DND jobs un­filled at sup­port unit

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

OTTAWA — Na­tional De­fence is strug­gling to re­cruit staff — both uni­form and civil­ian — at oft-ma­ligned sup­port units for ill and in­jured sol­diers, as well as con­sid­er­ing a name change for the or­ga­ni­za­tion fol­low­ing a sober­ing in­ter­nal re­view. An as­sess­ment of the Joint Per­son­nel Sup­port Unit sys­tem was or­dered by the coun­try’s top mil­i­tary com­man­der last July and The Cana­dian Press has ob­tained a copy of the ac­tion plan that sets out to ad­dress the many prob­lems iden­ti­fied by a re­view team. The de­tailed plan deals with over 50 rec­om­men­da­tions made by the team and takes in ev­ery­thing from per­son­nel and re­port­ing struc­ture to client man­age­ment. One of the crit­i­cal is­sues is chronic un­der-staffing, which has led to sig­nif­i­cant turnover and burn-out among those try­ing to deal with a flood of med­i­cally un­fit sol­diers as­signed to 24 sup­port cen­tres and eight satel­lite lo­ca­tions across the coun­try. The ac­tion plan notes that sev­eral crit­i­cal po­si­tions have been va­cant for months, even though suit­able can­di­dates have been in­ter­viewed and se­lected. But all the mil­i­tary can do is urge the depart­ment to make hir­ing a pri­or­ity. An­der­son’s as­sess­ment is stark, point­ing out that on one base of 8,000 per­son­nel there is only one per­son man­ning the sup­port cen­tre where 160 in­jured sol­diers are posted.

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