Campaign Staff — Constituent Respect Policy
As Campaign Staffers, we want to help constituents.
We appreciate how stressful, exhausting, and demanding interactions with the government and people running for office can be.
We also expect constituents to appreciate that campaign staffers have dozens of projects assigned to them at any one time. Campaign Staffers are not able to take on casework, answer all questions, promise the candidate’s time, or guarantee that policy concerns can be reflected in the Ontario NDP’s platform. When campaign staffers make referrals or cannot answer questions, we hope constituents understand that the staffer is not communicating a lack of care but respect for the scope of their job description.
To continue doing high-quality campaign work, campaign staff need to feel safe on the job. Therefore, we will go out of our way to help you, and we expect you to be respectful in your interactions with us in return.
Providing safe, inclusive and positive spaces accepting all constituents is a priority for Ontario NDP Campaigns. Accordingly, our campaign does not tolerate harassment of Campaign Staff in any shape or form.
We define harassment as any unwelcome behaviour or communication that negatively affects someone’s person's psychological, physical or social safety. Harassment can be intentional or unintentional.
Common forms of harassment include:
- Any demeaning comment that concerns a covered ground for discrimination or harassment under the Ontario Human Rights Code. This includes race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.
- Directly insulting the competence of the staff to vent frustration. “E,g, you don’t know what you’re doing; you’re an idiot.”
- Indirect communications to demean the campaign staffer’s sense of psychological safety, e.g. “If you knew what you were doing, I don’t think this would happen.”
- Make false allegations about the intention or behaviour of a campaign staffer: e.g. not caring, not trying; having ulterior motives; not completing a promised action when it was completed.
- Using offensive language so often that it makes a caseworker feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
- Communicating with staff over personal accounts about work-related activities instead of using their work phone or email.
- Other: raised voice, threats, perceived physical intimidation or violence, etc.
Harassment can be communicated:
- Over the phone
- By email or mail
- By fax
- Through social media channels
- Through repeated messaging that has the effect of frustrating a caseworker
- By finding or attempting to communicate with a caseworker during non-work hours or if running into them during the time they are not working
What You can expect from us:
- Campaign Staff to do their best and communicate when they feel communication is unwanted or harassment.
- Campaign Staff have the right to refuse service to constituents who make them feel threatened, from whom they experience harassment or bullying.
- This policy recommends that a constituent can be given three warnings before banning a constituent access to communication with the campaign or permission to visit the campaign office. However, service may be refused sooner at the discretion of the campaign staff.
- We hope for campaign staff to communicate how unwanted communication can be avoided in the future.
- This policy further recommends that campaign staff share this policy with the first warning to a constituent so that they know they must treat campaign staff with respect and are not surprised if they are ultimately refused service.