HSABC to hold awareness-raising workshop in support of transgender workers

Led by Adrienne Smith, a transgender human rights activist and drug-policy lawyer, the day-long workshop will explore the union’s role in ending discrimination against transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming folx.

New Westminster (3 Sept. 2019) ― On Monday, November 18, HSABC/NUPGE will be holding a workshop at the head office: 180 East Columbia Street, New Westminster, BC. This awareness-raising, day-long workshop will focus on the challenges facing transgender workers in communities, workplaces, and unions. It will explore how unions can work to end discrimination and support our transgender members.

Workshop an introduction on how to treat transgender co-workers with respect

The introductory talk includes an overview of appropriate words to use, existing legal protections, and what we as union activists can do to make sure our workplaces and our unions are as inclusive as possible for transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming folx.

The course covers the following topics:

  • Vocabulary: who are trans people, and how do we talk with and about them respectfully? What words to use, words not to use, and invasive questions.
  • Barriers trans people face in the workplace and in the world.
  • Existing legal protection for trans workers, patients, and clients.
  • Videos illustrating some of these barriers in the workplace, in health care, and social services settings.
  • Human rights obligations of the union and in the workplace.
  • Equity vs. Equality.
  • What activists can do to make our workplaces and our unions more inclusive for LGBT folx.
    • Pronoun activity (work done in pairs)
    • Scenarios (work done in small groups)

Workshop led by human rights activist and drug-policy lawyer

This workshop will be led by Adrienne Smith. Adrienne is a transgender human rights activist and drug-policy lawyer. They recently settled a B.C. Supreme Court case that guaranteed access to opiate replacement therapy for prisoners in B.C. jails. Adrienne appeared at the B.C. Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada where they argued about the deleterious effects of mandatory minimum sentences for women, Indigenous people, and drug users. As a trade union activist, they advocate for transgender inclusion in our unions and workplaces. Adrienne volunteers at the Catherine White Holman Wellness Clinic where they give free legal advice and notarize name change documents for transgender people.

Registration now open

The workshop is open to all HSABC/NUPGE members. Space is limited, so members are encouraged to sign up via My Events Registration ASAP. Coffee, tea, breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack will be provided.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE