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City Employees Come to Us Too

What Happened

In 2009, Mr. Y became one of 28 Toronto Urban Fellows (TUF) early-career professionals who received an intensive introduction to Toronto’s public service for one year. Each fellow has two six-month placements, chosen in a matching process that considers the fellow’s preferences and the assignments from the participating City divisions. Mr. Y received his first choice for the first placement but his ninth choice for the second. He believed the matching process was unfair and that TUF had not adequately addressed his concerns about the procedure.

What We Did

2009 was the first year of the program. The matching process included an informal networking session, job presentations, and speed interviews. For the first placement, fellows and divisions ranked their preferred projects or fellows from one to four. The TUF organizers found some limitations to this system and, for the second placement, asked everyone to rank all projects or fellows. Mr. Y expressed dissatisfaction with the matching process to the manager responsible for TUF. The manager gave Mr. Y advice and support by phone, email, and in person. We found that, out of the 13 options available, Mr. Y listed only three possible matches. Two other fellows were placed on projects they had ranked lower than ninth. All the fellows were repeatedly told there was no guarantee participants would receive their preferred placement or person.

The Result

We found that City staff used the matching procedure consistently and that it was fair. The manager had not ignored Mr. Y’s concerns about his placement. We wrote to Mr. Y, detailing what we had found and why we would be closing the file. We also wrote to the City Manager, telling him there was no unfairness.