CUPE National President Mark Hancock has asked the federal government to ensure that the new harmonized national framework to address gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions, announced in Budget 2018, includes workers.

In a letter to the Minister of Status of Women, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Hancock noted that many existing policies at post-secondary schools are silent when it comes to employees. “The result of leaving workers out of institutional policies to address sexual violence and harassment is to create uncertainty for workers and heightened risks for every member of the community,” said Hancock. “Workers are also crucial partners in preventing violence and harassment from taking place. Workers can identify many of the risk factors that may allow violence and harassment to occur – everything from unlit areas of campus to worrisome behaviour in the classroom or the residence.”

“We believe that in order to be successful, any national framework on sexual violence and harassment must address every member of the post-secondary community: students, workers, and visitors. Furthermore, it must address members as a whole person, rather than separating someone’s identity as a student from their identity as a worker,” concluded Hancock. “We hope that you will create a strong framework that builds on these principles. And we would be pleased to offer our assistance and support in this endeavour.”