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AMAPCEO offers recommendations on ending employment discrimination in the OPS

Publish date: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 update

After pressure from AMAPCEO and other bargaining agents, the OPS Employer has launched a review of their Policy on Preventing Barriers in Employment. This review takes a closer look at the current models that the Employer uses to identify and address systemic discrimination to employment within the OPS. AMAPCEO, in consultation with its Equity Committee, has made recommendations on how to improve the Policy.

It is AMAPCEO’s view that the OPS continues to struggle with barriers in employment related to Human Rights Code-protected grounds, including race, disability, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The union also believes that those with multiple Code-protected social locations (the groups people belong to because of their place or position in history and society) might be uniquely confronted with barriers in employment. For example, based on data from the 2017 Employee Survey, 18% of racialized employees reported experiencing discrimination; while 51% of employees with disabilities who are Black reported the same.

AMAPCEO’s Equity Committee identified a number of examples within the OPS, including problematic recruitment practices, the creep of “credentialism” (the overreliance on academic or other formal qualifications as the best measure of a person's intelligence or ability to do a particular job) and other unnecessary inflations to entry-level qualifications, imbalanced access to professional development opportunities, the influence of managers’ unconscious biases, the effect of exclusionary informal social networks, and work expectations that limit the participation of employees with external personal obligations, such as dependent care.

In its submission to the Employer, AMAPCEO suggests ways the Policy could be updated so that the Employer is better positioned to recognize—and eliminate—discrimination in the OPS.

Among the union’s suggestions are that the OPS Employer:

  • maintain an independent process to identify and eliminate systemic barriers under the recently-updated Anti-Racism Policy;
  • revise the Policy on Preventing Barriers in Employment to take an intersectional approach to identify and eliminate systemic barriers along other grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code;
  • give an OPS entity the authority and accountability to direct where remedial action is necessary; and
  • undertake regular reporting and evaluation, including consultation with OPS employees, bargaining agents such as AMAPCEO, and other stakeholders.

Read the full submission below.

More about AMAPCEO and our Members: Established in 1992, AMAPCEO is a bargaining agent that represents 14,000 professional and supervisory public servants, most of whom work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in 130 communities throughout Ontario and in eleven cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth; Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; Public Health Ontario; Health Quality Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council and the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner.