Lewisporte student employment policy altered
Three-year terms lowered to two to provide more opportunity
Council and a town department head had differing opinions on the latest draft of the Town of Lewisporte student employment policy.
“Right now, the decision is made,” said Chris Watton, director of recreation and tourism for the Town of Lewisporte. “I’m going to abide by what council has decided. Regardless to my feelings or my perspective on it.”
Council passed a motion to lower the term of employment for students from a maximum of three years to two, with the exception of a situation where there is no suitable candidate to fill a position identified by the town. Watton made his case, to which he thought three-year employment opportunities were best, to no avail at the latest meeting of council on Tuesday, May 15.
“It was a decision of council, it’s policy,”
he told the Pilot May 16. “They felt two years was adequate, and that’s what we’ll go with.”
Watton noted at the meeting that he interviewed 15 students for positions with the town, and he said the number of applicants
is decreasing. He made reference to other central communities and their three-year terms, and said it has worked well in the past.
“We went with two years instead of three years,” said Mayor Betty Clarke. “I think from council’s perspective, there’s so many children in this town who didn’t get a chance to work during the summer program.”
Clarke added that students are often left out because of the three-year opportunity, and a lot of people get upset about it.
“We made the policy for two years, and that gives continuity with having two students,” she said.
The statement of purpose from the student employment policy reads, “The Town of Lewisporte is committed to providing employment opportunities that bridge school and work, enabling students to gain personal and professional skills while attaining responsibility.”
“If the time comes that we can’t get enough students, then we would hire someone back for the third year,” Clarke said. “But to be fair to everyone in town, we went with the two-year.”
Lewisporte Town Council passed a motion to lower the term of employment for students from three years to two at their latest meeting on May 15.