Thursday, January 26, 2023

Plans for Human Resources hiring grant, brings call for additional staff in other departments

A discussion on whether to pursue a grant from Northern Development Initiative Trust to hire an Administration/Human Resources intern staffer expanded somewhat on Monday night into a call for other potential hiring options. 

As well as to offer up a short synopsis of the challenges found by the City in filling recent open positions.

The discussion was related to a report from the City's Communication Manager Veronika Stewart, who outlined how the intern position was a possibility through the grant opportunity from Northern Development Initiative Trust. 

One which would see NDIT pick up the larger share of the 66,000 dollar salary, with the City to provide 16,000  of the total for the post if they are successful in their application.

We outlined the nature of the Grant opportunity as part of our preview notes for the Monday session.

The key passage from the report related to the need for an intern post with Administration/Hr noted of the workload and how the intern program has been used in the past.

click to enlarge

Towards discussion of the grant application, Councillor Barry Cunningham asked if the position would become a full time post following the end of the Grant period.

In response, City Manager Rob Buchan provided some background as to how the post could evolve once the first year internship program came to an end.

"This is a position that is very much needed for HR. We were looking at actually putting into the Budget the full amount for this position for this year. 

We found this grant which would cover the lion's share of the position for this year. 

Our goal and hope would be to be able to roll it over into next year, because it is a necessary position for the volume of work that is required from that function.

So, this would be contemplated for an increase in the following year  -- City Manager Robert Buchan

While agreeing that the HR hiring is needed, Mr. Cunningham noted that there is also a need to add to the city's workforce in the Operations Department. 

"I tend to agree with you, but there are lots of positions in the city right now that we need to fill. 

Including in the yard, when we saw what happened over Christmas and everything with our yard crews and all the emergencies they did and that. 

And we've cut that crew down to the bare bone and I think you know, we need to look at the whole picture.

But you know, I agree we do need a position like this also, but I'm also saying we should be looking at other positions" -- Councillor Barry Cunningham

To the discussion on the City Operations Department the City Manager observed towards some of the challenges the city has found in filling posts.

"We agree, and we are. 

And we are, in I would say frankly in the last twelve months, in a constant state of recruitment for positions in the yard. 

Very difficult, it is top of our mind. So you know we are approaching it in that manner"  -- City Manager Robert Buchan

Councillor Teri Forster had one final question towards the HR intern hiring, asking if there was an employment equity requirement for the posting.

She was advised that NDIT, which would be administering the posting,  has such provisions in their hiring program. 

Council then voted in favour of the motion towards applying for the grant initiative. 

The discussion to the topic can be reviewed from the City's Video Archive starting at the one hour, nine minute mark

You can review the current and recent past  listings available with the City of Prince Rupert here.

Our archive of Employment and Labour themes from the City is available here.

While a wider overview of the themes from Monday's Council Session can be explored here.

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