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Posts published in “CUPE BC”

Day of Pink – Apr 14, 2021

On April 14, wear pink in solidarity with LGBTQ2+ people

Exclusion and violence against marginalized communities are ongoing problems that are amplified in crises like pandemics. LGBTQ2+ workers may experience homophobia and transphobia in their jobs, public spaces and sometimes personal spaces. Transgender workers are disproportionately denied jobs, healthcare and housing and face high rates of bullying and violence. LGBTQ2+ workers who are also marginalized by class, white supremacy, colonialism and ableism, are even more likely to have precarious employment, low income and insecure housing. At the same time, they’re also more likely to face surveillance, over-aggressive policing and assault.

With COVID-19, disparities have grown. Employment conditions have worsened.  Racism has spiked. Safer spaces are closed. In these and other areas of life, the LGBTQ2+ community is unevenly hit.

Unfortunately, equity measures are being put on the back burner at the very time they’re needed most. Initiatives to build cultural competency (greater organizational understanding and better practices) around gender and sexual diversity have been postponed. Employment equity initiatives in some workplaces have been paused. Equity offices are working short.

Attention is rightly focused on pandemic-related safety, but decades of underfunding and privatization have left public services short-staffed and under-resourced. Before COVID-19, equity measures were a patchwork. Now that patchwork is stretched even thinner.

CUPE members working with LGBTQ2+ seniors know the particular challenges this community faces.  This year, CUPE has released a report, co-written with Egale and Carleton University, on safer public services for LGBTQ2+ workers and LGBTQ2+ service users. The report finds that working conditions for LGBTQ2+ workers are related to service conditions for LGBTQ2+ clients, and vice versa. It also identifies several promising practices to make public services more inclusive for LGBTQ2+ workers and service users, including employment equity and safety standards tied to funding.

On April 14, take a stand against bullying. Wear pink and post a photo on social media #dayofpink.

Let’s work together to stop bullying and harassment. Visit our LGBTQ2+ page for more info.

CUPE condemns anti-Asian racism

Since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in China, Asian Canadian communities have experienced an increase in racist threats, slurs and physical violence.

A new report by the Chinese Canadian National Council documents over 1,000 racist incidents directed at members of the Asian community in Canada over the past year.

The intensification of anti-Asian discrimination is not limited to Canada. In the United States, Asian Americans have also experienced a spike in racist crime and abuse. This includes the tragic loss of Asian and immigrant women killed last week at their workplaces in Atlanta.

CUPE stands in solidarity with Asian communities. Our union is committed to the ongoing fight for human rights across the country and will continue to be in solidarity with workers across the globe.

CUPE invites members to join in a moment of silence on Friday, March 26 at 1:00 pm Eastern as we recognize and honour the lives lost last week in Atlanta.

International Women’s Day 2021!!!

As we fight for women’s rights, we must recognize that all struggles for human rights and justice are interconnected. To achieve justice for all women, we must dismantle all forms of oppression faced by women.

Across the country, CUPE members are participating in virtual community events celebrating women’s activism and reaffirming our commitment to gender justice.

The theme of IWD this year is “Choose to Challenge,” which is a very apt theme for CUPE and the broader labour movement. Unions exist to challenge the status quo, whether at the bargaining table, the workplace or in our communities. Let’s all “choose to challenge” the patriarchal inequities and barriers that women face. As we emerge from the pandemic—which disproportionately affected women, particularly marginalized women—it is essential that we demand that governments at all levels ensure that the economic recovery from the pandemic be centred on women.

Women who experience racism, homophobia, classism, ableism, transphobia and other forms of discrimination face particular challenges that must be addressed.

We encourage all members and Locals in B.C. to participate in (virtual) events in their communities, and we recommit our union to continuing the fight for true equality.

CUPE BC President Paul Faoro announces he will not seek re-election at May convention

BURNABY-CUPE BC President Paul Faoro sent the following message to CUPE Local Presidents across B.C. after announcing to the union’s Executive Board this morning that he will not seek re-election to a fourth term as president. He will continue to serve as president until CUPE BC’s online 2021 Convention, May 19-21, when delegates will elect a new executive.

Faoro was first elected president in 2015 after serving as Secretary-Treasurer. He previously served as president of CUPE Local 15 for twelve years. Over Faoro’s tenure as president CUPE BC’s membership grew from 82,000 to more than 100,000, making CUPE BC the largest union in B.C.

Click here to read Faoro’s letter.

Written by Clay Suddaby