Equal Opportunities Committee

Minutes of the Equal Opportunities (EO) Committee

May 17th , 2005

Present :

Linda Cassidy (chairperson)
Terry Dupuis
Darlene Bembridge
Shirley Baker
Cindy Little
Joseph Parris
Louis Verreault
Loree-Ann Huard (alternate)

Absent: Chris Davis

Minutes of the March 14th meeting

The minutes of the meeting were adopted.

Follow up from the March meeting

In March, a letter was sent out to all the locals asking if some of the equity seeking members in their local would be interested in being part of network list as an opportunity to receive information concerning their specific group.  Only approximately one third of the locals responded.  Linda will follow up with the Regional vice presidents.  When the list is ready, Darlene will share it with each respective member of the EO committee.

In order to reach more of our membership, we will ask the Communication committee to publish in the UTE Newsletter an invitation to the equity seeking group members to join the network of their specific group.  The e-mail address of the members of the Equal Opportunities committee would be included to establish contact.

It was also agreed that for confidentiality reasons, members have to belong to the specific equity seeking group to be on the network list. 

Employment Equity:  What More Can the Union Be Doing”,

As a follow up to the paper “Employment Equity:  What More Can the Union Be Doing”, our committee is to find out why many locals do not send observers at the regional and national Equal Opportunities conferences.  A number of questions to include on a survey were discussed.  Basically, we will ask locals:
Does your local publicize the conferences? If yes, by what means? How is the selection made? Does your local have a budget to help fund observers at UTE conferences? Did your local send observers? If not, why not?

Linda will re-examine the questions and decide on the final wording for the survey.   The survey is to go out as soon as possible.

Speaker at Presidents’ conference
Linda will propose at the meeting of the June Council that UTE invite a speaker on “attitudinal bias and prejudice” for the September Presidents conference.

Employment Equity as Placement Criteria
It is still UTE’s position NOT to include the phrase “Employment Equity” as one of the placement criteria on all Statement of Staffing Requirements.  Such a statement should only be used if there is a gap at the local or regional level. We will reiterate our position when we meet with the employer.

Exit Interviews
The Exit Interview Questionnaire was developed a few years ago as a feedback tool to identify retention opportunities and to receive ideas on potential workplace improvements.  It was highly recommended to use it for the Aboriginal group.  We will ask the employer to encourage the use of this tool for all the designated group members leaving CRA.  It is our understanding that it is not being done.

Convention Resolutions Related to Equity/Diversity
The committee reviewed the resolutions dealing with equal opportunities.  It provided the members with an overall view of how the membership wants UTE to approach equity/diversity issues and conferences.

Employment Equity Regional Reports and Action Plans
Since we did not have a copy of all the regional reports and plans, we will address this item at our next meeting.  The reports should be available by the end of June.

PSAC Equal Opportunities Committee Meeting
Linda attended the meeting as the representative from UTE.  She gave a summary of the major issues addressed at the meeting.  She will send a copy of the minutes to the committee members when available.

National Council of Visible Minorities in the Federal Public Service
Linda and Joseph attended the conference.  It was an excellent conference with very interesting speakers, a very good learning experience.  One of the goals of the symposium is to provide Visible Minority employees with information and tools to advance their careers.

UTE Members with Special Needs

We will ask UTE to develop a data bank whereby the special needs of some of our members would be identified.  This data bank would be consulted when making hotel arrangements for conferences, meetings and training sessions.