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NB Power - People Resources

Workforce

Employee Development

Employee Relations

Employment Equity

Health and Safety


Workforce

Human Resources are a significant strength of the Corporation, and their effective management is essential to delivering efficient, economical service. In 1994/95, NB Power's labour costs amounted to over $144 million. This clearly demonstrates the fundamental importance of maximizing the efforts achieved from this significant resource.

NB Power's workforce profile in December, 1995 is illustrated in Table 5.

Based on this profile of the workforce, the following observations can be made:

  • The majority of the field staff is unionized. The union staff all belong to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
  • The workforce is decentralized and the organization is field based.
  • A substantial portion of the workforce is directly involved in the generation, transmission or distribution of electricity.

Employee Development

NB Power is committed to the attraction and retention of a productive workforce. Existing and future development initiatives are designed to maximize the contribution of individual employees toward NB Power's corporate mission by communicating and motivating effective staff performance.

Several programs have been implemented to assist in the development of employees. A pilot Performance Management Program has been completed at the Point Lepreau generating station and in the Human Resources and Administration Division. This program is a communications tool that will give employees: an understanding as to the standard and performance expected of them in their work; an opportunity for recognition; feedback as to how well they are doing; and a vehicle for individual and corporate training and development initiatives.

A comprehensive Supervisory Certification Program which provides a structured, module-based development process for all supervisors has been developed and several modules were piloted with success during 1995/96.

Improvement in serving its customers is one of NB Power's primary goals for staff development. In January 1995, NB Power contracted the services of Kaset International, a leader in customer relations training. Employees and supervisors in the Customer Service and Human Resources and Administration Divisions received training related to improving customer satisfaction.

A computerized job evaluation system designed to validate and store pertinent job evaluation data was implemented in 1995. NB Power has also completed a study of broadbanding job classifications designed to significantly reduce the number of job classifications within the Corporation, thus decreasing administrative requirements. In addition, a dual tracking system is being implemented to facilitate staff reassignment and career development, recognizing differing requirements for technical and managerial expertise.


Employee Relations

Collective agreements governing Administrative Support groups, Technical non-supervisory groups, and Operational non-supervisory groups of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) expired during 1995. These agreements cover almost 70 % of NB Power's workforce. During these negotiations, which commenced in 1995 and are ongoing, NB Power and the IBEW have embarked on a new approach to collective bargaining based on a shared understanding of interests, objectives and goals. This process is part of the Corporation's commitment toward progressive employee-employer relations and is intended to attain mutual gains for each party.

NB Power has embarked on an Attendance Management Program to maximize attendance at work. The program encourages management and employees to work cooperatively to identify and eliminate causes of absenteeism, thus improving workforce productivity.

As a result of a market study initiated in the previous year, NB Power retained new carriers for the provision of insured benefits to employees. Efforts are ongoing in pursuit of the highest quality of service at a reasonable cost. These efforts include liaison with physicians, drug manufacturers and the Pharmaceutical Association.


Employment Equity

NB Power's Employment Equity initiatives focus on the promotion of a work environment based on fairness, equality of treatment, opportunity, ability and mutual respect. An in-house committee has been developed to assist in achieving these goals. To date the committee has focused on the accessibility of physical installations and on issues raised by employees experiencing difficulty in this area.

Work exposure programs have been undertaken with external partners to provide members of minority groups with valuable experience in the workplace. A revised Corporate Code of Ethics has also been fully implemented during 1995/96. The provisions of this code will be mandatory and compliance will be expected of all employees as a condition of employment.


Health and Safety

Due to the nature of the Corporation's business, health and safety issues are a major concern. Traditionally NB Power's workplace safety record has been very good compared to other industrial organizations. The Corporation is a national leader in accident prevention. During 1994/95, lost-time due to accidents averaged 0.31 days per employee, an increase of .08 days from the previous year. These two years represented the lowest accident rates in recorded history of NB Power.

To strengthen its commitment to safety, NB Power has initiated a Health and Safety Compliance Management System to promote a healthy and safe workplace and to reduce the probability of workplace injuries. This system requires regular safety audits at all field locations. In addition, training programs such as Heat and Cold Stress, Due Diligence for Supervisors, Confined Spaces, and Workplace Hazards have been undertaken. NB Power's Corporate Safety Manual has also been revised to reflect changes in the workplace and process changes.



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