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Working for the City of Toronto, ask me anything!

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[OP]
Newbie
Jan 27, 2016
28 posts
32 upvotes
Toronto, ON
raichu1 wrote:
Jan 29th, 2016 12:31 pm
Any tips on getting an interview for corporate services?
No sorry, I don't work in a corporate division, wouldn't have a clue...
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Jul 1, 2008
38 posts
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Toronto
CityWorker wrote:
Jan 28th, 2016 2:23 pm
1. The city usually does a mixture of temporary/permanent job calls, temporary doesn't mean that your position is lost after the contract expires, it is a standard practice that your contract gets renewed without much thought, there are workers that have been employed for over 5 years that have been temporary before they transition over to permanent; to become permanent you just have to submit your application and if you have worked in that position for over a year and qualify, they just transition you over. Its all based on seniority, and your seniority (hours) carries over with you wherever you've worked in the city. For permanent workers, your seniority is calculated by number of years rather than hours.

2. Standard unionized workers do not get bonuses, normally one gets hired starting at the lowest of 3 wage grades that go up every year until you max out, every unionized person works hourly, only managment is paid by salary. Job performance monitoring is usually done regularly, its not very formal in that they just monitor your work throughout the year, once you are initially hired you usually get a 3 month and 6 month performance review, after that if you pass probation you are pretty much set. Its good and bad, in that there are many workers that are quite sub-par, and there is little no to accountability for this.

3. It's hard to tell until negotiations start for a new contract, we are currently in negotiations, and most people fear we will go on strike, its hard to say as the union is very hush-hush about things so they dont slip out into the media so they don't lose leverage. Hiring is mainly based on the city council and operational need, firing and turnover is almost unheard of, the union makes sure of that.
Would you know if this also generally applies in the IT department? I see numerous postings for "Temp, Full-time" ie. 12-24mths. Do they usually extend the term and/or transfer to permanent?
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Sep 21, 2004
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antone wrote:
Jan 29th, 2016 8:55 pm
Would you know if this also generally applies in the IT department? I see numerous postings for "Temp, Full-time" ie. 12-24mths. Do they usually extend the term and/or transfer to permanent?
That happens with a lot of government jobs. Permanent positions are hard to get and they are very likely to be grabbed by an internal candidate. If you want a permanent government position, you most likely have to start with a temporary position. Internal candidates are always chosen over external ones when both are equally qualified.
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Apr 22, 2005
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CityWorker wrote:
Jan 29th, 2016 8:48 pm
I read your post in the other thread, that sounds very bizarre for a interview with the City of Toronto, in my division, the interview was all situational questions, what would you do scenarios... The city usually does a screening, then a written test, then the job interview, the interviews are usually a panel of 2 or 3 people.
It was definitely city of Toronto for an Ontario Works Caseworker position. I worked for years with Employment Ontario (MTCU) funded agencies ... Ontario Works Caseworker positions were the holy grail for anyone working with third party partners. I was super excited to get called in for the competition, imagine my surprise when I got there.

I'd never seen a screening process so bizarre. I can only hazard a guess they wanted to cut down the vast numbers that applied and the next step would have been the regular interview process you are describing.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 27, 2016
28 posts
32 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Bamelin wrote:
Jan 29th, 2016 10:59 pm
It was definitely city of Toronto for an Ontario Works Caseworker position. I worked for years with Employment Ontario (MTCU) funded agencies ... Ontario Works Caseworker positions were the holy grail for anyone working with third party partners. I was super excited to get called in for the competition, imagine my surprise when I got there.

I'd never seen a screening process so bizarre. I can only hazard a guess they wanted to cut down the vast numbers that applied and the next step would have been the regular interview process you are describing.
How long ago was this?
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Apr 22, 2005
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2012 I believe.

2012 or 2013 ... It's been a few years now for sure. I think 2012.
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Mar 18, 2005
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antone wrote:
Jan 29th, 2016 8:55 pm
Would you know if this also generally applies in the IT department? I see numerous postings for "Temp, Full-time" ie. 12-24mths. Do they usually extend the term and/or transfer to permanent?
In Government, the funding is sporadic. The Province will supply regional / city governments with funding for a set period of time for a major project. That is why there are so many timed positions. Like mentioned below, positions will be filled with internal employees when possible, even if it's a non-union position they will tend to try and hire from within first.
Newbie
Jan 29, 2016
2 posts
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East York, ON
I had testing and panel interview for admin temp job months ago. I was told I was successful at both and would be placed in a pool. Now a short term job's come up, I'm available and HR have asked me to come for a "meet and greet". What is this?
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Sep 27, 2003
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Earth
Hiring internally over external candidates is actually part of a provision in the collective agreement between the City and the Union. Its not that they "tend to" hire internal candidates over external but they "have to".
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416_guy wrote:
Jan 30th, 2016 1:17 pm
Hiring internally over external candidates is actually part of a provision in the collective agreement between the City and the Union. Its not that they "tend to" hire internal candidates over external but they "have to".
I was talking about hiring for non union positions. There is no such stipulation for non union jobs, but they do still tend to hire from within, especially for lower end non union jobs.

I'm not sure what Toronto is like but almost all of our I.T. positions are non union now.
Newbie
Jan 26, 2016
15 posts
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East York, ON
Oh, you are in here now! Hi, I'm the OP from the other thread.

I wanted to know how you were contacted? Email/Phonecall? What pre screening consisted of? How long the application/hiring process was? How the work environment is, in terms of colleagues? Any competitiveness/backstabbing? And what the turn over rate is? Do people only stay short term?
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Sep 2, 2010
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When working at the City are things black and white, or does the political climate determine what is black and what is white?
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Mar 18, 2005
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Can't speak for the city of Toronto but I bet most city / regional municipalities are similar
Sighnomore wrote:
Jan 30th, 2016 6:08 pm
Oh, you are in here now! Hi, I'm the OP from the other thread.

I wanted to know how you were contacted? Email/Phonecall? What pre screening consisted of? How long the application/hiring process was?
The first part is may be different than Toronto, but for me I was contacted via phone and it took approximately 6 months to get hired. I had two separate interviews and the only real screening I had was to prove my education.
How the work environment is, in terms of colleagues? Any competitiveness/backstabbing?
Work environment at the Government is generally very good. There is lots of recognition and managers will give you lots of praise. It can get catty amongst people stuck in the office but I think far much less so than other places I have worked
And what the turn over rate is? Do people only stay short term?
This changes greatly between divisions imo. I've found with the Public Health and Public Works division there is very little turnover. Many of the Public Health positions require special schooling, and I'm not sure what else there is in the terms of work besides Government, so once somebody gets in, they tend to stay. However, I've seen massive turnover in I.T. Some of it had to do with getting new management who was finally willing to push out people who clearly did not have the technical abilities to be in the position they are in. Some of it has to do with the pay not being good enough, so talented people can move on. The pay also leads to other problems imo. I find lower skilled positions get paid very well, but highly technical positions do not and therefore it is difficult to attract good talent and retain them in those positions. A lot of people who are not great at their jobs, but adequate stick around forever, some of them causing more harm than good in the long run.
eager beaver wrote:
Jan 30th, 2016 6:18 pm
When working at the City are things black and white, or does the political climate determine what is black and what is white?
For 90% of the workers, the job is the job and city council has little power over that. Many of the tasks of the jobs are governed by the Province so council can't really do much about it.
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Apr 24, 2016
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CityWorker wrote:
Jan 28th, 2016 10:55 am
I have been working with the City for a little while now, I know a lot of you are interested in knowing the benefits and work style of government versus private, feel free to ask me anything and I'll answer if I can!
Hey, question for you.. I already had my interview with the city for the caseworker position and references were completed as well but I have not heard back from them yet. It's been a week.. Should I be concerned? any idea?
Newbie
Apr 24, 2016
4 posts
4 upvotes
CityWorker wrote:
Jan 28th, 2016 10:55 am
I have been working with the City for a little while now, I know a lot of you are interested in knowing the benefits and work style of government versus private, feel free to ask me anything and I'll answer if I can!
Hi I am not sure if you would know this but worth asking.. So, I have been interviewed for the case worker's position and references has been checked a week ago. I haven't heard back from them yet. My interview was about 10 days ago. is it typical for them to take their time or should I be worried that I am not selected for the position? any suggestions?

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