News briefs

Earlier retirements in public sector • Saskatchewan needs aggressive immigration plan • Nurses abusing maternity leave • New president-elect for Canada’s HR council

Earlier retirements in public sector

— Public-sector workers are retiring almost four years earlier than people in the private sector, while most self-employed are continuing to work until the age of 65, according to Statistics Canada, which compared retirement trends from the period 1997 to 2001 with those between 1992 and 1996. It found the overall median age of retirement fell to 60.8 years from 62. In the public sector, the median retirement age in 1997-2001 was 57.6 years versus 61.7 in the private sector. The lower retirement age in the public sector may be due to early retirement provisions common in teacher and other public-sector employee plans.

Saskatchewan needs aggressive immigration plan

— The same political creativity that encouraged immigrants to move to the Prairies in 1900 is needed to stop Saskatchewan’s population decline and bring young workers to the province, a government report says. Facing a potential loss of 100,000 workers in the next 15 years and a population that dipped under one million in 2002, the report makes 52 recommendations, including getting an immigration processing centre and funding for settlement services.

Nurses abusing maternity leave

Windsor, Ont.
— Expatriate nurses are coming home to take advantage of generous Canadian maternity benefits, and then returning to the United States shortly after their leave runs out, the Windsor Star reports. It happens all too often and hospitals lose out on recruitment, orientation and specialty training costs, said Paula Bond, chief nursing executive of the Windsor Regional Hospital in Ontario, across the river from Detroit. While the pay is higher in the U.S., legislated maternity benefits are far superior in Canada.

New president-elect for Canada’s HR council

— Geneviève Fortier, president of Quebec’s HR association, has been chosen as president-elect of the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations. She begins her duties in the fall of 2004.

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