Statement by TCHC Board Chair Tim Murphy
TORONTO, September 25, 2020—Tim Murphy, Chair of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) Board of Directors, delivered the following statement at today's board meeting.
In December 2017, the Ombudsman brought to our attention and that of TCHC Management complaints received from TCHC employees. At that time, Rubin Thomlinson was retained by TCHC to investigate these complaints and to provide recommendations on TCHC's human resources practices and policies.
In October 2019, TCHC released the complete summary report prepared by Rubin Thomlinson. The summary report identified that there were instances where the treatment of employees and former employees was found to be unfair. These findings are not to the standard that TCHC employees should expect of their employer.
On behalf of the corporation, the Board apologizes to all those employees and former employees whose treatment by TCHC was found to be unfair. The Board accepts the findings of Rubin Thomlinson that there was lack of trust in the Human Resources Division. And the Board accepts there were serious breaches of fairness in the treatment of employees by Human Resources and we apologize to those employees.
TCHC employees deserve to work in a trusted and safe environment where they are treated fairly. The Board is absolutely committed to rebuilding trust between TCHC management and employees through the ongoing review of human resources practices and policies, and we are committed to building a strong and healthy culture.
In response to the recommendations from the Rubin Thomlinson report, TCHC has made a number of changes to its human resources policies and practices, including a Workplace Harassment Program and a new procedure for employee complaints which were implemented in 2018.
More recently, TCHC has taken the following steps to further respond to these recommendations:
- Clear human resources policies and programs that support a positive culture and provide a clear process for those employees who have concerns.
- A reorganization that gives power and decision-making authority to those closest to tenants.
- Development and implementation of TCHC's Culture Model, focused on building a healthy and performance-based culture.
- A streamlined management structure.
The Board continues to provide close oversight to this issue and has directed the CEO to bring back to the Board, by December 31, 2020, a report that outlines a Human Resources Plan with actions to meet the highest standards of performance and that builds a culture of trust, fairness and safety. The Board has referred the matter of the potential establishment of a Professional Standards Unit to the Governance, Communications and Human Resources Committee.
The Board has also directed management to revise the appropriate workplace investigation policies in order to provide direction in relation to those exceptional circumstances in which an employee, subject to an investigation, would not be provided with advance notice of the allegations against them and to provide that such decisions would be made in consultation with either or both the General Counsel and the President and Chief Executive Officer.
Through this process, we have learned much as an organization and while there is more to be done, the Board believes these changes and this apology are positive and crucial steps forward in building a culture of trust, fairness and safety for TCHC employees.
About Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing (www.torontohousing.ca) is Canada's largest social housing provider. We provide homes for nearly 60,000 low- and moderate-income households in neighbourhoods across the city.