Code of Conduct

Introduction

Trinity Square Video’s mission is to develop and support a vibrant, sustainable community where people (members, non-members and staff) love to be and visit frequently. TSV represents Toronto’s diverse communities and offers them a wide range of artistic facilities. Members see themselves as owners and are actively involved not only as users but also as managers. TSV is a site for interaction and discussion around art and technology. TSV is a place where accessibility to the means of communication is a priority.

Upholding the principles of our mandate and non-discrimination policies are essential elements of our success.

The Code of Conduct is based on principles of integrity, excellence, and diversity and is reinforced by policies and procedures. It is TSV’s expectation that the Code of Conduct outlined in this document shall be adhered to by all equally. Maintaining the trust and confidence of fellow members, staff, the Board of Directors, and the communities where we work is crucial to TSV’s continued growth and success. We earn that trust when we conduct ourselves according to the standards embodied in these principles and set out in this code of conduct.

Despite constant change, there are some key values and principles that guide our organization. These include respect for each other, ourselves and a commitment to the communities in which we live.

Our future strength lies in becoming a leading artist-run production, education, and information resource centre for cultural producers and community organizations.

Our Principles

Integrity, excellence, and accessibility are the ethical principles on which TSV stands. They point the way to working together that makes for flourishing artists, community groups and a successful artist-run organization.

Integrity

  • Conduct business lawfully and ethically.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest.
  • Honor all laws, statutes, regulations and contractual obligations.
  • Never disclose sensitive or confidential information inappropriately.
  • Never engage in practices that seek to reduce openness and fairness with other artist-run centres.
  • Protect TSV’s assets and use them responsibly.

Excellence

  • Commit to provide our members with services and facilities that meet their needs and are economically accessible.
  • Strive for continuous performance improvement.
  • Upgrade our skills and develop the talents and abilities of others.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues.
  • Conduct business lawfully, ethically and in a fiscally responsible manner.
  • Maintain artistic integrity by supporting diversity and freedom of expression.

Accessibility

  • Support the social and cultural fabric of all artistic communities.
  • Conduct business in a socially responsible manner.
  • Treat staff, members and all others with respect, compassion and dignity — valuing individuality and diversity.

Standards of Business Conduct

This section describes the standards of conduct that TSV expects from all staff, members and the Board of Directors at every level of responsibility. These standards apply to every part of the organization.

We honor all laws, statutes, regulations and contractual obligations.

1. Safety and Health

  • Conduct business in a way that most effectively protects the safety and health of staff and members.
  • Create and maintain a safe and healthy workplace.
  • Adhere to the rules of the Ontario Safety Standards Act and other applicable laws.

2. Sustainable Development

  • Commit to becoming a leading arts organization balancing financial growth, social responsibility and artistic leadership.
  • Achieve leadership through continual improvement in production, education and information resource centre facilities.
  • Meet all commitments to arts councils and funders.
  • Be a socially responsible and participatory arts organization with strong partnerships with other artist-run centres.

3. Relationships with Members

  • Provide members with state-of-the-art production facilities and the information that they need to make informed choices.
  • Treat members courteously and in a professional manner, respecting their privacy and diversity.

4. Diversity

  • Value the background, experience, perspective, and talent of each individual member and staff.
  • Strive to create a workforce and programming that reflects the diverse communities in which we operate.
  • Do not discriminate in hiring and employment on grounds prohibited by applicable laws. These include race, ancestry, color, place of origin, sex, ethnic origin, age, marital or family status, disability, sexual orientation, creed, religion, size, ability and citizenship.
  • Adhere to the guidelines of the Toronto Arts Council Anti-Racism, Access and Equity Policy.

5. Harassment and Workplace Violence

  • Treat all staff, members and persons who use our facilities and programming with dignity and respect.
  • Follow the TSV policy on Workplace Discrimination and Harassment. This includes behavior that demeans, threatens, or humiliates a person or group of people as well as abusive, threatening, intimidating or violent acts.

6. Conflict of Interest

Definition

A conflict of interest is any situation where personal interest interferes, appears to interfere, or could potentially interfere, in any way with the interests of TSV.

Guidelines for avoiding Conflicts of Interest

  • Base any business decision made for TSV on merit and strictly in the best interest of the organization.
  • Derive no personal benefits, whether direct or indirect, as a result of reaching business decisions on behalf of the organization.
  • Avoid any situation that may create, or appear to create, a conflict of interest between your personal interests and those of TSV.
  • Do not take part in, or in any way influence, any decision that might result in a financial advantage for you, family members or friends.
  • When in doubt, ask the Executive Director or the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

* It is recognized that the members and staff of an artist-run-centre may have interests and involvements with other artist-run-centres and organizations. These multiple involvements are what create our community and do not necessarily represent a conflict of interest.

Conflict of Interest Topics

These topics are addressed under the following headings:

  • Sensitive Information
  • Purchasing
  • Suppliers
  • Business Gifts and Hospitality
  • Outside Business Activities
  • Relationships With Not-for-Profit and
  • Professional Organizations
  • Political Participation
  • Proper Use of Assets
  • Business Expenses
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business Reporting

6.a. Sensitive Information

Definition

Sensitive information includes information that is proprietary, technical, business, financial, or personal, requiring confidentiality. It is owned by, or has been entrusted to, TSV and it must be kept confidential for the following reasons:

  • To preserve TSV’s financial and operational interests.
  • To comply with legal, regulatory, or contractual obligations.
  • To safeguard assets.
  • To preserve the individual privacy or safety of members and staff.
  • To preserve the reputation of TSV by not disseminating gossip or hearsay that may potentially damage our standing in the artistic community.

Do not disclose sensitive information, except as required by law, to anyone outside TSV including family and friends. This applies even after leaving TSV’s employment.

Protect sensitive information against theft, loss, destruction, unauthorized access, or misuse.

Comply with any applicable regulations that govern the use of sensitive information.

Advise the Executive Director or Chairperson of the Board if you are aware of any attempt to obtain sensitive information by unauthorized means or misuse of such information.

Know what information must remain in confidence. Ask the Executive Director or Chairperson of the Board when you are in doubt.

6.b. Purchasing

  • Make purchasing decisions honestly and with integrity, using such criteria as competitive pricing, quality, quantity, delivery, service and benefit to our community.
  • Refuse to make purchasing decisions based on favoritism, prejudice, preferential treatment or personal gain.
  • Disclose concerns and refuse involvement in any purchasing decision that could lead to a conflict of interest.

6.c. Suppliers

  • Treat suppliers courteously, fairly, and in a professional manner.
  • Inform suppliers about the existence of the Code of Conduct and provide access to it.
  • Ensure that provisions for compliance to this document are built into contracts.
  • Notify the Executive Director or Chairperson of the Board if a supplier does not comply with the Code.
  • Take appropriate action to ensure compliance to this document.
  • Take steps to end TSV’s relationship with a supplier if their level of compliance continues to be unsatisfactory.

6.d. Business Gifts and Hospitality

  • Accepting gifts and/or hospitality may compromise or appear to compromise the ability to make fair and objective decisions.
  • Gifts and hospitality include such items as meals, beverages, and invitations to social or recreational outings, accommodation, and travel.
  • Depending on the circumstances, gifts should be returned with thanks and clarification of our policy, or suitably distributed in the community.
  • On occasion, it may be acceptable to give or receive a business-related gift or hospitality when there is a business benefit to TSV.
  • Employees must consult the Executive Director for advice on the appropriateness of accepting or offering gifts and/or hospitality.

6.e. Outside Business Activities

  • Employees have the right to choose how to spend their non-working hours.
  • You may choose to work part-time for another organization in addition to TSV.
  • The work must not conflict, appear to conflict or potentially conflict with your ability to perform your duties as a TSV employee.
  • Speak to the Executive Director if you are directly or indirectly involved in another business or employment, which may give rise to a conflict, an appearance of conflict or a potential conflict of interest with the interests of TSV.

The following rules apply for staff members who perform work for another organization other than TSV. They must never:

  • Perform work for a supplier of TSV or sell products and/or services to TSV.
  • Perform work for another organization on TSV’s time.
  • Use TSV’s supplies, facilities, tools, personnel, or intellectual property while working for the other organization.
  • Promote the products or services for another organization during TSV’s working hours.
  • They must use discretion and restraint when contacting colleagues or customers from other organizations.

6.f. Relationships with Not-for-Profit and Professional Organizations

  • Many of us have an interest in contributing to our communities and to other not-for-profit artist-run organizations. However, this participation must not interfere with duties at TSV.
  • The Executive Director must approve any use of company time or assets to perform services for a community organization.
  • If a member acts as a spokesperson for an organization, it must be made clear that she/he is speaking for the organization or for her/himself, and not as a spokesperson or representative of TSV.

6.g. Political Participation

  • As a private citizen, you may participate in all levels of political activity in non-working hours provided these activities do not interfere or conflict with your duties and obligations as a TSV employee.
  • Your participation must be kept strictly separate from your association with TSV.
  • Prior to running as a candidate in a federal or provincial election, you must apply for a leave of absence without pay.

6.h. Proper Use of Assets

  • Protect the organization’s assets, use them properly and use them only for TSV business.
  • Protect the organization’s assets from theft and destruction, for example, by vandalism or neglect.
  • Protect the organization’s intellectual property (such as copyrighted information, trademarks and logos, patents and trade secrets) against loss or infringement and use it only for company business.
  • Do not misuse other organization’s intellectual property entrusted to TSV.
  • Theft will not be tolerated.
  • The organization recognizes that, on occasion, there may be a need for employees to make personal use of company assets. For example, they may need to receive local personal phone calls, send a local fax or make a photocopy. This usage of business assets must be responsible, limited and approved.

6.i. Business Expenses

  • Exercise integrity, prudence, and judgment when incurring and approving business expenses. They must be reasonable and necessary for business or commercial reasons.

6.j. Accounting and Finance

  • Use TSV funds only for lawful and proper purposes.
  • Never establish undisclosed funds or accounts.
  • Handle all cash and bank account transactions in a manner that avoids any questions of bribery, kickbacks, other illegal or improper payments or any suspicion of impropriety whatsoever.

6.k. Business Reporting

  • Ensure that all TSV documents accurately and clearly represent the relevant facts or true nature of a transaction. These documents include but are not limited to timesheets, sales reports, financial reports and expense reports.

7. Conducting International Business

  • TSV’s Code of Conduct applies to all of the organization’s operations including those carried out internationally.

8. Compliance

  • TSV is determined to be an ethical organization. Our ethical principles of integrity, excellence, and community support are essential elements of our success.
  • All staff members must have access to this Code and it must be included in the orientation program for new employees.
  • Staff is required to complete a statement on an annual basis that acknowledges that they have read and will comply with TSV’s Code of Conduct.
  • Staff must declare to the Executive Director or the Chairperson of the Board any actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest.
  • The Executive Director must ensure that the Chairperson of the Board is informed as to the action taken to address the issue.
  • Employees who are aware of conduct by others that violates or appears to violate the Code are expected to report it to the Executive Director or to the Chairperson of the Board. There will be no reprisal against the staff member for making a report in good faith. Efforts will be made to keep confidential the identity of the staff member who disclosed the information.
  • The Executive Director must immediately report a violation or suspected violation to the Chairperson of the Board.
  • In circumstances that require an immediate intervention such as workplace violence, theft and other security-related matters, the police may be notified.

When the Code does not have the answer

  • There may be occasions when the Code does not have the answer to ethical questions or there may be a difficult judgment call to make with respect to the application of the Code. In these cases, consult with the Executive Director, who will either provide guidance or refer to the relevant TSV policy or to the Chairperson of the Board.

Consequences for non-compliance

  • Those who do not comply with the Code of Conduct will be subject to disciplinary procedures outlined in TSV’s personnel policy, membership policy and by-laws up to and including dismissal and/or legal action.

9. Accountabilities

The Executive Director is accountable, on behalf of the Chairperson and Board of Directors for:

  • Ensuring that the policies of the Code of Conduct are implemented within TSV.
  • Reporting Code violations to the Board.
  • Following Toronto Arts Council policies on reporting violations of TSV policies.
  • The Executive Director must provide periodic independent assurance to the Board that the Code of Conduct is operating effectively.

The Chairperson of the Board at TSV is accountable for:

  • Endorsing a Code of Business Conduct for Board approval.
  • Tracking and reporting Code violations to the Board.
  • Providing advice and guidance with respect to the provisions of the Code.
  • Ensuring that appropriate management action is taken to investigate and manage known or suspected violations according to TSV policies.
  • Reviewing the Code on a regular basis to ensure that it continues to meet all relevant TSV standards and external business standards.

Staff Members at TSV are accountable for:

  • Understanding their responsibilities under the Code and for compliance with the Code.
  • Carrying out their accountabilities ethically and with integrity.
  • Seeking advice when uncertain about ethical decisions.
  • Declaring all conflicts of interest, perceived conflicts of interest, and potential conflicts of interest, in writing, to the Executive Director as soon as they are known.

Members of TSV are accountable for:

  • Reading and understanding the Code at the time of joining TSV.
  • Carrying out their accountabilities ethically and with integrity.
  • Seeking advice when uncertain about ethical decisions.
  • Declaring all conflicts of interest, perceived conflicts of interest, and potential conflicts of interest, to the Executive Director as soon as they are known.

CODE OF ETHICS AND CONDUCT

Code of Ethics:

The purpose of a Code of Ethics is to establish and maintain standards for TSV members, employees and the Board of Directors.

Ethical standards comprise such values as integrity, responsibility, competence, and confidentiality.

Humanity

Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every human being and their right to self-determination.

Equality

Treat everyone respectfully, regardless of sex, ethnic origin, culture, religion, sexuality, political beliefs or physical appearance.

Conflicts of Interest

Declare in writing any perceived conflict of interest.

Abuse of Privilege

Do not attempt to exert influence over any member, employee or the Board of Directors in order to obtain personal benefit or reward.

Personal Standards

Display high standards and project a favorable image of TSV to the public, audiences, the media, governmental and non-governmental organizations and other arts groups.

Responsibility

Keep an open dialogue about policies and practices at TSV. Execute responsibility to be involved with improving all aspects of TSV.

Code of Conduct:

Individuals should adhere to standards of personal and professional behaviour that reflect positively on TSV.

Confidentiality

Do not divulge confidential information relating to other staff or Board members unless they attain approval from the individual concerned.

Policy

The Board of Directors of TSV has the power to prescribe standards of conduct for its membership and to make decisions as to what constitutes grounds for disciplinary actions. The Board of Directors may suspend, terminate membership, or otherwise reprimand any member who fails to comply with the membership agreement.

Personal Misconduct

Examples of personal misconduct could include, but may not be limited to, willful damage of property or equipment, theft, falsification of information or accounts, breach of confidentiality, violence, misuse of alcohol or drugs, dishonesty, abusive language, and exhibition of disruptive behaviour. Personal misconduct could lead to disciplinary action by the Board of Directors.