Racism is a violation of human rights and a workplace health and safety issue. It affects us all as working-class people. Employers use it to attack our solidarity, and it benefits the rich and powerful.
That’s why CUPE members are committed to fighting racism in our workplaces and communities.
In 2021, national convention delegates adopted CUPE’s Anti-Racism Strategy. It builds on decades of our union’s work to challenge racism and build an anti-racist union.
Be an anti-racist champion in your local
Everyone has a part to play in reaching the strategy’s 10 goals. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Goal: Ensure our Constitution and Local bylaws acknowledge and address systemic racism.
- Create an anti-racism committee in your local.
- Update your local’s bylaws to include Indigenous, Black and racialized workers in bargaining.
Goal: Increase the representation of Indigenous, Black, and racialized members in the union.
- Commemorate events like National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Black History Month and Asian Heritage Month.
- Create spaces for Indigenous, Black and racialized members to talk about their needs and recommend solutions.
Goal: Develop and engage in anti-racism education.
- Offer CUPE’s bystander training to members and leaders.
- Take anti-racism workshops offered by CUPE’s Union Education branch.
Goal: Learn from the experiences of Indigenous, Black, and racialized members and celebrate their successes.
- Acknowledge and share the lived experiences of Indigenous, Black and racialized members.
Goal: Integrate an anti-racism focus into organizing strategies.
- Ensure wall-to-wall workplace coverage, especially for low-wage and precarious workers who are most likely to be Indigenous, Black or racialized.
- Organize other unorganized workplaces with mainly Indigenous, Black or racialized workers.
Goal: Bargain to eliminate systemic racism and workplace inequities.
- Bargain better protections for Indigenous, Black and racialized workers with CUPE’s employment equity and truth and reconciliation guides.
- Ask about discrimination in bargaining surveys.
Goal: Administer and enforce the collective agreement with an anti-racist lens.
- Enforce “no discrimination” clauses and believe Indigenous, Black and racialized members when they come forward with racism complaints.
- Treat racism as a workplace health and safety issue.
Goal: Collect data on demographics, precarity and union involvement.
- Learn about your membership with self-identification questions on surveys and forms.
- Use the data to push for employment equity.
Goal: Take political action to challenge and eliminate systemic racism.
- Encourage and empower Indigenous, Black and racialized workers to run for office.
- Raise issues faced by Indigenous, Black and racialized workers in your local’s campaigns.
Goal: Work in coalition with community groups and in solidarity with anti-racist global justice activists.
- Partner with community groups fighting for racial justice to build local solidarity and bargaining strength.
Learn more about CUPE’s Anti-Racism Strategy’s goals.