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Equity Policy

1. Introduction

1.1 The Canadian Union of Labour Employees (CULE) is committed in all its functions to promoting equality, eliminating discrimination and promoting harmonious staff relations between people of different racialized groups.  CULE values the diversity of its membership and is working to ensure that the highest equality and diversity standards are maintained throughout the union & workplace.  


1.2 CULE’s commitment to race equality derives from its mandate and commitment to equality, respect and social justice. They are complemented by a number of strategies including; the Joint Employment Equity Committee, which serve to promote fairness in employment and the educational experience. CULE’s commitment to Aboriginal Peoples,
Members with Disabilities and the Pride group will be strongly represented in the Equality Policy and the work of the Joint Employment Equity Committee (JEEC).

1.3 This Policy incorporates the rights and responsibilities listed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Bill of Rights and the applicable Provincial and Territorial Human Rights Code.


1.4 This policy will play a key role in CULE’s work to promote an inclusive union & workplace culture, which is reflected in its teaching, functioning, learning, research, and in its management.

1.5 An important goal of CULE’s Equality Policy is to create greater awareness of the need for equality as a key attribute of all those who work for the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). CULE will demonstrate its ability to enforce equality by ensuring that the functions of CULE and PSAC are monitored and analyzed to test whether any equity seeking group is at risk of being disadvantaged by any actions taken.

2. Scope of this Policy

This policy applies to all members of the Canadian Union of Labour Employees and any other person associated with the functions of CULE or who provides a service on its behalf.

3. Responsibility and Leadership

3.1 The responsibility for ensuring CULE meets the obligations of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadian Bill of Rights, the applicable Provincial and Territorial Human Rights Code rests with the CULE Executive

3.2 The CULE Executive, through their leadership roles, will promote and implement equality as an important issue within the membership, and where appropriate, outside the CULE membership.

4. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

4.1 The Charter is founded on the rule of law and entrenches in the Constitution of Canada the rights and freedoms Canadians believe are necessary in a free and democratic society. It recognizes primary fundamental freedoms (e.g. freedom of expression and of association), democratic rights (e.g. the right to vote), mobility rights (e.g. the right to
live anywhere in Canada), legal rights (e.g. the right to life, liberty and security of the person) and equality rights, and recognizes the multicultural heritage of Canadians. It also protects official language and minority
language education rights. In addition, the provisions of section 25 guarantee the rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

4.2 The Canadian Bill of Rights was enacted by Parliament in 1960. It applies to legislation and policies of the federal government and guarantees rights and freedoms similar to those found in the Charter (e.g. equality rights, legal rights, and freedom of religion, of speech and of association).

4.3 The federal and provincial and territorial governments have adopted legislation (human rights acts or codes) prohibiting discrimination on various grounds in relation to employment, the provision of goods, services and facilities customarily available to the public, and accommodation. This legislation differs in its application from the Charter's section 15 on equality rights in that it provides protection against discrimination by individuals in the private sector, as well as by governments.


5. CULE and the Act

5.1 CULE has a well established Anti-harassment policy, procedure and equity seeking network. All reported incidents of harassment and discrimination will be dealt with in accordance with the policy and procedure.


5.2 CULE has defined institutional racism as: "The collective failure of an organization to provide an appropriate service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes or behaviour, which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage racialized people."


5.3 The CULE Executive will work within the framework provided to eliminate any institutional discrimination. The Anti-harassment policy and procedure, along with the existing CULE Grievance procedures, provide a means to deal with any complaints of harassment and discrimination.

5.4 CULE will ensure that all of its officers will be fully made aware of the principle of equality and that an equality lens is routinely used as a part of their work while carrying out the union’s functions at every level. The functions of CULE to which this Policy is particularly relevant include but are not limited to the following:


  • careers advice, support, accommodation, catering and recreational activities;

  • bars, restaurants and conference facilities;

  • curriculum design, teaching, learning and delivery;

  • provision of and access to support services;

  • staff recruitment, selection, induction;

  • staff development, professional training, promotion, career progression; disciplinary, grievance and exit procedures;

6. Operational Roles and Responsibilities

6.1 The CULE Executive is responsible for ensuring that the Policy and the related Anti-Discrimination/Harassment Plan are put into practice.  They are also responsible for making sure that staff know their responsibilities, and that they take advantage of the support and training available to help them carry these out. They should ensure that all relevant procedures are adhered to and appropriate action is taken in respect of staff that discriminate for reasons based on race, gender, religious belief, political belief, sexual orientation, expression of identity, and ethnic or national origins.

6.2 The CULE Executive have a role in ensuring that the awareness of race and diversity is reflected in the content (where appropriate), delivery and assessment of programs, and in encouraging good practice amongst colleagues.

6.3 All staff are responsible for promoting equality and respectful
relationships, and for preventing discrimination against anyone for reasons
of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality or national
or ethnic origin. Training will be provided through Staff Development and

6.4 The CULE Executive will provide leadership amongst their members to assist with the implementation of this policy.


6.5 CULE Executive officers are responsible for ensuring that the services provided for the Union and access to Union facilities, are free of bias of any kind and stereotyping. All members should be aware of the need to promote respectful relations and avoid discrimination against anyone for reasons of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, political belief, religious belief, nationality or national or ethnic origin.


6.6 The CULE Equity Director will be responsible for coordinating and taking forward the race equality work. Reports on race equality work and all equity initiatives will be presented to the CULE Executive.


7. Integration of Equality Policy


CULE will integrate the Equality Policy continually through an Action Plan. The action plan provides a basis for analysis of the services provided for the membership. Through analysis of all activities based on racial and equalities groups CULE will be better able to decide on actions needed to deliver equality of opportunity.

8. Equality Working Party and consultation


8.1 The Equity Caucus, led by the Equity Director, consisting of members of equity seeking groups who have self-identified; is tasked with monitoring and evaluating the functions outlined in the Policy and Anti-Harassment Plan.

8.2 Consultation will take place on a regular basis. Comprehensive consultation will be undertaken at least every three years with the Equity Caucus to determine whether the functions of CULE and PSAC are being undertaken effectively in the context of equality.

9. Reviews of Related policies


9.1 Policies to be reviewed regularly will include those on Executive Selection, Equal Opportunities, Anti-Harassment, Learning and Teaching and Members Complaints.

9.2 Other CULE policies will be developed according to priorities set through consultation within the CULE membership. The timetable will be coordinated by the Equity Director, CULE Executive and Equity Committee.

10. Equality and Diversity Training


10.1 CULE will provide appropriate training for members to enable them to carry out all their duties in accordance with this Policy. The PSAC is responsible for ensuring that appropriate training and development opportunities on equality issues are available to all staff groups.

10.2 An evaluation of the effectiveness of all equality training will be made at regular intervals according to past practice.


11. Building Equality into other Policies


CULE will ensure that equality awareness is integral to policies on such issues as; teaching, learning and curriculum; achievement, progress and assessment; harassment; staff recruitment, support and professional development; community involvement; procurement, and outsourcing.

12. Review and Assessment of the Equality Policy


This Policy will be reviewed at least every three years to ensure consistency with JEEC’s policies and Canadian Human Rights legislation.  Additionally, the Equity Director and Equity Committee may assess the effectiveness of the Policy from time to time based on available monitoring data and appropriate consultation within the membership and the PSAC.

13. Non-compliance, Complaints and Support


Where a member alleges non-compliance with the Equality Policy he or she may lodge a complaint through CULE’s Policy on Harassment.  Alternatively, members may use the Grievance Procedure as recourse.  CULE will endeavour to have the PSAC adopt the Equality Policy and seek to have the policy entrenched in future collective agreements.


14. Publication of the Equality Policy

CULE will take steps to ensure that all staff are aware of the Policy. It will be published on the CULE website at

15. Implementation


An Action Plan outlining details about the implementation of this Policy will be devised in consultation and discussion within the CULE membership and representatives to the JEEC to incorporate the equality dimensions of
all the functions of CULE. This Policy and Action Plan will be reviewed, updated and circulated for consultation, every three years.

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