CHRC Requests Proposals to Develop Harassment Reporting Mechanism

The following is excerpted from a call issued by the CHRC.

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The Cultural Human Resources Council is soliciting expressions of interest from qualified consultants in developing a reporting mechanism for harassment in arts workplaces in Canada, in both English and in French.

Background

The Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) is a national bilingual arts service organization, established in 1994. Its mission is “to initiate, co-ordinate and promote human resources planning, management, development and training in the cultural sector”. (See culturalhrc.ca)

To achieve its mission, CHRC works with and brings together representatives of the cultural industries/arts disciplines to address the training, career development and other human resource needs of employers and workers/artists.

There are over 700,000 people in the cultural labour force. Through its volunteer Board of Directors, membership and broad networks, CHRC represents artists/cultural workers and employers in the cultural sector from the following: Visual Arts and Crafts; Heritage; Music and Sound Recording; Digital Media; Film and Broadcasting; Live Performing Arts; and Writing and Publishing.

CHRC provides leadership on HR issues in the cultural sector. Most recently, CHRC has assumed leadership for a project to address harassment in the arts, entitled Respectful Workplaces in the Arts. With funding for this project from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Canadian Heritage, it is leading a number of initiatives to deal with harassment in the arts, including commissioning a study on Reporting and Investigating Mechanisms for Workplace Harassment in the Arts; developing a guide on Workplace Harassment and Violence, training videos and informational webcasts on provincial and territorial legislation on harassment; conducting consultation sessions with equity-seeking communities across the country from coast to coast to coast, to understand their specific needs with regard to harassment; developing a Code of Conduct for the performing arts. (See respectfulartsworkplaces.ca)

With regard to a reporting mechanism for workplace harassment in the arts, ACTRA and the Director’s Guild of Canada (DGC) have set up a 1-800 number (Haven Help line) for their members to report cases of harassment, and have invited the performing, literary and visual arts through CHRC to join them in that venture. Much of this project will be to assess that possibility.

Contract Term

September 9, 2019 to March 31, 2020

Payment

Compensation for this project is $30,000 (including HST) to be paid in installments to be negotiated.

Contract Objective

The objective of this contract is to develop a reporting mechanism for cases of harassment for artists and cultural workers in the performing, literary and visual arts in Canada in English and in French.

Scope of Work

The project is Canada wide and bilingual, and includes artists and cultural workers in the performing, literary and visual arts.

Project description

Under the overarching project, Respectful Workplaces in the Arts (RWA), CHRC commissioned an extensive report on Reporting and Investigating Mechanisms for Workplace Harassment in the Arts by consultant Jeanne Lesage. The first two recommendations relate to a reporting mechanism for cases of harassment in arts workplaces.

  1. Establish a confidential, independent third-party sector-wide resource for the complainants, respondents and witnesses of workplace harassment.

    It could provide the following services:

    1. Resources, Counselling, Advice: A free service that provides immediate confidential support and counselling to complainants, respondents and witnesses across multiple platforms (in person, via phone, online).

      Services could include:
      - reviewing the specifics of the situation, outlining legal alternatives, providing advice and identifying the steps to take;
      - referral to further resources based on jurisdiction and location;
      - counselling – intake for dealing with the person in distress.

      This service could be provided by existing Employee Wellness Programs, Legal Clinics, and Ombudservices, but should be provided with customized training and information specific to different artistic disciplines and taking into consideration regional/cultural differences.

    2. Case Management: Additional support for the individual by advocating and assisting through attending meetings, contacting employers/engagers, and assisting in filling out forms. It is important for unionized persons to be aware of and consider assistance from their union as well, when available.

  2. Further examine the viability for anonymous reporting mechanisms. It is notable that while there were numerous mentions, there is not consensus that there should be a sector-wide anonymous reporting mechanism that would result in formal investigations. There is a need however to address the lack of reporting and mitigating concerns of backlash and retribution for those coming forward. There is support for anonymous third-party reporting mechanisms which would require further legal review:

    • Anonymous reporting to a central body, so trends and data are gathered in aggregate form of the calls and situations being reported to assist in systemic change and identify specific risks.

    • “Information escrow” and “Matching escrow” systems - ways to confidentially gather data and identify if there is a ‘repeat offender’ whose name occurs in multiple reports and is not released except under certain conditions with the permission of the complainant.

The consultant will work under the direction of the Executive Director of CHRC. He or she will work collaboratively with a small Steering Committee (SC) of leaders in the performing, literary and visual arts who have a strong connection to individual artists and cultural workers, either as members or clients. E.g. Canadian Actors Equity, the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, the Writers Union of Canada, CARFAC, the Canadian Federation of Musicians.

The consultant will explore with ACTRA and the Directors Guild of Canada if and how the performing, literary and visual arts can access the 1-800 number (Haven Help line) which they have established  for their members to report cases of harassment.

The consultant will also report on Aparté, the reporting mechanism for harassment that has been established in Quebec, and the reporting mechanism for harassment which the music industry has established through Unison.

Project Deliverables

The deliverable of this contract is a report that lays out a viable reporting system for cases of workplace harassment in the performing, literary and visual arts in Canada that is ready for implementation in both official languages in all provinces and territories except Quebec which already has a reporting mechanism in place.  It will have the agreement and support of the Steering Committee, the CHRC Board, and other sector stakeholders as well as an agreement in principle with a service provider or service providers.

The report will include:

  • a summary of existing resources and their cost within the sector for independent artists in the performing (theatre, music, dance) literary and visual arts, by province and territory.

  • a summary of existing resources and their cost for legal and crisis support outside the sector for independent artists in the performing (theatre, music, dance) literary and visual arts, by province and territory.

  • a detailed description of what Morneau Shepell offers as a service provider (e.g. counselling, referral etc.) for the ACTRA/DGC Haven helpline and the costs.

  • an investigation of the viability of anonymous reporting.

  • a modus operandi for working with the ACTRA/DGC Haven helpline, and a sample agreement with CHRC as the basis for collaboration.

  • a description of CHRC’s role in the administration of the reporting mechanism and the costs of the administration.

  • a communications strategy for the launch of the reporting mechanism and its ongoing presence.

Consultant Requirements

The consultant will provide the Selection Committee with a letter of interest and intent and a resumé demonstrating their:

  • experience in conducting similar research

  • good knowledge of the cultural sector and in particular the performing, visual and literary arts

  • ability to think strategically and write clearly

  • ability to work collaboratively with a Steering Committee

  • working knowledge of English and French

The consultant will also submit an outline of a work plan that demonstrates their understanding of the assignment and their approach.

References

The consultant shall provide 2 references including names of persons who may be contacted, position of person, addresses, and phone numbers where services similar in scope to the requirements of this RFP have been provided within the past five years.

Method of Evaluation and Award

A CHRC Selection Committee will review the proposals.

Evaluation Criteria Points

Experience: 20%

  • Understanding of project requirements

  • Ability to meet timelines

  • Sample of previous work

Knowledge of the cultural sector: 30%

Knowledge of harassment issues: 30%

Ability to work with a Steering Committee and other leaders in the cultural sector: 20%

Schedule of Events

RFP release date: August 1, 2019
Proposal due date: August 21, 2019 @ 5:00 PM EST
Evaluation period: August 21 – 26, 2019
Anticipated contract award: August 26, 2019
Start date: on or around September 9, 2019

Contact Information

All proposals should be submitted by August 21 at 5:00 pm EST to:

Susan Annis
Executive Director, CHRC
sannis@culturalhrc.ca

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