PIPSC supports the Federal Black Employee Caucus

On June 18, 2019, PIPSC President Debi Daviau had the honour of addressing members of the Federal Black Employee Caucus (FBEC), an organization dedicated to combatting career obstacles in the public service such as racism, harassment, and under-representation.

Black employees, and other visible minorities, continue to face barriers after being hired in the public service, even though the educational qualifications of visible minorities are often higher than those of the average population.

That’s why PIPSC is proud of the fact that some outstanding visible minority candidates were recently elected to its Board of Directors. In particular, we saw the first Black woman elected to the Board, NCR Regional Director Jennie Esnard, and the first Black woman elected to the PIPSC Executive in its almost 100 year history, Vice-President Norma Domey.

The inclusion of underrepresented groups in the PIPSC leadership structure ensures that decisions, strategies, projects and member engagement reflect the needs of all our members.

The Institute values the diversity of the Canadian population and the unique talents and strengths that are inherent in a diverse workforce. Diversity makes our union stronger and we will continue to work toward increased active involvement and improved representation of visible minorities in Institute leadership roles. If we do not reflect our workplaces and communities, we will not survive as a union.

We are committed to working with our employers to create workplaces that are inclusive and barrier free. As a union, we have an active role to play in identifying and removing barriers that prevent any member from fully participating in all workplace activities and fulfilling their personal and professional dreams.

One key strategy pursued by PIPSC to achieve these objectives was to actively participate in the Joint Union/Management Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, which consulted with over 12,000 public servants and invested over a year in drafting its report. NCR Regional Director Waheed Khan was co-chair of its Technical Committee.

The Task Force provided 44 recommendations to promote diversity and inclusion in the public service. We need to ensure, however, that this important report doesn’t just gather dust on a shelf. PIPSC is keeping a close eye on developments on this front, and was pleased when the government announced the establishment of a Centre of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellness, which is similar to the Centre of Excellence recommended by the Task Force. The Institute will be happy to work with the Treasury Board to ensure that the proposed Centre is action-oriented and that all employees, particularly Black employees, benefit from tangible results.

In addition, PIPSC supports the key “Asks” that the FBEC has identified.

We agree that data gaps must be filled and that a support network be created permitting Black community members to accomplish their professional goals, i.e. to obtain senior government positions.

We also believe that the federal government should assign Champions in each of its Departments.

And of course that the federal government show respect for the International Decade for People of African Descent.

We have communicated our support for this Caucus’ objectives in a letter to Treasury Board President Joyce Murray