On this day, December 10, 2020, a day recognized by the United Nations as Human Rights Day, the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) joins with the bargaining agent, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), in support of the legal action taken on behalf of nearly 30,000 past and present federal public service workers who identify as Black, Caribbean or of African descent.
As you may be aware, the PSAC intends to serve as an intervener in the class action lawsuit filed against the Government of Canada by Black public service workers who have been subjected to discriminatory hiring and promotional practices.
The class action, which has been filed with the Federal Court of Canada, argues that Black employee exclusion has led to economic and psychological harm for thousands of public service workers since the 1970s. The claim calls on the federal government to implement a plan to truly diversify the federal public service and provide restitution to tens of thousands of Black public service workers.
While this class action was advanced independently from the Union, our support of this legal action is well within the spirit and principles of our ongoing battle against racism, including the pursuit of the end of these practices and the resolution and remedy for our members as a result of these practices.
The federal government has acknowledged that systemic racism is prevalent in Canadian society and within government institutions. While this is not news to UTE, we are pleased with this acknowledgement as a first step and we embrace an opportunity to join with our Black members in an effort to identify solutions to remedy the injustices and systemic discrimination that they have had to endure.