Photo: Paul Chiasson, The canadian Press
Hydro-Québec considers that it should nevertheless be able to realize efficiency gains this year because it now has greater flexibility.
The invoice for extra time has increased for a third consecutive year at Hydro-Québec, up to 164,6 million in 2018, while the whims of mother Nature, have been more severe than usual.
This increase of $ 13 million, or 8.6 %, has been very lucrative for certain employees of the State company, which have more than tripled their salary, indicate data obtained by The canadian Press.
Thus, a chief editor has been able to touch a pays a total of 272 079 $, while his base salary was 81 597 $ last year. This person has made enough extra time to receive close to 156 730 $, as well as various bonuses of 33 754 $.
In regards to the workers of business at Hydro-Québec, six of the ten highest paid employees are persons assigned to the assembly lines, which, according to Hydro-Québec, is attributable to the vagaries of the weather.
“We had 4500 outages more (for a total of 24 478) to deal with last year and the 16 days of major events compared to eight in 2017,” said a spokesman for the Crown corporation, Louis-Olivier Batty, during a phone interview.
Since the teams of Hydro-Québec have made extra time so that they would lend a strong hand to the outside, a sum of 2 million should be recovered, he added.
Not surprisingly, events such as the tornado that caused significant damage to Gatineau last September, as well as the large storm that swept over the Islands of the Madeleine explains part of the increase.
The violent storms which had deprived some 60 000 households in the south-west of the province at the end of August as well as the high winds have affected more than 100,000 customers last October have also been expensive.
In total, the weather events are more severe have cost $ 9 million in overtime.
“Is it that we see a trend ? We do not know, said Mr. Batty. But clearly, 2018 was a year of quite significant events severe weather. When there are outages, the priority is the recovery time. We want to control our spending, but there is a race against the clock. “
All in all, the tornado of Gatineau has represented expenditures of approximately $ 5.5 million for Hydro-Québec, primarily for the extra time and equipment to repair the damage.
Network and distribution
For 2018, nearly half of the 164 million paid in overtime was paid to the side of Hydro-Québec Distribution, a division responsible for the maintenance of the network.
Excluding workers skilled in the art, such as line-men, this is, once again, a dispatcher, responsible for the management of the network, which has been the best paid in the company State — with the exception of executive officers — with total compensation of 321 823 $.
To his base salary of 118 798 $, it is necessary to add 172 711 $ in extra time and $ 30 374 – $ various bonuses.
If the weather conditions can influence the amounts paid in extra time, Hydro-Québec considers that it should nevertheless be able to realize efficiency gains this year because it now has greater flexibility.
This is due to the signing of seven collective agreements with its employees in the course of the last year.
“For editors, for example, we have been able to reorganize work schedules, said Mr Batty. The third of the teams work more hours during the day, but for four days per week. This allows us to perform work in the evening. “
The spokesperson of the State company added that the easing will also ensure that maintenance work normal can be done in the evening and on weekends without paying overtime.
With over 19 900 permanent and temporary employees, Hydro-Québec, which attempts to control the size of its workforce, also believes that the extra time allows you to avoid hiring staff who may be less likely to be put to work outside of peak periods.
Overtime paid by Hydro-Québec
— 2015 : eur 131.1 million
— 2016 : 132 million
— 2017 : 151,5 million
— 2018 : 164,6 million