December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women.
Commemoration will take place across Canada and this year PIPSC will participate in the event to be held at the Ottawa Human Rights Monument on Elgin Street at 6pm. PIPSC is also hosting a quiet reception after the event at the Lord Elgin Hotel for members in our community affected by the tragedy.
As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians and the labour movement to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. And to make a difference. As a union, it is within our power to make the workplace safer, free of violence and supportive of our members who face domestic violence.
This year we have seen some significant progress on that front: During the last round of bargaining, the Audit, Commerce & Purchasing Group (AV Group) took the leadership on advancing a discussion to gain workplace supports for those impacted by domestic violence.
Consequently, PIPSC and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement that seeks to study potential workplace practices to support our members affected by domestic violence.
Recommendations from this AV Group initiative will later be presented to the joint Union-Employer Committee struck to develop the Employee Wellness Support Plan on behalf of PIPSC public service members.
Discussions between PIPSC and TBS regarding workplace supports for members impacted by domestic violence will start this month.