Toxic climate established by the president: the OCPM calls on an external firm to clean up

Toxic climate introduced by the president: the OCPM calls on a firm to do housework

and Dominique Cambron-Goulet MISE & Agrave; DAY

The Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) calls on an external firm to manage a crisis related to allegations of a toxic work environment.

This action follows allegations against the new president, Isabelle Beaulieu, which in recent days have led to difficult crisis management and an internal investigation “resembling witch hunts”, according to our sources.

The OCPM is an independent organization funded by the City of Montreal to consult the population on various issues.

The Office has been experiencing an internal crisis since allegations of a toxic climate at the Office began to circulate in the media. This climate would have been established with the arrival in office of the new president, Isabelle Beaulieu, in February 2022. The newspaper Métro has also published an article on the subject.

We also spoke separately with four sources last week who painted a less than complimentary picture of the situation at the OCPM.

According to our sources, Ms. Beaulieu would not hesitate to speak behind the backs of employees in front of other colleagues. source.

“The climate has become unhealthy and toxic quickly,” another told us. It was childish micromanagement.

Nearly half of the organization's dozen full-time employees have left in the past year.

Several tell us about painful exchanges with the president. “You always have to say yes to everything and it's impossible to discuss,” says another source. 

When this person, still on probation, confided in his superior about his relationships difficulties with the president, she would have been shown the door. However, it had received a positive evaluation shortly before.

“Not my style at all”

The president, Isabelle Beaulieu, with whom Le Journal spoke, denied the information. /p>

While she acknowledged that the Office was in a period of transition, which involves several changes, she completely denies having intimidated employees or contributing to a toxic climate.

“ It's not my style at all,” said Ms. Beaulieu.

Regarding the many departures, Ms. Beaulieu affirms that there has always been a high turnover at the Office, adding that there is nothing abnormal or worrying.

Last week, the Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, spoke of allegations that should be “taken seriously” and wanted light to be shed on this story.

An investigation launched

In the wake of recent revelations, Ms. Beaulieu has launched an internal investigation.

At her request, the general secretary, Guy Grenier, began meeting individually with each employee for two hours. The latter had to bring any document or provide any information that could be useful to the investigation.

Employees also had to sign a confidentiality agreement. Mr. Grenier assured that no employee would suffer reprisals for his participation in the investigation. 

According to our sources, a person who expressed the wish to be met by a neutral and independent third party was instead sent home without pay. 

Internally, employees rather associated this investigation with a witch hunt.

Finally, on Wednesday morning, the OCPM reviewed its strategy and decided to seek reinforcements from an independent human resources firm, learned Le Journal. 

Contacted this morning, the president said she wanted to wait for the contract to be signed before confirming the name of the firm. A few hours later, a public relations officer explained to us that the OCPM would not comment.

“We are a small company and we said to ourselves that we would seek help in resources human, Mrs. Beaulieu had explained to us a few hours earlier. This way, it will make a much simpler and professional process. »

A human resources policy will be put in place to support the Secretary General. “We are in transition,” she recalled.

The secretary general of the organization is the only person in charge of human resources, Mr. Grenier, who was appointed by Ms. Beaulieu, was previously chief of staff to the mayor of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Alain Laplante, before being removed from office by a majority of elected opposition officials. 

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