Looking for employees
RWED turns to public after unable to fill vacancies internally

by Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 31/97) - Despite reported massive layoffs resulting from governmental amalgamation and downsizing, some territorial agencies are still looking for extra employees.

In fact, the Department of Renewable Resources Wildlife and Economic Development is looking for more than a few good men and women.

"We were a little surprised at the total number of full-time vacancies," said Gamble. By February the department was looking to fill a total of 70 positions," according to deputy minister Andrew Gamble.

About 160 territorial workers' positions were either changed or eliminated last year when Resource, Wildlife and Economic Development was created by the amalgamation of the old departments of Renewable Resources, Economic Development and Energy and Mines.

Of the 160 displaced employees, 90 found jobs within the new department and 52 opted for one of several layoff packages offered, according to Gamble.

The fate of the rest remains uncertain, but the deputy minister said less than 10 people will actually be laid off.

Under government policy, workers within each department get the first opportunity to apply for jobs within that department. If it remains vacant, territorial workers from other departments can apply. If that doesn't produce enough candidates, the job is then opened to public competition.

"All three departments (that were amalgamated) pretty well froze staffing last year when amalgamation was announced," said Gamble when asked why there were so many vacancies. "Others thought it was either time to retire or time for a change."

Gamble added that the jobs could not be offered to the public until the internal competitions were completed.

Shortly after amalgamation some employees expressed concern at the change in philosophical outlook that came from merging business-minded departments with the more conservation-oriented renewable resources department.

RWED has a total of 540 employees, 152 of them seasonal.