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Vancouver (B.C.). Human Resource Services

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Vancouver (B.C.). Human Resource Services

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Personnel Department, 1947-1957
  • Personnel and Payroll, 1957-1965
  • Personnel Services Department, 1965-1991
  • Human Resources Department, 1992-1995

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence


City Council appointed the City's first personnel director on September 29, 1947, then authorized eight additional positions for the personnel office on December 8, 1947. At that time the mandate of the new department was to set standards for entrance into the civil service, to develop a job classification program, to conduct employee training, and to maintain attendance records. Personnel and personnel related units have carried out the following functions over time: benefits policy and administration; equal employment opportunity; labour relations; occupational safety; personnel policy development; position classification and pay determination; and staff development and training. Competences for these functions have fluctuated considerably as outlined below.
(1) Benefits policy and administration. Benefits policy development dating from the early 1960s was carried out by the Director of Personnel, with City Council as the decision maker on defined broad aspects. Since the early 1980s the Compensation and Benefits Division has been responsible for research and benefits administration.
(2) Equal employment opportunity. The Director of Personnel was involved in the early discussions on establishing an equal employment opportunity office before 1975, when Council established its special committee, the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. The program resided within the Personnel Services Department until 1987, when it moved to the City Manager's Office.
(3) Labour relations. Council was the labour relations decision maker from the beginning and continues to be. The Personnel Director became responsible for labour relations analysis and communications by the early 1960s.
(4) Occupational safety. Employee accident prevention committee (Safety Committee) discussions began around the concerns of the Fire Department about 1950, spread to the Electrical Department/Division in the 1960s, was carried out on a regular basis by the Park Board from the early 1970s, and began to be administered by the Personnel Department's newly created Safety Division by 1972 (still in existence in 1997).
(6) Personnel policy development. The Personnel Committee was actively involved in policy development since the 1930s. The Director of Personnel was responsible for the day-to-day aspects of policy and procedures development, and policy documentation, from 1947 (policy pertained to job classification, regulations for entry into service, compensation plan development, appointments, promotions, transfers, salary adjustments, leave, payroll, insurance, superannuation, etc.).
(7) Position classification and pay determination. From 1982 this function has been carried out by the Compensation and Benefits Division. Previously City Council periodically charged a Commission on Civic Salaries with a broad evaluation exercise (1929 and 1945). In later years the Personnel Committee carried out analyses in conjunction with the Director of Personnel; exempt staff analyses have been carried out for Council by consultants (in recent years Council draws on the studies of the GVRD).
(8) Staff development and training. Staff training was a budget item within the Personnel Department from the late 1950s, and continues to be, though department specific training is not generally administered by the Personnel/Human Resources Department.
Before the Personnel Department was created in 1947, and up to 1965, personnel activities were spread throughout City departments.

The Personnel Department reported to the Personnel Committee 1947-1956, then to the Director of Finance (1957-1965), and subsequently to the City Manager (1965- ).

Divisions of the Personnel Department have been determined by broad functional groupings, which developed according to departmental growth and functional priorities. In 1997 the divisions are as follows: Compensation and Benefits Division; Employee Relations and Advisory Services Division; Occupational Health, Safety and Rehabilitation; and Staff Development Division.

Human Resource Services has had the following names:

  • Personnel Department, 1947-1957;
  • Personnel and Payroll, 1957-1965 (within the Finance Department);
  • Personnel Services Department, 1965-1991;
  • Human Resources Department, 1992-1995;
  • Human Resource Services, 1995- .
    The following individuals have served as head of the personnel office: B. H. Peterson, 1947-1966, 1972-1974; J. Stuart Don, 1966-1971; Don H. Pollard, 1974-1990; Eileen Stewart, 1990-1996; Marilyn Clark, 1996-1998; Mike Zora, 1998- .

Records in the Archives created by Human Resource Services consist primarily of Director's subject files (predominant 1948-1982) which relate to policy development on hiring, salaries, benefits, etc., as well as liaison with departments on specific hiring needs, liaison with unions, staff training, staff safety, and job classification developmen

Related Resources:
The earliest records relating to personnel decisions and policy development are in Council minutes (series 31, 1886- ); look in the indexes (series 32) under terms such as "Salaries" and individual position titles for the earliest period. Records documenting Council decisions on "exempt staff" (senior staff and others not in a union) from about 1947 are in series 35 (Council "in camera" minutes) and from the 1950s in series 56 (Council "in camera" supporting documents). There are files on salaries for excluded staff in the Clerk's series 20 (Subject files) under "Salaries" and "Finance" during the 1960s. Personnel Committee minutes are in series 33 (Standing committee minutes, vol. 56-58, 1930-1948); the Committee's working files are in series 27 (Special committee supporting documents). The Clerk's series 20 (Subject files, 1886-1975) contains files on union matters from 1921 (see the headings "Conciliation matters" or "Conciliation Board") and on personnel issues as they related to clerking for Council (under terms beginning with "Personnel . . . "). The most recent Clerk's files on personnel matters are in series 62 (Operational subject files, in the "Civic administration" subseries).


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Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.). Occupational Health Division ()

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Vancouver (B.C.). Occupational Health Division, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.). Human Resource Services

Related entity

Vancouver (B.C.) (1886-)

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Vancouver (B.C.). Human Resource Services, is subordinate to: Vancouver (B.C.)

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