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Steps taken to ensure pool employment in Peace River, AB

Town of Peace River is reclassifying a lifeguard position to secure a long-term employee at its pool.

“The casual position has evolved to where the position is doing the work of a full-time position and should be recognized as such with access to benefits and more certainty of the job position,” says Mayor Elaine Manzer.

“The Town, as with all business, has had trouble retaining employees in some positions and for some employees, they see advantageous is being full time permanent staff.”

Council chose to agree with the changes presented by administration, noting there are adequate hours available to warrant the switch from part-time to full-time.

“Administration’s briefing note indicated that the hours being worked are equivalent to those of a full- time employee over a significant length of time,” explains Manzer.

“The hours were not being worked occasionally but regularly,” she adds.

The Town employs 25-30 lifeguards annually, but this is all dependent on staff availability. The change of the position to full-time will only have a budgetary impact of just under $7,000 to compensate for the additional benefits that will be paid to the employee.

“Pool staff need a lot of training and thus retaining staff that the Town has trained for these positions is helpful in terms of not having to advertise, do the human resources work that is required to onboard a new employee, provide the training, and other things,” says Manzer of areas they anticipate saving money, anticipating reducing the employee turnover.

“The financial aspects of this new position are essentially the addition of the costs of benefits as the person was already working and being paid for the hours.”

The Town is hoping this change will help address staff turnover.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter - South Peace News - southpeacenews.com

Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, South Peace News