Few civil servants following jobs to rural Nova Scotia
Most transfer to other government departments in Halifax
The Nova Scotia government's decision to move jobs out of Halifax has created some movement, but only a fraction of the affected civil servants are set to follow their jobs out of the city.
Kelliann Dean, Nova Scotia's Public Service Commissioner, said of the 121 jobs relocating, 23 people have agreed to follow that work out of the city.
Most of their colleagues have gone to other government departments in Halifax while 18 have been bought out and two workers quit.
Dean said there are still 10 government workers in limbo whose jobs are slated to move but they don't want to. The province is still working to find them other jobs.
"All in all, we were able to make it work for people based on their preference," said Dean.
Last spring, Premier Darrell Dexter's government announced it planned to move dozens of civil service jobs out of Halifax and relocate department head offices to rural parts of the province.
Jobs with the maintenance enforcement program at the Department of Justice are moving to New Waterford, while positions with the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture are going to Digby and Shelburne and Department of Agriculture jobs move to Truro-Bible Hill.
Dexter has said it makes sense to have such offices close to related industries.
Although the decentralization was supposed to be finished in July, Dean said staff with the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Digby and Shelburne won't be in their permanent homes until the fall.
The new offices of the provincial Department of Tourism in Windsor won't be open until the end of the year.
"It has taken a while to get people placed and to make sure that people are in the positions and to hire into the new positions but it's all settling out," said Dean.
The move has opened up 98 government jobs in rural communities, most of which have already been filled.
Dean said the province has planned for the potential loss of work experience.
"I think in any job in government, if you're losing someone very, very senior who's held a position like that and has a real area of expertise, you know there's a risk," she said.
"What we try to do is mitigate that risk by making sure that we're training people along the way or that we have people to build succession in afterwards when really senior people with lots of experience leave."
Government documents showed the province had pegged the original cost of relocating close to 100 people at between $1.5 and $2.4 million.