Looking through the equity lens at USJE’s Equity Conference

Day 2 at USJE’s National Equity conference was another impactful and productive day for delegates and Regional Vice-Presidents. USJE President David Neufeld started the day by sharing some personal reflections on his journey as a leader, a father, and person who is deeply committed to advancing equity within and outside of the union. 

Over the course of the morning, members participated in a small group brainstorming exercise that involved reviewing current USJE by-laws and practices through an equity lens. The purpose of this exercise was to understand where USJE could act to strengthen equity in all parts of our union. In addition, views were exchanged on how to best safeguard equity in the workplace.

Delegates subsequently shared their ideas about specific actions USJE could take that would better equip Regional Vice-Presidents, Local Presidents and USJE members to be effective advocates on behalf of the federal public service employees that USJE represents. Delegates emphasized that the employer often neglects to uphold equity when considering the needs and realities of its employees, and that local union leaders need more support.

In the afternoon, delegates had the opportunity to tour one of Winnipeg’s more recent landmarks, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. If delegates preferred to stay at the hotel, a Sharing Circle was held to honour those who wanted to take some time to reflect on their experience. USJE recognizes that the museum is located in an area which historically served as a crucial gathering site for Indigenous peoples, and that not everyone is comfortable with this location.