By TOM GODFREY
A record 1,853 human rights-related complaints were filed against the TTC last year by irate staff and riders, according to officials of the public transit system.
The complaints from unhappy staff, customers and service recipients are all examined, according to the TTC’s Annual Human Rights Office Report that was adopted by City Council for informational purposes at a meeting last week.
The complaints include allegations of workplace harassment, discrimination and workplace violence-related incidents.
Some 24 of the complaints were serious enough to be heard by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the report said. No outcomes of the cases were disclosed.
It said there was a three per cent increase in the number of complaints reported in 2013 over 2012.
The complaints led to 733 consultations with employees and service recipients, the document said. It stated there were 257 complaints filed with the City’s Human Rights Office and 100 grievances by employees or service recipients.
“Although there was a slight increase in the overall complaints reported, there continues to be a decline in complaints reported by TTC employees,” the report said.
“Overall, TTC Human Rights made considerable progress in 2013 in effectively addressing 1,853 workplace harassment, discrimination and/or workplace violence related complaints,” the annual update said.
The Human Rights Department is responsible for providing expert advice, investigating and developing a plan of dispute resolution to resolve complaints of harassment, discrimination and other behaviour.
“This is a downward trend that continues from 2012, and is indicative of successful efforts to promote respect and dignity in the workplace, and TTC’s zero tolerance policy for harassment, discrimination and violence,” the report said.
TTC officials said they try to resolve issues through dispute resolution methods rather than launching a formal probe, that they said is very expensive and time consuming.
Only 13 formal investigations were launched last year in regards to six allegations of discrimination; four for personal harassment; two for workplace violence and one for unprofessional conduct.
A spokesman for the TTC did not respond to a request for a comment on the report.
The TTC is Canada’s largest public transit system. It moves more than 450 million riders yearly and is one of the safest in the world.
“We place a high value on establishing a workplace where people are challenged and respected every day and we keep Toronto moving with a dedication to service,” TTC policy states.
The Commission spends millions of dollars on security and policing to make riders feel safe.
Meanwhile, the City of Toronto’s Human Rights Office, in its report that was released last week, said they incurred no penalties last year from the provincial bodies charged with hearing harassment and discrimination complaints.
City employees filed 101 discrimination grievances in 2013 and the most often cited grounds were workplace harassment and disability.
Complaint trends in the 35 applications filed by service recipients and employees to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario were similar to previous years: disability, race and sex related grounds.
The report provides information on harassment and discrimination complaints filed by employees and service recipients of the City of Toronto to the City’s Human Rights Office; the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and through the grievance, arbitration process.