In this op-ed, Legal Aid Ontario Lawyer, Kendall Yamagishi, explains why the exclusion of lawyers from the Ontario Labour Relations Act is antiquated:
In Ontario, the main law concerning the bargaining rights of employees is called the Labour Relations Act. Officially, it is called the Labour Relations Act, 1995.
For some readers, 1995 may not seem like a long time ago. But I was seven years old in 1995 and spent my days learning how to read cursive writing and how to cross the street safely.
Today I represent clients in court as a lawyer with Legal Aid Ontario. I am one of the hundreds of lawyers across the province who provide family, criminal, and immigration law services to Ontarians who are in crisis and cannot afford to pay for a lawyer. We represent everyone, from teens trying to cope with raising their own children to seniors with dementia facing criminal charges. I chose to work for Legal Aid Ontario because I believe that everyone should have a voice, regardless of how much money they have.
The profession that I work in has changed just as much over the last 21 years. The days of firms with four or five partners, each with equal footing, making collaborative decisions about the way their firm should be managed is no longer the reality for many lawyers in Ontario. Studies by the Law Society of Upper Canada show that new lawyers look more like me: racialized, female, and at the lower levels of large organizations and firms. Many lawyers like myself find ourselves stuck in the power imbalance of a traditional employer-employee relationship…
Read her entire piece here: Everyone deserves a voice at work | rabble.ca