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I have been working at Ministry of the Attorney General full-time (More than a year)
- Job security: impossible to get fired as management is afraid of unions - Unlimited sick days. Without exaggeration, you can be absent from work for >200 work days with a doctor's note from any clinic that says nothing other than you are unavailable to attend work and not be fired. - Standards incredibly low, so you can know how to turn on a computer and be impressive. - Consistent work hours, generally 8-4 or 9-5. - Honestly, if you can mentally withstand the onslaught of inadequacy and ineptitude you experience daily working with staff in this region, it is a comfortable living. You can get away with doing barely anything (and it will be seen as "doing your job") and be paid very well considering the amount of work you do.
- Workforce is ancient. Many of the staff in courts are given accommodating responsibilities based on what they can physically and mentally do. Also with their age, everyone is set in their ways and thinks they know best. - No room for growth. Most higher-level and higher-paying jobs occupied by older, non-contributing lifers. - No accountability for actions. I am appalled daily by the service of court staff in Toronto. Management will never hold staff accountable and thus, a culture of non-culpability for poor service and performance is perpetuated. - No staffing transparency. Staffing changes are announced, but positions with multiple individuals doing the same job are kept secret and not resolved. - HR rules are commonly broken because the ministry is "HR-exempt", meaning it has its own HR body, which does not effectively monitor activity and apply HR regulations. - The public is often referred to as "crazy" and it has become a common way to dismiss any formal complaint against staff and management. - Staff don't know how to use computers and basic programs like Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel. - Management will lie to staff to encourage certain career moves that benefit them or the organization. They will promise positions to staff members and feign ignorance or stall for time when taken to task. Expect to wait years (yes, plural) to see any movement if you try to keep management accountable, and then do not expect to move anywhere else within the division or region. - Culture will never modernize. Majority of staff will call to respond to emails or leave you a voicemail with a response and then call and email you to tell you that their response is in their voicemail. - Majority of staff accustomed and wise to the system; know how to use the union and fear mongering to manipulate management. - Management will unfairly delegate responsibilities among staff and threaten their careers if staff try to protect themselves by actually - shockingly - using the union for a legitimate reason. - Court of Appeal has an agreement with the Attorney General that prevents the ministry from holding them accountable for their finances. As such, they are able to hire as many people as they want in any way they see fit. They have three managers/registrars doing the same job, managing one location, whereas other court locations have one manager managing one to three locations. - Any internal improvements (e.g. staffing, organizational) are impossible because senior management micromanages all outward-facing projects that affect their reputation. Do not expect any type of changes and do not endeavor to challenge the status quo. - Contract staff kept on contract for years (against HR regulations) because management cannot be bothered to run competitions that would give deserving staff permanent jobs and benefits. - Staff often don't show up to work for months on end citing stress, despite the fact that they voluntarily applied for the job and are being paid for those same responsibilities.
Advice to Management
- Challenge unions and terminate staff that don't deserve to be employed - Challenge existing HR rules or programs. Make use of your positions and make some positive change. It's not acceptable for you to complain about how attendance management programs are too lenient and then do nothing about it. - Hold staff accountable, even if it means it might make you less popular in the short-term, for the benefit of the region in the long-term. - Learn how to manage. Do not delegate work and then micromanage to the point where you don't have time to do anything else, and then talk about how busy you are. It is self-inflicted.