Manitoba government employee survey shows fewer people satisfied with work

WINNIPEG — A new survey says less than 40 per cent of Manitoba civil servants feel as though they are valued employees.

The 2018 employment engagement survey shows a significant decline in the number of people feeling satisfied with their departments and their work since the last survey in 2015.

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Many employees in the survey say government changes and job insecurity have taken a toll on office moral.

But some employees did say they were treated respectfully and were clear about ethics at work.

Premier Brian Pallister says it's important to listen to employees.

He says the survey shows more work needs to be done.

"This is part of getting to a better place," he said Thursday.

"We inherited a mess. Going with the status quo when you are dead last is not a smart idea."

The province has already taken steps to address many of the concerns, he added.

NDP Leader Wab Kinew said employees they are not listened to and feel discouraged.

Freezing employee wages, an antagonistic relationship with the public sector and cutting programs has led to less government employees "buying in" to the mission set out for them, he said.

"Why are things so much worse now than they were a few years ago and why aren't they listening to the people working for Manitobans?" Kinew said.

The survey was answered by more than 7,000 employees — about half of the government workforce — between November and December 2018.

Fifty-three per cent of respondents agreed they were proud to tell people that they work for the Manitoba government, down from 62.7 per cent in 2015.

Less than half agreed they would recommend the government as a great place to work.

"Changes are necessary for things to function good, but it has taken a toll in office moral," said one employee comment in the survey.

Civil Service Commissioner Charlene Paquin said the results show workers want improved communication from senior officials and clearer processes for bringing new ideas forward. She said the feedback would be taken seriously.

Employees are largely concerned about job security and safety, said Michelle Gawronsky, president of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union.

"The workers, the frontline civil service workers, don't know whether they are going to come in tomorrow and have a job," she said.

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