Answers please
Government employees ask questions about moving to Arviat

Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

ARVIAT (May 13/98) - Government employees in Rankin Inlet slated to move to Arviat after division want to know how they will be affected by the Nunavut's plan for decentralization.

In a recent meeting in the community, Nunavut's deputy minister of community government, housing and transportation, Mike Ferris, fielded questions from Municipal and Community Affairs, Housing Corp., and Transportation employees. These three departments are slated to merge for the new government with head offices in Arviat.

"We're a long way from providing answers to staff," he said. "A lot of DMs have only been on board for a very short time. There's a lot of learning."

Mike Courtney of MACA said that people should let the Nunavut government know their concerns about moving to Arviat and the impact it will have on their lives and the lives of their families.

"Eight out of 10 staff have expressed concern about moving to Arviat," he said. "They want the job offers to come out so they'll know what they're getting into."

Common concerns among employees in all three departments included housing and spousal location.

Ferris said that it is obvious that there is a housing shortage in Arviat, and indicated there would be more information after the planning committee looks at the housing issue over the next few weeks. He did, however, say that the move to Arviat wouldn't necessarily happen by April 1, 1999, anyway.

"There's no plan that says that any one of the moves would be complete by April 1, 1999," he said.

"We want to comply with the decentralized model, but to do it in a way that leaves as little impact as possible with the move to Arviat," said Ferris.

Ferris also said that there is an expectation that there would be job descriptions out for employees by mid-to-late June.

"They will be reclassified where they need to be," he said. "That's one of the areas that's been given high priority."

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