On Saturday, March 4, SEP hosted its first ever LGBTQ2 workshop with speakers from Egale Canada, UFCW, CUPE and IASTE. The speakers spoke openly on difficult topics, including bullying, hate crimes, and dealing with homophobia, and ended on a positive note about how equity committees are the “catalyst” to getting positive changes in our workplaces.
“I was happy to see how the members who attended the workshop were engaged and happy that we started this conversation at SEP,” commented D’Andrea, EVP Member Services.
Cindy Roks facilitated an open discussion with attendees. There were a lot of productive conversations about what actions other unions have taken to make their union and workplaces safe spaces and what steps SEP can take. Some of the ideas that came out of the discussion were introducing concept of safe space at delegate training, confronting micro-aggressions, communication with members, and providing educational and training links.
“We identified a strong will to continue these discussions and expect that our workshop was just the first step,” said D’Andrea.
Members who want to be a supportive co-worker of their LGBTQ2 colleagues and find they have questions about how to do so can consult the Canadian Labour Congress’s booklet Everything you ever wanted to know about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans Issues.
If you are interested in being a part of future work the union does around LGBTQ2 inclusion, please email Cindy Roks at [email protected].