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October 27, 2017 6:35 pm

Northern Health, Canfor and UNBC all Named Top Employers

Thursday, March 9, 2017 @ 12:48 PM

Prince George, B.C.  Three major employers in northern B.C. have once again  made it  to the list of the  best employers in  the Province.

The list,  is the result of an editorial competition  conducted by MediaCorp  and assesses entrants  in 8 categories, a 1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time-Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement.

The  competition  for B.C. employers started in 2006  and for the  5th straight year,  Canfor Corporation  has  made it to the list.  Canfor is cited for:

  • encouraging lifelong learning with formal mentoring opportunities, subsidies for professional accreditation, in-house and online training and tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions
  • helping employees plan for life after work with retirement planning assistance and a defined benefit pension plan for the majority of its workforce
  • providing  free access to a shared -use onsite  fitness facility for  head office employees

Canfor is not the only  organization in the north  to  make it to the list more than once.  Northern Health  is  on the list for the third time,  while UNBC has now made it to the  list of B.C.’s best employers  for a fourth time.

Northern Health is noted for :

  • ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses both related and not directly related to their current position (to $750 annually), subsidies for professional accreditation as well as a variety of in-house training initiatives including mentoring and apprenticeship programs
  • supporting its new moms with maternity and parental leave top-up payments and also extends parental leave top-up payments to new dads and adoptive parents
  • helping employees plan for life after work through retirement planning assistance, phased-in work options for those nearing retirement, and contributions to a defined benefit pension plan

UNBC  was  recognized for:


  • helping employees balance their personal and working lives with a variety of alternative working options, including compressed and shortened work weeks, a 35-hour work week and an earned days off program — the majority of new employees start with 3 weeks of paid vacation with some employees starting with 4 weeks
  • making it easy for employees to continue their education — along with a full academic calendar, the university offers tuition subsidies for programs related and not directly related to their positions, as well as subsidies for professional accreditation and a variety of in-house training initiatives
  • supporting its new moms with generous maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 100% of salary for 52 weeks) as well as new fathers and adoptive parents (to 100% of salary for 35 weeks) — new parents can also take advantage of an onsite daycare centre when they are ready to return to work


The annual competition is open to  all  employers  in  British Columbia.  The winners  are featured in a special magazine published in the Vancouver Sun  today.  The full list of winners can be accessed here.


Northern health made the list..lol. How with over 200 on stress Leave how can it be anything but lousy? Just showed this list means nothing but a few businesses trying to toot their own horn..

It’s amazing what Northern Health and UNBC can accomplish with the deep pockets of the taxpayers at their disposal.

    Indeed. Employers have to pay to even be considered for this award.

Im sad the School district, the City of PG and the Regional District didn’t get prize.Better luck next year.

Anyone who has ever worked at UNBC knows that this award is a laughable mistake. Just ask the hundreds of UNBC employees who were on strike a while ago. And the hundreds or thousands more who have left UNBC in sheer frustration. Ridiculous!

It would be interesting to know where 250 News received (or how they interpreted) the 35h/week information for UNBC.

CUPE staff are, indeed, contracted at 35h/week, although in my observation many of them end up working substantially more than that to accomplish their duties.

Professors, senior lab instructors, librarians, etc. are not under a 35h/week contract. And that second group (referred to as “faculty”) – in the vast majority – put in well more than 35h/week in order to provide the teaching, research, and internal + external service that is expected of them. The same can be said for the upper administration who also put in far more time than that.

So, yes, there is some truth to the 35h/week claim. But it is not the full truth for a large number of UNBC employees. If the faculty and administration cut back to 35h/week, UNBC would not be the top-ranked university that it currently is.

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