By David F. Rooney
City Council is asking the Columbia Basin Trust to alter its hiring policy to permit Revelstokians who win one of its job postings to stay in their community and work from a distance.
That seems like a no-brainer but the CBT has, as a general rule, balked at doing that in the past.
“Currently, most of the job postings for permanent positions with the Columbia Basin Trust require that the applicants work from one of the existing CBT offices that are located in Castlegar, Nakusp, Golden and Cranbrook,” Community Economic Development Director Alan Mason said in a report from the Social Development Committee to Council last Tuesday, July 22.
“Members of the Committee noted that this disadvantages Revelstoke residents who may wish to work for CBT. To gain employment with CBT, an organization that is supposed to serve all the residents of the Columbia Basin area, local residents have to leave the community if they wish to gain employment with CBT.”
Committee members noted that, with advances in technology, it is not necessary that employees of an organization like CBT work in a specific geographic location. In fact, they noted that one of the CBT senior managers was allowed to work from Vancouver for a lengthy period of time.
“So CBT is clearly able to accommodate staff working remotely,” Mason said.
Neil Muth, president and CEO of the CBT, said Monday, July 28, that he has not yet received Council’s letter but would have a response to make on Tuesday.
Yet nothing has happened.
Further to this previous Councils have, time and again, lobbied for the establishment of a CBT office in Revelstoke.
“As one of the communities most heavily impacted by the creation of the dams in the Basin area, previous Councils have always argued that a CBT office should have been set up here rather than in other communities that were less affected by the flooding,” Mason said.
All of this has been to no avail in the past. Regardless, Council voted unanimously to ask the Trust to either set up a local office in Revelstoke or to allow successful employment candidates from our city to work from their homes here rather than being forced to relocate.