What are the responsibilities of the union as a worker representative?

The responsibilities of the union representative include:

  • to insist that the employer fulfills its duty to design workplace requirements and standards so that, from the outset, they do not discriminate;

  • to model a problem-solving approach to accommodation;

  • to represent the needs of the worker for accommodation;

  • to collaborate with the worker and the employer in accommodating the worker;

  • to respond to employer accommodation proposals;

  • to follow-up after the accommodation is implemented to assess whether it is working and to help address any associated issues that may surface; and

  • to ensure that the collective agreement does not discriminate during the collective bargaining process and during the life of the collective agreement,


As well, the Union may play a role in the following ways:


  • providing and ensuring the employer provides education about human rights issues and the duty to accommodate;

  • providing its own educational courses on human rights and duty to accommodate;

  • ensuring that training is provided to union activists who advocate for members requiring accommodation;

  • seeking to ensure that the workers’ rights (human rights) are respected;

  • seeking to ensure the health and safety of co-workers is not compromised;

  • balancing the need of the individual worker for accommodation and the interests of the bargaining unit members as a whole,

  • complying with the consultation and collaboration provisions under the Employment Equity Act; and

  • involving health and safety officials as required.

September 18, 2013