Woman using a wheelchair, next to a second woman, shaking hands with a third.CUPE is working with partners to explore how to make public services more accessible and appropriate for seniors in the LGBTQ2+ community, and how that overlaps with working conditions for their LGBTQ2+ service providers.

CUPE’s Human Rights Branch is conducting a joint research project with Egale Canada Human Rights Trust and researchers at Carleton University. The goal is to identify ways to improve services for LGBTQ2+ seniors, making sure those services are safe and accessible for both workers and clients.

With the help of a graduate student, Christine Streeter, and her supervisor, Dr. Susan Braedley, CUPE and Egale are studying the literature and talking with experts to answer these questions:

  • What are the challenges faced by LGBTQ2+ seniors and workers in CUPE sectors, particularly those who are additionally marginalized by class, racial, colonial, gender and disability oppression?
  • What has been done to make public services safer and more accessible to LGBTQ2+ seniors and workers, and could such improvements be replicated elsewhere?

The research’s focus will be health care, municipal and social services – programs and spaces that are used a lot by seniors – but the findings will be relevant for other environments, too.

This project builds on the work CUPE and HEU have done with LGBTQ2+ partner organizations on “aging out” and other sexual and gender diversity initiatives in the health care sector. It also flows from a resolution at CUPE’s 2017 National Convention (208) to raise awareness around CUPE and Egale’s work with LGBTQ2+ seniors. Two CUPE National Pink Triangle Committee members sit on Egale’s National Senior Advisory Council, providing the perspective of workers on seniors’ issues.

Based on the research, the partners will create fact sheets and infographics to help CUPE and Egale members advocate for better LGBTQ2+ seniors’ services and spaces, for both workers and clients.

CUPE members can help!

If you know of success stories, please contact the project’s lead researcher, Christine Streeter, at ChristineStreeter @ cmail.carleton.ca.