Update on the AJC's Policy Grievance in Support of Black and Racialized Employees at the CHRC
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
On October 19, 2020, the Association of Justice Counsel (AJC) presented a policy grievance in support of Black and racialized employees who have, and continue to experience systemic anti-Black racism, anti-Black sexism and systemic discrimination.
The AJC—along with two other bargaining agents—presented written submissions on October 4, 2022. Additional Oral submissions were presented on October 4, 2022 and on January 19, 2023.
On March 6, 2023, the Treasury Board Secretariat issued its decision finding that the “CHRC has breached the “No Discrimination” clause of the LP collective agreement, namely, article 36.”
Article 36 of the collective agreement stipulates:
36.01 There shall be no discrimination, interference, restriction, coercion, harassment, intimidation, or any disciplinary action exercised or practiced with respect to a lawyer by reason of age, race, creed, colour, national or ethnic origin, religious affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, family status, mental or physical disability, membership or activity in the Association, marital status or a conviction for which a pardon has been granted.
The allegations presented to TBS were directly tied to discriminatory treatment experienced by Black and racialized lawyers represented by the AJC. TBS agreed that the CHRC discriminated against Black and racialized lawyers represented by the AJC.
In light of its findings of discrimination, TBS encouraged “the parties to engage in mediation to seek a meaningful resolution to the issues outlined in the policy grievance.”
To date, no mediation has been set, and no remedy has been offered to the AJC or its members who were subjected to racial discrimination.
Immediately after media reports on the decision were published, the AJC received numerous requests from members for additional information. The AJC issued a statement and included a link to the written submissions, and the TBS decision, on its website.
Following the publication of the submissions, one member flagged concerns that the submissions may contain identifying information about an AJC member. Upon receiving this communication, the AJC removed the submissions to review the matter.
While the matter remains under review, the AJC can confirm the following:
· the AJC stands by the written submissions that were presented in support of its grievance, and agrees with TBS that the CHRC discriminated against Black and racialized lawyers,
· the allegations of discrimination and anti-Black racism contained in the AJC’s submissions are allegations against the CHRC,
· no AJC members were the target of the grievance, and
· no AJC member is named in the written submissions and there are no allegations outlined in the grievance that any AJC members acted in a discriminatory manner.