TTC culture’s sour, report says
It’s not just a series of isolated incidents that have caused the TTC to lurch from one public relations nightmare to the next but a “culture that has become too accepting” of slacking off on the job, a TTC staff report states.
That same report, to be voted on at Wednesday’s monthly commission meeting, calls for the formation of a customer service advisory panel to help get the transit provider back on the rails.
“Our assessment of the events in recent weeks is that these matters are not just isolated incidents, but an indication of a culture that has become too accepting of performance that does not always meet expectations,” the report states.
In the past several weeks riders have been giving the TTC the TMZ treatment, with passengers using their cellphone cameras to capture ticket collectors sawing logs on the job as well as drivers taking their sweet time to attend to personal banking and coffee breaks.
“There’s a number of things short-, medium-, and long-term that we’d like to do on the customer service file that will help improve customer service for the TTC and its riders,” said TTC spokesman Brad Ross on Saturday.
“There’s some things that we can do fairly quickly and there’s others that will take time.”
Ross said that if supported by the commissioners, the advisory panel would likely consist of riders, management, customer service consultants, and possibly an official from another transit agency.
Ross also said that public consultations would take place and that ultimately the panel would draw up a riders’ bill of rights.
A recent, blistering memo from TTC chief general manager Gary Webster to the transit system’s 11,000 employees explained how he is “becoming increasingly tired of defending the reputation of the TTC, tired of explaining what is acceptable and what is not, and tired of stating the obvious, that much of the behaviour being reported is, indeed, unacceptable.”
Last week, TTC union boss Bob Kinnear lashed out at Webster for singling out frontline workers when he himself should be taking responsibility.
Webster “takes no responsibility for any management decisions that have adversely affected service and led to great customer dissatisfaction,” Kinnear said.
The report to be presented Wednesday says despite the “small percentage” of workers not meeting expectations of their employer or their customers, big changes still need to happen.