PSAC pursues anti-Black racism policy grievance filed against the Canadian Human Rights Commission

PSAC is moving forward with a policy grievance filed against the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) on the issue of systemic anti-Black racism, anti-Black sexism, and racial discrimination experienced by PSAC members working at the CHRC.

The policy grievance was originally filed in October 2020 in tandem with other bargaining agents. PSAC suspended the grievance as a sign of good faith while we and other unions entered into discussions with the CHRC to resolve ongoing complaints of racism and discrimination. To date, adequate progress has not been made to address ongoing systemic racism experienced by Black and racialized workers. The union will therefore be reactivating the policy grievance.

This past summer, members working at the Canadian Human Rights Commission raised concerns about systemic racism within the ranks of CHRC management. In July, workers drafted a letter describing the discriminatory treatment of Black and racialized workers and systemic problems in the treatment of race-based complaints within the CHRC. PSAC then filed a policy grievance in the fall echoing our members’ concerns. The Association of Justice Counsel (AJC) and the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) filed similar policy grievances of their own.

PSAC has encouraged the employer to conduct an inclusive trauma-informed workplace assessment and engage with workers to better determine the appropriate remedies. It is a necessary process in rebuilding trust amongst Black and racialized employees.

PSAC plans to continue joint discussions with the CHRC management while we pursue the policy grievance, along with other bargaining agents such as the AJC, who has also reactivated their policy grievance.

PSAC will continue to confront anti-Black racism and all forms of discrimination. Our members deserve to work in an environment that is free of implicit bias and systemic racism, especially within the branch of the government charged with protecting human rights and eliminating discrimination.



January 20, 2021