Two women who are on paid administrative leave pending resolution of their grievances and Human Rights complaints against MPP Monique Taylor say they were threatened with being cut off from receiving their pay cheques. Sandra Troulinos and Alyssa Watt, both were placed on medical stress leave after an alleged campaign of harassment and bully-ing by Taylor. Both filed grievances with their union as well as Human Rights complaints and have been on paid leave since 2017. Under the collective agreement between the Canadian Office and Professional Employees (COPE), employees off work pending the outcome of a grievance are to remain on paid leave, but last week both women were notified that they would be cut off July 26th. Their grievances are not scheduled to be heard until September.

Because both women were on medical leave they would have normally been eligible for Long-term disability benefits which would have been covered by insurance, but instead went on administrative leave paid by the legislature. According to Troulinos, “we didn’t go on long term disability because we were led to believe that this griev-ance would be settled in a timely manner and we would be able to move forward in our lives. Then caucus decided to manipulate the process to benefit (Taylor’s) position in the election by put-ting us on administrative leave to carry our salaries over until we went to arbitration.”

In a note she wrote complaining that the union had been slow to react to the situation, Sandra added, “This situation occurred simply because Monique wanted me to lie about a false sexual harassment claim to benefit her as she no longer wanted Alissa to be an employee; and in the process not have to pay out any more (cash settlements to terminated employees). “as we all know, Monique has had many grievances against her that have ended with significant buyouts with taxpayer’s money.” That allegation of pressure to file a false sexual harass-ment complaint is also included in Sandra’s com-plaint to the Ontario Hu-man Rights Tribunal. The Bay Observer attempted to learn exactly how much money had been paid out on behalf of Tay-lor in the various employ settlements, but were stonewalled behind an obscure legislature rule that shields MPPs from detailed public scrutiny of their office expenses.

Sandra Troulinos says if her paid leave is not restored she is prepared, reluctantly, to return to work in Taylor’s office against her Doctor’s orders but acknowledges the atmosphere will be toxic. She also fears for her physical safety. A relative of Taylor who had been involved in a second degree murder charge in her past, had participated in a thread of social me-dia postings threatening Sandra when the controversy first exploded in the media last spring. Police were called an issued a warning to the individual who posted the threats.

Concluded Sandra, a mother of four, “Now I am being forced to make the unsettling decision to return to a toxic work-place due to the fact that I have no alternative as

I need to provide for my family.” As of press time the union was pressing for the restoration of paid leave for the two former employees. As well the union and NDP caucus are negotiating the terms of an independent investigation into the matter.

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