Equal Opportunities Committee

Minutes of the Equal Opportunities (EO) Committee

February 3 & 4, 2007
Present:  Shawn Bergeron (chairperson)
Terry Dupuis
Cindy Little
Robin Johnson
Joseph Parris
Loree-Ann Huard
Dana Kelly
Brenda Pack
Lina Ruel

Shawn congratulated the committee members who were selected for a second term on the committee and welcomed the new committee members; Brenda Pack who represents the Persons with disabilities and Dana Kelly who represents Aboriginal Peoples.  The committee members have a two year mandate.

All Union Employment Equity Program Briefing

Shawn provided a short summary of the briefing meeting held on February 2 with Elaine Courtney, Director of the Employment Equity Program in CRA.  Elaine will provide a copy of her briefing notes along with the comments made at the meeting as soon as possible.

The main discussion during the meeting was the use of Employment Equity as placement criterion; it is not being used consistently across the country and managers and employees do not understand the concept or rationale which creates a backlash in many workplaces. A lot of work needs to be done to educate managers and employees.

The Employment Equity Annual Report is still not available for distribution since it has not been presented to Parliament yet.  A copy of the regional initiatives for each of the four designated groups was shared with the union.

Role and Expectations of Committee Members

The committee reviewed the Terms of Reference of our committee, the Guideline for UTE Committee Members adopted by Executive Council and the aims and objectives identified at our October 2006 meeting.

The committee questions how they can meet the aims and objectives included in their Terms of Reference if they are not allowed to ask locals or Regional Vice-presidents to inform the committee of any emerging equity and diversity issues of concern happening locally or regionally.  They also question the purpose of establishing networks.  Some members of equity seeking groups may not be comfortable dealing with local representatives or regional vice-presidents to discuss certain issues.  The network has also been used by some committee members to follow up on some regional initiatives identified in Regional Employment Equity Plans.

Shawn and Terry will have further discussions with members of the Executive Council.

Regional Employment Equity Plans – 2006-2007

Each committee member was assigned a regional plan and provided a summary to the group. The summary reports included information on whether there was a gap for each of the designated groups, what initiatives were outlined to address this gap, any plans for hiring, promotion and career development, training and awareness sessions for employees, etc…

There was no significant concern identified.  We did not have copies of the Head Quarters Employment Equity Plans.

National Equal Opportunities Conference

Following lengthy discussions, the committee agreed with the theme and the format for the conference.  Some speakers and workshops facilitators were suggested and we will follow up on their availability and cost.  Decisions will have to be made at the May meeting.

Next Meeting:  May 4, 5, 6, 2007