Staffing and Inclusion: Staff Changes Follow Up Information

General Secretary

The following updates have been published to share further information about staffing changes:

Following on the recent announcement about upcoming changes to our staffing structure, this post provides further information and clarity with respect to the changes to human resources and inclusion staff functions. The post begins with a set of bullet points for easier reading, followed by more descriptive text.

  • A new position titled Director of Staffing and Inclusion which reports to the General Secretary is being raised up.
  • The position is expected to have four primary areas of responsibility:
    • Administrative needs for the employee lifecycle: including hiring, performance reviews, exit interviews, and onboarding tasks like arranging for email, computers, and copier codes.
    • Employee relations: supporting relationships between employees and between employees and supervisors, as well as offering consultation, facilitation, and resolution strategies for workplace issues.
    • Nurturing a culture of inclusion in the staff regarding anti-oppression work in racism, sexism, homophobia, and other threats to equal opportunity.
    • Administrative and skill-building support for PYM Councils’ work on nurturing a culture of inclusion, as needed or desired.
  • The position will supervise the Office Administrator who will manage the day-to-day needs of the office.

The Director of Staffing and Inclusion will carry some of the responsibilities of a traditional Human Resource position, and will have primary responsibility for supporting the staff work on anti-racism and inclusion.

Our staff is striving and struggling to move toward being a workplace that multicultural and rejects any form of racism. We started on the journey with most of us not really knowing what it would mean, and staff members have each had experiences, challenges, and learnings about it.  The next step in doing the work is hiring a staff person whose job holds the responsibility for keeping us moving forward.  The following is a partial list of things that were identified as important in this position in several conversations with a small group of staff who are particularly concerned and knowledgeable about racism, as well as a longer discussion with all staff:

  • Focusing on all kinds of inclusion and social diversity, not only around race.
  • Deeply understanding the structural aspects of racism
  • Making sure training provides us the skills we need.
  • Creating possibility and atmosphere to build on skills we have.
  • Giving the position the right amount of authority to be effective.
  • Maintaining a correct balance between traditional HR work and the inclusion work. Both are important to staff.

This position will serve on the senior leadership staff team and report directly to the General Secretary. The job description still needs to be written, and suggestions from staff and PYM Friends are welcome.  The position, once approved by Personnel Committee, will be posted, and an open search will be conducted. This position is very new, and the work is complicated, so I want to cast the search as wide open as possible.  Current staff are encouraged to apply if they want to explore stepping into this role.  

At my first staff meeting as General Secretary, I told staff that we would be focusing as a staff community on anti-racism. One of the things I’ve learned so far is how important it is for us to have ongoing, in-house, dedicated support for anti-oppression work. The Director of Staffing and Inclusion position provides this support while also caring for staff and community life.  

Christie Duncan-Tessmer
PYM General Secretary