For Immediate Release – Thursday, June 11th, 2020
WINNIPEG – The Public Service Alliance of Canada, the union that represents staff at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, is saddened but not shocked to hear the stories from former staff detailing harassment, discrimination, inappropriate practises as well as being silenced and pushed out of their jobs. The PSAC Local at the museum has been raising these issues with museum management since at least October 2018. As recently as two weeks ago the Union made proposals in contract talks with the museum to ensure anti-harassment training for all museum staff – including management – proposals that were rejected by the museum.
“None of the statements made in hashtag #cmhrstoplying should be a surprise to any level of management at the museum,” stated Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President for the Prairie region. “To change a workplace culture, the organisation has to be willing to change. The museum’s management has had the opportunity to hear directly from staff on these issues through the local’s contract negotiations, labour management meetings as well as the grievances that were filed on behalf of the staff.”
Currently, staff have protection under Article 14 of the collective agreement, No Harassment, No Discrimination. PSAC has filed grievances over the lack of anti-harassment training and issues related to discrimination in the workplace. PSAC is looking to contract negotiations to address systemic issues of harassment and discrimination because a collective agreement is a legally binding contract with clear processes to address conflict. PSAC will continue to use all legal avenues available to create a safe and respectful workplace for members.
“Mr. Young is right – it is not enough for the museum to make statements opposing racism. It is not enough for any institution, never mind a museum dedicated to human rights, to make statements opposing racism while continuing to allow a toxic culture that harasses people of colour and makes them feel worthless,” continued Hladun. “The sad reality is that Mr. Young and other management staff have had many opportunities to take proactive steps during contract negotiations and labour management meetings and they have outright rejected those opportunities. My hope is that the museum will do more than simply PR damage control and come to the table in good faith to bargain proactive steps into the collective agreement for staff at the museum.”
For more information:
Regional Communications Officer