will be filed in the first year, up from an initial projection of 1,700. According to published reports, nearly a quarter of the complaints received have been dismissed because they weren’t justified, didn’t meet the criteria or were resolved. Robert Rivest, assistant director of the legal department at the standards board, said a majority of the complaints are coming from workers whose companies haven’t established policies to deal with psychological harassment in the workplace.

How about a Minister of Retirement?

Ottawa
— Prime Minister Paul Martin needs to create a cabinet position to address Canadian concerns about retirement, says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. Recent polling conducted for the CLC shows more than 70 per cent of Canadians are worried they will not have money to live after retirement. “In spite of all this worry, retirement security is almost ignored in public discourse,” said Georgetti.

Top employers for older workers

Toronto
— Royal Bank, Merck Frosst, Home Depot Canada and Avis Rent A Car are winners of the first annual Best Employers for 50-Plus Canadians awards. The awards created by CARP, Canada’s Association for the Fifty-Plus, is an attempt to overcome negative assumptions that older workers are costly, underproductive, harder to work with and too set in their ways. Companies were scored on how they treat older workers in the areas of: recruitment and retention, skill development, compensation and benefits, and retirement planning and education. Other factors included whether companies have good openings for older workers, development opportunities and flexible work schedules.

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