Windsor

Diversity committee seeks to review hiring practices at the City of Windsor

The diversity committee of the City of Windsor is concerned there may be barriers in the hiring process at the city resulting in a workforce that doesn't reflect the diversity of the population.

Recommendation going to city council Monday

Outside Windsor's new City Hall. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

The diversity committee of the City of Windsor is concerned there may be barriers in the hiring process at the city resulting in a workforce that doesn't reflect the diversity of the population.

"We are of the opinion that we are under represented," said committee chair Peter Ijeh. 

Ijeh estimates only three per cent of the employees of the city are from diverse backgrounds.He believes the makeup should reflect the diversity of the city as a whole.

"We're trying to find a way to work amicably with the city to see how we can progress," said Ijeh.

Peter Ijeh is the chair of the city's diversity advisory committee. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Meanwhile, the president of CUPE 543 which represents inside workers at the city is not aware of any complaints that indicate a toxic work environment or problems with the hiring process.

"We feel that it's fairly inviting but we know we can always do better," said David Petten. "As part of this hiring practice review... is how to make it more inviting for new workers to come into the workplace."

Petten said the union supports a policy of  inclusion and welcomes any opportunity to work with the city to increase the diverse makeup of the work force.

"I do feel we should be reflective of the community and the diversity that exists there. I think it creates a stronger organization," he said.

CUPE Local 543 president David Petten. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Petten estimates as much as half the workforce will be eligible for retirement soon. He said the only impediments in the hiring practice he knows of at the moment are related to COVID-19. He said managers "have to make a case" for the  hiring of an employee before someone can be hired now.

Ijeh said a manager with the city's human resources department will make a zoom presentation to the diversity committee on Tuesday morning.

"We don't know what their agenda is yet. We don't know what their protocol is or what their methodology is," said Ijeh. "We'd like to learn from the human resources department and we can go from there."

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of.

(CBC)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dale Molnar

Video Journalist

Dale Molnar is an award-winning video journalist at CBC Windsor. He is a graduate of the University of Windsor and has worked in television, radio and print.

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