. Public Eye. September 10, 2009.
A senior children and family development bureaucrat suspected "quazi (sic) job action" was one of the reasons why the ministry's employees were slow to participate in this year's annual government-wide workplace environment survey. With six days left to complete that survey, chief operating officer Mark Sieben reported on April 23 that just 63 percent of those employees had done so, lagging behind other ministries. Mr. Sieben advanced several explanations for that lag. In emails sent to fellow executives between April 16 and 23 and obtained by Public Eye via a freedom of information request, he suggested:
Comment to above story:
It's so funny how bureaucrats look for external reasons to blame for lack of participation in these ridiculous workplace surveys. Here are the real reasons:
Government does not listen to employees anyways, so filling out internal surveys is a waste of time and staff know it.
Government spins the numbers anyways, so it is irrelevant to waste time better spent elsewhere - PROTECTING CHILDREN.
Another reason, government has made it clear to their employees that when they offer feedback that is deemed "negative" that government is tracking the "complainers" and making note of them. Talk about Orwellian. Government has threatened and intimidated their staff by telling them "we know who you are" because of your IDIR and we know you are a negative nellie complainer and there is no room for that around MCFD.
Where is the evidence that MCFD has made improvements related to survey results of past Environmental surveys?
Staff, BCGEU and many other stakeholders have been telling the leadership of MCFD what they need to do to improve the work environment for years and years AND THEY DON'T LISTEN.
- They are cutting staff and have plans to cut more, that is the single most harmful thing being done to employees and IT'S BEING DONE BY THE "LEADERSHIP" OF MCFD.
- By failing to adequately ensure the safety of employees who often work alone, or in isolation.
Here's some questions - how much taxpayer money has gone toward paying fines to WCB for failures of OSH, to decrease violence toward employees, to create safer working conditions? How many times has MCFD been cited and fined by WCB?
Employees in MCFD, with the exception of management and senior bureaucrats of course, are too damn busy to waste their valuable time filling out surveys that are meaningless and are not going to be acted on. They are busy doing things like PROTECTING CHILDREN AND SUPPORTING FAMILIES.
For some real honest answers to a survey, Pivot Legal Society's report Hands Tied: Child protection workers talk about working in, and leaving, B.C.’s child welfare system.
What did MCFD learn from that survey and change to improve retention? Not one thing and they continue culling the herd.
Any Ministry that would create "Appreciation Champions" as a way to cover up their vast incompetence and failure to adequately support and care for their staff, ignoring years of internal and external recommendations for improving working conditions should not be surprised at low response rates to yet another meaningless survey that will go nowhere.
Child protection workers in Terrace, Prince Rupert and Kitimat have received word that six full time positions will be eliminated in their region because of provincial government budget cuts.
Staff-who work with vulnerable children and families at risk-were told by their managers that the cuts are necessary to ensure that the office can balance the costs of front line social workers with the money allocated by the Campbell government to pay for salaries.
It's anticipated that child protection and guardianship services across the north will face similar cuts.
Darryl Walker, President of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union:"The Campbell government is leaving children and families at risk and will add to the overwhelming caseloads of social workers," says Walker. "Instead of cutting staff in this high stress occupation, Victoria should be boosting funding and lowering caseloads."