This fact sheet highlights important steps to take during bargaining to ensure people with disabilities are represented at the bargaining table. It provides important information about protections already available under human rights legislation, and suggests clauses your local could pursue to improve your contract.
Bargaining disability rights takes courage and persistence. That’s something CUPE National Persons with Disabilities Committee member Debbie Fraess knows all about. A relatively new member to the committee, Debbie returned to work at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (HEU) after being away for six years because of a disability.
“My union, my rep, my OHS worker, and my new manager created a very positive experience for me,” said Fraess. After returning, Debbie became increasingly active with her union. “At first I was eager to get more information. Then I wanted to share what I learned!”
Inspired by what she learned through her union, Fraess became more active in her personal life as well. After the board at her condo refused to remove time restrictions on disability parking at her complex, Debbie went to the human rights tribunal and filed a complaint.
Her case was accelerated, and after representing herself against officials and lawyers from the condo board, the tribunal ruled in her favour.
“It was very difficult, but I knew I was being discriminated against. I’m proud I fought back and I won.”