Tag Archives: Amorosi

Questions for city human resources director Mark Amorosi

In a recent column in the Mercury, Corporate and Human Resources Executive Director, Mark Amorosi, wrote justifying spending $150,000 for attendance management software. The purpose was to reduce the increasing number of sick days being taken by city employees.

It is apparent that this puff piece was aimed at convincing citizens that positive results would be achieved using the software.

Trouble is his column presented a long-winded explanation about how well the city treats its employees instead of answering specifics.

In my managerial days, performance was measured every day. Sure people get sick or hurt, but it’s up to the individual’s manager to keep records and reasons on each employee for which he is responsible.

Employees goof off for a variety of reasons. It’s up to the manager to keep track and take the necessary steps to reduce frivolous absence. That’s his or her job.

In the public interest, guelphspeaks asks the following questions about employee absenteeism:

* Is the $150,000 attendance software markedly going to improve employee attendance?

* What was the cost to taxpayers for employee absenteeism in 2011?

* What were the overtime costs incurred due to absent employees in 2011?

* Is there a record kept by all department heads to determine the cause of employee absence and the frequency?

* If such a record is kept on every employee, what are the triggers that alert management to excessive absenteeism?

* How much does it cost to counsel employees when their attendance record becomes excessive?

* What is the source of “professional benchmarks” that established less than nine days per employee?

* Are city standards of safety in the workplace not designed to avert accidents?

* What is the rate of outside workers’ absenteeism compared to inside workers?

* Are some managers too close to their staff to effectively control absenteeism and its effect on performance?

* Are sick leave benefits so generous as to affect the rate of absenteeism?

* When an employee books off sick is it a requirement to supply a doctor’s note certifying the illness or injury?

* Does the city’s People Practices Strategy serve the community first, then the employees and then the organization, in that order?

Is there a culture of entitlement shared by city staffers?  It’s time for senior managers to review the situation and solve the problem in a more conventional manner.

That’s just not complicated.

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Let them eat chocolate almonds at the Cutten club

If you ever wonder how our elected officials use public money to entertain themselves and their guests, look no farther than the Mayor’s office.

Seems the Cutten Club is the watering hole for politicians and senior staff. Apparently it is a favourite of Mayor Karen Farbridge whose favoured treat are chocolate almonds.

Didn’t Marie Antoinette spout the famous phrase that led to her ignominious end during the French revolution: “Let them eat cake!”

Here we are three centuries later with a Mayor who exercises her power to the extent that voters are treated with disdain while she munches on chocolate almonds.

But I digress.

Recently Mark Amorosi, Executive Director of Human Resources and Legal Services, notified a Guelph blogger that the city would no longer respond to requests for information from “any personal blog website.”

Amorosi went on to say that the city interacts with “legitimate media outlets” that follow the Ethics Guidelines of the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ).

So now Mark Amorosi is the propaganda minister of Guelph. He decides what and who will have access to the public record. He is judge, jury and executioner of the public’s right to know.

It appears that while Amorosi used the CAJ as the benchmark of who should have right of access to public information, he couldn’t have read the Ethics Guidelines. If he had he would have read the following:

“News organizations- including newspapers, websites, magazines, radio and television – provide forums for the free interchange of information and opinion. As such we (CAJ) seek to include views from all segments of the population.”

“Personal online activity, including emails and social networking should generally be regarded as public and not private.”

Gerry Barker edits guelphspeaks. I am a taxpaying resident of Guelph who has spent most of my life as a professional journalist.

Now I wonder if Judge Amorosi will approve my blog as a “legitimate media outlet” and have access to the public records.

Not that I would ask Mark Amorosi for anything given his track record of stonewalling, lying by omission and bending the facts.

This all started with a simple request from a fellow blogger for the travel expenses incurred by Coun. Maggie Laidlaw on a trip to Italy allegedly on behalf of the city.

You already know the outcome of that request.

Judge Amorosi has spoken. The city will not respond to any request for information unless you are on the  “legitimate outlet “ list.

What are they afraid of? Why this ham-handed attempt to muzzle legitimate commentary about a publicly funded city government?

So much for the Farbridge promise of transparency in her administration. That promise went off the rails five years ago.

This not the end of the beginning, it is the beginning of the end.


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