Equal Opportunities Committee

Minutes of the Equal Opportunities (EO) Committee

June 7th and 8th, 2017


Madonna Gardiner, Chairperson
Greg Krokosh, Co-Chairperson
Jennifer Phillips, Elected by the Locals
Lisa Halbach, Aboriginal Peoples
Ian MacFarlane, GLBT
Cheryl Seymour, Women
Georges Ten, Racially Visible People
Jim Austin, Persons with Disabilities
Lyson Paquette, Technical Advisor


Madonna welcomed the members of the committee.


2.1  Approval of Minutes March 2017      

The committee members reviewed the minutes of the March 1-2, 2017 meeting.

2.2   CRA Positive Space Training – GLBTQ+

The committee members discussed the initiative of the Positive Space Training. The committee members believe that this initiative will increase awareness in the workplace.  Presently, discussions on the Positive Space are taking place in the regions and the training has started in some workplaces.  

The committee members are without reservation for Union representatives becoming facilitator and/or ambassador.

Employees who have received the training and want to be an ambassador to provide a Positive Space will be provided with a pin, a tent card and a sticker so they can be identified in the workplace. The EO Committee members should have received these items. Madonna will contact the employer.

Follow-up: Madonna and Lyson

2.3  Contact lists for the Employment Equity (EE) groups

The creation of the contact lists has been postponed because of the human resources presently dedicated to the UTE Convention. 

We expect that the contact lists will be available by the end of the year.

Follow-up:  Lyson, Sylvie and Alex

2.4  Communication with the EE alternates

Madonna reminded the members that regular communication with the alternates is important even if there is nothing to report.

It will be important to inform the Union Representatives at the regional and local levels to review the Regional and National EE Plans.

Follow-up:  EO Committee representatives

2.5  Resolutions to UTE National Convention

Madonna explained the rational for the rejection of the proposed resolutions to the Executive Council.  (Resolutions are attached to the Minutes of the EO Committee Meeting of March 2017 and in the Executive Council of March 2017.

In regards to the proposed resolution on alcohol-free for the EO Conferences, the EO Committee has the authority to make this decision.

2.6  CRA Terms of Reference – National Employment Equity and Diversity Committee

The employer has made some changes to the CRA Terms of Reference such as including Diversity.  UTE was not involved in the discussion as consultation was suspended during the bargaining process.  The Union’s questions and concerns will be raised at the next meeting with the employer.


The committee members reviewed the Terms of Reference and changes will be presented to the Executive Council next week. The proposed changes are attached to the Minutes.

Moreover, Madonna will propose to change the term of the EO representatives for the 5 group representatives from 2 years to 3 years.


The presentation took place on June 7th, 1:30PM at 395 Terminal Avenue, room 8085, Ottawa, Ontario.

The UTE EO committee members were invited to a presentation.  The employer provided information on the objectives of the Employment Equity (EE) Act; explanation on the workforce analysis; review the EE gaps and options available to address gaps. 

The changes proposed to the CRA terms of references, EE plan and actions are lead by Treasury Board Secretariat.

The committee members are concerned about the following:

a)         Integrity of the data as it is based on the 2011 census and the data for the 2016 census will be available in 2018/2019.  Moreover, the CRA internal workforce may not reflect the realities as employees may not self-identified, that term employee or in and out of the CRA workforce, etc.

b)        The inclusion of diversity, official languages and other consideration such as generations in the CRA Terms of Reference may be problematic has the committee may become an umbrella for various human resources issues.  

UTE EO committee will monitor the changes (inclusion of groups) to ensure the protection of the employees’ rights under the EE Act.

c)        That competition processes are not clear on how EE criteria will be used. Specific information should be provided in the competition poster (notice of job opportunity).

Note:  Even though the CRA is a separate employer, the Treasury Board Secretariat is leading the changes.

Employer is working on a definition on Diversity and Inclusion.  However, again they are following TBS.

The Union has raised its concern on the use of the word “uniqueness” in the proposed definition as it may be interpreted as not being inclusive.

Follow-up:  The UTE concerns were provided verbally at the Union/Management Consultation meeting of July 21, 2017.  


It was agreed that minor changes will be made on the form.

Follow-up:  Lyson


The EO members who participated at the PSAC Conference provided feedback on the organization and the content of the PSAC EE Conference.