David Leitch

Public investment enhanced by new position

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is adding a new staff position to its organization.

The regional district’s board of directors decided at a May 26 in-camera meeting, which is closed to the public and the media, to establish a full time human resources advisor.

The board had discussed adding the position during budget planning earlier this year but directors wanted to wait until a new chief administrator (CAO) was in place and could make a case for a human resources staffer.

In CAO Dave Leitch’s recent report back to the board, he said that without such a position, the regional district’s work plan would likely have to be reduced as it would fall to Leitch to do while his responsibilities pile up.

Leitch also said there are certain “risks” to not having a full time human resources person available to the regional district.

“The SRD will continue to be somewhat reactionary to human resource/employee issues,” Leitch wrote in his report.

“These issues have historically lead to uncoordinated and inconsistent approaches and messages that can give rise to organizational risk such as grievances, legal costs, employee turnover, poor morale and attendance.”

Leitch added that a dedicated human resources function will ensure greater productivity, stability and value for the public’s investment.

The role of the human resources advisor, reporting to the CAO, is to help with strategic plans, operations and help resolve employee issues that impact the organization.

“With the growing complexity of the human resources field, the requirements to be in compliance with regulatory legislation, safety requirements, work place violence, harassment, disability and performance management policies, the consistency, leadership and expertise of a human resources advisor is very important in developing and sustaining a productive organization,” Leitch said.

 

The human resources position will be responsible for, among other things:

  • Preparing collective bargaining documents
  • Developing a criminal record check policy
  • Developing an attendance management policy
  • Developing a progressive discipline policy
  • Strengthening the SRD’s recruiting and orientation processes
  • Developing performance objectives and evaluation criteria
  • Building relationships with unions to prevent and resolve grievances
  • Monitoring, managing and mitigating risks arising from legal liabilities
  • Providing support to SRD staff in matters relating to personal, benefits, leave, medical, etc.