Gotta say, I'm, not sure who to call... a mediator, a lawyer, or Chuck Norris.
Pictured above: The only mediator I'd ever trust.
The past 2 weeks have been exciting times in HR to say the least... Check out the long and information packed email I got from the THRPA today:
Dear THRPA Member,
Over the past few months, your Toronto Chapter Board of Directors has been working diligently in attempting to build a collaborative relationship with the HRPA board in order to ensure that your needs and rights as a member are effectively met. We have responded to all of HRPA’s requests throughout our discussions with them in a diligent and responsible manner.
Regrettably we must inform you that it has become clear that HRPA has no intention of working in a collaborative and professional manner. Your THRPA Board of Directors has been subjected to unfair reprisals as seen in the communications which HRPA has sent out to all THRPA members and now publicly communicated through media channels and to all other Chapters across Ontario.
It has become clear that we possess very different points of view on a number of fundamental issues including the very by-laws approved a by the Toronto Chapter. In addition we cannot support the newly proposed draconian regulatory legislation, namely, Bill 138. It was proposed in secret sessions and kept from members at large. We believe this law is simply not in the interests of our members, our profession or the people of Ontario.
Consequently, your elected Board of Directors has reached a serious impasse with the HRPA Board and management. We cannot continue to dedicate our time to an HR association that does not allow us to fairly and transparently represent your interests. We are reaching out to you, our members directly to bring our own transparency to this urgent situation. The statements made by HRPA regarding our financial matters are misleading. Your chapter has appropriately managed the financial matters of the organization and has not diminished the funds as depicted by the HRPA. Expenditures made by the chapter have all been focused and directed on investments that provide members with valuable programs and services. This includes: Mentorship Program, ACT, e-Learning, Professional Development events, Business Excellence Awards, Senior HR Forums, etc. We have not diminished our funds, we have invested them back to our members. Our financials are audited by an independent firm each year and have been approved by our members each year at the Annual General Meeting. HRPA has had no issue with the Statements in the past that have received the same Auditors opinion.
In response to the recent declarations from HRPA we have sent the following:
December 21st, 2010
To: HRPA Board of Directors
We are shocked and dismayed by your email of December 20. Your continued high-handed disregard of the members of our association speaks volumes as to your motivations. As a reminder, the Board of TPPA has been democratically elected by members of the HRPA. These are your members who have shown a desire to be part of a more localized organization, THRPA, in addition to HRPA. Our Board owes fiduciary duties to these members. Frankly, we are surprised that you do not seem to recognize your members’ direct and explicit desires.
You have scurrilously accused us of not acting in the best interests of our membership. We have addressed any and all of your concerns quite directly. The bylaws will be put to the THRPA members as we are required to do by our charter. Your suggestion that we do not have to do so is contrary to law.
Your statements about member engagement and financial matters are also misleading and written to manipulate our members as well as damage the professional reputations of the THRPA Board of Directors. With respect to your comment on the auditors’ statement, you have misled our members. As you know a “qualified review” is standard language that is used in any not-for-profit organization’s audit report. Furthermore, it is the exact same opinion that we have received every year in our audited statements since the inception of our corporation. We note that you that you have had no issue with the Statements in the past.
We refuse to accept your edict. We believe it to be illegal and outside your jurisdiction. We are presenting these matters to our members at a meeting called for this purpose on February 3rd, 2011. Until that time, it is the intention of our Board to serve its members in accordance with the mandate we have been given by them.
In addition, your privacy concerns are equally transparent and wrong. Our members are also members of TPPA Inc. which as you are well aware is a separately incorporated entity. We have every right, and indeed are obliged to communicate with them concerning matters that affect them. Again if you believe otherwise, we should canvass them. A step we would be eager to take.
On Behalf of the Toronto Human Resources Professionals Association Board of Directors
Some Background to The Dispute
The following is a brief background of the events that have transpired and lead up to this open letter to you. We have dealt with a number of difficult matters including, but not limited to the release of the Caprano’s video satire promoting violence in the workplace on You Tube last June, the Bylaw dispute, and finally the controversial Bill 138, Registered Human Resources Professionals Act, 2010. The full text of Bill 138, which received first reading on November 23rd, can be read at the following link: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=2436. We have also provided all THRPA members with a background document on Bill 138 which can be found at www.thrpa.com. This background is provided in the hope that you can “speak up” on your own behalf directly to HRPA and to us.
The Capranos Video: An embarrassment to our Profession
We have also reflected on the actions that HRPA took with respect to the “Capranos” video and the subsequent actions taken by HRPA to address the numerous concerns that THRPA and the majority of most of the chapters and many of our members had about the video. We promptly informed HRPA that we found the video to be offensive, disgraceful and unprofessional on many fronts, including: gender and ethnic stereotyping, the unflattering depiction of the HR profession and our members and that it totally disregards the recent efforts to keep workplaces safe and harassment free (Bill 168). This promotion of violence posted officially on the internet and advertised to Chapter Presidents as HRPA official communication was unacceptable. We were disappointed by the response and the subsequent efforts to rectify the situation.
Our Bylaws: You will lose your voice
On November 29th your THRPA Board of Directors met with the HRPA Board of Directors to discuss a number of issues including our Chapter bylaws. We believed we had reached an agreement with HRPA on November 30th and received written confirmation to this end. This included the acceptance of the HRPA crafted new chapter bylaws, which have since been posted on the THRPA website. These bylaws are subject to your approval at the Special Meeting scheduled for February 3, 2011. Subsequent to receiving confirmation on this agreement we received additional conditions from HRPA that have been imposed upon us and to which no other Chapter in Ontario is required to submit. These conditions violate our freedom of speech and are in contravention of the legal THRPA by-laws approved by our Chapter members and the legal foundation of Toronto Chapter (as established in 2004 as a rightful heir of PAT established in 1935). We are an incorporated entity registered as TPPA Inc. and as such you are also members of TPPA Inc. and have participated in Annual General Meetings of the corporation since 2004. We cannot accept these new conditions and professional reprisals, as we believe they limit the rights of the Toronto Chapter and its members to freedom of speech, employment without borders and expressing individual points of view. Nor can these conditions be reasonably met. HRPA has unilaterally imposed By-laws on THRPA which curtail the rights of the chapter and Toronto members. They are plain and simple not in the best interest of our members.
The THRPA Board of Directors was extremely disappointed by the manner in which HRPA decided to conduct the meeting on November 29th. HRPA had already decided BEFORE the meeting what the intended the outcome would be. This mischievous and egregious action cannot be accepted. We expected an open dialogue where we could explore our mutual interests for our members and the HR Profession, instead the HRPA Board of Directors threatened to remove us as your elected board representatives of THRPA if we refused to sign certain agreements immediately that evening. As HR professionals we would never advise our employers or clients to force anyone to sign a letter with these requirements and under duress. Why would HRPA dare to choose such an approach? We felt their actions were not merely disrespectful but potentially illegal. THRPA approved the new bylaws imposed by the HRPA and have submitted them to you, our members, for approval on February 3rd. However HRPA decided that we did not need member approval to pass the bylaws and hence decided to take action to remove us from our elected positions as your Board of Directors. We are simply following due process and diligence with respect to our governance responsibilities to our members. Their actions are not in the best interests of our members
New Draconian Legislation Bill 138: Power Grab Solution for a Problem that does not exist
With respect to Bill 138, we have not been involved in any consultation process with HRPA regarding the specific terms that are included in this alarming Bill. Members of the HRPA were not consulted prior to the First Reading of Bill 138 although there were representations to government officials by the HRPA board that they had done so. We do have concerns with many of the provisions in Bill 138 and we have not been afforded an opportunity to openly voice these concerns. December 3rd, ten days after the First reading at Queen’s Park, HRPA held a Webinar with Chapter Presidents and Chapter Government Liaison Directors. There was no opportunity to influence change of the current Bill. This is unacceptable and it is an offensive depiction of HR professionals who have not been provided with an opportunity to dialogue, consult and understand the serious limitations and implications of this Bill on their profession. Their actions are hurting our profession, yet we are denied an opportunity to speak.
We have dedicated ourselves to helping our fellow Human Resources professionals develop forums for growth, establishing connections to Business leaders, promote Professional Development and building strong professional networks across Toronto. We will continue to dedicate ourselves to this cause and explore all options to achieve this goal.
How You Can Help
We need to act now to protect our profession. Here is what you can do:
Write to the HRPA Board of Directors and let them be aware of your opinion regarding Bill 138 and the manner in which they have dealt with your elected Board of Directors.
Write to your MPP about your opinion on Bill 138.
Write to us at “TPPA.INC@gmail.com” with your opinion the above matters. We represent you!
We ask you for your continued support and feedback.
THRPA Board of Directors
I don't know about you, but I think the THRPA has brass balls like no other!
Personally I applaud the THRPA... They truly value themselves, the HR Profession, and have morals... what's not to love?
The present leadership has made me truly question the value of being a member of the HRPA, let alone my CHRP designation which is progressively becoming a national joke.
Anything we can do to stop the 'school yard' bully (and gestapo-like) tactics of the current HRPA leadership needs to be done.
As far as I am concerned, if we don't stop the cancerous growth on the HR Profession that is the current HRPA, the reputation of the entire profession in Ontario (perhaps Canada) is at risk.
I applaud the boldness of THRPA's decision to put up a good fight for what is the right choice and they have my full support!