A former office employee for an Ontario member of the provincial parliament says that her job was replaced with an unpaid internship and is filing a complaint with the Ministry of Labour.
This is but the tip of the iceberg of staff/labour woes at Queen's Park, and in political offices in general. While there are some truly great and empowering employers within each Party, there are also plenty of horror stories about staff working without proper equipment, direction, paid peanuts and micromanaged or bullied. It's considered part of the culture - you take your lumps because it's an honour to work for elected officials/a Political Party that many are dying for. If you can't take the heat, get out of the fire.
Yet there also happen to be countless, ongoing complaints about staff performance issues from constituents; calls not returned, files dragged or "sorry, you need to take that up with someone else" shirks of responsibility and dropped initiatives that go out the window with staff turnover. Then there's the whole occupational mental health movement, spearheaded by the Feds but also under discussion at the provincial level.
Somehow, nobody has tied these things together - yet. With a growing number of political staff issues/training needs and related scandals making headlines, there's a much bigger story brewing here that smart Political Parties will take pains to get ahead of.
Of course, doing that means thinking structurally instead of just focusing on the win - which requires a culture change that Ontario politics, or Canadian politics at large, probably isn't ready to invest in.
The time is rapidly coming when they're gonna have to.
Not that they need to listen to me; after all, it's not like I have a record of being ahead of the curve on this sort of thing.
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