Equal Opportunities Committee

Minutes of the Equal Opportunities (EO) Committee

September 14 - 15, 2003

In attendance:

Linda Cassidy (chairperson)
Terry Dupuis
Darlene Bembridge
Cindy Little
Maria Peters
Gerard Ennis
Greg Reid
Simone Smith
Lina Ruel
 

Previous minutes

Minutes of the June meeting were adopted as presented.
Follow up on the item concerning the bargaining demand for leave when having to seek refuge in a shelter has not been finalized. We are still in contact with the Employment Equity section.

PSAC Equal Opportunities Committee Network

As noted in the minutes, networking with the members of the group that you represent is very important. The chairperson informed the committee that she had given their names to the members of the PSAC Equal Opportunities committee and informed them of our committee network. The intent being that the network could be shared. So far, only one person from the PSAC committee has contacted a member of our committee.

Regional Equal Opportunities Conferences

The committee had a chance to review the agenda from the previous conferences before the meeting. Very few changes were made; the conferences will be the same as the previous ones with up to date reference material. Our objective is to educate new participants on the Employment Equity Act and the responsibilities of the employer and the employees in respect to the legislation.
Amendments were made to the input call, the registration form, the evaluation form and the nametags.
As for the committee members attending all the conferences, it would be the ideal but it would be quite costly. The chairperson will look into this possibility. Other options discussed were for each committee member to attend the conference in their respective region or to attend two of the four conferences. During the last round of conferences, the chairperson, the member of the Executive Council, the member representing the locals and the staff officer attended the conferences and were also the facilitators and the other committee members attended the conference is their respective region.

Updates

  • Employment Equity Strategic Direction
    The new strategic direction plan will not be ready for consultation for some time because the employer does not have the data of the Census 2001. They expect to receive the data by the end of November; they will then do a new workforce analysis to identify the new gaps. The revised Strategic Direction will take into consideration the new gaps.
  • Canadian Human Right Audit (CCRA Employment Equity Program)
    The report is due to come out in October. The Commission has informed us that the report goes to the employer only. The normal procedure is that other parties can access the report through the employer or an Access to Information request.
    We will ask the Employer for a copy, if not successful, we will initiate an Access to Information request.
  • Workforce Profile Survey
    A copy of the results of the survey was shared electronically with the committee.
  • Workforce Analysis
    The new workforce analysis is expected to be ready by the end of December.

Equity / Diversity Courses

Very few locals responded to the input call asking for a list of the equity/diversity courses available in their region or local. We were looking for local initiatives that could be shared with other locals. The few locals that responded identified mostly courses offered on a national basis. As these courses are already well known and publicized, we will not be issuing a list as previously discussed.
We will survey the locals again following the regional conferences.

Equity Module

As previously agreed, the equity module will be on how to do an employment system review of CCRA policies and practices to identify and remove systemic and attitudinal barriers to employment opportunities for persons of designated groups.
 
The draft document outlined the main points to cover during the module:
  • Objectives
  • Goal
  • Legal framework
  • What is an employment systems review?
  • When do you have to conduct and ESR?
  • Understanding employment barriers
  • The approach to conducting an ESR
The next step is to prepare the document to include notes for the facilitators and exercises to put in practice the material presented.

Consultation and Collaboration (section 15 of the EEA)

We have received a response from the PSAC acknowledging our dissatisfaction with their previous response regarding our request for interpretation of section 15 of the EEA. A copy is attached.
 
In March, a letter was sent to the CHRC on this same issue and although an officer contacted Linda for clarification, a formal response or interpretation has yet to be received. We will follow up with the Commission.

Employment Equity National Advisory Committees Meeting

Last June, Maria and Greg participated at the above-mentioned meeting. They shared some of the highlights of the topics discussed. They will provide us with the minutes of the meeting once available

Next meeting

The dates for the next meeting have not been determined.