Equal Opportunities Committee

Minutes of the Equal Opportunities (EO) Committee

October 1 & 2, 2005

1. Minutes of the May 17th meeting

The minutes of the meeting were approved.

2. Networking

The networking groups seem to be working well except for one of the designated groups.  Lina will contact the previous member of the committee and help set up the network.

An article was published in the September UTE newsletter inviting the members of equity seeking groups to join the network by contacting one the members of the committee. It was also agreed the chairperson, the Regional Vice-president and the local presidents’ representative could be part of the network.

3. UTE Special Needs Data Bank

The chairperson informed the committee that Executive Council at the September meeting discussed the feasibility of having a data bank where the special needs of our members would be registered.  This would include such things as ergonomic needs, allergies; material in large print, etc…It would also be useful for first aid purposes.  It was suggested to have a “Special needs form” on the Web that members could complete and send forward to the National office. There is also consideration to having members complete inform identifying the name of a contact person in case of emergencies.

4. Equal Opportunities Conference Survey

In July, a survey was sent out to all the locals.  Forty five (45) locals responded.  Our objectives were to find out why so many locals did not send observers at the last round of regional and national Equal Opportunities conferences and what we could do to improve the attendance of observers in the future.

The main reasons given for not sending observers are the lack of funding in particular for the small locals, the lack of interest from the membership and the unavailability of the members to attend on the selected dates.  It was noted that only 21 locals posted the invitation to the membership, most locals solicited applications from the local executive members only.  The rationale being that equity group members have to be willing to get involved in their union before attending conferences.

The committee agreed that in addition to the input call sent to all locals, we will publicize the dates and locations of conferences through our network of equity seeking groups and in the UTE newsletter.

We will stress the importance of the Equal Opportunities conferences at the next Presidents conference.

5. Employment Equity Strategic Direction and Regional Employment Equity Action Plans

The committee examined the strategic direction as a source document before the review of the regional action plans. Some of the plans are concise and comprehensive with measurable goals, others are quite vague.  The committee’s feedback will be shared with the respective Regional Vice-presidents.

6. EE Workforce Analysis Results as of March 31st, 2005

The committee reviewed the results of the analysis.  We question the regional reporting structure in situations where an employee works in a location but reports directly to the regional office or Headquarters.  We will ask the question at the EE Update meeting scheduled for the next day.

7. “Out and About”

This is a publication by Canadian Heritage and Parks Canada.  The Agency was to prepare a memorandum to publicize this publication and make available in all offices.  We will follow up with the employer.

8. CRA Compensation Bulletin “Marriage Leave & Same Sex Couples”

Now that the “same-sex” marriage legislation has received Royal assent, there is no longer a differentiation between same sex marriages and heterosexual marriages.  This bulletin should be amended to reflect this change.  We will notify the employer.  It is understood that article 45 in the collective agreement should also be amended at the next round of negotiations.

9. Regional Equal Opportunities Conferences

The committee held preliminary discussion on the objectives, the agenda and the possible topics to address at the upcoming conferences. The proposed dates, locations and regional breakdown will be shared with the Executive Council.  The final decision will be made at the December Council.

Next Meeting:  December 3 & 4

RECOMMENDATION # 1

REGIONAL EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES CONFERENCES
2006
VICTORIA May 26 – 28 Pacific(6)
Montréal (6)
NCR (5)
CALGARY June 23 – 25 SW Ontario (5)
Rocky Mountains (4)
Prairie (3)
GTO (5)
HALIFAX October 13 - 15 N&E Ontario (5)
Atlantic (8)
Québec (5)