This is page numbers 6259 – 6290 of the Hansard for the 17th Assembly, 5th Session. The original version can be accessed on the Legislative Assembly's website or by contacting the Legislative Assembly Library. The word of the day was work.

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Question 839-17(5): Innovative GNWT Recruitment Processes
Oral Questions

May 29th, 2015

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to follow up on my Member’s statement today with questions for the Minister of Human Resources. I would like to ask questions about new and innovative solutions for the recruitment and retention of employees for our civil service.

Is the Minister aware of the common interest in reduced work time and job sharing amongst many employees, such as interest in three-quarter time or two-thirds time, half-time, flex-time? Thank you.

Question 839-17(5): Innovative GNWT Recruitment Processes
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Bromley. Minister of Human Resources, Mr. Beaulieu.

Question 839-17(5): Innovative GNWT Recruitment Processes
Oral Questions

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We do have a job share policy in the government. Currently, the boards and agencies and the departments are allowed to hire and put two persons into one position and they share the one job. That is currently allowed in our system. Thank you.

Question 839-17(5): Innovative GNWT Recruitment Processes
Oral Questions

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thanks to the Minister. It’s that sort of straightjacketed model that I’m saying needs to be blown a little bit wide open with some innovation.

Currently, the vast majority of jobs in the NWT are traditional full-time, 8:30 to 5:00, five days a week model based on one PY. Many people would be happier seeking employment based on a different model. In fact, there is no reason in the world why a job should be one PY. Jobs vary highly. It’s how we categorize. Let’s put some imagination to that.

What proportion of our jobs would the Minister know vary from the typical 8:30 to 5:00 one PY model? He mentioned there is some job sharing. How many half or three-quarter positions do we have? How many jobs are job shared and are they simply half time or do they recognize actual job requirements, as I mentioned, recognizing what the job actually requires of a person in terms of time? Thank you.

Question 839-17(5): Innovative GNWT Recruitment Processes
Oral Questions

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe

I don’t have the information of how many of those jobs are shared, like how many positions in the GNWT are half time or three-quarter positions. However, we do try to accommodate most requests for a flexible work day, compressed work weeks and so on. So, we do try to accommodate individuals in the various ways with time, and I can get that information on the amount of positions that are actually advertised as a job sharing position, as a part-time position and a second job is advertised with that same PY as another job sharing position. I didn’t request that particular information. I just asked whether that was allowed at this time. Thank you.

Question 839-17(5): Innovative GNWT Recruitment Processes
Oral Questions

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thanks to the Minister. I appreciate the commitment. The more flexible suite of job models would give people who would like to pursue local economic initiatives, for example seasonal land-based activities, more family time and opportunities for volunteer service in our communities and the freedom to do so. I can attest that, based on the number of people who are coming to me with this, that’s come up in our recent Local Economies Forum, people have a strong interest in this. Building stronger and more

welcoming and nurturing communities, and retaining current residents and attracting newcomers would also be, obviously, a desirable result.

So, would the Minister survey our employees to measure interest in different employee time, such as he and I have discussed, and what benefits or disadvantages they would see in having these options? Mahsi.

Question 839-17(5): Innovative GNWT Recruitment Processes
Oral Questions

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe

We can do that survey of people to find out if what we are offering is something they would be interested in. That would be the various things like working flexible hours, job sharing and so on. We do employee satisfaction surveys across our government, so it is something that we could perhaps add to the survey. The next survey that is coming up, perhaps we could ask those key questions about whether the employees think that accommodating them with this option is something that they would be interested in and get a feel for how many employees might want to job share or take a differed leave year and so on. But we’ve never gotten into it. We can do that, Mr. Speaker.

Question 839-17(5): Innovative GNWT Recruitment Processes
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Beaulieu. Final, short supplementary, Mr. Bromley.

Question 839-17(5): Innovative GNWT Recruitment Processes
Oral Questions

Bob Bromley Weledeh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thanks again to the Minister. Given the benefits the new models will bring to our residents and communities, allowing people to pursue traditional seasonal land-based activities and so on and becoming more involved in community and family building, and if the results of the Minister’s survey indicate high interest, will the Minister commit to the pursuit of a more flexible range of job options within the civil service for the people of the Northwest Territories? I see this as a nicely contained thing that can be done before the end of this Assembly. Mahsi.

Question 839-17(5): Innovative GNWT Recruitment Processes
Oral Questions

Tom Beaulieu Tu Nedhe

There are two things that we have to look at before we can make any commitments, before I can make any commitments on a forum that is operational requirements. Number one, the fact that the majority of our civil servants are in the union, so we would have to discuss this with the union, and also, it becomes very important for operational requirements that all the positions that are needed in the key times and areas are there, and I couldn’t make a commitment to do that without checking those two things first, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Question 839-17(5): Innovative GNWT Recruitment Processes
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Beaulieu. Member for Sahtu, Mr. Yakeleya.

Question 840-17(5): On-The-Land Rehabilitation Programs
Oral Questions

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Justice under the

Auditor General’s Report of the Correction Facility of 2015, recommendation 42: “The Department of Justice should identify the needs…of its inmate population.” More importantly, I want to underline, “assess its rehabilitation programs…ensure that inmates have access to rehabilitation programs that reflect their needs and their risks.”

I understand that the department is initiating reviews of the directive that guide programs access and delivery, to be completed by the fall of 2015.

I want to ask the Minister, are wilderness camps and on-the-land programs part of this initial review through the directives that would support the on-the-land programs by this department?

Question 840-17(5): On-The-Land Rehabilitation Programs
Oral Questions

The Speaker Jackie Jacobson

Thank you, Mr. Yakeleya. Minister of Justice, Mr. Ramsay.

Question 840-17(5): On-The-Land Rehabilitation Programs
Oral Questions

David Ramsay Kam Lake

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the Member for his question. We remain committed, through the Department of Justice, to establishing the wilderness camps and the benefit to having those camps here in the Northwest Territories. I should state that in the budget, currently we have $787,000 earmarked. We’ve had some difficulty in trying to identify proponents that can deliver the on-the-land program that we envision. In the meantime, we continue to work with other departments that are involved and trying to find somebody in the Northwest Territories that we feel confident can deliver the type of programming that the Member talks about, and we fully intend on doing that. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 840-17(5): On-The-Land Rehabilitation Programs
Oral Questions

Norman Yakeleya Sahtu

Also in the Auditor General’s report, under point 41 it talks about the closure of wilderness camps and it also talks about, at the same time, the expression of interest that Mr. Ramsay has indicated is provided as potential to reopen these camps in the Northwest Territories.

I want to ask the Minister, would he direct his department staff to try harder, with a winning attitude of yes, we will do what we can with our best capabilities to open these camps and look at the areas that need to be expanded to make sure that these camps are a success by providing the resources to these camps, rather than to say no, it won’t work here? Could I get that commitment from the Minister?