Trans Day of Remembrance Statement
November 20 marks the Trans Day of Remembrance. Transgender and transsexual people are often victims of discrimination, harassment and violence in the workplace, in their communities and at school. This day gives us a chance to mourn losses and fight for change.
PSAC has been a leader in championing the rights of trans people, both via campaigns and at the bargaining table. On October 12, 2011, National President John Gordon wrote to Prime Minister Harper and to Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson asking them to support the a trans rights bill that would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code by adding protections for gender identity and gender expression.
A bill of this nature (C-389) passed Third Reading during the last session of Parliament, but didn’t make it through the Senate before an election was called. Two Private Member’s Bills on trans rights were recently submitted by Liberal MP Hedy Fry and NDP MP Randall Garrison. PSAC supports both of them.
In the months to come, PSAC will be joining our efforts with the Canadian Labour Congress and with LGBT organizations to win this important law reform.
PSAC has also successfully negotiated important language into collective agreements protecting trans workers. As we saw with the battle for same sex benefits, the victories that workers win at the bargaining table often serve as crucial precedents for human rights protections across Canada.
In that spirit, PSAC has distributed to local unions and regional offices 5,000 copies of a booklet entitled “Workers in Transition: a Practical Guide About Gender Transition for Union Representatives”. This ground-breaking guide was produced by the CLC, with input from PSAC. It is designed for trade union leaders, union staff representatives, local executives and shop stewards, so they can better protect the rights of our trans members and ensure they have the support they need before, during and after they transition.
PSAC is committed to defending everyone’s right to dignity on the job, to a safe and healthy workplace and to be free from harassment and discrimination.
Transsexual and transgender people are workers, citizens and beloved members of our families. They deserve nothing more than respect, equality and protection from discrimination and violence.
- Read Trans Day of Remembrance an article by PSAC member Kate Hart, explaining why the Trans Day of Remembrance is so important for her.
- Download the Workers in Transition guide from the Canadian Labour Congress – an excellent resource for union representatives.
- Print and distribute PSAC’s trans human rights pamphlet (PDF), calling for gender identity and gender expression to be added to federal human rights legislation.
Date Modified : 2011/11/18