NUPGE equality and human rights activists meet in Ottawa

Given the importance of the trade union movement in furthering equality and human rights issues, members will spend two days sharpening our focus on the challenges ahead.

Ottawa (3 Nov. 2011) - Members of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) are meeting in Ottawa to discuss the growing inequality in Canadian workplaces and society in general.

Darren Shore from the Voices-Voix Coalition will be talking to activists about the long list of recent government failures to respect democratic dissent and advocacy, and the health of our democratic space. Participants will discuss how unions can work with other progressive organizations to use our vast collective network to defend our rights to dissent, advocacy and democratic space in Canada and mobilize Canadians to hold their government accountable.

Philip Shearer, co-chair of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) will highlight the social determinants of health for an aging lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered community. Many of these elderly LGBT persons are either now relying on seniors’ home care services or living in seniors’ care homes. There is an increasing need to look at the provision of seniors’ care in terms of meeting the unique needs of an aging LGBT community. The discussion will address these issues from a perspective that ensures the aging LBTG population remains free of discrimination and they are able to live the remaining years of their lives without fear and social isolation.

Participants will get a chance to share information about current key struggles for equality and human rights from across the country before Derek Fudge, NUPGE Policy Director reviews the ongoing attacks on labour rights being unleashed by all levels of government and many employers across the country.

Trish Henessey, director of strategic issues at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Mike Luff, NUPGE Research and Communications Coordinator will tackle many issues found in NUPGE's All Together Now! campaign which promotes tax freedom and quality public services. Trish will share findings from a series of focus groups about the role of government, public services, taxes, unions and income inequality – what they tell us about Canadian values and clues to connecting the work of equity-seeking frontline workers with broader social and political trends.

Mike will look at the role of public services and fair taxation in promoting greater equality in Canada. Participants will be asked to consider how they can integrate key campaign components in the day-to-day equality and human rights work they do on behalf of the union’s membership.

Equality activists from across the country sign the All Together Now! equality pledge and proclamations for tax fairness and quality public services.

More information: 

All Together Now!

Voices-Voix coalition

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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


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