Nepotism alive and well in YTG workers’ minds

Most Yukon government workers continue to believe that the hiring and promotion of their peers has more to do with favouritism than merit.

Most Yukon government workers continue to believe that the hiring and promotion of their peers has more to do with favouritism than merit.

That’s according to the latest survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid, in the pollsters’ fourth annual effort to measure morale in the territorial bureaucracy.

“Hiring is not consistent or fair,” wrote one respondent. “It is far more important who you know, not what you do.

“My supervisor often tries to manipulate things to (his/her) advantage and many decisions are not made with the well-being of everyone in mind. My supervisor is often away. I do not trust the department I work for.”

The territory’s Public Service Commission has puzzled over the perception that nepotism is rife within government since 2008. That year it conducted an audit, which found that “hiring processes were transparent, that candidates were treated consistently and fairly and that selection decisions were communicated properly,” according to a release. “There was 100 per cent compliance with merit.”

The real problem, the commission concluded, is poor communication within government about how hiring and promotions are handled.

Perceptions of nepotism have slowly declined over the past two years, according to the surveys.

In 2010, 41 per cent of respondents agreed that hiring is based on merit. That’s the same result as last year, and an improvement over 2008’s results of 32 per cent.

And this year 34 per cent of respondents agreed promotions are fair and free of favouritism. That’s up from 33 per cent last year and 30 per cent in 2008.

While these upward ticks are heralded as meaningful, the commission dismisses downward trends within departments as “not significant statistically.” Six departments saw their employee engagement scores drop over the past year, while five departments saw their scores rise and three held steady.

Policy wonks with the Public Service Commission and beancounters in Finance continue to report being happiest in government. Meanwhile, the Justice Department continues to be one of the gloomiest corners of government, joined this year by Highways and Public Works, which is tied for last place.

The Department of Tourism saw the biggest reported drop in morale, with its score falling eight points, to 55 per cent. Three other bodies saw six-point drops: the Yukon Workers Compensation Health and Safety Board fell to 68 per cent; Health and Social Services slumped to 60 per cent; and Economic Development tumbled to 54 per cent.

Engagement slumped two points in the liquor, lottery and housing corporations, to 58 per cent. Education also fell two points to 58 per cent. And Highways and Public Works dropped a point to 52 per cent.

Morale rose two points in Environment, to 69 per cent, and in Community Services, to 58 per cent. Engagement grew one point in Finance, to 73 per cent, and in Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs, to 72 per cent.

And morale remained stable at three departments: the Public Service Commission, at 74 per cent; Energy, Mines and Resources, at 66 per cent; and Justice, at 52 per cent.

Across government, the engagement score remained stable at 60 per cent, where it’s sat since 2008. That’s below the average engagement score of 66 per cent, found across other jurisdictions in Canada.

The survey’s response rate was 52 per cent, up one point from last year. A total of 2,454 employees participated, compared to 2,308 last year.

The survey cost $76,000.

Contact John Thompson at johnt@yukon-news.com.

Just Posted

Musician aims to help others with release of Yukon Lullaby for Mental Health

Community rallies to release Nicole Edwards’ latest work

Twenty-two people vie to buy two Arkell properties

The lucky winners two now have until May 5 to purchase lots

Conservative Northern Affairs shadow minister visits Whitehorse

Bob Zimmer was in the Yukon to speak to local business groups about the economy and challenges

YESAB extends public comment period for Kudz Ze Kayah mine project

The extension pushes the public comment period far beyond the 60 days provided in YESAB’s own rules

Police shouldn’t use ‘excessive force,’ Bagnell says regarding national resistance to B.C. pipeline

Yukoners have been pressing Bagnell to clarify his position on RCMP action in Wet’suwet’en territory

Yukonomist: Three questions on Yukon Zinc and China

The case heard recently in Yukon Supreme Court is particularly troubling

Commentary: Highway plans will negatively impact safety

The proposed Alaska Highway work will impact our safety, our communities and our environment.

Olivia Webster is the final musher to finish the Yukon Quest

‘I guess I’ve always been a grandpa’s girl and he’s my best friend, so I kind of wanted to be like him and so I did it’

Yukon’s Rob Cooke and company finish 10th in the 2020 Yukon Quest

Cooke and his 14 Siberians crossed the finish line at 9:07 a.m. on Feb. 15 in Whitehorse

Mailbox: Rendezvous and protests

Letters to the editor from Feb. 14

Lights Out Yukon Invitational Basketball Tournament bigger than ever in sixth year

“Honestly, it was the smoothest tournament I think we’ve run yet”

More Yukon Quest mushers reach finish in Whitehorse

Swedish musher Nora Sjalin is this year’s Rookie of the Year Award winner

History Hunter: Will Rogers and Wiley Post: Their historic visit to the Yukon

The story of the American pilot and the film star has a Yukon connection

Most Read