MNR cutting 140 staff across the provinceWednesday, August 14, 2013 by: Kate AdamsMNR Senior Media Relations Officer Jolanta Kowalski confirmed with BayToday that the Ministry of Natural Resources informed staff Tuesday that they are reorganizing field office structure, science functions and some corporate areas, in other words issuing layoff notices.
“The reorganization will result in a change in MNR staffing levels at some locations across the province. However, our three regional offices, all of our 25 district offices, 10 field offices and all of the ministry’s science facilities will continue to operate,” she notes.
Kowalski says the reason for the shake-up at the MNR is part of the three-year transformation plan, first communicated in the government’s 2012 Ontario Budget.
“We are moving forward with a reorganization of our field office structure, science division and some corporate areas. The reorganization of our field operations will result in MNR having about the same number of staff as we do now.”
She also notes that the move in not simply a driven financially but in part they need to reorganize in order to support a more efficient regionalized service delivery model to meet current and future business needs.
“MNR’s transformation plan is not just about cost savings. We are modernizing our business so that we can deliver on our mandate in a way that serves Ontarians better.”
Kowalski says they are issuing surplus notices to about 140 staff across the province.
“As a result of our reorganization, seven positions have been withdrawn from North Bay. However, over the course of the next few months, we also expect to fill 5 new and vacant positions in North Bay.”
The positions in North Bay affected by the restructuring are supervisory, administrative and resource specialists.
“Between new positions and filling vacancies, MNR will actually have more staff in our regional offices and about the same number in our districts, science and research program areas as we have now.”
“However, over the course of the next several months, we will be hiring approximately 270 staff to fill new and vacant positions.”
“The northeast region will see a net increase of 68 positions by April 1, 2014, when our reorganization is complete. Province- wide we will be hiring approximately 270 staff to fill new and vacant positions.”
Staff members who receive surplus notices now she says are encouraged to consider applying for the new opportunities that come up in the months ahead.
The regionalized service delivery model approach she says, means planning and decision making will be done out of the regional offices.
“District offices will continue to be the local face of MNR, responsible for local resource management, delivering operational programs and working with local stakeholders.”
“By shifting more planning and decision-making to the regional level, we can provide specialized planning services more efficiently and consistently. This is especially true where the resource we’re managing cross district boundaries.”
“We are also realigning our organizational structure to further integrate science-based decision-making throughout the organization. While we are changing the way we deliver our science and information functions, we remain committed to managing our natural resources based on the best available science.”