“We thank the Clerk for his thorough review of NDP hiring practices for constituency staff in response to our inquiry,” said Dr. Richard Starke, PC House Leader and MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster, “but we are concerned that the Clerk’s directions are not being heeded. The Legislative Assembly of Alberta employs constituency office staff to serve all Albertans, regardless of their political beliefs. Advertisements for constituency office staff should not imply employees are working for the Alberta NDP, nor that they report to political staff rather than the individual MLA. When we discovered this practice in June, we brought it to the Clerk’s Office for review. The Review Report indicates that the Clerk – and former Speaker Zwozdesky – took rapid action to address this matter as early as May 20th. Despite assurances from the NDP that the correct process would be followed going forward, the erroneous ads continue to be used to recruit constituency staff.”
The report found the NDP ads:
- Described contract positions as full-time work at unapproved salary ranges;
- Created the impression that non-partisan constituency staff would be employed by – and in part report to – NDP government caucus rather than the impartial Legislative Assembly of Alberta.
“We question whether constituency staff with strong ties to the NDP – either from Alberta or from other provinces – can impartially and fairly serve all of their constituents,” Starke added. “We hope the NDP government will do the right thing and ensure all future constituency job postings follow the format approved by the Legislative Assembly human resource department. Albertans need to be confident they are fairly and impartially served.”
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A copy of Dr. Starke’s letter to the Clerk is viewable here.