Employees of the City of Vancouver
Chosen as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers and British Columbia's Top Employers for 2013:
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors
(Oct 9, 2012)
Some of the reasons why The City of Vancouver
was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013
- helps employees balance work and their personal life through a range of alternative work arrangements (varying by position) including flexible hours, telecommuting, 35-hour work week (with full pay), shortened and compressed work week options and an earned days-off program
- invests in ongoing employee development with subsidies for tuition and professional accreditation, in-house apprenticeship opportunities, career planning services and in-house and online training programs
- supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments (to 95% of salary for 6 weeks) and operates a daycare facility across the street that employees may take advantage of upon their return, with priority given to City employees
- a pioneering "green" employer that first made walking, biking, and public transit a planning priority (over the automobile) back in 1996 and is in the process of creating a charging infrastructure throughout the city for electric car use
- helps older workers prepare for life after work with generous contributions to defined benefit pension plan, retirement planning assistance, and a transitional work program that allows employees to gradually leave the workplace
The City of Vancouver provides municipal government services to residents and businesses in one of Canada's largest cities.
The City has over 10,000 full- and part-time employees who work in a variety of settings and locations across the city, managing parks, recreational facilities, libraries and community services (including arts and culture), as well as providing fire and rescue and police services, public transit, and roads and infrastructure maintenance and development. Originally incorporated in 1886, the City has received international recognition as one of the world's most beautiful and liveable cities.
Industry: Legislative Bodies.
Major Canadian hiring locations: Vancouver BC.
Revenues: $1,400 million.
Full-time employees in Canada: 6,898.
New jobs created in Canada last year: 40.
Part-time employees in Canada: 3,255.
Number of applications received at this location last year: 25,000.
Average age of all employees: 42.
Longest serving employee: 42 years.
The City of Vancouver's physical workplace is rated as very good. Vancouver's City Hall is a designated heritage building located on a park-like campus setting in the downtown core. It is situated along major transit routes including the Canada Line skytrain and is within minutes of local restaurants, shopping and entertainment districts. Inside, the Art-Deco style building features an employee lounge (with comfortable seating and television); religious observance room; onsite cafeteria (with healthy and special diet menus); secure bicycle parking; transit subsidies; first-aid room; car pool sign-up system; shower facilities for walking and biking commuters; and a relaxing Japanese botanical garden.
Work Atmosphere & Communications
The City of Vancouver's work atmosphere is rated as average. Throughout the year, employees enjoy business casual dress; can listen to music while working. Each year, employees participate in a variety of fun social events, including a summer family day, health education fair and healthy lunch, annual employee Christmas party, and City-wide sports tournaments. Employees can also connect with other staff with similar fitness or sports goals through "Fit City Connect", allowing them to organize training events and sports teams including curling, golf, soccer and running clubs. The City of Vancouver keeps its employees up-to-date through a company newsletter; corporate intranet site.
Financial Benefits & Compensation
The City of Vancouver's financial benefits are rated as above-average. To keep salaries competitive the company participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months. The City also provides defined benefit pension with employer contributions (up to 8.76% of salary); life & disability insurance; retirement planning assistance; phased-in retirement work options; matching employer contributions (to 1.5% of salary) to the Vancouver Employee Savings Plan (VESP); discounted transit passes; and discounts on products and services from local businesses including gym memberships, sporting goods, soccer games and theater productions.
Health & Family-Friendly Benefits
The City of Vancouver's health and family benefits are rated as very good. The City of Vancouver offers separate health plans that vary with each employee group, including union groups and non-union employees. Most employees receive 100% premium coverage (one smaller employee group receives 60%) and non-union employees can tailor their benefits through flexible plan options. The major benefits plans all offer the following minimum coverages. As part of the health plan, the employer pays 100% of the premiums. Employees who work 18 hours per week receive coverage. The maximum waiting period for new employees is 30 days. Family coverage is available on the health benefits plan. Traditional medicine coverage; alternative medicine coverage; fertility treatment medications; employee assistance (EAP) plan; medical equipment and supplies; physiotherapy; massage therapy; travel insurance. The City's family-friendly benefits include: maternity top-up payments (to 95% of salary for 6 weeks); extended unpaid parental leave option (beyond the first year); onsite daycare centre; with 46 spaces; 14 childcare workers. The daycare centre is located across the street and is operated by the City Hall Child Care Society. The centre receives an ongoing subsidy (in the form of free rent, building upgrades and maintenance) and was built by the City with preference given the children of City employees. Depending on the position and employee group, additional family-friendly benefits include: flexible working hours; 35-hour work week (with full pay); shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay); compressed work week; telecommuting; earned days off (EDO) program; Some employees also receive compassionate leave top-up payments when called upon to care for a loved one.
Vacation & Personal Time-Off
The City of Vancouver's vacation and personal time-off are rated as average. New employees receive 3 weeks of vacation allowance after their first year. Vacation increases after 10 years on the job. Long-serving employees receive a maximum of 6 weeks of vacation each year. Employees receive 12 paid sick days every year. Employees can schedule 3 personal days off each year, as needed. Employees can also apply for an unpaid leave of absence. Depending on their employee group, some employees start at four weeks of paid vacation and receive additional paid personal days off.
The City of Vancouver's employee engagement program is rated as average. Employees receive individual performance reviews every 12 months. Managers receive training in how to conduct effective performance reviews. As part of the review process employees can provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance. Exit interviews are provided for departing employees. The City has a variety of performance management programs in place that vary from department to department and employee groups. The City of Vancouver hires an outside consultant to conduct confidential employee satisfaction and engagement surveys.
Training & Skills Development
The City of Vancouver's training and skills development program is rated as exceptional. Employees receive tuition subsidies for courses related to their position. Employees may also receive tuition subsidies for courses unrelated to their current position. The City also supports employees' ongoing career development through subsidies for professional accreditations; in-house apprenticeship and skilled trades programs; formal mentoring program; career planning services; in-house training programs; online training programs; online employee skills inventory; leadership training; and apprenticeship opportunities for automotive service technicians, auto body workers, blacksmiths, carpenters, commercial transport and heavy duty mechanics, machinists, millwrights, steel fabricators and electricians.
The City of Vancouver's community involvement program is rated as above-average. The City and its employees support a number of local and national charitable initiatives every year. Employees take part in the selection of charitable groups assisted each year. Employees receive paid time off to volunteer with their favourite charitable organizations. The City supports the annual United Way fundraising campaign through payroll deductions, allowing employees to make automatic contributions. In addition, employees also have the opportunity to serve as a United Way Campaign Chairperson or United Way Loaned Representative while still receiving full pay and benefits from the City. 2.53.
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