Manitoba Hydro to consolidate staff downtown
September 29, 2017
Workforce reduction spurs move from Taylor Avenue
Manitoba Hydro will relocate the majority of employees currently working at the utility’s 820 Taylor Avenue office at the Crown corporation’s downtown headquarters at 360 Portage Avenue.
Approximately 500 to 600 employees from the Taylor Avenue office building in south Winnipeg will be relocated, with most moving downtown to Manitoba Hydro Place by next June. A smaller number of employees will move from 820 Taylor to other Manitoba Hydro facilities in the Winnipeg region.
“We are continuing to review our operations and the way we do business to find synergies and savings,” Manitoba Hydro President and CEO Kelvin Shepherd said. “Bringing staff from 820 Taylor and 360 Portage together provides a number of benefits, including increased productivity with staff working in closer proximity to each other as well as the avoidance of significant capital costs we would face with refurbishing 820 Taylor to maintain it as a viable long-term office building.”
The 820 Taylor building will continue to house critical technology systems and infrastructure which would be costly and difficult to relocate, together with a small number of operations staff, but will be re-purposed to function primarily as a technical operations facility.
Shepherd said the availability of space at 360 Portage created by the corporation’s Voluntary Departure Program (VDP) was a key consideration.
Under the utility’s VDP last spring, 820 employees elected to leave the company, with the last of that number leaving by the end of January 2018. Manitoba Hydro has committed to reducing its workforce by approximately 900 positions and to pursue other ways to strengthen its financial performance.
Shepherd said having the majority of Winnipeg-based employees under one roof downtown is a positive move forward in aligning the corporation’s activities. Following the move, approximately 2,100 employees will work at Manitoba Hydro Place.
The utility expects to see annual operational and capital net savings of approximately $2.1 million, including avoided maintenance and other costs, through the amalgamation of staff. Given that existing office space and workstations at the 360 Portage office will be used for the move, a payback period of less than one year is expected.