Thursday, February 3, 2011

Toronto City Staff Require a Policy In Order to Answer Their Phones?

You know you're getting screwed as a Toronto taxpayer when it takes the implementation of a Customer Service Policy in order to get your Toronto City Hall Staff to actually answer the phones at their desks...

Thanks again former Toronto Mayor David Miller for creating such a horrifying culture of laziness, uselessness and entitlement with our Municipal bureaucrats that they essentially have to be forced to do their jobs.

Here's the story from The Globe and Mail:

Watchdog knocks Toronto for keeping customer-service policy under wraps
Toronto’s ombudsman is slamming the city’s public service for failing to make public basic information such as its customer-service policy and how to lodge formal complaints with every department.

After releasing her annual report Wednesday, Fiona Crean said she was “flummoxed” that the city refused to publish customer-service standards that are currently available on an internal website.

Those guidelines instruct employees in basic courtesies such as returning calls within 24 hours, putting an out-of-office notification on e-mails when on vacation and, “if you’re at desk, answer your telephone.”

The report also indicates that only 76 per cent of city divisions had posted a description of their complaint process to the web – a 32-per-cent increase from the beginning of the year, but still short of 100 per cent.

“I’m very concerned that those are not complete yet,” Ms. Crean said. “I saw both of these recommendations as being simple and straightforward, particularly the [customer-service standards] because the customer-service standards are posted on the internal website.”

Ms. Crean said she is impressed with the municipal government’s renewed focus on customer service since Mayor Rob Ford took office.

“I believe that since the new administration has come into place, there’s been a much more concerted effort,” she said.

Unfortunately it seems like the stench of David Miller is still running rampant down at City Hall.

Can you believe that at the beginning of the year, only 44% of city divisions had published their formal complaint process on the web???

By the way, did you also notice how as soon as Rob Ford came into office, suddenly 32% of city divisions did post the process?? Yes, yes...

And even when the situation at City Hall is so utterly disgusting, the staff still have the guts to try and continue with their "merit pay plan", if that's what you want to call it... Did you hear about that one?

Here's the story from the Toronto Sun:
City’s merit pay plan is a farce
Toronto’s employee and labour relations committee Tuesday made a long overdue recommendation to scrap the city’s existing merit pay plan.

For starters, this long-standing and bizarre pay scheme for managerial and non-unionized staff at City Hall isn’t actually merit pay.

Not in the common sense way most people define the term as a reward for exceptional job performance and thus, by definition, rare.

In the Alice-in-Wonderland world of City Hall, eligible staff get merit pay increases, in addition to regular salary hikes, almost automatically — for what is bureaucratically described as “satisfactory” job performance.

As Coun. Doug Ford, who grilled staff about their proposal to retain the pay plan as is, noted: “In the real world, if you’re satisfactory, your bonus is you keep your job.”

Even the city has previously admitted its merit pay plan is not actually based on merit and more closely resembles the pay grid unionized staff climb the longer they do a job.

Prior to the committee’s recommendation to council that merit pay be completely overhauled, an outside consultant hired by the city and a blue ribbon panel of advisors appointed by the former mayor, recommended the same thing.

As Coun. Peter Milczyn noted, the existing system is broken and doesn’t give taxpayers value for money.

We suggest scrapping merit pay, period, and paying people what they’re worth — mindful that a 2008 study by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found Toronto municipal employees earned an average 11.6% more than comparable private sector workers, with better benefits.

Wow, "paying people what they're worth"... Who'd a thought of such a concept??


(Image: by santaz_elv on flickr


aliengoo said...

Sadly,it's not just Toronto's bureaucracy. It's S.O.P.,both the Ontario,and Canadian government have a stellar bad customer service record. Only once did it appear to matter,with MP Baird's office. Fellow tax payers,record your government calls since they won't for "quality assurance!"

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