Nova Scotia

Survey shows most HRM staff feel workplace isn't 'emotionally healthy'

The results show that while 79 per cent of surveyed employees are satisfied with their job overall, one in five feel their work is too stressful.

The head of the Halifax Transit union says the results aren't surprising

One union president says the survey's results confirm the 'toxicity' of Halifax Transit. ( Robert Short/CBC)

The president of the union representing Halifax Transit workers is not surprised by the results of a recent employee survey

"We're dealing with the highest turnover ever," said Ken Wilson. "We're seeing managers leave, entry-level supervisors leave and entry-level bus drivers leave. It's the worst it's ever been."

Just over 61 per cent of the municipality's overall workforce — 2,197 employees — took part in the survey this past May.

The results, released Thursday, show that while 79 per cent of employees surveyed are satisfied with their job overall, one in five feel their work is too stressful. Only 48 per cent think their work environment is "emotionally healthy."

Past troubles

Earlier this year, a Nova Scotia human rights board of inquiry examined what it called "aggressive racism" at Halifax Transit's bus garage in Burnside. The board's ruling, released May 29, found the municipality was liable for what took place.

"I think this survey is another piece of the puzzle that shows the toxicity of Halifax Transit and other business units," said Wilson.

Only 17 per cent of those surveyed believe the municipality is committed to them while 35 per cent feel well-informed about HRM's plans. Just 48 per cent are confident in the job being done by senior managers.

Action plans recommended

The survey, which was done by Corporate Research Associates, compared Halifax's results to other employee surveys in Atlantic Canada. According to the researchers, the municipality was below average in almost every area.

The report recommends HRM create action plans to respond to the concerns raised by the survey.

About the Author

Pam Berman


Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to