2017 F-7 Task Force to Review Existing Women’s Committees in Other Unions

TO: Board of Directors

From: Mario Guertin, Chair, Human Rights and Diversity Committee

Date:           September 11, 2018

Subject:      F-7 Task Force to Review Existing Women’s Committees in Other Unions

During the last AGM, the Atlantic Regional Executive put forward resolution F-7, which requests that a task force review Existing Women’s Committees in other Unions.

The Québec region formed a Women’s Committee a few years ago.  They have been inquiring about women's conditions throughout the Québec Region, in order to pinpoint critical issues, to which they could be acting upon.

As far as the CLC is concerned, many affiliates have a women's committee such as:

(Information from CLC) “...unfortunately we do not have a full list of unions with women's committees. In 2014, CLC conducted a gender and equity audit of affiliates, and 72% reported they had committees tasked with advancing the concerns of women."

This following CLC affiliates have a National Women’s Committee:

  1. NUPGE
  2. CUPE
  3. UFCW
  4. PSAC
  5. CUPW
  6. ACTRA
  7. USW
  8. IATSE (they have one for the International which includes the US and     Canada)
  9. SEIU
  10. LIUNA (Women's caucus for the International, not sure about LIUNA Canada)
  11. ETFO
  12. IBEW - International and now locals are organizing committees with the support of the union http://www.ibewcanada.ca/news/local-353-womens-committee-first-in-ibew-to-receive-charter/
  13. Teamsters - Women's caucuses
  14. OECTA
  15. OSSTF
  16. BCTF
  17. ATU - locals have women's committees, not sure about the National COPE
  18. IAMAW
  19. The Society of Energy Professionals

Status quo would not be an option as it leaves PIPSC behind, and the concerns and /or issues of our female membership would not receive the attention they deserve. PIPSC needs to be progressive and move forward, especially when the membership’s rights may be problematic.

Similar to other women’s committees, this one could raise issues where women's needs and reality have not been considered, or even apply a feminine lens on various issues. We need to encourage women to participate within their union, forming such a committee could raise interest within the female membership. 

It would be most beneficial to have clear and concise objectives, with a proper reporting structure.  The objectives could consist of the promotion of women's leadership, balancing work/family/study, salary differences, equality and harassment free workplaces.  Although it is with good intentions that a women’s committee be formed, there are some concerns that may vary throughout the regions. The HRDC believes that the regional committee members could assist with women’s interests within their respective regions, as they can relate to each other and their experiences  ie) The reality of an office downtown in the GTA is not quite the same as what they live in Miramichi, NB.

Following a discussion, the committee suggested to expand the HRDC to eight (8), nine (9) or ten (10) members, in addition to the chair, for a total of eleven (11) people representing the PIPSC membership.  It would be more cost efficient, rather than forming a brand new committee, which (if we follow CLC) would be a sub-committee to HRDC such as disabled persons, first nations, LGBTQ+ & visible minorities. The HRDC currently consists of four (4) women, three (3) men, two (2) of which are visible minorities, as well as two (2) female staff members.  Extending the size of the committee would allow the possibility to cover all groups.  This would ensure that all feel included and represented, and they could participate in the promotion of Human Rights and Diversity, both at work and home. 

This recommendation is submitted by the Human Rights and Diversity Committee. 

Yours truly,

Mario Guertin
Chair, Human Rights and Diversity Committee