In communities across Canada and around the world, people wear pink to call for an end to harassment in all its forms, especially harassment that targets people for their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
Harassment is a serious problem in our workplaces, our union, and our communities. The health fallout can be devastating, from depression and other illnesses to suicide in the worst cases. The ripple effects of harassment extend to witnesses, friends, families, co-workers and even to entire organizations. Harassment undermines our solidarity as workers.
That’s why the labour movement has long been at the forefront against harassment, including harassment that targets people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two-Spirit or any other sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression (LGBTQ2+).
And that’s why CUPE members have adopted resolutions to negotiate gender identity and gender expression protections into collective agreements, and to promote education and awareness about the barriers faced by LGBTQ2+ people as they age.
On April 10, take a stand against bullying. Wear pink and encourage others to wear pink.
Here are some other things you and your local can do to help make everyone feel safe, welcomed and respected in our workplaces, in bargaining, education and political action:
- Educate yourself and your members. Ask for CUPE’s Combating Workplace Bullying or Pride in CUPE workshops to be held at your local or at the next Division school. Our Steward Learning Series includes three-hour modules on Creating Harassment-Free Workplaces, Ally Skills for Stewards, and Representing Gender and Sexually Diverse Members. Talk to your National Staff Representative about further human rights education, including our weeklong course available to members. CUPE is developing a three-hour workshop on gender diversity, to support safer spaces in our workplaces and union.
- Learn more about the harassment and discrimination faced by our own LGBTQ2+ members. See CUPE’s online presentation and backgrounder featuring the experiences of three trans activists who formerly sat on the National Pink Triangle Committee. Also check out The 519’s toolkit on Creating Authentic Spaces.
- Download CUPE’s materials on stopping harassment. Get the guide and the pamphlet. You’ll find valuable tips on how to recognize harassment and how to take action to end it.
- Organize an anti-bullying event in your workplace or participate in a community or school district event. See the suggestions at Day of Pink and from the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.
- Support other changes to provincial and federal human rights codes and policies to provide explicit protection against discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.
- Negotiate LGBTQ2+ rights into your collective agreement. Read CUPE’s checklist for bargaining LGBTQ2+ rights.
Let’s work together to stop bullying and harassment.