PSAC policies 20 to 40
Development of the 'micro-chip' has resulted in many new computer applications. The impact is being felt in the office as new office equipment based on the technology becomes cost efficient. Whether or not the technology is used in the best interest of workers will depend on how and why it is introduced. It is imperative that the Alliance be involved in the decisions regarding its introduction and be prepared to meet the challenges it presents. To this end, the Alliance shall:
1. include in all collective agreements a comprehensive definition of technological change to cover both changes in work methods and the introduction of equipment that is different in nature, type or quantity from that previously utilized;
2. include in all collective agreements a requirement for a minimum of six months' advance notice of the introduction of technological change. The advance notice shall include a detailed report on the change to be introduced and a detailed description of all foreseeable effects on workers;
3. include in all collective agreements a provision for adequate training and career development for workers affected by technological change;
4. ensure that health and safety is protected by negotiating appropriate working conditions;
5. ensure that human needs and values are considered in decisions regarding work organization;
6. ensure the membership receive adequate education as to the nature of the technology and its effects and prepare the membership to contribute to the proper design of the work environment when the technology is introduced, to ensure membership support for technological change issues brought to the negotiating table;
7. continue efforts to reduce working hours and to increase paid leave as a means of sharing the increased productivity resulting from office automation; and
8. undertake research on the effects of technological change.
ALLIANCE PICKET LINE
It is a union right and obligation of every member of the Public Service Alliance of Canada to respect the picket line established by a union of workers, and to not cross such a picket line unless permitted to do so by the union concerned.
A member of the Public Service Alliance of Canada shall honour any and all picket lines when called upon to do so by the Alliance, and, in such cases, it shall be incumbent upon the Alliance to secure guarantees against sanctions or reprisals prior to issuing a return to work call.
The authority to implement the foregoing provision shall be vested as follows:
1. in the case of PSAC bargaining units, the National President or the constitutional alternate; and
2. in the case of non-PSAC bargaining units, the National Board of Directors.
As a socially responsible union, the Alliance recognizes that protection of the environment from acid rain, toxins and ecologically unsound consumer products is of paramount importance if the world is to survive into the 21st century.
Over the long term, economic growth and employment creation will be impossible unless the environmental destruction of the past is reversed.
As a result, and in cooperation with the Canadian Labour Congress and environmental groups, the Alliance will:
(a) initiate an information program on the environment within its membership stressing that environmental regulation and control is absolutely necessary if Canada is to survive over the long term;
(b) take a positive stand and, where possible, action on specific environmental problems, i.e., the Great Lakes pollution problem, waste disposal, recycling;
(c) lobby federal, provincial and municipal governments in an attempt to ensure that all their policies and practices are implemented subsequent to an analysis of their environmental impact;
(d) review its own practices and procurement policies to ensure that it is not contributing to the deterioration of the environment;
(e) encourage its members to actively participate in environmental rejuvenation by participating in recycling programs, using environmentally-sound products and assisting organizations which campaign for a cleaner, more ecologically- sound environment;
(f) encourage its members to become involved with civic and provincial groups which are working to combat the pollution of our waters, land and air; and
(g) address environmental concerns at all Alliance Health and Safety Conferences.
ANTI-HARASSMENT: THE UNION (Adopted in September 1998)
The Public Service Alliance of Canada believes that every individual has the right to dignity and respect both within the union and in the workplace. This policy, which compliments Section 5, Membership Rights, of the PSAC Constitution, outlines the Alliance's responsibilities and responses as a membership-based organization in cases involving harassment within our union. This policy should be seen as a companion policy to "Policy 23A - PSAC Anti-Harassment Policy: The Workplace", which addresses harassment in the workplace for which we could provide representation to our members.
Harassment is an expression of power and superiority by one person or group over another person or group, often for reasons of sex, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability, family or marital status, social or economic class, political or religious affiliation or language. Harassment can also be personal in nature and unrelated to the grounds listed above. Harassment can include, but is not limited to, the following type of behaviour:
- unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendoes, taunts or other discriminatory communication in any media;
- insulting gestures or practical jokes which cause someone embarrassment or discomfort;
- display of offensive or pornographic pictures, graffiti or other materials;
- placing unreasonable limitations on someone because of a perceived need (e.g., disability, pregnancy, etc.);
- leering (sexually suggestive staring);
- demands for sexual favours;
- unnecessary physical contact such as touching, patting or pinching; or
- physical assault.
Harassment may occur between members of our union at union-related events such as education courses, conferences, local meetings and so on. It can also occur in interactions between individuals in a union-related context.
Harassment can also occur between members and staff of our union. As an employer, the Alliance is legally obligated to provide a workplace free from harassment for our staff.
Unions are political organizations that represent the interests of the membership. In order to do this, our union must be able to take positions on various issues and situations. Determining what our members' interests are and deciding how to balance competing interests is an intense process and one that can involve energetic debate. For our union to be strong and vibrant, it is essential that these debates take place and that we grow individually and collectively by working through sometimes difficult issues. A union where members are afraid to express their opinion is neither democratic nor healthy.
That being said, it is equally important that these necessary debates take place in a respectful way. Harassment not only poisons our union for the individual(s) being harassed but for all of those who witness the harassment. The Alliance will not tolerate it.
It is not the intention that this policy chill or prevent debate and discussion, or that it be used to chill debate and discussion. Rather, this policy should be used as a tool to assist us in working together in ways that strengthen our union and help us reach our goals.
Where allegations of harassment have risen, the Alliance is committed to ensuring that all members of our union have:
- the right to fair and due process and to confidentiality, subject to appropriate disclosure to those involved, and
- assistance in settling the matter at the earliest stage possible.
As an ongoing campaign to support this policy, the Alliance will ensure that a statement is read at each Alliance event providing members with information about harassment and how to address it. All levels of our union are encouraged to undertake this initiative.
Guidelines to assist in the implementation of this policy have been developed and will be revised as necessary and based on input from the membership.
Any member of the Public Service Alliance of Canada who is found guilty of harassment may be disciplined in accordance with PSAC Regulation 19 and Section 25 of the PSAC Constitution.
N.B. Guidelines for implementation are available from the PSAC.
The Alliance believes that the provision of comprehensive child care arrangements is a social responsibility to be shared by all Canadians.
Specifically, the Alliance has advocated and continues to promote a system of publicly-funded, non-profit high quality child care that provides an equal benefit across Canada.
Until such time as the government of Canada enacts a National Child Care Program that ensures universal access to low cost, quality child care, the Alliance will act in accordance with the following principles:
- pressure the federal and territorial governments to enact a National Child Care Act that provides for publicly-funded, non-profit and high quality child care for all Canadians;
- pressure the federal and territorial governments, as employers, together with other employers with whom the PSAC bargains, to create or expand their child care policies to meet the child care demands of all Alliance members;
- promote parental leave for a minimum period of one year for care and nurturing of new born infants; and
- pursue, through collective bargaining, provisions that will eliminate the financial hardship currently faced by working parents.
In consideration of this policy, the Alliance will join forces with the Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Day Care Advocacy Association and other child care coalitions in campaigns aimed at ensuring that Canadian children receive the best possible care at the least possible cost to their parents.
FAMILY CARE ALLOWANCE
The purpose of the policy is to:
(1) permit all members full and equal participation in our union activities or programs, conferences and conventions;
(2) establish the criteria through which entitlement to the Family Care Allowance (FCA) shall be determined; and
(3) establish a method of claiming expenses.
Family Care Allowance
A Family Care Allowance shall be paid to all Alliance members who require it to:
(1) attend a recognized PSAC course, be it a weekend or in-residence course;
(2) attend a PSAC convention as a delegate;
(3) attend a PSAC conference as a participant;
(4) participate in a committee whose existence flows (is derived) from the PSAC Constitution, its conventions or Regulations, and the sitting member is designated or elected to so sit (e.g. Alliance bargaining committees, Alliance negotiating teams, RAC, etc.).
In all cases above, the FCA can only be paid if attendance can be supported through a formal registration (courses, conventions, conferences, etc.) or through published minutes of committee meetings.
(5) attend any of the above-mentioned functions at the request of the Alliance Centre.
(1) The FCA shall not normally be paid for services provided by a spouse or relative residing with the claimant.
(2) The FCA shall not normally be paid if the member would, as a normal practice, be required to pay family care expenses when they would otherwise be at work on their scheduled hours of work.
(3) The FCA shall be limited as outlined below:
(a) for PSAC members participating in Alliance activities that are in-residence, a maximum of $25 per day accompanied by the usual receipt;
(b) for PSAC members participating in Alliance activities that are not in-residence, a maximum of $15 per day accompanied by the usual receipt;
(c) for PSAC members participating in Alliance activities that use licensed, family care services or child care centres, that they be fully reimbursed for additional costs upon presentation of appropriate receipt; and
(d) notwithstanding any other provisions in this Policy, the AEC will give consideration to any supported claim where special needs or circumstances arise.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PSAC
The OBJECTS of the Public Service Alliance of Canada are outlined in Section 3 of the PSAC Constitution as follows:
To unite all workers in a single democratic organization.
To obtain for all workers the best standards of compensation and other conditions of employment, and to protect the rights and interests of all workers.
To maintain and defend the right to strike.
Obviously, the above-outlined objects are brief and general in nature. Therefore, this Policy Paper will provide a more detailed outline of the AIMS AND OBJECTIVES of the PSAC. Needless to say, no Policy Paper will contain all of the aims and objectives due to ever-changing circumstances, as well as employer and government repressive or regressive actions.
- To unite all members by fostering an understanding of the fundamental differences between the interests of the members and those of the employer; and through the collective strength and action of the membership assure a union presence at the workplace.
- To speak with a united voice for all members of the Alliance to obtain the best standards of compensation and other conditions of employment, and to protect their rights and interests.
- To advance the economic, social and political interests of the members.
- To achieve the right to bargain freely on all issues that affect the welfare and safety of its members without legislative restraints on the right to resort to collective action.
- To achieve a healthy and safe workplace for all members.
- To achieve a workplace that is free of discrimination as well as personal and sexual harassment.
- To achieve human rights and full equality protection for all members.
- To improve old age security and provisions for retiring and retired members and their dependents.
- To defend the right to universally accessible and quality medicare.
- To obtain affordable housing.
- To obtain universally accessible, affordable and quality family and child care.
- To defend the right to a universally accessible quality education.
- To achieve the right of all members to "blow the whistle" on government policies or practices that run contrary to the public interest.
- To defend full political rights for all members.
- To promote full employment.
- To promote efforts to eliminate pollution and achieve improved environmental conditions.
- To establish close links with the trade union movement through affiliation with the international, national, provincial and local labour organizations.
- To encourage trade union principles of democracy among all workers.
- To provide services and representation in accordance with the Constitution of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
- To provide services to members in the official language of their choice in keeping with the Constitution of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada unequivocally supports the principles of human rights as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
The Alliance recognizes that there are members who have been and continue to be victimized by discrimination and that their problems, therefore, require special attention and measures, in order to be alleviated. The Alliance will not condone discriminatory actions taken on any ground including age, race, colour, sex, marital status, family status, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, language, political belief, union activity or criminal record.
The Alliance pledges to work toward the achievement of equality for all its members and to eliminate discrimination and increase the participation of disadvantaged groups in the workforce. We will institute the following measures to facilitate the achievement of these goals:
1. Promote human rights' issues through educational and sensitization measures aimed at our members and public awareness programs.
2. Support collective bargaining proposals for articles which further our human rights goals, including but not limited to protection against personal harassment; protection for workers who are or become disabled; child care; equal pay for work of equal value; joint and equal participation in union-management affirmative action programs; improvements to current "no discrimination" and "sexual harassment" articles.
3. Pressure the employer at all levels to end discriminatory practices, implement special measures to eliminate barriers to employment, and redress past and present systemic discrimination which has an adverse impact on our membership.
4. Continue to lobby for changes in legislation to achieve full bargaining rights in the public service and strengthen the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Employment Equity Act.
5. Participate with other groups with similar goals to improve benefits and conditions for disadvantaged people in Canada.
In support of this Policy, the Alliance has developed a series of background and implementation documents that are available from the Membership Services Branch.
INFECTIOUS DISEASES: PSAC POLICY ON AIDS AND HIV
This policy only addresses one aspect of Infectious Diseases. Further policies may be developed in this area.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada has a vital interest in protecting the employment rights of its members, including those that pertain to health and safety and those that pertain to human rights. As well, the Alliance believes that the social climate surrounding these rights affects our members in the workplace and, thus, the union has an obligation to actively promote the protection of the health and safety and the human rights of all members of our society.
In order to perform these tasks, the Alliance adopts the following principles as they pertain to AIDS and HIV.
1. All workers have the right to full and ongoing education concerning infectious diseases, including the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), their prevention and safe working procedures.
2. Workers who may be exposed to the virus because their duties could bring them in contact with contaminated blood or blood products have the right to specialized education. Such education should include information about prevention and infection control guidelines, including the concept of universal precautions. Workers must be provided with the necessary protective clothing and equipment and trained how to use it.
3. The PSAC opposes all mandatory, universal, pre-employment and employment HIV and AIDS testing, except when the Canadian Human Rights Commission has identified a bona fide occupational requirement for testing.
4. Persons who are HIV positive or have AIDS have the right to continue working. As with any worker who suffers a disability, they have the right to reasonable changes in their working arrangements, if necessary, to accommodate their illness. Those who are unable to work must be entitled to full benefits and union protection.
5. The PSAC is unequivocally opposed to segregation or quarantining of persons who are HIV positive or who have AIDS.
6. Workers who are HIV positive or who have AIDS must be provided the right to privacy in the disclosure of their medical status. There must be no obligation to inform the employer of the HIV or AIDS status but, where the employer has been informed, the employer has an obligation to maintain confidentiality. This same principle holds for union officials.
In order to ensure these principles are implemented, the Public Service Alliance of Canada will undertake the following activities.
1. The PSAC will continue to develop and provide educational materials on AIDS and HIV in consultation with groups concerned with AIDS, and ensure that these materials are readily available on union courses and through the Regional Offices. The PSAC will encourage and assist Locals and Components to offer AIDS awareness sessions specifically tailored to their membership.
2. Through joint consultation, the Alliance will pressure Treasury Board and other employers to ensure that all AIDS and HIV guidelines are jointly developed, implemented and disseminated.
3. Through collective bargaining, consultation and the National Joint Council, the Alliance will ensure that those testing HIV positive are protected by all existing health benefits, and that special accommodations that may be required are fully provided. As well, the PSAC will ensure that the right to confidentiality and privacy are maintained. For those working in a workplace where exposure is possible, the PSAC will ensure that the employer develops with the Union and implements universal precautions guidelines, infection control guidelines and safe working practices. As well, the employer must make available appropriate protective clothing and equipment.
4. The PSAC will continue to work with other groups that have similar concerns in this area to pressure the government to expand community education and counselling services; to increase support to the health care system to assist those who are HIV positive, persons with AIDS and their families; to guarantee that those who are HIV positive and persons with AIDS will receive sufficient medical and non-medical assistance; and to significantly increase resources for family support services and to assist the search for a cure or a vaccine for AIDS.
INFECTIOUS DISEASES (Amended 1997)
Over the past several years, the issue of infectious (communicable) diseases in the workplace has taken on a new and urgent meaning. With the resurfacing of the Plague, Ebola, tuberculosis, the advent of HIV/AIDS and the increase in hepatitis and other infectious diseases, PSAC members are concerned for their health and safety.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada considers that education together with the recognition and control of infectious diseases in the workplace is critical.
It is the PSAC's firm belief that the connection between occupational exposure and infectious diseases has been underestimated and ignored. Not enough information is available to workers and there is a lack of reporting of infectious diseases. Even the Compensation Boards are reluctant to recognize infectious diseases.
The PSAC will work to ensure that legislators improve health and safety regulations and employers expand workplace preventive programs to include proper protection for our members against infectious diseases.
As with any other workplace hazard, the best place to eliminate the hazard is at the source. However, due to the very nature of some occupations, avoiding exposure is not always possible. In these situations, all safety measures must be enacted, to prevent workers from acquiring the disease.
In recent years, rates of infectious diseases, formerly thought to be well-controlled, have increased and new diseases have emerged. The PSAC will be vigilant in order to protect its members against the ever-changing forms of infectious diseases in the workplace. The PSAC has the following policy on workplace infectious diseases:
IN THE WORKPLACE WHERE THERE IS A POTENTIAL RISK OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES:
1. Workers must be provided with an active and current infection control program, specifically adapted to their workplace.
Policies must be developed for each work environment, where infectious diseases are a risk for workers. The approach must be proactive and focus on the protection of the worker.
The risk of specific infectious diseases is related to certain occupations. Knowledge of these risks is the basis for a preventive approach to infectious diseases in the workplace.
Infection control programs must involve workers. This can be best achieved by union locals through Workplace Health and Safety Committees. Consultation of workers is essential in developing workplace policies and procedures for infection control.
2. Workers must be provided with education and training.
Effective worker education and training must be a cornerstone of the employer's response to infectious diseases. Key elements of infectious disease education are highlighted in the following recommendations:
- Involve workers and the union in the development of training programs and training materials. This lends credibility to the program and allows it to respond to specific issues raised by the workers.
- Training and education must be timely. Ideally, it must begin before workers start working with infectious diseases and raise serious concerns about them.
- Training and education must be presented frequently. One-time segments during orientation are insufficient. Regular in-service sessions are necessary to present new information promptly and to prevent misinformation from taking hold. Printed materials should be continuously available.
- Live training (lectures, seminars, discussions) is most effective; the educators must be highly knowledgeable. It is critical that workers have ample opportunity to ask questions and receive answers from experts in the field. Videotapes can be effective but they should be followed by live question-and-answer periods.
- Training and education must be keyed to specific workplace practices and situations. It is not enough to distribute generic information materials.
3. Workers must be provided with appropriate immunization against exposure to workplace infectious diseases. Immunization must be administered and paid for by the employer.
Workers should receive immunization, on a voluntary basis, after being given all relevant information concerning the vaccine being offered. Information must include contraindications (reasons for not using this treatment) and side effects. Workers must also be told of the benefits of receiving the vaccine and the risks of refusing it.
It is unacceptable for the employer to refuse immunization programs as a cost-cutting measure.
Immunization should be available to all workers, as outlined in the 1993 Canadian Immunization Guide by Health Canada and according to the workplace risks.
Confidential immunization records must be kept by the employer's health services, the worker and the worker's own doctor. The records are kept for as long as the worker remains with an employer.
The Workplace Health and Safety Committees must be involved in developing an immunization program appropriate to potential exposures of their particular workplace.
4. The quality of indoor air must ensure that microbes (germs and fungi) are not transmitted via the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems or through the humidifier systems.
5. Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be supplied for workers, where necessary; the workers must be thoroughly trained on how to use the equipment.
The Alliance recognizes that personal protective equipment should only be used as a last resort. However, in some occupations, exposure to infectious diseases is inevitable; for example, in laboratories, correctional and health care services. Where there is a possibility of a worker contracting an infectious disease while doing his or her work, personal protective equipment is necessary.
Engineering and work practice controls must also be provided. Meticulous attention must be paid to safe work practices, especially to prevent accidental "sharp" injuries and to prevent violence that leads to injuries and exposure to blood and/or other body fluids.
Personal protective equipment and work practices must effectively protect against transmission of diseases without interfering with the comfort, safety and dexterity of the worker. Gloves and other personal protective equipment must be designed with sufficient quality to protect against infection and at the same time allow for flexibility and comfort, to enable the worker to do his/her job.
6. Preplacement and Annual Screening should be provided for workers.
Certain tests for infectious diseases can benefit the worker:
First, if a worker has a negative test on hiring and later tests are positive, this screening may demonstrate that the infectious disease was contracted at work. For example, all Alliance members who work with people who are at high risk for tuberculosis must be screened when hired, at least annually and after a possible exposure.
Secondly, a screening test on hiring may show that a worker has never had infectious diseases such as rubella or chicken pox, which may be harmful to the foetus. Workers in health care, daycare and teaching must receive this screening and appropriate follow-up, in order to avoid contracting the diseases.
Annual screening is recommended for some zoonoses (animal-related diseases) and other infectious diseases, as indicated by Health Canada Guidelines.
Particularly for tuberculosis, sufficient medical staff must be provided to test and follow-up clients/inmates from populations in which the incidence of tuberculosis is high, and the workers who are in contact with these people.
PSAC members should refer to the PSAC Position Paper on Medical Monitoring for additional information on this issue.
7. Employers must notify authorities and document all work-related infectious diseases.
Notifiable Diseases: There are a number of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, psittacosis and Q fever, which, by law, must be reported to the local public health authorities, by the doctor or laboratory which makes the diagnosis. These diseases are then reported to provincial/territorial and federal authorities.
Workers' Compensation: All work-related infectious diseases are reportable under all provincial, territorial and federal Workers' Compensation regulations.
Employers must document all work-related infectious diseases. The Workplace Health and Safety Committees should be advised of current reports, in order that they can take appropriate action. The Occupational Health Service, where available, should provide a record-keeping procedure.
8. Employers must keep abreast of current information and seek ongoing research and development.
Awareness of the changing forms of diseases to which many workers may be exposed is mandatory, in order to maintain an effective infection control program.
The most effective technology and vaccines must be made available to protect workers. Workplace Health and Safety Committees need to make recommendations to manufacturers to develop improved injection equipment and techniques, and more efficient needle disposal procedures. Gloves do not protect against needlesticks or other injuries caused by sharp objects.
In workplaces where infection control procedures are required, they must be updated regularly to ensure that they reflect the latest knowledge and technology.
Work processes must be adapted and improved to reduce risk of exposure to the worker.
9. Governments must reassess universal precautions; employers must implement the recommended guidelines and adapt them in order to provide optimum protection for the workers in their particular workplace.
New guidelines should take into account unpredictable, emergency situations, where blood and body fluid exposure is unavoidable (situations common to Correctional Officers, Customs Officers and public safety /emergency response workers).
A new system of infection control - Body Substances Isolation (BSI) has been adopted by some health care facilities. BSI encompasses protocols for all body substances - urine, feces, vomitus and others, whereas universal precautions are intended for protection against bloodborne diseases, only.
Workplace Health and Safety Committees must assess the specific needs, resources, priorities and situations of their particular facility, and develop a system which would best protect the workers. In some instances, a combination of the two systems may be the answer; in others, modified universal precautions will be more appropriate.
Universal precautions must be regarded as the minimum standard for all occupations where there is potential risk of exposure to blood and body fluids.
10. The employer must take appropriate action when an inmate or client threatens to use their infectious body substances as a weapon. Specific measures should apply when violent acts could result in an increased risk to the worker.
11. Employers must ensure that Occupational Health Services staff are knowledgeable and informed.
Doctors and nurses must know which specific infectious diseases are potential risks in the workplaces they serve. They must be aware of preventive measures and be attentive to workers' signs and symptoms, which may be associated with these diseases. They should communicate with the local health authorities and keep informed during outbreaks in the community or workplace, as in the 1992 meningitis outbreak in several communities.
PSAC ACTION PLAN
To live up to its position, the PSAC will undertake the following union actions:
- Lobby for health and safety regulations pertaining to infectious diseases, in the occupational health and safety laws covering all PSAC members. Laws must also include protection for working women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Press for the inclusion of all work-related infectious diseases in the Workers' Compensation Acts (territorial, provincial and federal).
- Press for enforcement of existing legislation at the local, regional and national levels: Pressure employers to comply with health and safety laws and ensure that regulators enforce the legislation, as it is sanctioned in the Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) Laws. WHMIS Class D-3 covers Biohazardous Infectious Materials.
Employers must provide workers with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on all the infectious substances in their workplace. MSDS have been compiled by the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, Health Canada.
- Strengthen the Right To Know for Correctional Service Workers. Employers must ensure that correctional service workers who have close contact with inmates are informed on the appropriate means of protection required when an inmate in their care has an infectious disease although no specific diagnostic is required. Correctional service workers must be informed of the level of risk, protective measures must be implemented to address the risk and personal protective equipment must be provided and worn.
- Ensure that, through collective bargaining, specific directives concerning biological hazards are established in agreements, including infection control policies and education programs.
- Pressure Health Canada for research into new methods for the control of tuberculosis.
The Alliance urges that priority be given to the development of the following:
- a new effective vaccine against TB;
- improved testing methods that are less ambiguous, i.e. that eliminate false positive results and give a clear indication of active infection; and
- new medications, in order to treat drug-resistant strains of TB.
- Pressure all levels of government to establish nation-wide standards to protect workers against occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens (HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C) and tuberculosis. Standards to protect workers should be promulgated and enacted as soon as possible.
- Encourage workers to document any serious illness or persistent and unusual symptoms, using the PSAC Workplace Daily Health Diary.
Accurate records should be kept, and the information passed on to affected departments (not just department heads, but the workers and the union representatives as well).
- Press for a National Infectious Diseases Registry
or statistics on all infectious diseases. Data must include all work-related infectious diseases, not only notifiable or compensable infectious diseases.
To confront the problems of complacency, the Alliance will press for national studies to establish accurate statistics on the prevalence of tuberculosis, both in the general population and in the workplace.
- Pressure all levels of government to take expedient action whenever an outbreak occurs (for example, meningitis) and amongst certain susceptible populations in this country (for example, tuberculosis).
- Pressure the International Labour Organization, through the Canadian Labour Congress, to establish conventions or recommendations on workplace infectious diseases.
WORKPLACE DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING
The Public Service Alliance of Canada considers substance abuse or misuse a serious public health problem that can affect all levels of our society, and one which must be addressed in a humane and therapeutic manner, not a punitive one. However, substance abuse and misuse are not new problems, and recent information demonstrates that the problem is not on the rise in Canada. Therefore, mandatory drug and alcohol testing is unjustifiable.
In most peoples' minds when we refer to drugs, we think of drugs and alcohol and their abuse. Because of proposed legislation, we now have to think of drugs as encompassing legal and illegal drugs, alcohol, and prescribed and non-prescribed (over the counter) medication, even disinfectants.
We also have to think of drugs in terms of their use, misuse and abuse. It is one thing to use a prescribed or non-prescribed medication, it is another story when medication is misused. Abuse of any medication, drug or alcohol would cause serious problems. In the proposed legislation, testing will cover all substances and their legitimate use, as well as misuse and abuse. Therefore, testing has a serious impact on those affected by the proposed legislation.
The PSAC has the following policy on workplace drug and alcohol testing:
1. The PSAC opposes all forms of workplace drug and alcohol testing for any reason whatsoever.
2. The PSAC believes that drug and alcohol testing will not solve the problems of abuse and misuse nor will it help the affected persons because it does not address the cause of the problem.
3. Based on current information, the PSAC believes that drug and alcohol testing methods remain unreliable and can be used against the worker.
4. Based on actual Canadian studies, the PSAC is convinced that there is no drug epidemic in the country.
5. The PSAC recognizes that there is no conclusive evidence of a link between drug abuse and public safety, and drug abuse and workplace safety.
6. The PSAC believes drug and alcohol testing is an invasion of privacy, and a threat to workers' dignity.
7. The PSAC is convinced that the solution to drug and alcohol use, abuse and misuse can be achieved through prevention, education, rehabilitation, union counselling and joint employee assistance programs.
8. The PSAC recognizes its obligation to protect the rights of its members including the right to privacy, the right to a safe and healthy workplace, as well as an obligation to ensure that no legislation, policy or program can jeopardize these rights.
PSAC Action Plan
To live up to its position, the PSAC will undertake the following union actions:
1. Pressure federal, provincial and territorial governments to prohibit drug and alcohol testing in the workplace.
2. Pressure all levels of government to significantly expand or develop preventive, educational and life skills programs to fight drug and alcohol use, abuse and misuse.
3. Pressure all levels of government to significantly expand rehabilitative resources including the funding of workers' clinics.
4. Press for changes to Human Rights Act and the Privacy Act to ensure protection against drug and alcohol testing.
5. Provide appropriate assistance and support to our members in cases where drug and alcohol testing is used to discriminate against them in the workplace or to infringe on their workplace rights.
6. Promote union counselling and joint employee assistance programs.
7. Where joint employee assistance programs exist, pressure the employer to ensure that confidentiality and anonymity are protected, to make program services available to family members, and to ensure that competent persons, including union counsellors, provide the counselling.
8. Pressure for the elimination of workplace and social stressors which lead to drug and alcohol use, abuse and misuse.
9. Pressure all levels of government to strengthen and enforce health and safety laws.
10. Pressure the federal government to increase resources to ensure the interdiction of illegal drugs entering the country.
ABORIGINAL WORKERS (Adopted in 1994)
The Public Service Alliance of Canada supports the right of Aboriginal Peoples to self-determination, encourages all governments in Canada to fulfill their historic Treaty obligations and urges a timely and just settlement of all land claims.
The Alliance believes that Aboriginal Peoples have been historically disadvantaged both in society and the workplace, and supports mechanisms that redress this disadvantage. Aboriginal persons have the right to employment in those professions they wish to pursue. The Alliance believes that employment equity initiatives are a fully justified and necessary mechanism to ensure that Aboriginal persons are provided the opportunity to pursue their chosen career.
The Alliance will work to ensure that our Union, itself, is fully accessible to all Aboriginal members, and that it thoroughly represents the interests of these members.
To achieve these broad goals, the Alliance will undertake the following actions:
1. To work with organizations representing Aboriginal Peoples and other like-minded organizations to press at all levels for the right to self-determination, the fulfillment of historic Treaty obligations and the timely and just settlement of all land claims.
2. To press for legislation requiring mandatory and effective employment equity programs in all workplaces where we represent employees, and to ensure that these programs address the qualitative issues that affect our Aboriginal members.
3. To negotiate employment equity on behalf of Aboriginal members.
4. To facilitate the development of a strong network of Aboriginal members to advise the union about issues of particular interest to them.
5. To identify and to negotiate, in consultation with our Aboriginal membership, contractual protection that is particular to their needs.
6. To develop educational materials for Alliance members concerning race relations, cultural diversity and Aboriginal issues.
7. To actively oppose racism, racial harassment and cultural stereotyping in the workplace and in our Union.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION (Adopted in 1994)
The Public Service Alliance of Canada deplores discrimination against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, and urges all levels of government not only to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but also to recognize and protect lesbian and gay relationships and families.
The Alliance has taken a leading role in negotiating collective agreement provisions which begin the process of providing protection on the basis of sexual orientation. As well, it has defended these rights at arbitrations and adjudications, and pursued these issues to the Courts. The Alliance is committed to achieving contractual recognition and protection of the relationships and the families of all members.
The Alliance believes that heterosexism (the presumption that everyone is heterosexual and that heterosexuality is superior to other forms of loving) has constructed a social edifice which denies the existence of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, of their relationships and their families. The Alliance believes that fear and hatred of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals is passively and actively encouraged when institutions do not speak out against overt and covert discrimination against lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. To remain silent in the face of discrimination is to suggest tacit approval of harassment, intimidation and violence against gay men, lesbians and bisexuals.
The Alliance recognizes that a single individual may experience multiple grounds of discrimination at the same time, and that lesbians, gay men and bisexuals will experience the world differently depending on their sex, race, age, class, disability, language and other factors. The Alliance is committed to obtaining human rights protection on multiple and intersecting grounds of discrimination.
Internally, the Alliance will create a Union in which there is zero tolerance of homophobia and heterosexism.
To achieve the goals of this policy, the Alliance will implement the following procedures:
1. Work with organizations representing lesbians, gay men and bisexuals and other like-minded organizations to lobby for legal recognition and protection of their relationships and their families. Pursue the recognition of multiple and intersecting grounds of discrimination in human rights legislation at all levels of government.
2. Negotiate contractual protection for and recognition of members in same-sex spousal relationships and their families. If the federal government "as the state" continues to violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Alliance will pursue such protection in the courts, as well as at the bargaining table with all employers for whom the PSAC is the bargaining agent.
3. Implement an educational program for all PSAC elected officers and staff on heterosexism/homophobia (homophobia: negative personal attitudes or behaviours about homosexuality). This will create a climate where change is possible. Such a program could include the distribution of material produced by lesbian, gay and bisexual groups, workshops conducted by members of the PSAC Lesbian and Gay Support Groups, etc.
4. Examine current programs, policies and services for heterosexist bias to eliminate internal discriminatory presumptions and practices.
5. Work to ensure that lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are included as a target group in employment equity programs and policies within the PSAC (both as a Union and an employer), the labour movement and in municipal, provincial, territorial and federal governments, as well as within all employer environments where the Alliance represents workers.
6. Facilitate the development of a strong network of members who are lesbian, gay men and bisexual to advise the union about issues of concern to them.
7. Develop educational and communication materials which address the experience of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, and which integrate the concept of multiplicity of experience. This would mean incorporating the diversity and multiplicity of experience of all Alliance members into the regular content of all Alliance courses.
8. Actively oppose homophobia and heterosexism in the workplace and in the Union.
LITERACY (Adopted in 1994)
The Public Service Alliance of Canada is supportive of initiatives to raise the level of literacy among Canadians. Never has the ability to interpret printed information been more important to the quality of life than in today's society. It is this ability which gives individuals the power to make choices as consumers, citizens and workers.
Thirty-eight percent of Canadians are at one of the three following levels of literacy: 1) have so much difficulty dealing with printed material they say they cannot read; 2) can find a word they know in a simple text but have difficulty reading common materials; and, 3) can handle simple and clearly laid-out material but avoid situations requiring reading. At the fourth level, individuals display a range of literacy abilities and can deal adequately with a variety of printed information.
Although literacy skills within the public sector workforce and within the Alliance membership may be higher, the above provides a good profile on which to base an analysis of resulting impact on the union and on the members. There is cause for concern where, potentially, 38 percent (Levels 1 to 3) of our members:
- are less informed;
- refrain from union involvement;
- do not access the union education program;
- cannot keep up with technological advances;
- do not get involved in the political process; and
- do not stand up for their rights.
Therefore, the Alliance declares its support for organizations dedicated to furthering the cause of literacy. In addition, the Alliance:
1) Will provide all possible assistance to members who come forward for help, from filling out forms to interpretation of union material, as well as referral to literacy organizations.
2) Encourages members to become involved in and promote in the workplace basic skills development programs such as currently operated by the Ontario Federation of Labour and other labour bodies.
3) Advocates government-sponsored oral and written language training for immigrants who cannot function in either official language.
4) Will endorse campaigns of organizations whose purpose is to further the cause of literacy.
5) Supports the work of progressive non-profit organizations that are committed to helping individuals acquire reading, writing, numeracy and other basic skills.
N.B. A background document is available from the PSAC.
TELEWORK (Adopted in 1994)
Introduction - The Changing Workplace
The Public Service Alliance of Canada strives for the best protection and working conditions for members that it represents. In doing so, the Alliance is cognizant of the accelerating changes to work patterns and has strived, through collective bargaining and other forums, to achieve flexibility for workers. The Alliance has negotiated flexible work patterns including compressed work arrangements, variable hours of work, and terms and conditions surrounding part-time work.
The Alliance recognizes the overall advantages technological change can bring. It has a desire that technologies, whether it be hardware, software or new work processes, not only allow workers to provide increased services and goods, but also provide benefits to workers. There is a potential to share in the productivity increases the technology offers.
Telework, a method of work whereby technology (laptop computers, home-based computers, modems, etc.) enables work to be performed away from central offices or production facilities, has been introduced as yet another work pattern or work reorganization which employers claim provides flexibility for workers. Telework enables the separation of the worker from the central office, eliminating face-to-face contact with colleagues and management. Telework usually takes place in the home, in satellite offices established away from the central office, or in transit where members travel to conduct interviews or gather information. Portable technology is the tool accelerating the reorganization of work and the proliferation of telework.
PSAC's Research with Respect to Telework
In the past two years, the PSAC has undertaken research into the area of telework, with a particular emphasis on work at home. Our research has added to the existing exploration of work undertaken in the home done by researchers including, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, Margaret Oldfield, author of "The Electronic Cottage - boon or bane for mothers", Alvin Toffler, author of "The Third Wave", Heather Menzies, author of "Fast Forward and Out of Control", Kathleen Christensen, author of "Women and Home-Based Work: The Unspoken Contract", and Linda Duxbury, author of "Balancing Work and Family: A Study of the Canadian Federal Public Sector".
Our research has reached many of the same conclusions other researchers in this field have reached. Some of these conclusions are:
- Over the past century, homework has resulted in a female-dominated work ghetto - examples include textile workers in Canada, non-unionized white collar women claims processors in Toronto and non-unionized textile, electronic data processing and assembly workers in the U.S. (some of whom lost their rights to unionization by working in the home).
- For the most part, PSAC members have worked at home because there isn't enough time at work to complete the heavy workload during the regular workday.
- Members will assume current employer-paid costs - examples: furniture, hydro, telephone (except long distance).
- Working at home is often an individual coping mechanism to solve larger social policy problems.
The Alliance's Position Regarding Telework
The Alliance does not support telework as an individual response to larger social policy issues. Having taken that position, the Alliance recognizes that for some members, those who would be unable to work other than from their home, telework offers the only alternative of paid labour.
Therefore, the PSAC does not stand in the way of telework as a means of maintaining a job. However, there are too many concerns and there is a large amount of historical evidence that makes it clear that telework is a low-wage, low-capital cost employer initiative that serves the employer agenda of "more for less", but does little to provide a healthy alternative to workers' individual needs for flexibility and more leisure time.
The Alliance recognizes that some members will derive individual benefits from work at home - telework. Therefore, for members choosing to work at home, the Alliance's position is:
(a) Telework must be voluntary.
(b) Telework arrangements must not contravene the existing collective agreements and teleworkers must remain members of their respective bargaining unit.
(c) Offering telework must not replace the employers' legal and social obligations to promote employment equity within the workplace.
(d) With few exceptions, telework must not be done on a full-time basis. However, the Alliance recognizes that telework may provide a short-term solution for members with disabilities or with chemical sensitivities.
(e) Telework must not be used by management as a long-term solution to health and safety problems, nor should it be used by management to avoid its responsibility to provide and maintain a quality, safe and healthy workplace.
(f) Telework arrangements must not result in piece rates being introduced as a method of payment.
(g) Productivity level increases must not be a condition for teleworkers.
(h) Training for teleworkers must be provided to clarify the implications of working away from the central office. Those implications must include an awareness of consequences where in the employer's opinion, security is breached. Training for managers must be provided from the point of view of learning how to supervise teleworkers who work away from the central office.
(i) Hours of work for teleworkers must follow a consistent pattern that maintains similarity with the type of hours expected of non-teleworking colleagues and respects the integrity of the core hours collective agreement language.
(j) All overtime work must be authorized in advance, and remuneration provided as outlined in the collective agreement.
In order to achieve and develop the agenda with respect to Telework, the Alliance will undertake the following action:
- Local Tech Change Committees - All PSAC Locals will be encouraged to establish a Tech Change Committee for the purpose of developing a local plan of action to investigate, coordinate, and take action against adverse effects of technological change. The local plans could include surveys of the membership, monitoring and tracking the acquisition and installation of new technology, pressing for training and retraining for workers displaced by technology, submitting bargaining proposals regarding telework to Local bargaining committees, strategies to maintain contact with teleworkers, accessing education regarding tech change, meeting with management to monitor implementation of telework arrangements and consulting on a continuous basis with the union at a national level to ensure the integrity of national policies is protected and maintained.
- Local Tech Change Handbook - The PSAC will develop a handbook in support of Local Tech Change Committees to guide and assist committees to become established, and to address the various concerns and issues telework and other technological issues raise with respect to Health and Safety, Human Rights, Classification, Security, Productivity and Work Reorganization.
- PSAC Technological Change Component Advisory Committee - The Alliance and the Components shall continue to exchange information regarding technological change developments at the Technological Change Component Advisory Committee (TCCAC).
- Education - There are two elements to the education aspect of the plan. The first element is recognition that a telework weekend course has been developed. This weekend course will be offered to members, particularly those who telework, as part of regular Regional Office course scheduling. Alternate ways of delivering the weekend course will be considered (for example - teaching the weekend course over a consecutive number of evenings). The second element is the Member Instructor (MI) Telework module that has been developed. Member Instructors will develop a plan of action for their region to deliver the telework module to as many workplaces as possible, and actively involve members of Local Tech Change committees and members who telework.
- Collective Bargaining - Bargaining proposals currently developed as a result of the Alliance research on telework will be automatically included for consideration by bargaining committees, for all bargaining units where there is even a remote chance of the emergence of telework.
- Health and Safety - The PSAC will assess Health and Safety concerns of telework and secure the strongest protections possible for those members who choose to telework. The Alliance will push the employer to pay for ergonomic furniture for all teleworkers and, in the event of any occupational injury, will press Workers' Compensation Boards to cover teleworkers in the same manner as those who work in central offices.
- Human Rights - The PSAC will assess Human Rights implications of telework, including its use as a type of accommodation for workers with disabilities, and pressure the employer into providing a workplace accessible to all workers. The Alliance will not accept work at home where the sole result is to marginalize and exclude members with disabilities from the office environment.
- Electronic Bulletin Board - PSAC will develop an electronic bulletin board that will allow teleworkers, particularly those working at home with computers, to electronically access the union for general information.
- Shorter Work Week - The PSAC will continue to press for a shorter work week with no loss in pay or benefits, so the productivity gains made with the use of the technology can be shared with the unemployed by way of job creation.
- Canadian Labour Movement - The PSAC will continue to take a leadership role in the Canadian labour movement, and in particular, at the Canadian Labour Congress with respect to the issue of Technological Change.
WOMEN AND THE ALLIANCE: FROM THE MARGINS TO THE MAINSTREAM (Adopted in 1994) (Amended April 1997 )
In 1980, fifty thousand federal clerks took their demand for fair wages into the streets. This was one of the largest strike actions ever launched in Canada. What was perhaps more remarkable at the time was that fully three quarters of the clerks were women.
We came from every Component of the Alliance. We were older women, younger women, francophones, anglophones, lesbians, women with disabilities, aboriginal women and women of colour. Women of all races and backgrounds struggling collectively for the first time for recognition of the worth of our work.
Until that time women had been regarded as passive members of the Alliance and of other unions. Very few of our brothers suspected that we were capable of sustaining militant action and very few women really felt themselves to be trade unionists.
Yet with the clerks' strike, women were front and centre. Serving notice, not just on the employer but also on the union, that we were not willing to passively accept low wages and subordinate status. Women were demanding fair wages and respect, recognition at work and within their union, bread and roses.
Since the clerks' strike in 1980 women's activism has become a force for the revitalization of the union. Women's unequal pay has become a major issue for the Alliance and women have increasingly taken on leadership roles.
But more than this we have challenged the vision of the Alliance, broadening it to include equity within the workplace, protection from sexual harassment and racism, and social issues such as reproductive choice, child care, and the differences in political and economic power which underlie our inequality.
In broadening the focus to include equity and social justice, women's activism has opened up space on the union agenda for the inclusion of different experiences and sources of identity. Francophone women, aboriginal women, women with disabilities, women of colour, lesbians and others have raised the issues of difference and inclusion. Together we have struggled to build a new solidarity which recognizes and respects these differences so that those of us who remain marginalized at work, in society and in the union may take our rightful place in the mainstream.
Our efforts with the union have helped to develop the union's commitment to the fight for equality at the workplace. Sexual harassment is on the agenda because we put it there. The importance of fighting racism is on the agenda because we put it there. The fight for employment and pay equity are key struggles for the Alliance. Violence against women, particularly violence against women of equity groups has become increasingly important in our fight for change in society, at the workplace and in the home. For example, women who have disabilities experience sexualized violence and other forms of violence at very high rates.
More can be done but women are justly proud of the efforts we have made over the past decade and a half to transform the union and make it more responsive to the membership. In doing so, we have built a stronger more democratic union which is more able to represent the rights of women workers at the workplace. Yet there continues to be resistance to change women's equality in the union, at the workplace and in society. We call on our union to bring down its inner barriers of resistance, prejudice and racism so that instead of being an obstacle in the struggle of working women for equality and justice, it's rather a source of strength and empowerment, of inspiration and hope.
The equality we fight for should go beyond half measures or token initiatives. To create an inclusive solidarity, the union has to deepen its commitment to equity by developing new ways of doing things that help to transform the unequal distribution of power. We must ensure that we develop an inclusive solidarity that brings those at the margins into the mainstream. To do that we must:
A. Work to Reduce the High Costs of Being a Woman;
B. Transform the Systems of Power in the Workplace;
C. Build Equity Within the Alliance;
D. Unite to Confront Violence, Harassment and Discrimination;
E. Educate for Activism in Union and in the Community;
F. Renew our Sisterhood.
In order to accomplish these objectives the following action program is proposed.
A. WORK TO REDUCE THE HIGH COSTS OF BEING A WOMAN
Recognizing our Child and Family Care Responsibilities: Action Plan
A.1 The Alliance should require all employers to provide workplace childcare. Although the Alliance has a letter of agreement covering Treasury Board employees, in which the employer has committed to pay the start-up costs for workplace childcare centres, this must be extended to all bargaining units. In spite of this letter of agreement, Treasury Board has not allocated separate funds to pay these start-up costs, but expects them to be made up from the existing budgets of departments and agencies. The union must compel all employers to recognize their responsibility to provide separate additional funds for start-up, operation and maintenance.
A.2 The Alliance should begin to address the members' family care problems by conducting a needs survey. The results of the needs survey should be used to design family care pilot projects. These projects could take the form of a subsidy being provided to workers, on-site or near-site family care, compensation for the costs of extra family care during periods of overtime, shifts, flexible hours or emergency, at home family care for workers whose regular daycare arrangements are temporarily interrupted or unavailable.
A.3 We must ensure that our collective agreement provisions reflect the family (as defined in Section A.5) situation of our members by:
A.3.1 Strengthening leave without pay for the care and nurturing of pre-school age children by removing the minimum period of leave; ensuring that this leave is counted for purposes of "continuous employment" and for pay increment purposes.
A.3.2 Negotiating leave with pay for family related responsibilities of twenty-five working days per year with no limitations on the number of consecutive days. This increased entitlement to paid leave recognizes that members have the right to work in environments that are "family friendly", encourages sharing of family-related responsibilities; enables members to also assist with elder care.
A.3.3 Negotiate benefit entitlements that include older relatives (such as drug plan coverage, dental, etc.).
A.3.4 Negotiate "top up" of UIC benefits for parental leave, and sick benefits as they relate to maternity.
A.4 Recognition of family responsibilities and family life must be extended in the workplace and in society. In conjunction with the CLC and other unions, we must reopen public discussion of the need for reduced work hours without loss of salary. The campaign for a shorter work week must be revived. We must include in our bargaining demands the need for a shorter workweek and for flexible and compressed schedules.
A.5 Make the redefinition of the family within our collective agreements a priority. The amended definition must cover and include spouse, chosen partner, whether of the opposite or the same sex, children (including step-children, foster children, common-law children), parents (including step-parents, foster parents, parents-in-law), sisters and brothers (including sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law), grandparents (including grandparents-in-law), grandchildren (including grandchildren-in-law), and other blended family members. Such a redefinition includes negotiating contractual recognition of lesbian and gay relationships, so that their child and family care responsibilities will be recognized, and the benefits they have paid for can be used to support their families.
A.6 The PSAC must continue its fight to amend Part II of the Canada Labour Code to provide workplace safety and health protection to pregnant or nursing workers. It is essential that emphasis be placed on modifying the job functions or reassigning the worker to another job that is not dangerous. In the event the job cannot be modified, or the worker cannot be reassigned, the pregnant or nursing worker must then have the right to fully paid leave until the pregnancy ends or the nursing is completed.
A.7 The PSAC must undertake to have the Canadian Human Rights Act amended to prevent discrimination in hiring, job placement, promotion and other conditions of employment based on factors related to reproductive physiology such as reproductive capacity, pregnancy, child-birth or breast-feeding.
A.8 The PSAC must have employment laws amended to entitle pregnant and nursing workers, who had to take maternity-related leave, to the same salary and benefits as in their regular jobs and to job protection during the full period of leave.
A.9 The PSAC must have health and safety laws strengthened to eliminate working conditions dangerous to pregnant and nursing workers.
A.10 The struggle for childcare cannot be limited to provisions that address the needs of Alliance members, but must concentrate on winning publicly funded, accessible, high quality non-profit, cooperatively administered childcare for all Canadians -- childcare which respects regional needs and cultural diversity and the needs of children with disabilities. We urge the Alliance to commit resources to the childcare campaign, to lobby MPs, and to make childcare a priority issue in all election activities.
A.11 While the poverty of households headed by single mothers has a number of causes, the fact that non-custodial fathers are allowed to default on their child support payments is a critical factor. The Alliance must build coalitions with like-minded organizations to pressure provincial and territorial governments for agreements to enforce child support payments across provincial and territorial boundaries.
A.12 The federal government should abolish the deduction for child support and alimony payments in the Personal Income Tax. The payments should not be taxable in the hands of the recipient.
A.13 The union must clearly demonstrate that there is a place for our families in our Union. In order to be family friendly we must provide a framework that recognizes our families. This includes providing environments that allow activists to bring their families with them to Union activities, environments that do not force our children to be surrounded by alcohol, an environment where our dependants will feel at home. In addition, we must widely and broadly advertise the fact that PSAC offers reimbursement for family care costs.
The Future of Women's Work
A.14 (a) The Alliance must bargain to ensure that telework is included in all collective agreements to ensure that those who choose telework are protected from employer abuse (e.g. increasing workload, extending work hours, making workers responsible for health and safety, equipment costs, etc. (see also PSAC Publication "Go Home and Stay There").
A.14 (b) In addition, the Alliance must become involved in the issue of work re-organization by negotiating memorandum or letters of understanding before implementation, by including full union recognition, total respect of the collective agreement and adequate training for members; therefore, the access to information will result in the protection of our jobs, ensuring occupational training, eliminating contracting-out and improving our working conditions and our standard of living.
A.15 (a) Part-time, casual, seasonal, term work or job sharing must be the worker's choice, and we must be able to return to full-time work when a vacancy occurs. We must fight for the right for part-time, casual, seasonal, term and job sharing workers to contribute to pension plans regardless of hours of work. Part-time, casual, seasonal, term and job sharing workers must be paid for statutory holidays at collective agreement rates of pay. Part-time, casual, seasonal, term and job sharing workers should get annual incremental wage increases.
A.15 (b) In order that we may deal with the negative impact of work reorganization in our workplace, we must: be equals in the work reorganization process and/or pilot projects, include the aspects of women's work life conditions and equity conditions in dealing with the issue of work reorganization, become involved in our workplace at the very beginning of the process, from the planning phase to that of the implementation of new processes; negotiate employer-paid union leave to allow for full participation in the whole process of work reorganization, have access to all relevant information, denounce any infringement on the representation of union presence, develop a union expertise through training and information, ensure that the employer provides occupational training so as to enable us to deal with the technological challenges, protect classification and job descriptions, ensure that the employer provides a safe and non-violent workplace environment, eliminate contracting-out and negotiate the inclusion of a complete definition of technological change, of an advance notice including a report of all effects on the staff, and training and development for all members affected by technological change, as well as clauses on health and safety.
A.16 The Alliance must continue its leadership role in educating members on all aspects of telework and work reorganization, including all limitations and difficulties.
A.17 The Alliance, through RWCs, has to build coalitions with other groups to combat the impact of expansion and integration of markets on women as well as the impact of changes in the economic structure.
Addressing Unequal Pay: Action Plan
A.18 Fair implementation of any new classification system requires that all Alliance members, their managers and supervisors must be educated to deal with any reclassification issues including the issue of gender neutrality and the history of gender-bias in job classification. The course should be developed and delivered jointly by union and management within a specified timeframe. The course should be mandatory, paid for by the employer and scheduled during working hours. Successful completion of the course should be made a prerequisite for the occupation of a supervisory position.
A.19 This education should be undertaken immediately with all affected groups prior to the conversion to any new occupational group structure.
A.20 All employers must be required to budget for pay equity.
A.21 The Alliance shall resolve the pay equity issue regardless of the costs. Resources shall be committed to:
1. negotiating pay equity;
2. winning the legal battle;
3. mounting a political action campaign to pressure governments to end pay inequity;
4. educating the public and the members through a nation-wide campaign.
A.22 A) The Alliance must demand that pay equity be achieved and implemented retroactively before any new classification systems are put in place.
B) Where classification plans are negotiable, the Alliance shall negotiate pay equity as part of the plan.
C) Pay equity adjustments must be integrated and included within the basic salary.
A.23 The Alliance must commit the necessary resources to sustain the battle for pay equity in the Tribunals of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
B. TRANSFORM THE SYSTEMS OF POWER IN THE WORKPLACE: Action Plan
B.1 The Alliance must monitor the impact of downsizing, hiring freezes, teleworking and restructuring on equity groups. Through negotiations with the Alliance, employers must undertake a comprehensive employment equity review of practices associated with recruitment, selection, hiring, training, promotion and terminations.
B.2 The Alliance must be an equal partner in all employment equity plans so that problems of high turnover; hostile workplace climates; segregation into job ghettos; inaccessibility; (physical and communicational), unjustified physical requirements; ineffective procedures for dealing with sexual, racial, personal, psychological and other forms of harassment; and training priorities shall be examined and changed as required.
B.3 Joint union-management employment equity committees must be established at all the national, regional and local levels. National and regional committees must be given the responsibility of identifying short and long-term remedial measures. Committees must assume responsibility for monitoring their implementation. All joint committees should be employer funded at all levels, i.e. the same as health and safety committees.
B.4 Ultimate responsibility for the success or failure of employment equity programs rests squarely on the shoulders of Ministers, Deputy Ministers or upper and intermediate level managers. Performance appraisals of upper and intermediate level managers must include their successful and unsuccessful attempts in meeting the established goals.
B.5 To address the problems of high turnover among equity groups, the Alliance must also be a part of an effective exit interview process. A process for investigating low retention rates in particular departments and workplaces must be part of the mandate of joint union-management committees. Of course, effective procedures for dealing with sexual, racial, personal, psychological and other forms of harassment are critical.
B.6 Employment equity programs must take note of segregation into job ghettos by developing effective bridging programs that would allow us to move from administrative support positions into professional and technical positions. We need, as well, to examine the merit principle and its subjective nature in order to identify any cultural, gender or ability bias.
B.7 Workplace accessibility must be assessed and the physical/communicational requirements attached to specific jobs must be analyzed to accommodate specific needs. Such investigations are needed to ensure that the extremely low representation rates for women with disabilities will improve. Recommended solutions shall be immediately implemented.
B.7.1 The Alliance will develop a policy on safety aspects, needs and requirements for members with disabilities.
B.8 Alliance members will determine equity group designations. The groups to be designated under the employment equity plan must be determined through negotiations between the Alliance and its respective employers. Measures to achieve equity for other groups including lesbians, gay men and older workers need to be considered, through their designation as equity groups.
B.9 We must recognize that there still exists a resistance to employment equity programs. We believe that this stems from a lack of understanding or insufficient information on this issue. We must educate our membership on employment equity programs and actively explain and promote equity issues, as well as showing leadership by an ongoing review of our own internal employment systems and enforcing our own employment equity policy.
B.10 The PSAC must lobby for changes in legislation to provide for enforcement of employment equity programs.
C. BUILD EQUITY WITHIN THE ALLIANCE: Action Plan
C.1 The total lack of equity group members at all levels of the union's structure is an even more pronounced and noticeable fact. While many regional offices have no female officers on staff, the vast majority have no equity group representation at all. The Alliance cannot hope to respond to the needs of a growing proportion of its members given these conditions. The Alliance must rectify this situation.
C.2 Women members who are racially visible or aboriginal have been significantly underrepresented throughout the PSAC, particularly in the policy-making bodies of our union. It is important that these members' concerns, perspectives and priorities contribute to the shaping of the PSAC and its policies. We know that racism, whether intended or unintended, has been and is a significant barrier in PSAC policies and practices. As an example, women are demanding recognition of the significance of slavery as an exploitive labour system as well as the cultural genocide and abuse inflicted on Aboriginal People. As a partial remedy to this, the PSAC must implement an action-oriented anti-racism policy before the next Triennial Women's Conference. The anti-racism policy must reflect that women of colour and aboriginal women face racism which is often sexualized and sexism which is often racialized. This policy must also address the violence which women of colour and aboriginal women experience in society, in the workplace and in the home.
D. UNITE TO CONFRONT VIOLENCE, HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION: Action Plan
D.1 Employers must make every effort to ensure that workers are not exposed to violent attacks. Women, particularly women from equity groups, are especially subject to workplace attacks. In particular, if cutbacks in staff levels or poorly-designed workplaces are putting women at risk, the onus is squarely placed on the employer to secure the workplace rather than transferring women or limiting their opportunities for employment.
D.2 Joint union-management seminars on harassment and discrimination on employer time must be included as a priority demand in negotiations. There must be mandatory attendance for both employees and managers at these seminars and training must be provided on a continuous basis.
D.3 The Alliance shall negotiate in all collective agreements: effective "no discrimination" clauses which are enforceable and contain penalties and/or compensation; effective mechanisms of redress with time limits for response and resolution stipulated; the right to refuse work if a member is being harassed; 100 percent coverage for counselling and therapy and leave provisions for victims of violence and harassment. Members should have input into the choice of assistance provided.
D.4 Special attention must be paid to redressing the damages that both direct and indirect victims of harassment or discrimination have suffered; ensuring that aggressors are appropriately dealt with and that poisoned work environments receive the assistance that is required. In a poisoned environment mandatory training must be repeated. Also, employees must have input in defining what makes a poisoned environment and into the assistance they receive.
D.5 We must also insist that aggressors rather than their victims be reassigned and closely monitored in their new workplace. Repeat offenders must be subject to automatic dismissal on a second offence. The workplace which has been poisoned must be monitored and evaluated jointly by union and management to prevent further occurrences of harassment and discrimination.
D.6 Effective sanctions against harassers must act as a deterrent and must include: the requirement for an apology in writing; appropriate counselling; removal of supervisory functions as a temporary or permanent measure; transfer out of the workplace; financial penalty; letters of reprimand; and/or other disciplinary measures up to and including dismissal. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action against the harasser, among other factors, the following must be taken into consideration:
1. the vulnerability of the victim;
2. the psychological impact of the harassment on the victim; and
3. the impact on the victim's career.
D.7 Workplace representatives must know how and where women who are victims of violence can find help. Workplaces should have literature on the services available in the community, including those specifically available for women, women of colour, immigrant women, aboriginal women, women with disabilities, bisexual women and lesbians. Phone numbers for shelters and crisis lines should be clearly posted. Employer-paid training must include sensitization to the whole range of issues encompassed by violence against women. Managers' performance review should include rating on people management and a record of harassment history. Workplace representatives must be acquainted with the most supportive and effective ways to assist women who are victims of violence, harassment, discrimination, racism, sexism and homophobia wherever it takes place. There must be union input on the selection of workplace representatives.
D.8 Policies to deal with harassment and discrimination within the union must be strengthened. The "PSAC Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedure" must be implemented and its effectiveness monitored. Investigations on complaints of harassment and discrimination must be completed within a three-month period from the date of the complaint. When dealing with cases of member to member harassment, the following should be respected:
D.8.1 The investigative committee must only be comprised of officers who will have undergone specific training on dealing with harassment and discrimination cases.
D.8.2 Any decisions by any investigative committee must be appealable, by either party, to the next level.
D.8.3 Any interviews or opportunities to speak provided in the investigative, decision or appeal procedures need to be equally provided to the alleged victim and the alleged harasser.
D.9 In recognition of the insidiousness of all forms of harassment and discrimination in our society, the union must implement a policy of zero tolerance in this area. This should include extending disciplinary action to those who are clearly protecting harassers.
D.10 Violence against women must be an ongoing Political Action Committee priority. The Alliance must develop a political campaign which pressures federal, provincial and territorial governments to commit resources to women's shelters, rape crisis centres and sexual assault centres, and to develop substantive policies which support such community efforts to assist women.
D.11 Stewards and Executive Officers must know how and where women who are victims of violence can find help. Local officers must have literature on the services available in the community, including services specifically available to women, women of colour, immigrant women, aboriginal women, women with disabilities, bisexual women and lesbians. Phone numbers for shelters and crisis lines should be clearly posted. Training for stewards and all local executives must include sensitization to the whole range of issues encompassed by violence against women. Stewards and Executive Officers must be acquainted with the most supportive and effective ways to assist women who are victims of violence, harassment, discrimination, racism, sexism and homophobia.
D.12 The Alliance must work with community groups such as government agencies, district labour councils and social coalitions, to raise public awareness of the issues. Violence against women must be the subject of a global campaign. Alliance links with local shelters should be encouraged. Locals and RWCs can earmark United Way funds for shelter support and participate in community actions like "Take Back the Night" which attempt to raise public awareness and concern.
E. EDUCATE FOR ACTIVISM IN THE UNION AND IN THE COMMUNITY: Action Plan
E.1 The Alliance should make paid union education leave a bargaining priority for all members.
E.2 One way to broaden the accessibility of union education is to make greater efforts to use the skills of members who have taken the Basic Instructor Training Program and can deliver courses at the local level and in the workplace. Women and equity group members need to be recruited into this program and encouraged to create Member Instructor Committees in their regions. In particular, recruitment into the basic course, Building Union Solidarity, should focus on these groups. Another way to broaden accessibility is to increase the frequency of Basic Instructor Training Programs. A timeframe for the implementation of this policy should be established and progress closely monitored.
E.3 Regional offices should ensure that facilities used for course delivery are accessible to members with disabilities, and that special needs are identified and met. Course recruitment literature should make it clear to members with disabilities that the regional office will make every effort to provide inclusive facilities as well as appropriate and adequate material.
E.4 In their education recruitment efforts, regional offices should establish contact with equity groups organized in their areas, and consult with them about ways to use the links that these groups have developed.
E.5 Education at all levels needs to emphasize organizing skills and sensitivity to equity issues, while conveying an awareness of union structure and procedures. Equity issues shall be incorporated as part of the exercises and the examples used to illustrate course content.
E.6 Courses shall stress the serious nature of all forms of harassment and discrimination. Courses which deal with grievance procedures should include modules which stress the serious nature of harassment and discrimination, as well as providing information on the most sensitive ways of dealing with these specific problems.
E.7 Courses that specifically deal with the problems of harassment and discrimination and the difficulties encountered by equity group members shall be revised and developed in consultation with members of the PSAC Human Rights Ad-Hoc Groups.
E.8 All courses in the Alliance Education Program should focus on the goal of equity, and how it may be achieved within the union. In particular, leadership training must be oriented toward human rights issues, consensus building, and inclusive decision-making processes. Equity issues should be incorporated as part of the exercises and the examples used to illustrate course content.
E.9 Information and training sessions for members of collective bargaining teams must emphasize equity issues. Teams must be made aware of the Alliance's commitment to equity, and be required to integrate these issues into the mainstream of collective bargaining demands and to make them priority issues at the table.
E.10 A) We must support the needs of equity groups by giving space in our publications to their issues on a regular basis.
E.10 B) Each Regional Women's Committee should be entitled to a delegate seat on the Political Action Committee.
E.11 We must continue to work to build progressive community-based coalitions; the Union must build links with groups such as NAC, DAWN, the Fédération des Femmes du Québec, the Native Women's Association of Canada, the Association of Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals, the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada, all other community equity groups and with our sisters in other unions.
E.12 We must continue our efforts to form coalitions with progressive political organizations. A strong public sector is essential in an equitable society, and essential to the goal of economic renewal. Alliance members need to take the message into the community and support all efforts to counter a political agenda that is not in our best interests.
E.13 We have to recognize our responsibilities to non-unionized women both here and abroad. It is vital to the continued existence of the Alliance that it redouble its efforts to unionize those workers who do not yet have the benefit of union representation. We must commit resources to assisting other union activists attempting to unionize women here and in other parts of the globe.
F. RENEW OUR SISTERHOOD
F.1 In calling on our union to create more representative and democratic structures of power, we must recognize the meaning of this challenge for us as women. In striving to change power relationships, we must be sure to provide support and demand accountability from those we elect to represent us while at the same time we must be prepared to demonstrate encouragement.
F.2 Women also have to give greater recognition to diversity. Needs and interests differ between regions and cultures. We have to be sensitive to the different attitudes and outlook of Québec women, francophone women, rural women and immigrant women, as well as the different needs of women in the equity groups.
F.3 We have to build a more inclusive and representative solidarity. Those among us who enjoy privileges or advantages whether because of skin colour, ethnicity, age, education, socio-economic status, lack of disability, sexual orientation, language, region of residence, country of birth, family or marital status, have to recognize our privileges and take responsibility for these advantages. We must always be sure to work cooperatively with those affected by this prejudice to eliminate the discrimination and gain equality for all.
F.4 In order to assume its leadership role, the Alliance must become more inclusive by finding the human and financial resources, as well as the means, to continue its work in this area. This can only happen with the participation of all levels of our union, namely the Alliance Centre, the Components and the Locals. Making our union inclusive means supporting solidarity. Supporting solidarity requires an acceptance at all levels that the costs must be shared, where possible, for every union event.
F.5 Alliance women must continue to strengthen the activism that started the women's movement within the PSAC. We have to renew our commitment, get involved, push our union to recognize that our issues must be priority issues. More than ever we have to continue our fight for equality in the union and at the workplace. Women particularly women in equity groups, need to play a crucial role in every aspect of the PSAC. We are there, we must always be there -- front and centre.
EMPLOYMENT EQUITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES(Adopted in 1994)
Persons with disabilities constitute a significant portion of our society. Approximately 15 percent of Canadians have permanent disabilities acquired at birth or through accident, disease or the aging process. The large majority of these people are employable in some capacity, and while none of the employers with which the Alliance bargains are representative of those with disabilities, the Alliance does represent an increasingly active and vocal group of members with disabilities. These members are keenly aware of the barriers that exist to their initial employment or re-employment as well as those that tend to make continued employment difficult. Through the Access '93 Conference, they have called on our union to develop a concrete action plan to begin to address these issues.
Persons with disabilities are a diverse group. They come from different economic and social backgrounds and have, as well, varying levels of education and work experience. They may also be members of other equity-seeking groups, such as Aboriginal, visible minorities, gay men and lesbians. Over half the persons with disabilities are women.
Persons with disabilities are often defined by society in terms of their limitations. However, physical barriers are slowly being removed and technological advancements are putting workers with disabilities on an equal playing field with other workers. Unfortunately, the attitudes of others often remain a barrier to their full participation in society and in the union.
Employers continue to provide lip service to employment equity resisting all attempts to make it a mandatory aspect of their daily business. Many workers with disabilities are hired on short-term contracts or through special programs that do not lead to indeterminate employment, with no job security and even less chance of promotion. They are more often than not terminated rather than having their terms extended.
Workers with disabilities are also caught in a difficult situation regarding the provision of technical aids with which to do their jobs with proficiency. Employers may be reluctant to invest in expensive accommodations required by an employee who may only be working for a short term. Persons with disabilities may be hired but if they are not given the tools necessary to do their work, the chance of success in their employment is limited.
The need for our Union to become better versed on issues of concern to workers with disabilities arises not only from the current situation. The workforce in Canada is aging, and this means there will be more workers with disabilities in the workforce.
As the economy slows, it is essential that our Union undertakes to ensure that any small gains in representation by persons with disabilities are maintained, especially given the Employer's current efforts to terminate or declare surplus a large number of members. The Alliance must develop the tools and a broader understanding of the issues pertaining to persons with disabilities in order to protect workers with disabilities.
In order to identify the particular problems our members with disabilities are experiencing with employment equity initiatives and to expand the rights and protection afforded these members, the Alliance will undertake the following actions:
1. The Alliance will lobby for strong, effective, inclusive and mandatory employment equity legislation.
The only employment equity legislation that affects Alliance members (i.e., the Federal Employment Equity Act) only requires employers to report on their workforce. It does not require them to do anything. Treasury Board, which employs many Alliance members, is not even covered by the weak legislation and, thus, does not have to monitor their workforce and employment systems and report publicly on their progress. Under changes to the Public Service Employment Act, Treasury Board now "may" develop statistics and reports.
Along with several community-based groups of persons with disabilities (e.g. Disabled Persons for Employment Equity and the Coalition of Provincial Organizations of the Handicapped (COPOH), the Alliance has made presentations to strengthen and extend the coverage of employment equity legislation and will continue to do so.
2. The Alliance will work to ensure that employment for workers with disabilities is full-time and permanent, where desired by the worker.
A common concern for workers with disabilities is that they are often hired as term or part-time employees and never completely integrated into the workplace with full rights and benefits. In part, this is a reflection of some of the special programs now in place, but it is also a function of the employer not being fully committed to a true representation of employees with disabilities.
3. The Alliance will work together with Alliance members with disabilities on their concerns and/or problems in the workplace and with community-based consumer groups. As participants to Access '93 eloquently told the Alliance, there are long-standing and legitimate issues of concern to our members with disabilities.
In order to fully understand these issues and to ensure that our response is both relevant and focused, union members with disabilities must be involved in the development and implementation of union initiatives in this matter. This input will be sought through Members with Disabilities Ad-Hoc Committees (MDACs), future meetings/conferences of members with disabilities and from individual union members with particular experience and/or expertise. As well, our union will work with community-based consumer groups on issues of mutual concern. The Alliance will continue to liaise with groups with a common interest in employment equity, and support them in their PR campaigns and when they launch complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
4. Data Collection
(a) The Alliance will request that Treasury Board produce a report that converts TB groups and sub-groups to 1991 Census occupational groups in order to compare these groups with availability data.
(b) The Alliance will develop and maintain a data bank on current employment equity statistics obtained from Treasury Board, other employers, the Public Service Commission/departments/agencies, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and others.
In order to piece together a complete picture of employment equity, it is necessary to have the processing and analytical tools. The above two initiatives will assist in developing these tools.
The Alliance should, after a thorough review of the Employer's record of employment equity, be able to determine and take whatever action is necessary, which might include filing a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission to force the Employer to launch a full employment system review. Such a review would identify systemic barriers which exist for persons with disabilities in the following areas:
. recruitment of persons with disabilities;
. training and development;
. working conditions/benefits; and
Reviews of this nature would help ensure that employers uphold their commitments to employment equity and a representative workforce.
5. Collective Bargaining
The Alliance will request bi-lateral negotiations with all employers on employment equity that will take place outside of the normal negotiations process. Observer status at these negotiations would be granted to the Public Service Commission and the Canadian Human Rights Commission depending on the employer involved.
To ensure an employment equity plan is developed that fully meets the needs of workers with disabilities, the plan must be negotiated through the union. Given the particular concerns of equity groups, however, the Alliance supports the concept of a separate process to ensure an overall plan that is focused on the goal of representation.
6. Union-Management Consultation
The Alliance proposes and will work toward the establishment of union-management committees on employment equity with all employers at the appropriate working level.
As more responsibility is being given to departments under Treasury Board regarding staffing decisions and other issues that affect employment equity programs, the Alliance proposes that union/management committees on employment equity be established at the departmental level.
Union representation on these committees should include members of the designated groups. Training to enable concrete and focused work on this committee should be provided by the employer, on work time.
7. Disability Insurance
A review of the disability insurance benefit must also be undertaken to ensure the Employer is not using this benefit to renege on its obligation to provide reasonable accommodation to workers who are newly disabled.
Disability Insurance (DI) has been used in a small percentage of cases to terminate employees in certain types of positions, i.e. supervisory, technical and/or professional positions, rather than provide these employees reasonable accommodations which may include transfers. This program should be used to ensure that those who become disabled are able to be appropriately re-integrated into the workplace in their original or an alternate position.
8. Reasonable Accommodation
The Alliance will produce an information kit on reasonable accommodation for its members with disabilities. Portions of the information kit will be incorporated into training courses for stewards.
An essential element in implementing employment equity is ensuring that members are aware of their rights. Reasonable accommodation is a right of particular interest to members with disabilities and the Alliance should use whatever mechanisms are at its disposal to inform members with disabilities of the status of this right. An occasionally updated information kit would serve this purpose, focusing on grievances and human rights complaints.
(a) The Alliance will develop a general information kit on employment equity issues for workers with disabilities.
(b) The Alliance will develop an Awareness Program on Employment Equity for Workers with Disabilities for use by union representatives serving on union-management committees, among others.
It is essential that members of the Alliance and its staff be well informed of the issues involved in working toward a representative workforce.
While the Employer should remain responsible for providing training on employment equity issues for members of union-management committees on this issue, there remains a need for our union to ensure that our representatives are fully aware of Alliance policy on this issue. The Alliance will work together with Alliance members with disabilities on their concerns and/or problems in the workplace and with community-based consumer groups.
(c) The Alliance will develop and support strategies to educate and sensitize disabled and non-disabled union membership, at all levels, to persons with disabilities and to the issues they deal with.
ALTERNATE MEDIA (Adopted in 1994)
The Public Service Alliance of Canada is committed to ensuring that all our members are well informed of their rights, benefits and duties as union members. In addition, the Alliance, in promoting employment equity with its own staff, seeks to ensure that all employees of PSAC have all the tools to do their work with proficiency.
In order to ensure full access to union information, members and staff with sensory, learning and other disabilities may require "alternate formats" (braille, large print, cassettes, captioned or signed videos) in place of conventional print and video.
Making Alliance information available in alternate formats not only complies with the intent of the Alliance Human Rights Policy, but it is in line with the Canadian Human Rights Act. This provision of material in an accessible format is essential to the active participation of union members and staff with disabilities.
In order to implement this policy, the Alliance will undertake the following activities:
1. Members and staff will be invited to self-identify their special needs in terms of alternate formats to the Alliance; such invitation will include the development and distribution of an alternate format needs questionnaire. This invitation will be extended to members through Locals, Components and Regional Offices, and by means of the distribution of the questionnaire in the Alliance magazine, all PSAC event registration packages and the membership orientation package.
2. The PSAC will develop a mailing list from information gathered through the questionnaire with input from MDACs and Locals which will identify the members' choice of alternate format.
3. Printed materials produced by the Alliance, which are intended to reach all union members, will be provided to those who have self-identified in the alternate media they have specified. This will include the Alliance magazine.
4. Printed materials produced by the Alliance, which are intended for a specific audience, will be made available, upon request, in the requested alternate format. This will include documents for educational courses, collective bargaining teams, Regional Women's Committees and so on.
5. Wherever possible, all printed documents produced by the Alliance will be produced in large print (using 14 point type or larger). This will cut down on costs associated with producing separate large print documents and will make Alliance materials easier to read for all members.
6. For each video produced by the Alliance, an open-captioned version must also be produced and made readily available. The captioning will follow the official language (English/French) being used in the audio portion.
7. Where the Alliance is producing print material or videos in cooperation with another organization or is purchasing this material from an external source, all attempts will be made to ensure the materials are available in alternate formats.
ALTERNATE FORMATS LIKELY TO BE REQUESTED
Formats for persons with visual disabilities.
Audio Cassettes: A publication recorded on tape.
Braille: A reading system using raised dots so that a publication can be read through touch. There are three "grades" or levels of braille. Documents are usually produced in Grade 2 braille. Braille was first developed in French.
Descriptive Narration: In video and film, the spoken word is used to fully explain action scenes, charts and other visual components.
Computer Files (Diskettes or Modems): When a publication is put on computer file, the user can gain access to information through a computer connected to a braille printer, voice synthesizer, large print monitor or any other system enabling access.
Large Print: A publication using 14 point type or larger.
Formats for persons with hearing disabilities.
Captioned videos and films: The spoken word appears in written text on the bottom of the screen as in subtitles. "Open" captions can be seen by everyone while "closed" captions are visible only through a special decoder.
Signed Videos and Films: The spoken word is transferred to sign language on screen.
In-house production is possible in the following cases:
. AUDIO CASSETTES: Audio cassettes produced internally may be practical especially for short documents, such as Union Update. High quality tape recording and duplicating equipment are required.
. BRAILLE: A one-sided braille printer was purchased by the Alliance through ACCESS '93 funding.
. COMPUTER FILES: These are easily copied internally onto diskettes or transferred by modem for distribution.
. LARGE PRINT: New documents are to be produced in large print by using 14 point text or larger from an in-house computer on 8 1/2 X 11 paper, wherever possible. Large print from older documents is to be produced using technology such as scanners which convert the characters to computer data that can then be used to produce sharp and clear text in 14 point or larger from the computer.
(See also: PSAC policy on disability rights)
DISABILITY ISSUES (Adopted in January 1997)
The Public Service Alliance of Canada supports the right of persons with disabilities to live and work in society with dignity, autonomy and equality. The Alliance recognizes that persons with disabilities are one of the poorest and most employment-disadvantaged groups in society. This is due in large measure to the many discriminatory attitudes and systemic barriers present in today's workplace. This discrimination comes from negative stereotypes about disabilities and from employment systems that are designed with only able-bodied workers in mind. The Alliance is therefore committed to enacting comprehensive strategies aimed at eliminating disability-based discrimination and disadvantage in both the broader society and in the workplace.
Approximately, 44% of persons with disabilities between the ages of 15 and 64 find themselves outside the paid labour force, (Health and Activity Limitation Survey, Statistics Canada, 1991). It is often assumed that persons with disabilities are outside the labour force because they are unable to work. But this simply is not true. Often persons with disabilities are unable to participate in the labour force because of barriers within the workplace and because of negative attitudes on the part of employers.
Those that are in the labour force are often underemployed or stuck in dead-end jobs. Moreover, many persons with disabilities find themselves relegated into part-time, temporary or short-term jobs with little opportunity to move into full-time permanent jobs. Employers are often ill informed, and thus unwilling, to provide appropriate and necessary types of accommodation. (see Unequal Access, Accommodation of Employees with Disabilities in the Federal Public Service: A Case Study Approach, Canadian Human Rights Commission, January 1996) Broad scale downsizing and job restructuring also pose a serious threat to the small gains made by persons with disabilities under employment equity initiatives.
Alliance members with disabilities understand the consequences of such situations. Like all members of the Alliance, members with disabilities find themselves in the middle of downsizing and job restructuring. Members with disabilities believe that workplace changes leading to downsizing and job loss have resulted in a less tolerant attitude and a lack of support for accommodation by management and co-workers. Employment trends suggest that persons with disabilities are leaving the federal government at a higher rate than those without a disability. Like other Alliance members, persons with disabilities are falling victims to the employer's efforts to terminate or declare surplus a number of positions. The Alliance is deeply concerned about such trends and is committed to fight to protect the employment gains made by persons with disabilities.
The Alliance recognizes the importance of preserving and protecting the jobs of persons with disabilities. We are committed to initiating a variety of actions to ensure that the issues of members with disabilities are given high priority and that they continue to be employed.
The Alliance understands that employment is not just about earning an income. It is also about dignity and self-worth. By denying persons with disabilities the opportunity to work and earn an income, we deprive them of the opportunity to be self-sufficient, and to feel included in mainstream society. We are also overlooking a wealth of talents, skills and abilities that persons with disabilities can bring to the workplace.
Disability is a Union Issue
The Alliance acknowledges that workers with disabilities represent the best source of information on how to eradicate disability-based discrimination from the workplace. To ensure that the Alliance benefits from this information, we will work to facilitate the opportunity for persons with disabilities to actively serve the union in all activities and to ensure full representation on our staff. At the same time, we will ensure that the issues and views of members with disabilities are fully integrated in all union activities, including contract negotiations, policy development, union campaigns, public briefs and submissions, training, conferences and meetings. The Alliance will also make a sincere effort to ensure that all of our activities and facilities are fully accessible to all persons with disabilities.
In this regard, the Alliance recognizes that accessibility is an essential requirement for the participation of members with disabilities. The Alliance understands that "accessibility" must be defined broadly and should include access for people:
- with mobility disabilities -- such as the provision of ramps, elevators and appropriate forms of transportation;
- who are blind or visually impaired -- such as the provision of tactile numbering on elevators, enlarged and raised letters on office doors and other workplace signs and voice overlays on videos;
- who are print-handicapped and who cannot read printed material -- such as the provision of materials in large print, braille, audio cassette, computer disk (which can be read by a computer with speech output); and
- who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing -- such as the provision of sign language interpreters, amplification devices, TTY communications, telephone relay services, captioned videos and flashing alarm systems.
To achieve these important goals, the Alliance will undertake the following actions:
1. Actively participate in community activities which promote and advance the equality rights of persons with disabilities. We will continue to make presentations and lobby for improvements in legislation as it pertains to persons with disabilities.
2. Work with disability rights' organizations to promote the rights' of persons with disabilities to independent living and self-determination.
3. Ensure that all Alliance activities and events are accessible to all members with disabilities. We will strive to provide training on the various accessibility requirements of persons with disabilities.
4. Ensure that the Alliance Policy on Alternate Media is respected and upheld.
5. Act on the PSAC Plan of Action on Employment Equity for Persons with Disabilities. This includes pressing for policies, programs and legislation requiring mandatory and effective employment equity initiatives which include measures to protect and preserve employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
6. Facilitate the development of a national and regional networks of members with disabilities to ensure that members with disabilities have a strong voice in the Alliance.
7. Take proactive measures to ensure that members with disabilities are effectively represented in all decision-making forums, including the provision of training and the continued use of affirmative action initiatives.
8. Negotiate contract guarantees and, where applicable, continue to pressure the employer to adopt employment policies which require:
a) physical access to all aspects of the workplace;
b) job accommodation as required;
c) work-related print materials in alternate formats ;
d) a comprehensive action plan to remove all attitudinal and systemic; barriers from the workplace; and
e) benefit plan provisions that address the reality of having a disability.
9. Work with members with disabilities to identify issues which should be considered in the bargaining process.
10. Develop educational and training materials on the rights of persons with disabilities tailored to meet the information needs of the general membership and all levels and bodies of the union. Such education and/or training may address the following issues:
a) The rights and issues of persons with disabilities. In particular, how persons with disabilities have been traditionally employment-disadvantaged and marginalized in the labour force.
b) An analysis of disability-based discrimination including attitudinal and systemic discrimination.
c) A discussion of equality which underlines the value of and challenges posed by representative diversity.
d) A discussion of the principles of independent living and self-determination and how they advance the equality rights of persons with disabilities.
e) An explanation of the union's legal and moral responsibility to advocate on behalf of all workers including potential and current workers with disabilities.
f) An explanation of the concepts of employment equity and the duty to accommodate and how they can be used to redress employment barriers and improve the workplace for all workers.
g) A description of the process of barrier identification and barrier removal.
h) A discussion of the Alliance Policy on Disability Issues and how all levels of the Alliance, including Components and Locals, can promote it.
N.B.: A background document is available from the PSAC.
VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE (Adopted in September 1994)
Violence occurs everywhere in our society. Whether it occurs at work or elsewhere, it can have detrimental effects on the health and safety of workers, and it has important repercussions upon the workplace.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada believes that violence should never be considered or treated as an isolated phenomenon. It is both a symptom and a consequence of a series of inter-related complex circumstances. To put an end to this unacceptable behaviour, important social and political changes are needed. The Alliance has been, and will continue, where appropriate, to support organizations that either work to eliminate violence by acting on some of its causes, or work to support victims of violence, and will focus on eliminating violence in the workplaces of our members.
The Alliance believes that all workers are entitled to a healthy and safe workplace and that employers have the duty to provide and maintain such an environment. On average, over one million cases of occupational injuries have been reported by Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada for each of the last ten years. Alliance members are part of those statistics. Injured workers are, till this day, victims of unsafe and unhealthy workplace conditions. Failure by an Employer to take all available preventive measures to minimize workers' exposure to chemical, biological, physical or psychological dangers, is a form of violence. By refusing to invest to improve conditions, Employers kill and injure workers; they rob them of their health and they put their children's health in jeopardy. Where the deaths, diseases and injuries can be prevented, charges of criminal negligence should be laid.
Violence from employers is perpetuated by the little attention paid to workers suffering from work-related injuries. People who are injured, are too often unfairly treated by insurance companies and Workers' Compensation Boards (WCB). Injured workers are increasingly being pressured to prove their continuing disability or to return to work. This stressful pressure is indeed another form of violence against the workers' well-being. Violence against both workers' minds and bodies must be recognized as a crime, and workers' compensation must protect workers from irresponsible employers.
There are several definitions for occupational violence. The Alliance has adopted a broad definition that includes any negligent or delinquent act or behaviour, as well as all incidents in which a worker is assaulted, abused or threatened in circumstances pertaining to his or her job or while at work, which can lead to both mental or physical injury, disease or death. Violence can thus range from conscious, premeditated and rational behaviour that violates health and safety standards or leads to the failure to establish adequate measures, as well as verbal abuse, harassment, physical threats or physical assaults (such as beatings, rapes and murders). The aggressor may then be an employer, a co-worker or a client.
Policy of the Alliance on violence in the workplace
The Alliance believes that the hazard, not the worker, must be controlled and the workplace must be designed to ensure protection for all, including the most vulnerable worker. The Employer has to eliminate all hazards from the workplace, or isolate them when they cannot be eliminated and, as a last choice, provide suitable and effective personal protection. We also believe that the Employer is responsible for providing professional and financial help for sick and injured workers, as well as rehabilitation and retraining to acquire new occupational skills, if they are unable to return to their former job.
The Alliance has already endorsed positions on Federal Workers' Compensation, Cancer and Indoor Air Quality as well as policies on Human Rights and Personal/Sexual Harassment. In addition to the demands made in those Policies and Position Papers, this policy on Workplace Violence outlines demands to better protect PSAC members against any physical or psychological form of workplace violence.
The Alliance believes that the issue of workplace violence must be addressed in the legislation of all territorial, provincial and federal jurisdictions.
- recognition of violence in the workplace as an occupational hazard to be addressed in the same manner as other workplace hazards;
- enactment of laws and regulations as part of Health and Safety Acts, making employers responsible for developing, establishing and monitoring (in consultation with the Health and Safety Committees) programs to protect workers against all forms of physical and psychological violence in the workplace. Such programs shall include, for every workplace: a job hazard analysis; procedures and policies to eliminate, minimize or effectively control the hazard, if it cannot be eliminated; and the duty to respond to incidents and instruct workers;
- full compensation guaranteed to all workers or victims of violence. Workplace physical illnesses/injuries and psychological illnesses, including chronic stress due to any form of violence such as harassment, discrimination or poor work organization must be recognized by Workers Compensation Acts;
- special training in interpreting violent situations for Health and Safety Officers/Inspectors investigating work refusals because of a danger caused by violence. They must issue directions to employers to ensure the problem is resolved and will not reoccur; and
- better enforcement of Health and Safety, Workers' Compensation, Human Rights laws and Criminal Codes to ensure protection for all workers, including compensation for the victims and punishment for the offenders. Fines for violations must be increased.
The Alliance believes that employers have the responsibility to undertake all necessary measures to eliminate violence from the workplace. We demand that language be included in all collective agreements stating the Employer's willingness to extinguish any form of violence and commitment to develop and deliver Workplace Prevention Programs in consultation with Workplace Health and Safety Committees.
To assist in minimizing the frequency of violence towards workers, employers shall take the responsibility to:
- inform workers as to what constitutes violence in the workplace to ensure the problem is dealt with immediately;
- assess the possibility of violence in workplaces as well as the causes;
- review the work organization in order to reduce the level of stress which can lead to illness as well as generate more violence; and
- review workplace practices to eliminate any type of discrimination and other unfair situations which can lead to conflicts between co-workers or employers and workers.
Where a potential hazard is identified, employers shall:
- develop procedures and policies, and implement security measures as well as modify the work environment to eliminate the dangers of violence to workers.
Where the hazard cannot be eliminated, employers shall:
- inform workers of situations where workers are likely to encounter violence in the course of their work; and
- provide workers with training and ongoing educational programs, to assist them in dealing with violent situations.
Furthermore, to assist in minimizing the impact of violence towards workers, employers must ensure that joint workplace policies are in place and address:
- proper formal reporting systems for all violent incidents;
- appropriate measures to deal effectively with situations where violence may or has occurred;
- prompt, thorough follow-ups to ensure the needs of victims of violence are dealt with, as well as provide help for the offenders through Employee Assistance Programs, Union Counselling Programs and Critical Incident Stress Programs. Leave to attend such debriefing or counselling sessions must be granted without loss of pay; and
- investigative and preventive measures must be in place to lessen the likelihood of further similar incidents. Workplace Health and Safety Committees, with employer and worker representatives, must be involved in the investigation and the development of preventive measures.
N.B.: A background document is available from the PSAC.
SMOKE-FREE ENVIRONMENT (Adopted in 1998)
The Public Service Alliance of Canada is committed to providing a healthy, clean and safe environment for members, staff, elected officials and visitors. The present policy replaces all previous smoking policies adopted by the PSAC.
The PSAC adopts the following policy on smoke-free environments:
- All premises owned, leased or occupied by the PSAC and PSAC Holdings Ltd. will be designated as a "Smoke-Free" environment. This policy will be recommended to any new leases or renewal of leases signed by the PSAC or PSAC Holdings Ltd.
- All PSAC activities are to be held in a smoke-free environment. They include, but are not limited to, Conventions, Alliance Executive Committee meetings, National Board of Directors' meetings, Standing Committees of the Board, regional and/or local meetings, education courses, training sessions, staff meetings, seminars, conferences, etc.
- Where designated smoking areas are provided within any building owned, leased or occupied by the PSAC or PSAC Holdings Ltd., designated smoking areas must meet the following criteria:
- Be equipped with an independent ventilation system ensuring that no air is recirculated to other parts of the building;
- Be exhausted directly to the outside;
- Be in a closed room;
- More air be exhausted from the closed room than is supplied to ensure environmental tobacco smoke does not drift to surrounding spaces (i.e. room under negative pressure);
- All materials used for smoking including cigarette butts and matches must be extinguished and disposed of in appropriate containers within the designated smoking areas. The PSAC and PSAC Holdings Ltd. will ensure that appropriate containers are available and that the designated smoking areas are kept clean.
- Designated smoking area signs must be posted; and
- Where designated smoking areas are not properly maintained, the respective Joint Health and Safety Committee can investigate and take appropriate action.
4) Where the outdoors designated smoking areas are provided near any building owned, leased or occupied by the PSAC or PSAC Holdings Ltd., the outdoors designated smoking areas must meet the following criteria:
- The outdoors designated areas must be located at least three metres from any building entrance;
- All materials used for smoking including cigarette butts and matches will be extinguished and disposed of in appropriate containers. The PSAC and PSAC Holdings Ltd. will ensure that appropriate containers are available and that the outdoors designated smoking areas are kept clean; and
- The outdoors designated smoking areas must not be located in close proximity to the building ventilation system air intakes.
5) All facilities and activities require appropriate signage:
- "No smoking" signs containing the international symbol must be clearly posted at every entrance;
- "Smoking permitted" signs containing the international smoking symbol must be placed in designated smoking areas; and
. Any area that is not posted as a "smoking area" is a smoke-free environment
6) Visitors will be informed of this policy through the above-mentioned signs and it is the responsibility of the host to inform them accordingly.
7) All PSAC staff, members and elected officials are expected to comply with this policy. Formal complaints can be directed to your local health and safety representative, joint occupational health and safety committee, chairperson or organizer of a PSAC activity/event.
8) The PSAC supports smoking cessation programs.
9) The policy will be effective May 20, 1998.
ANTI-RACISM (Adopted in January 1999)
It is no historical accident that racism is deeply embedded in our social, economic, political, educational and media structures. Racism, sadly, has been a part of the social and economic development of Canada.
The PSAC Policy on Aboriginal Workers outlines the appalling treatment Aboriginal or First Nations people received upon the arrival of European settlers. Racially Visible people (those with certain characteristics such as skin colour, hair and sometimes religion which sets them apart from the dominant group in society) have also been badly treated. This history is illustrated through the imposition of the Head Tax for Chinese and South Asian immigrants, the slave-owning legislators in the first Parliament of Upper Canada and the recent and ongoing physical attacks on various Racially Visible groups, among many other incidents. Even in our proud Loyalist tradition, we find few Black Loyalists who received the promised land grants. Even when they did, the land was poor and the grant was smaller. Canada does not have a proud history in our treatment of Aboriginal and Racially Visible Peoples in our own country.
Racism is the negative judgment and/or mistreatment of a group of people based on their race by a member(s) of the dominant race. Racism is institutionalized or systemic when certain groups of people are treated in a way that has a negative impact based on seemingly neutral policies and practices.
Racism has led to the denial of basic civil and political rights for Canadian citizens. It has excluded adults from jobs and children from schools. It has limited opportunities to acquire property and barred people from hotels, theatres and other recreational facilities. Racism has restricted the opportunities and has had a detrimental effect on the lives of Racially Visible and Aboriginal Peoples in the broad Canadian society.
Historically, and to its credit, the Alliance has been quick to put policies and action plans into effect when issues of discrimination are identified. "From the Margins to the Mainstream" (women's issues), PSAC Policy on Disability Issues, PSAC Human Rights Policy, PSAC Policy on Aboriginal Workers, PSAC Policy on Sexual Orientation and the two PSAC Anti-Harassment Policies all illustrate our union's strong commitment to equality. The need for a specific policy on racism, however, has been raised in various forums, such as the 1996 Unity Conference and the 1996 National Women's Conference.
Racism hurts profoundly and, as unionists, we must take a stand. We must lead the way in re-examining our assumptions and approaches to our work. There is simply no basis to the claim that racist classifications of people (related to skin colour, hair texture and place of birth (ancestry) and leading to judgments about their character, skills, talents and intelligence) are useful in any socially constructive way. These classifications only serve to divide us and, as unionists, we know that our strength lies in solidarity.
Sometimes bigotry is hidden through the denial of its existence. We are well aware that our union is a reflection of society and, as such, carries the mark of racism. It is for this reason that we must be clear that racism is unwelcome, unwanted and unacceptable in our union. It must be exposed and eliminated.
We must step up and broaden our efforts to dismantle the systemic barriers faced by Racially Visible and Aboriginal Peoples. This approach will help us clearly identify the links between racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism and other forms of discrimination.
Racially Visible and Aboriginal members are demanding equality in the workplace and in our union. The Alliance recognizes the talent, energy and experience these members bring; qualities that are essential to the development and advancement of our union. As well, our union is essential to our Aboriginal and Racially Visible members, as it is to all our members, in securing a fair and equitable workplace.
The Alliance is committed to ensuring that dignity, respect, equality and inclusion of Racially Visible and Aboriginal Peoples are protected and embedded in our union's mandate and all our work.
Statement of Commitment
On the basis that a policy is "a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions that guide and determine present and future decisions", the Alliance commits to the following actions:
- PSAC will not entertain, tolerate, condone or cover-up any act of overt or systemic (institutional) racism within our union.
- PSAC will regularly review and revise our policies and procedures to ensure they create a union environment-free from discrimination and bias.
- PSAC will work with our Racially Visible and Aboriginal members to develop anti-racism strategies that are effective.
- PSAC will not conduct business with any organization that engages in racist behaviour. We will give preference to those businesses, including hotels, insurance companies, banks, car rental agencies, and so on, that are actively engaged in combating racism.
Organizing and Development
- PSAC will facilitate the development of Racially Visible and Aboriginal leadership at all levels.
- PSAC will encourage and facilitate the self-organizing of Aboriginal and Racially Visible members.
- PSAC will provide specific forums for Racially Visible and/or Aboriginal members to strategize, as well as for other members, Elected Officers to address anti-racism issues.
- PSAC will continue to ensure the representation of Aboriginal and Racially Visible members at union events through the provision of targeted subsidies and other affirmative action initiatives.
- PSAC will explore various methods to ensure that Racially Visible and Aboriginal members are represented at the PSAC Triennial Convention.
- PSAC will recognize anti-racism initiatives by members and union bodies that show leadership and creativity.
Education and Training
- PSAC will ensure that all education and communication resources developed by the union provide members, Elected Officers, staff and the public with the opportunity to develop positive attitudes toward racial and cultural diversity.
- PSAC will promote anti-racism training in an environment that promotes the dignity and self-worth of every person. Staff will be provided with anti-racism training as part of the Internal Employment Equity Plan for the Alliance as an employer.
- PSAC will ensure that all Elected Officers and staff are provided with this policy and that the policy is posted on the PSAC Website and published in Alliance magazine.
- PSAC will develop tools, such as courses, publications and so on, for Locals, Area Councils, Components, regions, and members that will assist in our anti-racism work at all levels within our union.
- PSAC will circulate the PSAC Statement on Harassment to all levels of the union and ensure that it is read at PSAC events. This Statement is clear that the Alliance expects members to treat one another with dignity and respect, and it underlines that discrimination and harassment on various grounds, including race, will not be tolerated in our union.
- PSAC recommits to the struggle for meaningful Employment Equity, both in workplaces within which we represent and as an employer.
- PSAC will continue to work with like-minded organizations in lobbying for effective legislation to address racism and hatred against Racially Visible and Aboriginal people.
- PSAC will continue to actively support and promote the aims of human rights legislation and associated programs.
- PSAC will consult and work with organizations representing Aboriginal and Racially Visible persons in combating racism.
- PSAC will continue to support and work with the Canadian Labour Congress in its anti-racism initiatives and other union's anti-racism actions which are designed to achieve societal and economic equality.
Procedure for Dealing with Racism
Members who feel they are experiencing racism in the workplace should approach their Local for assistance. If the member has concerns about the representation being provided by any level of our union, the member may appeal first to the Local Executive, then to the National President of the relevant Component and finally to the National President of the Alliance. Members belonging to Directly Chartered Locals would appeal directly to the National President of the Alliance if there is disagreement with the Local Executive.
Allegations of racism within our union will be dealt with using the same process found in Policy 23B - PSAC Anti-Harassment Policy: The Union.
Revising the PSAC Anti-Racism Policy
In keeping with the Alliance's commitment to directly involve affected members in the development of our policies, revisions to this policy will be made in full consultation with Aboriginal and Racially Visible members. Members with input in this regard should submit their comments to the PSAC Human Rights Office.
Date Modified : 2012/12/17