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Each June since 1973, Canadians have been gathering for Pride Month to celebrate progress made towards equality and to fight for progress not yet made. This year, ACFO-ACAF joins millions of Canadians and the international community in celebration – and in the fight for the rights of LGBTQ2+ people everywhere.
For us, the fight for a better world for the LGBTQ2+ community starts at home. This year, ACFO-ACAF partnered with Canadian Equality Consulting (CEC), a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) consulting firm, to help us reflect on and evaluate our approach to professional development programs and services we offer to members through the lens of DEI. Implementing the recommendations in the CEC study will ensure we are upholding our dedication to providing our services, training programs and professional development offerings which are diverse, equitable and inclusive to everyone who participates, including our LGBTQ2+ members.
Along with evaluating our member programs, we also conducted an internal survey for ACFO-ACAF staff to self-identify their membership in equity-seeking groups anonymously and voluntarily so that we can better support our staff and their needs while advocating for our members.
ACFO-ACAF has been advocating for LGBTQ2+ rights in the workplace for many years. In April 2017, ACFO-ACAF along with other bargaining agents were successful in having recognized “gender identity” and “gender expression” as a protected ground against discrimination in the workplace in the collective agreement. You can find more information on LGBTQ2+ rights in the Canadian workplace here.
Despite progress in collective bargaining and in legislation, many LGBTQ2+ community members continue to face harassment and discrimination in the workplace. We continue to advocate for workplace protections and policies for LGBTQ2+ workers in bargaining demands and Public Service Health Care Plan negotiations.
At ACFO-ACAF, we are taking this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to stand up and fight for the rights of our LGBTQ2+ members in the workplace. If you believe you are experiencing discrimination at work – due to your sexual orientation, gender identity or for any other reason – please contact our Labour Relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From all of us at ACFO-ACAF, we wish you a happy Pride month!