DND jobs unfilled at support unit
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.