NB Power

NB Power receives healthy workplace award (08/09/09)

NB 1293

Sept. 9, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - NB Power has been awarded the 2008 Canada Awards for Excellence (CAE) Silver recognition for Healthy Workplace. The award is presented by the National Quality Institute, and recognizes outstanding achievements in the area of healthy workplace.

"We are very pleased to receive this acknowledgment through the CAE," said David Hay, president and CEO of NB Power. "Under the leadership of Paul Thériault, our vice-president of human resources, we have developed leading-edge, innovative programs that promote employee health and well-being. These programs ensure that we have our employees at their best, delivering results to our customers."

The Healthy Workplace award was developed in 1998, and is based on the National Quality Institute's Canadian Healthy Workplace Framework developed in partnership with Health Canada and in association with professionals from the health and wellness sector.

In order to be considered for the award, organizations must demonstrate that employee health and well-being are an integral and strategic part of the way they do business. Organizations must address five key areas: leadership, planning, people focus, process management, and outcomes.

"At NB Power, we have an integrated human resources strategy with a vision of having 'People at their Best,'" said Thériault. "Having people at their best ensures that we are performing at our best for New Brunswickers."

NB Power has developed many initiatives to further enhance its health and well-being strategy, including the Enerflex benefits program, which has resulted in a saving of over $40 million, and has enabled employees to customize coverage for their needs. NB Power has also established a leading-edge well-being program that includes health promotion and disease prevention, an employee and family assistance program (EFAP) and an ability management program - healthy employees through accommodation and learning (HEAL).

Thériault attributes NB Power's strong relationship with its union to the well-being of employees.

"We continue to have a very positive working relationship with our union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 37, and have partnered with them on many programs such as the EFAP and our on-site daycare at our head office location."

Ross Galbraith, Local 37 business manager, says that NB Power deserves the award, and is pleased that the union's positive partnership with the utility in developing and participating in healthy workplace programs is being recognized.

"These co-operative partnerships go back 15 or so years to when we jointly opened the first employee on-site daycare in the province, and since that time several other health and wellness initiatives have been put in place," said Galbraith. "Ultimately, our responsibility as a union is the health and well-being of our members. We appreciate that NB Power sees it as in their best interests too. It is an excellent example of a progressive, win-win attitude."

This year, 21 public and private sector organizations are being acknowledged through the CAE. The awards will be distributed at the 2008 CAE gala dinner in Toronto on Monday, Oct. 20.

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MEDIA CONTACTS: Heather MacLean, manager, media relations, 506-458-6618, or e-mail hemaclean@nbpower.com; Ross Galbraith, business manager, IBEW Local 37, 506-455-0037.

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