Tag Archives: accommodement

Accessibility must be a key priority for new government

Illustration of different types of disabilities

This year, on December 3, International Day for Persons with Disabilities, PSAC is calling on the recently elected federal government to make accessibility a priority.

Federal accessibility law

Just before the election, the government passed the Accessible Canada Act into law. This was an important step forward for accessibility rights in the federal sector. However, the most significant part lies ahead. The Act simply sets out the general framework – the government must create strong regulations to make the Act effective.

PSAC calls on this government to ensure comprehensive and enforceable accessibility regulations and standards that make a positive difference in the lives of persons with disabilities in Canada.

Federal accessibility strategy

The government has also recently prepared a federal Accessibility Strategy that will apply to the federal public service.

Once again, this strategy is simply a foundation and the true commitment to accessibility will only be shown by ensuring that the strategy is implemented properly. There must be a culture change in the federal public service, where one in three workers with disabilities have said they experienced harassment, and one in four have said they experienced discrimination.

We are calling on the government and the central agencies to make accessibility a priority and to demonstrate real commitment to removing barriers.

PSAC releases new tools on the duty to accommodate

Also, in recognition of December 3, PSAC is releasing a new pamphlet for our members entitled Duty to Accommodate in the Workplace, as well as our revised and updated Duty to Accommodate: A PSAC Guide for Union Representatives. PSAC is also promoting a video that explains the duty to accommodate. These tools will help PSAC members, stewards, and other representatives to better understand the right to accommodation in the workplace.

PSAC will continue to advocate for a Canada where persons with disabilities are able to fully and equitably participate in all aspects of society.

The original version of this article was first posted on the PSAC website.

2010: Family status accommodation

This is the fifth vignette in a series celebrating our union victories.

The 2010 groundbreaking Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ‘Johnstone Decision’ shaped the future of accommodations related to family status.

As a Border Services Officer, Fiona Johnstone required a fixed-shift schedule to arrange for child care. The employer refused to consider her request, arguing that it had no obligation under the Canadian Human Rights Act to accommodate what it deemed to be her personal choices around childcare. PSAC and CIU supported Ms Johnstone at every step throughout the ensuing lengthy legal battle. Ultimately, the Tribunal found CBSA had discriminated against Ms. Johnstone by failing to accommodate her family obligations.

In 2014, in a further blow to the employer’s narrow approach to family status accommodation, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision, confirming that human rights legislation is to be interpreted in a broad manner and that family status includes child care and other legal family obligations.

Photo of an infant holding a parent's hand, with text explaining how the union won a victory known as the Johnstone Decision, regarding family status accommodation

Click for full-size version.

For more union victories, see this page, and follow us on social media using #CIUvictories.