CUPE and our National Pink Triangle Committee will continue to advocate for LGBTTQI workers both inside and outside the workplace. Thirty per cent of members of LGBTTQI communities experience discrimination in the workplace. We recognize that transgender, gender-diverse and two-spirit people experience disproportionate unemployment levels, harassment and discrimination at work and have limited access to health and public services.
Despite discrimination, hate and bigotry, members of LGBTTQI communities continue to be at the forefront of political and social change through their steadfast resistance and their ongoing work to create communities that are more inclusive and diversity-positive. This movement to advance the rights of workers in all workplaces creates a society where everyone can thrive. CUPE affirms its commitment to remain accountable and principled and to prioritize building futures free from violence and discrimination.
We’ve seen some recent progress with the passage of Bill C-16. We’re going to keep going. At our 2017 National Convention, CUPE members mandated their union to create safer and more inclusive union spaces and to develop tools and resources to assist our members in doing this work. We take this task seriously. We will continue to negotiate anti-discrimination and anti-harassment language in our collective agreements, as well as language which accommodates our LGBTTQI members.
This year and always, we also pause to remember and honour the many trans people who have been harassed, assaulted and killed and the many others who continue to occupy the frontlines of political organizing and change.
We remember and honour the memories and contributions of those such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera who placed their bodies and lives on the line in the fight for liberation. Both Johnson and Rivera were bold and brave working-class transwomen who paved the way for what we know today as Pride. They were staunch advocates for economic and gender justice and were some of the first to fight back in the Stonewall riots. (You can read more about Marsha).
It is in that spirit of celebration and resistance that we encourage all locals to get involved with their neighbouring community’s Pride events and support the organizations that continue this important work all year round.
We encourage our members to continue the work towards equity.
- Order CUPE Pride items, like bandanas and fans, for your Pride events. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Encourage others to take up the fight by sharing photos of CUPE members at Pride parades and events with us on Facebook
- Request union education courses and human rights presentations in your locals and communities
- Check out the CUPE presentation on transphobic harassment and discrimination in employment and health care.
- Bring human rights issues to the bargaining table with Bargaining LGBTTI Rights: A checklist for collective agreement language, part of our Bargaining equality resource collection.
- Bargain language to specify that your “no discrimination” clause covers sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Negotiate paid leave and other benefits for transitioning members. Support efforts to establish or improve public funding for LGBTTQI services and programs including gender reassignment surgery and other health care services for LGBTTQI people.
Together, we will continue to build workplaces and communities that are safe and inclusive. And we will continue to build the world that we desire and deserve – a world that challenges hate, violence and discrimination.