Report of the GLBT Persons Rep to the Prairie Region Triennial Convention, April 21-23, 2017. This report covers the 2014-17 PRC term.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered (GLBT) Persons Representative
Welcome to the Winnipeg!
The principles that I have to follow are simple and listed on the main website, however, some of you may have never seen them before, these items are the basis for “all Human Rights” in our union.
PSAC is a proud ally in the struggle for the advancement of the human rights of gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Canada.
Eradicating homophobia and transphobia in the workplace and bargaining and lobbying for the full protection of our GLBT members’ human rights are ongoing priorities for the PSAC.
The current, concerted attacks on unions undermine the struggle for human rights. Together, we can work to fend off such attacks by championing the many victories we’ve gained for our members.
PSAC defends the human rights of all our members, because We are ALL Affected by discrimination and inequality.
I have a theory about Human Rights in Canada; I want to know as much as I can! In my GLBT world, filled with rainbows (ok you can smile now), I wanted to include “all equity seeking groups” in all my decisions, teaching, mentoring and defending. I picked the GLBT Representative position on the Prairie Region Council because I wanted to make a difference. I just didn’t realize, at the time, I was really good at it! So wherever you are on the equity seeking spectrum, always continue leave room to grow, learn and share your experiences wherever and whenever you can – knowing that we’ve got each other backs.
I have enjoyed working with the entire PRC these past nine years. I believe I bring friendship, knowledge and vital life experience to the council, being part of the PRC-GLBT equity lens. I also bring a certain level of social awareness to conversations that need to be heard, addressed and sometime explained to be sure that our council in cognisant of equity’s evolution in today’s Union environment and of course all of our Canadian society (ie. Gender Identity & Gender Expression, now awaiting the Senate to make it law as of November 18, 2016 as part of Bill C-16)
In the past nine years as the GLBT representative I have approached all the Human Rights Committees in the Prairies, attended meetings/conferences/workshops dealing with GLBT issues and tried to sponsor as much attention as I could to bring the PRIDE-GLBT concerns forward. In some cases I have succeeded to reach (email trees, our regional website, etc.) out to my Brothers and Sisters to provide guidance, support and information regarding our on-going union struggles. Many events across the Prairies are listed here in my report and many more were celebrated in other cities. Our media wizard Jeffrey Vallis is also on my list of thank you’s as he constantly amazes us all with his ability to make everything work on paper, posters, websites and more look amazing!!
I would like, at this time of convention gathering, to ask all our GLBT members to try, one day soon, to attend your local Human Rights Committee in your local Regional Office. You can learn more about other equity groups and hopefully bring your GLBT viewpoint to the group. This is the best way to get the “word” out to members and to bring attention to any local GLBT events/information/resources. This is the forum that you can launch your union career from, find out what interests you and put “your spin on it” … you’ll never know where it will take you and all the great people you will meet along the journey.
My work on the National Human Rights Committee was fruitful and frustrating at the same time during this, my second triennial cycle. The seven representatives (the PSAC is split into seven regions, we are of course the Prairies) for GLBT, myself included, worked well together and came up with many workable ideas. We were able to set up clear agendas of what we wanted to accomplish and set up a framework for the workshops that in fact happened at the Human Rights Committee Conference which was held in Toronto in the spring of 2017. We have worked on and completed the GLBT information pamphlet (available on the PSAC main website http://psacunion.ca/history-glbt-rights ) that would include many aspects of the GLBT struggles from the past to present to show our members a complete snapshot of the good work that our GLBT members/staff are working towards. The frustrating part of being part of this committee is that we do not met face to face often enough, but we have been able to keep up during several conference calls.
I would also like to say thank you to the national PSAC staff who worked on our files as they are also wonderful to work with, some hurdles have been overcome and others are still in the works. Always moving forward – never back!
To all of my Brothers and Sisters in the Prairies, I say “thank you” and praise you all for coming forward in the name of our union. Please find below a select amount of achievements I enjoyed while being your representative on the Prairie Region Council these past three years.
In Pride & Solidarity – Prairie Wide!!
Timothy Hunt – Prairie Region Council – GLBT Representative
Edmonton Pride Parade – June 2014
The hubby and I attended the AFL float and joined up with some brothers and sisters (thanks to Brother James Somers-CRA) to carry the PSAC banner and flag.
2014 Convention – 2014
The conference was held in Saskatoon this time, lots of friendly faces and great meeting space. I was successful in retaining my seat as PRC – GLBT representative.
World Pride Conference / Games – Toronto – June 2014
Our union’s presence at World Pride events in Toronto was particularly notable. PSAC activists attended an international human rights conference and more than 250 of them marched in the trans and dyke marches, as well as the main parade – spreading the union message to millions of bystanders. We sent two members of the Prairies Region, Brother Chris Gagne-Little (a/RVP UNE-Winnipeg) and Sister Kate Hart (Passport Cda/UNE-Edmonton) to be ambassadors from our region.
Calgary Pride – August 21-30, 2014
Many different events located around the city during Pride week
National Human Rights Committee – November 2014
This was the inaugural meeting for the new three year cycle. 17 component representatives and our new human rights representatives were in attendance. We continued our work from the last three cycle and we looked forward and started new items. We meet again next fall and we will be working towards getting as many members to the conference in Toronto for March of 2017. We also as a group laid a PSAC wreath on the war memorial (Security was very tight that day, ask me about the big guns!) with Sister Robyn Benson.
TUB Course Address – October 2014
I addressed the new unionists at our Calgary Regional Office. I explained what the PRC is and who and what we represent. This is a great way to share your knowledge with new unionists who only see their own components and sees the “big picture” for the first time.
National Human Rights Committee-GLBT conference call – February 2015
National Human Rights Conference call with PSAC President (Robyn) – June 2015
Broadbent Society Presentation for the PSAC National – July 2015
Delivered the views of the PSAC at this event, it was well received
NHRC – Conference Call – September 2015
Statements of Principles regarding the following items were discussed at length with the viewpoint of each of equity lenses:
- Human Rights
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- Employment Equity
- Racial Equality
- Pay Equity
- Technological Change
- Child Care
- Women’s Equality and Human Rights
National Human Rights Committee (Ottawa) – November 2015
2016 Canadian Gay Curling Championships – November 10, 2016
The PSAC held a national event in Winnipeg for the first time, a donation was requested as some of our PSAC alumni attend this event, making this was an appropriate type of event to sponsor. Brother Frank Ganz presented the cheque and attended the event (thanks Frank!)
National Human Rights Committee-GLBT – September 2016
- Debrief on Trans Campaign from bill C-279 to bill C-16
- National Conference preparations for March 2017
- PSES survey discussions
- Safer Spaces Initiative – with regards to the GLBT equity lens
- CLC national conference preparations
Rise Up! CLC Human Rights Conference (Ottawa) – October 2016
The conference brings our union movement’s diverse activists and allies together in a unique space for forward-thinking strategies and skills. Rise Up! Will explore ways to renew labour movement, celebrate our diversity, and better understand the changing nature of work.
Knee Replacement – October 25, 2016
Yes, I finally got the surgery !! I was basically out of commission till January.
National PSAC Human Rights Conference (Toronto) – March 2017