Harassment still a problem at London City Hall: report
Marek Sutherland, CTV London
Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019 6:58PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 13, 2019 9:14PM EDT
A stunning report has been released into workplace harassment at the City of London.
Of 3,800 current, and former, city employees invited to participate in survey, which started in the fall of 2018, 779 responded.
Among them, nearly half indicated they had experienced harassment, discrimination, bullying, intimidation and/or reprisal in the workforce.
The most commonly cited behaviour type was intimidation, including several people saying they were threatened with termination of employment based on disagreements or conflicts with their supervisors/managers.
London Mayor Ed Holder says the numbers certainly seem high.
"Discrimination and harassment has no place in the City of London workforce, and frankly in any workplace in our city or the country."
Over 24 per cent said they would not feel at all comfortable raising a complaint using the city's process, while six per cent said they would be extremely comfortable doing so.
Some of the reasons given were belief a complaint would make no difference, lack of trust in management, lack of information on the process and concerns over confidentiality
CUPE Local 101 President Steve Holland says, "We all want to make this better, we all want to make this a workplace free of harassment and discrimination. It should have started a long time ago, but we're starting now and we're moving forward trying to improve the lives for all of the employees."
In fact, in the report, several people said the situation within work areas have improved under current leadership.
Holder says, “The human resources manager has undertaken that he will accept, as do I, all of the recommendations of the report. And within three months they will be implemented. I think that's important, I think that makes a statement about how we feel about our employees."
City officials also acknowledge there is still work to do.
Several recommendations have been made in the report, including the establishment of an ombudsperson with a mandate tied to the contents of the revised policy.
Holland says he would like to see that person be independent, "I'm not sold on that, for me that's another management position. I would rather have a third party that's not beholden to the corporation."
The full report is on the agenda for Tuesday's Corporate Services Committee meeting.
It will also have to go through council before any of the recommendations can be officially adopted.