Harassment in the Union

USJE Statement on Harassment

This statement is to be read aloud and distributed at all USJE events.

Our union is made strong by Sisters and Brothers working together to improve our working lives and to preserve the rights that we have struggled to achieve. Mutual respect is the cornerstone of this cooperation. The USJE Constitution states that every member is entitled to be free from discrimination and harassment, both in the union and at the workplace, on the basis of age, sex, colour, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, marital status, criminal record, disability, sexual orientation, language, class or political belief. Members are also entitled to be free from personal harassment.

If you experience harassment at this event, contact the identified Harassment Complaint Coordinator to discuss the situation and possible responses. Our initial approach is to encourage early and informal resolution and to facilitate our members speaking directly with one another to resolve the matter. If this is not successful or possible, the Constitutional and policy mandates on the issue of harassment will be fully and quickly enforced.

Harassment in all its forms, detracts from our common purpose and weakens our union. Let each one of us, as we work together on the important task at hand, treat each other with dignity and respect.


PSAC Policy 23B - Ant-Harassment: the Union

Adopted in September 1998

The Public Service Alliance of Canada believes that every individual has the right to dignity and respect both within the union and in the workplace. This policy, which compliments Section 5, Membership Rights, of the PSAC Constitution, outlines the Alliance’s responsibilities and responses as a membership- based organization in cases involving harassment within our union.

Harassment is an expression of power and superiority by one person or group over another person or group, often for reasons of sex, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability, family or marital status, social or economic class, political or religious affiliation or language. Harassment can also be personal in nature and unrelated to the grounds listed above. Harassment can include, but is not limited to, the following type of behaviour:

  • unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendoes, taunts or other discriminatory communication in any media;
  • insulting gestures or practical jokes which cause someone embarrassment or discomfort;
  • display of offensive or pornographic pictures, graffiti or other materials;
  • placing unreasonable limitations on someone because of a perceived need (e.g., disability, pregnancy, etc.);
  • leering (sexually suggestive staring);
  • demands for sexual favours;
  • unnecessary physical contact such as touching, patting or pinching; or
  • physical assault.

Harassment may occur between members of our union at union-related events such as education courses, conferences, local meetings and so on. It can also occur in interactions between individuals in a union-related context.

Harassment can also occur between members and staff of our union. As an employer, the Alliance is legally obligated to provide a workplace free from harassment for our staff.

Unions are political organizations that represent the interests of the membership. In order to do this, our union must be able to take positions on various issues and situations. Determining what our members’ interests are and deciding how to balance competing interests is an intense process and one that can involve energetic debate. For our union to be strong and vibrant, it is essential that these debates take place and that we grow individually and collectively by working through sometimes difficult issues. A union where members are afraid to express their opinion is neither democratic nor healthy.

That being said, it is equally important that these necessary debates take place in a respectful way. Harassment not only poisons our union for the individual(s) being harassed but for all of those who witness the harassment. The Alliance will not tolerate it.

It is not the intention that this policy chill or prevent debate and discussion, or that it be used to chill debate and discussion. Rather, this policy should be used as a tool to assist us in working together in ways that strengthen our union and help us reach our goals.

Where allegations of harassment have risen, the Alliance is committed to ensuring that all members of our union have:

  • the right to fair and due process and to confidentiality, subject to appropriate disclosure to those involved, and
  • assistance in settling the matter at the earliest stage possible.

As an ongoing campaign to support this policy, the Alliance will ensure that a statement is read at each Alliance event providing members with information about harassment and how to address it. All levels of our union are encouraged to undertake this initiative.

Guidelines to assist in the implementation of this policy have been developed and will be revised as necessary and based on input from the membership.

Any member of the Public Service Alliance of Canada who is found guilty of harassment may be disciplined in accordance with PSAC Regulation 19 and Section 25 of the PSAC Constitution.


PSAC Policy 23B - Guidelines

Unions are organizations based on working together. We call each other Sister and Brother to underline our need to work together to support one another. There is nothing more distressing than when our family members are unfairly treated, especially if it is by someone else in the family. The same holds true for our union. It is essential, if we are to fulfil our objectives as a union, that measures be in place and all of us assume responsibility in ensuring that our union is free of harassment.

Harassment

PSAC Policy 23B defines harassment as follows:

Harassment is an expression of power and superiority by the respondent(s) over another person or group, often for reasons of sex, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability, family or marital status, social or economic class, political or religious affiliation, or language. Harassment can also be personal in nature and unrelated to the grounds listed above. Harassment can include, but is not limited to, the following type of behaviour:

  • unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendos, taunts, or other discriminatory communication in any media;
  • insulting gestures or practical jokes which cause someone embarrassment or discomfort;
  • display of offensive or pornographic pictures, graffiti, or other materials;
  • placing unreasonable limitations on someone because of a perceived need (e.g., disability, pregnancy, etc.);
  • leering (sexually suggestive staring);
  • demands for sexual favours;
  • unnecessary physical contact such as touching, patting or pinching;
  • physical assault.

This policy expands on Section 5: Membership Rights of the PSAC Constitution, which states:

Every member in good standing is entitled:

  • to be free from any act or omission on the part of the Union, or other members, that would discriminate against the member on the basis of age, sex, colour, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, marital status, criminal record, physical or mental handicap, sexual orientation, language, political belief, or employer.
  • to be free from harassment by another member, both within the union and in the workplace, on the basis of any of the grounds mentioned in paragraph (b).

Policy 23B and the associated guidelines provide further direction and information about the implementation of this section of our Constitution. Resolution 83A from the 1997 PSAC Triennial Convention also mandated the inclusion of personal harassment under this policy.


Application of PSAC Policy 23B

The PSAC has the legal obligation, arising from human rights law, to ensure that our members do not experience discrimination at the hands of our union. We also have the moral obligation to create a tolerant, welcoming union for all those who wish to participate. The PSAC Constitution acknowledges our obligations through Section 5: Membership Rights and in Section 25: Discipline, which names harassment as the basis for discipline.

This policy, which outlines the Alliance’s responsibilities and responses as a membership-based organization in cases involving harassment within our union, applies to all interaction among our members in their roles as members of our union. This includes participation in union events (such as courses, conferences, and meetings), as well as in individual interaction (such as representation on grievances and in discussions about union matters).

As Policy 23B pertains to the way the PSAC runs itself, note that for this policy to apply, an individual must be a member of the union (as opposed to a suspended member or a Rand deductee). Depending on the facts of the situation, a worker covered by an Alliance collective agreement who has not yet joined the Alliance may be allowed to join the union at the time of the complaint and have their

internal complaint addressed under this policy. This decision would be made by the elected Responsible Officer (see Toolbox Sheet on Roles and Responsibilities).

Unions are political organizations that represent the interests of the membership. In order to do this, our Union must be able to take positions on various issues and situations. Determining what our members’ interests are and deciding how to balance competing interests is an intense process and one that can involve energetic debate. For our Union to be strong and vibrant, it is essential that these debates take place and that we grow individually and collectively by working through sometimes difficult issues. A Union where members are afraid to express their opinion is neither democratic nor healthy.

That being said, it is equally important that these necessary debates take place in a respectful manner. Harassment not only poisons our union for the individual(s) being harassed, but for all of those who witness the harassment. The Alliance and the USJE will not tolerate it.

This policy does not apply to situations wherein members are espousing duly adopted policies or positions of our union. It does not apply to situations where members are expressing their opinion, as long as those opinions do not constitute illegal discrimination (such as racial discrimination, homophobia, and so on). Also, it does not apply to situations wherein someone is actively opposing illegal discrimination or harassment.


Roles and Responsibilities

Where allegations of harassment have arisen, the PSAC is committed to ensuring that all members of our union have:

  • the right to fair and due process and to confidentiality, and
  • assistance in settling the matter at the earliest stage possible.

The process of implementation of this policy has been developed with these principles in mind. The process itself involves various individuals and bodies, namely the:

  • Complainant,
  • Harassment Complaint Coordinator,
  • Harassment Complaint Committee,
  • PSAC Staff,
  • Respondent,
  • Responsible Officer, and
  • Witness.

Complainant

This is the individual(s) who feels s/he has experienced harassment. Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Making every effort to advise the member they feel has harassed them that the attention, attitude or behaviour is unwelcome and unwanted, if possible;
  • Being specific and concrete when identifying the harassment; and
  • Cooperating with the Harassment Complaint Coordinator and the Harassment Complaint Committee in resolving the complaint.

Harassment Complaint Coordinator

This individual is responsible for receiving complaints, ensuring that they fall under this policy and attempting early/informal resolution of the complaint. A Harassment Complaint Coordinator should be appointed for each union event and clearly identified to the participants. Please note that it is usually preferable to consider the composition in appointing the Coordinator to ensure members/participants will feel comfortable approaching that person. While there should be one person responsible for the overall coordination, in some cases it might be best to request other members to work with that person (e.g., male/female, racial diversity, and so on).

Union bodies, such as Locals, Components, Regional Women’s Committees, and so on, are encouraged to appoint a Harassment Complaint Coordinator to deal with complaints as they arise. If this initiative is undertaken, the members should be advised and reminded of this appointment on a regular basis.

Roles and responsibilities include:

General:

  • Receiving complaints and ensuring that they fall under this policy;
  • Facilitating early/informal resolution, if possible;
  • Advising the respondent of the complaint;
  • Ensuring that members understand the process and how they fit in, including their right to appeal any decisions;
  • Ensuring that the policy is available upon request;
  • Being familiar with the policy and to carry out any required preparatory work/research as required. This includes being comfortable with the Alliance’s liability in cases of harassment, as well as our desire to focus on corrective remedial actions in situations of harassment as opposed to a lengthy punitive process;
  • Being available and easily accessible to members for who they have been named a Harassment Complaint Coordinator;
  • Consulting with others (e.g., Local executive, convener of an event, staff coordinator, and so on) to identify any issues that may affect the group with whom they are working;
  • Making suggestions to prevent harassment situations from developing. For example, to raise the possibility of regular training for the membership, or lunchtime sessions at an event.

At an event:

  • Working with the event convener/chairperson to introduce the policy and them self, including proving information about how they may be reached during the event;
  • Checking in with the convener/chairperson periodically to identify any issues of concern;
  • Ensuring a space/room is reserved for the Coordinator that allows confidentiality;
  • Adapting the harassment kit and resource materials to the event, as required;
  • Liaising with the group common rooms committee or Host committee to review the policy and discuss their role and responsibilities.

Harassment Complaint Committee

This is the body tasked with investigating allegations and making a report including recommendations. It is appointed by the Harassment Complaint Coordinator (if a member) or the responsible Officer (if the Harassment Complaint Coordinator is a staff person).

The Committee should be made up of three members of our union, who have no personal connection with either party to the complaint. Committee members can be drawn from those participating in the event or from the broader pool of members.

Locals and other union bodies may wish to establish an on-going Committee to deal with complaints of this nature. Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Investigating allegations of harassment and submitting a report to the Responsible Officer, including recommendations;
  • Being familiar with the policy and carrying out any of the necessary preparatory work/ research;
  • Being discreet in investigating the complaint and ensuring that, during the handling of complaints of harassment, particular attention is paid to the concept of a fair and due process;
  • Dealing with complaints as quickly as possible, ensuring that the complaint is investigated and concluded before the conclusion of the event, if the allegation arose at an event, or shortly thereafter;
  • Developing recommendation(s) with respect to the resolution of the complaint;
  • Providing the complainant and the respondent with a copy of their report;
  • Briefing the event convener, as required.

PSAC Staff

PSAC staff generally only have a role to play in the implementation of this policy at Alliance-sponsored events, as opposed to Local or Component events. Their role is limited to acting in the capacity of a technical advisor, such as what PSAC policies might touch on this particular situation, whether there are relevant sections of the PSAC Constitution and so on. The staff person does not have a role to play in the development of recommendations or in contacting or interviewing members or other involved parties.

Respondent

This is the individual(s) against whom the allegation of harassment is made. Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Listening carefully to the allegations and attempting to understand and resolve the concern as quickly as possible;
  • Cooperating with the Harassment Complaint Coordinator and the Harassment Complaint Committee in resolving the complaint.

Responsible Officer

This is the elected Officer responsible for the situation in which the allegation of harassment is made. The relevant Responsible Officer is:

  • The PSAC National President or his/her delegated Officer, if the complaint involves an elected union officer at the Component or Alliance levels;
  • The PSAC Vice-President responsible for the event or his/her delegated Officer, if it is a national Alliance event or matter;
  • The Regional Executive Vice-President or his/her delegated Officer, if it is a regional Alliance event or matter;
  • The Component President or his/her delegated Officer, if it is a Local event or matter.

Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring that there is a clearly identified Harassment Complaint Coordinator to deal with complaints in various situations;
  • Reviewing and approving the report of the Harassment Complaint Committee and taking the appropriate action.

Witness

Witnesses are individuals who witnessed either the behaviour or action that is alleged to have been harassment or who have some other type of relevant information that will assist in resolving the complaint. Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Cooperating with the Harassment Complaint Committee in resolving the complaint by providing accurate and fair testimony.


Process

1. Prevention

This is the most important step in ensuring that our union is free from harassment. It includes training, open discussion about the subject and reading/handing out the PSAC Statement on Harassment or a Component’s Statement of Harassment at the beginning of union events. The more we focus on this step, the less likely we will have to move to the following steps.

2. Member feels they have experienced harassment

A member who feels s/he has experienced harassment has the right and should make every effort to advise the member s/he feels has harassed them that the attention, attitude or behaviour is unwelcome and unwanted. This may not be possible in all cases.

3. Member decides to make a Complaint

The member should approach the identified Harassment Complaint Coordinator and advise them of the situation. If no one has been named or if the member is unsure of who it is, the member should approach the elected officer(s) or staff representative(s) for clarification. This individual will then either appoint or request the appointment (if staff) of a Harassment Complaint Coordinator to continue the process.

4. Initial discussion with Harassment Complaint Coordinator

Prior to taking any action, the Harassment Complaint Coordinator will review the facts presented by the member who has approached him/her to ensure that the situation in question falls appropriately under this Policy. If this is not the case, the Harassment Complaint Coordinator will advise the member that Policy 23B does not apply and, if applicable, refer the member to the appropriate recourse. If the member does not agree with this decision, it may be appealed (see point 10 below).

If the situation does fall under this Policy, the Harassment Complaint Coordinator must discuss the available options with the member who has raised the complaint. The member may simply have wanted to tell someone, but not desire any action at that time, or the member may wish measures taken to prevent a similar situation in the future. Unless there is clear danger or the likelihood of continued, intentional harassment, the Coordinator must allow the member who raised the complaint the dignity of risk. This means allowing the individual to assess for themselves whether it is preferable for them to take formal action at that time. See the following section on Dignity of Risk.

5. Informal resolution

If the member raising the complaint wishes that some action be taken to resolve the matter, the Harassment Complaint Coordinator must discuss the situation with the parties to determine if the matter can be resolved informally.

Please note that the respondent has a right to receive a written copy of the allegations being made. If the appearance of an official complaint form might pose a barrier to the successful resolution of a complaint form might pose a barrier to the successful resolution of a complaint, and the respondent has not requested a copy of the complaint form, judgement should be exercised in deciding whether it should be provided.

If the complaint can be resolved, the matter ends at this point. If the complaint has arisen at an event, a summary of the issues raised (using no names) should form part of the event report to the elected Officer responsible.

6. Investigation

If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, the Harassment Complaint Committee will conduct an investigation to determine the facts of the matter as quickly as possible. A form has been designed for use with Policy 23B that will assist the Committee in this investigation. Forms are available through the PSAC Human Rights Office.

7. Harassment Complaint Committee Report

Once the Committee has completed their investigation, they will submit a written report, including recommendations, to the Responsible Officer. Regulation 19 of the PSAC Constitution has the following comments to make about these types of reports:

Report of the Committee established in Section 6(a) of this Regulation shall consist of one or two parts depending on whether the allegation is upheld by the Committee:

(e) Part I: will include a finding of fact that either confirms or not that the member or members have violated the PSAC Constitution or Component, Local or Area Council Bylaws. This part of the report cannot be amended and is not subject to a vote.

Part II: would recommend the specific disciplinary action in the event that the Committee finds that the member or members have violated the PSAC Constitution or Component, Local or Area Council Bylaws.

The parties to the complaint will each receive a copy of the report and be invited to submit comments on it to the Responsible Officer by a specific deadline.

8. Approval of the Report

The Responsible Officer receiving the report must make a decision, in consideration of the report and any submissions from involved members, as to whether the recommendations are appropriate. The Officer may, if it is appropriate, modify the recommendations.

Not for Application at Local Level: Where the matter has been presented to the Local Executive and

“if disciplinary action is recommended, the Committee’s report shall be placed before a special or general meeting of the Local and shall be subject to the acceptance of two- thirds (2/3) of those members in attendance.” PSACConstitution, Regulation No. 19, Section 6(c)

If either party disagrees with the decision of the meeting, the matter can be appealed as described in 10 and 11 below.

9. Disclosure

The Responsible Officer will advise the involved members and the Harassment Complaint Committee in writing of the action to be taken.

10. Complaint unfounded

In the event the complaint is found to be without substance, the complainant may appeal to the Alliance Executive Committee.

11. Complaint founded

In the event discipline under Regulation 19 of the PSAC Constitution is recommended, the Responsible Officer (or a representative of that person) will present the case to the National Board of Directors. If there is a recommendation for discipline arising at the Local level, the Local executive will forward the recommendation to the Component President for appropriate action.

Where disciplinary action is authorized by the National Board of Directors, the member to receive the discipline may appeal this decision to the PSAC National President within sixty (60) days of receipt of notice of the discipline. The matter will then be considered by a Tribunal established under Regulation 19 of the PSAC Constitution.

12. Dissemination of relevant information

Where incidents of harassment result in disciplinary action by the union, the Alliance Executive Committee will have the right to disseminate the relevant information, including who was disciplined, in what way, and for what period of time (if suspension).


Dignity of risk

Where action is taken without the permission of the member complaining of harassment, it can result in that member feeling twice victimized. It might also prevent other members from stepping forward for fear they will begin a process over which they have no control.

This does not mean, however, that the union should not or is not able to respond to these situations, which may be a poisoned environment due to harassment. Some actions can be taken, in consultation with the member, without necessarily involving them in a formal process against their will. For example, at an event, the Harassment Statement could be read out again to all participants or it might be possible to ensure that the member is not left alone with the person they named. These types of situations can be quite difficult and complex and it is essential that they be approached creatively and in problem-solving mode.

Nonetheless, for substantiated serious offenses such as unnecessary physical contact, or physical or sexual assault, regardless of intent or proffered apology, the union may be required to act. In such circumstances, it may be imperative that the union take action to protect other members from similar behaviour as well as to protect the complainant from retaliation or continued physical attacks.


Principles of Investigation

When conducting an investigation, the Harassment Complaint Committee should keep the following principles in mind:

  • The investigation is impartial and, as importantly, is seen as impartial by all parties.
  • All witnesses are interviewed and any relevant documents identified by the parties are reviewed. All required interviews should be conducted in an appropriate confidential area and interviewees should be aware that they may be accompanied by a person of their choice.
  • The investigation is timely, i.e., it takes place while everyone can still remember the situation. If at an event, there should be an effort to conduct the investigation before the event is finished.
  • The expectation of how long the investigation will take should be clearly stated by the investigator at the beginning of the process. The length will vary depending on the complexity of the allegations and surrounding circumstances.
  • All statements relied upon in the investigation should be reviewed and signed by the person making the statement.
  • There should be full disclosure to complainants and respondents of all allegations, responses and statements, except where non-relevant personal information is involved.
  • There should be a clear focus on resolving a problem.
  • The final report from the investigation should be provided to all parties.


The Harassment Complaint Committee Report

A Harassment Complaint Report Form must be completed and copied to the member(s) making the complaint and the member(s) against whom the complaint is being made. These members must be invited to submit their comments on the report directly to the Responsible Officer by a specified deadline. The deadline should be set to allow the members the opportunity to review and respond to the report, but not to create a lengthy delay.

Factors to Consider in Developing Recommendations

In line with Canadian human rights law, the Alliance’s approach to resolving harassment complaints is to focus on corrective remedial actions, rather than a lengthy punitive process. The focus is on creatively resolving the problem, not on punishment.

For founded complaints that do not involve assault, or threatening physical contact, some factors may be considered by the Harassment Complaint Committee in developing their recommendations, including:

  • Any voluntary admission by the respondent(s) to the behaviour that is the basis of a complaint;
  • Cooperative attitude on the part of the alleged respondent(s) with the investigation of a complaint;
  • Evidence that a respondent sincerely regrets behaviour that constitutes harassment and is willing to take steps to change;
  • The needs of the complainant;
  • The welfare of the group;
  • The union’s legal obligation under applicable human rights legislation.

Examples of Appropriate Recommendations

Founded Complaints: If harassment is found to have occurred, examples of appropriate recommendations include:

  • a requirement that the respondent(s) make a private or public apology to the complainant(s) depending on the situation and the request/wishes of the complainant(s);
  • a requirement that the respondent(s) make a commitment to the Harassment Complaint Committee to cease the offensive behaviour;
  • a requirement that the respondent(s) study the union’s policy on harassment and demonstrate that they understand what it means;
  • a suggestion that the respondent(s) attend training sessions on harassment that may be available in the community;
  • a stipulation that a specific period of time must pass before the respondent(s) would be entitled to attend similar union events in the future;
  • removal of the respondent(s) from the union event; and/or
  • suspension from union membership (See Regulation 19 of the PSAC Constitution).

Unfounded Complaints: If no harassment is found to have occurred, there may still be issues that need to be addressed. If the complaint is unfounded, examples of appropriate recommendations include:

  • a requirement that all involved members study the union’s policy on harassment and demonstrate that they understand what it means;
  • a suggestion that all involved members attend training sessions on harassment that may be available in the community;
  • a requirement that the member making the complaint make a private or public apology to those against whom the allegations were made, if the complaint is found to be malicious or vexatious; and/or
  • suspension from union membership for the member raising the complaint, if the complaint is found to be malicious or vexatious (see Regulation 19 of the PSAC Constitution).

Retaliation

Retaliation against a member is totally unacceptable and will be dealt with swiftly.


Situations Involving Members and Staff

Those working for our union are required in the course of their duties to educate, motivate and organize the membership, to handle members’ problems at the workplace and to ensure their rights are protected. In carrying out these functions, most of our staff, particularly at the officer level, spend the majority of their work time unsupervised in situations where they are required to take the initiative and to make decisions on their own. It is inevitable that there will be differences of opinion, disagreements and, from time to time, complaints about staff. As well, staff may sometimes feel that the way in which they have been treated is inappropriate.

As our staff are representatives of the USJE, their reputation and credibility is important to our union. Just as important is the necessity for our staff to work in an environment free from idle complaints and hearsay that have the potential to undermine our staff’s well-being and job performance.

Situations involving staff that concern allegations of harassment will be dealt with by the USJE in full consideration of our obligations as an employer under human rights legislation and the relevant collective agreement for the involved staff. Members wishing further information in this regard should contact the USJE National Office.


Process for Implementation of Policy 23B

Guidelines for Investigating Complaints at Union- Related Activities

The following guidelines are provided to assist all concerned when a complaint of personal/sexual harassment is received. The guidelines are built upon the principles of confidentiality, expediency, and fair and due process for both the complainant and the respondent.

Because of the sensitive nature of this problem, all avenues of assistance should be open to a member who is being harassed. The following steps, however, would be the basic steps that a Union representative would normally follow.

1. When a written complaint is received from an individual, PSAC Regulation 19 is to be followed. All information must be treated on a confidential basis, except to the extent that is necessary to complete the investigation.

2. All parties to the investigation will receive a copy of the USJE Policy on Harassment, including PSAC Regulation 19.

3. National Executive Officers will act as harassment coordinators at all Union-related functions.


PSAC Constitution, Section 25

Sub-Section (1)

The NBoD shall have the authority, by resolution passed by a majority consisting of two-thirds (2/3) of those eligible to vote, to suspend or expel from membership any PSAC National Officer; any Regional Council, Component, Local, Area Council, or any of their officers or members, for contravening any provision of the Constitution of the PSAC or the By-Laws of any Regional Council or any By-Laws of any Component or the By-Laws of any Local or for causes as listed in Sub-Section (5) of this Section.

(a) An officer or member suspended from membership shall be removed from an office held for a period not exceeding five (5) years. Any person or persons suspended shall turn over to the PSAC all records, documents, funds or property that are held in trust for the PSAC, a Regional Council, a Component, a Local or an Area Council.

(b) An officer or member expelled from membership shall be removed from an office held for a period up to life, subject to a review process every five (5) years. Any person or persons expelled shall turn over to the PSAC all records, documents, funds or property that are held in trust for the PSAC, a Regional Council, a Component, a Local or an Area Council.

Sub-Section (2)

The NBoD shall have the authority by resolution passed by a majority consisting of two-thirds (2/3) of those eligible to vote, to remove from office any PSAC National Officer; any Regional Council, Component, Local or Area Council officer for contravening any provision of the Constitution of the PSAC or the By-Laws of any Component or Local or for causes as listed in Sub-Section (5) of this Section. An officer removed from office shall not be allowed to hold office for a period not exceeding five (5) years. Any person or persons removed from office shall turn over to the PSAC all records, documents, funds or property that are held in trust for the PSAC, a Component, a Local or an Area Council.

Sub-Section (3)

Any disciplinary action taken under the provisions of Sub-Sections (1) and (2) of this Section for a cause listed in Sub-Section (5) (n) of this Section shall include the imposition of a fine that equals the amount of daily remuneration earned by the member, multiplied by the number of days that the member crossed the picket line, performed work for the employer or voluntarily performed struck work.

Sub-Section (4)

(a) Any disciplinary action taken under the provisions of Sub-Sections (1) and (2) of this Section, the applicable Regional Council, Component, Local, Branch or Area Council By- Laws, may be appealed to a tribunal empowered to hear appeals which shall make final and binding decisions thereon. The Chair of the tribunal shall be an independent person agreed to by both parties or appointed by an appropriate labour organization where there is no mutual agreement.

(b) All terms and conditions of the tribunal shall be contained in an appropriate Regulation adopted by the PSAC NBoD.

Sub-Section (5)

A PSAC, Regional Council, Component, Local, Area Council officer or member, is guilty of an offense against this Constitution who:

(a) violates any of the provisions of this Constitution;

(b) obtains membership or solicits membership by misrepresentation;

(c) institutes, urges or advocates that a member institute action in a court of law against the PSAC, any of its constituent parts or any of their officers without first exhausting all remedies through appeal within the PSAC;

(d) other than through proper Component channels, advocates or attempts to bring about the withdrawal from the PSAC, its Regional Councils, Components or Locals of any member or group of members;

(e) publishes or circulates among the members, false reports or misrepresentations;

(f) works in the interest of a rival organization;

(g) slanders, libels or willfully wrongs an officer of the PSAC, its Regional Councils, Components, Locals or Area Councils;

(h) uses abusive language or disturbs the peace of any meeting or around any office or meeting place of the PSAC, its Regional Councils, Components, Locals or Area Councils;

(i) fraudulently receives or misappropriates any monies due to the PSAC, its Regional Councils, Components, Locals or Area Councils;

(j) uses the name of the PSAC for soliciting funds or advertising without the consent of the AEC;

(k) furnishes without prior authority a list or any information on the membership of the PSAC, its Regional Councils, Components or Locals, to any person or persons other than those whose official position in the PSAC, its Regional Councils, Components or Locals, would entitle them to have such information;

(l) deliberately interferes with an official of the PSAC or its Components, in the discharge of duties;

(m) engages in any other conduct prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the PSAC;

(n) is a worker in a legal strike position, who either crosses the picket line or is paid by the employer not to participate in strike action, or performs work for the employer, unless required to do so by law, or who voluntarily performs struck work;

(o) being a PSAC, Regional Council, Component or Local Officer who willfully does not initiate disciplinary action against scabs as defined in paragraph (n) of this Section; or

(p) sexually or personally harasses another member.

Sub-Section (6)

Any member can initiate disciplinary action against any PSAC, Component or Local Officer under Sub- Section (5) (o) of this Section.

Sub-Section (7)

Within six (6) months of the conclusion of a ratification vote, members of the NBoD shall be responsible for providing the AEC with a status report on disciplinary actions taken against scabs within their Component. The report shall include details of disciplinary action undertaken by Locals and what steps have been taken to ensure that the disciplinary action is taken against scabs as specified in this Constitution.

Sub-Section (8)

A Regional Council, Component, Local or Area Council which has not carried out the responsibilities required by this Constitution shall be considered to be in violation of this Constitution, and the NBoD shall have the authority to appoint a trustee with the responsibility to manage the Regional Council, Component, Local or Area Council’s affairs and to bring about its compliance with this Constitution without delay.


PSAC Regulation 19

REGULATION GOVERNING MEMBERSHIP DISCIPLINE

(1) The National Board of Directors, in accordance with Section 25 of the Constitution, retains the authority to suspend or expel from membership any PSAC officer or member.

(2) In accordance with this Regulation, a Regional Council, Component, Local or Area Council shall have the authority to remove from an office of the body concerned any member who is found to be in contravention of the Constitution as specified in Sub-Section (5) of Section 25 or the Component, Local or Area Council By-Laws.

(3) In accordance with the procedure outlined in this Regulation, a Component or Local may recommend the suspension or expulsion from membership of any member of that body.

(4) Any and all charges against a member shall be placed in writing, signed by the member or members making the charge or charges, and shall be submitted to the member(s) concerned and the appropriate body for consideration.

(5) Any charge or charges which are found to be frivolous or intended to harass, embarrass, or discredit a member or members may result in disciplinary proceedings under Section 25, Sub- Section (5) (e) and/or (g).

(6) The procedure for the handling of disciplinary charges at the Local level shall be as follows:

(a) The Local shall establish an internal or external impartial review committee consisting of three (3) people to investigate and assess the charges, including the receipt of oral and written evidence.

(b) The member(s) charged with misconduct shall be provided a copy of the charges and, both the members making the charge and member(s) charged will be afforded the right to appear before the Committee.

(c) The Committee findings and recommendations shall be submitted to the Local executive and, if disciplinary action is recommended, the Committee’s report shall be placed before a special or general meeting of the Local and shall be subject to the acceptance of two-thirds (2/3) of those members in attendance; except only that the member(s) initiating disciplinary action against another member(s), and the accused member(s) shall be denied voice and vote during the decision-making process.

(d) Reports of the Committee established in Section 6 (a) of this Regulation shall consist of one or two parts depending on whether the allegation is upheld by the Committee.

(e) Part I: will include a finding of fact that either confirms or not that the members have violated the PSAC Constitution or Component, Local, Regional Council or Area Council By-Laws. This part of the report cannot be amended, however is subject to a simple majority vote to receive it.

Part II: would recommend the specific disciplinary action in the event that the Committee finds that the member or members have violated the PSAC Constitution or Component, Local or Area Council By-Laws.

(f) If the Local meeting accepts a recommendation of removal from office, the Local executive shall convey that decision to the member or members concerned together with written notice that an appeal may be submitted to the Component national body.

(g) If the Local meeting accepts a recommendation to suspend or expel from membership, the Local executive shall forthwith advise the Component President in writing together with all relevant documentation. The Component President, after satisfying himself/herself of the seriousness of the offence, shall submit the matter to the National Board of Directors for decision.

(7) A charge or charges against elected officers of a Component national body shall be submitted to that body in writing and shall be dealt with as follows:

(a) The members of the national body against whom the charge or charges have not been alleged shall appoint an internal or external impartial review committee of three (3) people to investigate and assess the charges and receive evidence.

(b) The member(s) charged with misconduct shall be provided a copy of the charges and, both the members making the charge and those member(s) charged will be afforded the right to appear before the Committee.

(c) The Committee findings and recommendations shall be submitted to the Component national body and, if disciplinary action is recommended, shall be subject to acceptance by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those members against whom the charge or charges have not been alleged, except only that the member(s) initiating disciplinary action against another member(s), and the accused member(s) shall be denied voice and vote during the decision-making process.

(d) Reports of the Committee established in Section 7 (a) of this Regulation shall consist of one or two parts depending on whether the allegation is upheld by the Committee.

(e) Part I will include a finding of fact that either confirms or not that the member or members have violated the PSAC Constitution or Component, Local or Area Council By-Laws. This part of the report cannot be amended, however, is subject to a simple majority vote to receive it.

Part II would recommend the specific disciplinary action in the event that the Committee finds that the member or members have violated the PSAC Constitution or Component, Local or Area Council By-Laws.

(f) If the recommendation is to remove from office, written notice to that effect shall be given to the officer or officers concerned together with the notice that an appeal to the National Board of Directors may be lodged.

(g) If the recommendation is to suspend or expel from membership, the Component President shall submit such recommendation to the National Board of Directors together with all relevant documentation.

(8) The procedure for the handling of disciplinary charges at the Area Council level shall be as follows:

(a) The Area Council shall establish an internal or external impartial review committee consisting of three (3) people to investigate and assess the charges, including the receipt of oral and written evidence.

(b) The member(s) charged with misconduct shall be provided a copy of the charges and, both the members making the charge and those member(s) charged will be afforded the right to appear before the Committee.

(c) The Committee findings and recommendations shall be submitted to the Area Council executive and, if disciplinary action is recommended, the Committee’s report shall be placed before a special or general meeting of the Area Council and shall be subject to the acceptance of two-thirds (2/3) of those members in attendance, except only that the member(s) initiating disciplinary action against another member(s), and the accused member(s) shall be denied voice and vote during the decision-making process.

(d) Reports of the Committee established in Section 8 (a) of this Regulation shall consist of one or two parts depending on whether the allegation is upheld by the Committee.

(e) Part I: will include a finding of fact that either confirms or not that the member or members have violated the PSAC Constitution or Component, Local or Area Council By-Laws. This part of the report cannot be amended, however, is subject to a simple majority vote to receive it.

Part II: would recommend the specific disciplinary action in the event that the Committee finds that the member or members have violated the PSAC Constitution or Component, Local or Area Council By-Laws.

(f) If the Area Council meeting accepts a recommendation of removal from office, the Area Council executive shall convey that decision to the member or members concerned together with written notice that an appeal may be submitted to the Alliance Executive Committee through the Executive Vice-President responsible for Area Councils.

(9) A charge or charges against an officer of the National Board of Directors shall be submitted in writing to the Alliance Executive Committee, except as provided in Section 10, and shall be dealt with as follows:

(a) The Alliance Executive Committee shall appoint an internal or external impartial review committee of three (3) people, against whom the charge or charges have not been alleged, to investigate and assess the charges including the receipt of oral and written evidence.

(b) The officer or officers charged with misconduct shall be provided a copy of the charges and, both the members making the charge and those officer(s) charged will be afforded the right to appear before the Committee.

(c) The Committee findings and recommendations shall be submitted to the National Board of Directors and, if disciplinary action is recommended, shall be subject to acceptance by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those Board members against whom the charge or charges have not been alleged, except only that the member(s) initiating disciplinary action against another member(s), and the accused member(s) shall be denied voice and vote during the decision-making process.

(d) Reports of the Committee established in Section 9 (a) of this Regulation shall consist of one or two parts depending on whether the allegation is upheld by the Committee.

(e) Part I will include a finding of fact that either confirms or not that the member or members have violated the PSAC Constitution or Component, Local or Area Council By-Laws. This part of the report cannot be amended, however, is subject to a simple majority vote to receive it.

Part II would recommend the specific disciplinary action in the event that the Committee finds that the member or members have violated the PSAC Constitution or Component, Local or Area Council By-Laws.

(f) If a recommendation for disciplinary action is taken, written notice shall be given to the officer or officers concerned together with the advice that an appeal to the Triennial Convention may be lodged.

(10) Where a charge or charges of misconduct is alleged against an officer of the Alliance Executive Committee, the written allegation shall be submitted directly to the National Board of Directors and, at its next regular meeting, the National Board of Directors shall establish an internal or external impartial review committee to deal with the matter in accordance with Section 9 (b) and (f).

(11) Any member charged with misconduct shall not be a member of the Committee established to investigate the allegation(s), and shall not participate in the vote to accept or reject the findings and recommendations of such a committee. For greater clarification, where more than one member is charged with a similar offence, such as crossing a picket line (Section 25, Sub-Section (6)(n)), the member(s) charged will not be member(s) of the Committee established to investigate the allegation(s), and shall not participate in the vote to accept or reject the findings and recommendations of such a committee.

(12) A decision to implement disciplinary action under the provisions of Sub-Sections (1) or (2) of Section 25 of the Constitution, the applicable Component, Local or Area Council By-Laws may be appealed to a three-person tribunal empowered to hear appeals. A written notification of the individual’s intent to appeal must be submitted to the National President within sixty (60) calendar days of receipt of the disciplinary notification.

(a) The Tribunal shall be comprised of a representative of the appellant, a representative of the appropriate PSAC body and a third independent person agreed to by both parties or appointed by an appropriate labour organization such as a Canadian Labour Congress affiliated union, a Federation of Labour or the Canadian Labour Congress, as determined by the AEC. The appellant shall not be a member of the Appeal Tribunal. The representative of the appropriate PSAC body must not have a conflict of interest in the outcome nor have been involved in the process or the decision to suspend.

(b) The decision of the Tribunal shall be final and binding on all parties to the appeal.

(13) The Tribunal shall be established within a two-month period unless the time frame is extended by:

(a) mutual agreement of the parties concerned; or

(b) the AEC if it determines that extenuating circumstances prohibit the establishment of the Tribunal within the above-noted timeframe.

(14) The PSAC Centre shall be responsible for the cost of the hearing and the expenses of the Chairperson except as follows.

(a) Each party will be responsible for his/her own expenses, except that if the appellant’s appeal is successful, the appellant may be entitled to reasonable expenses as determined by the National Board of Directors. Such expenses shall be paid by the applicable level of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

(b) The expenses of the member of the Tribunal appointed by the appellant, including any per diem or salary required, shall be borne by the appellant.

(c) When a PSAC Component/Local or Area Council takes disciplinary action against a member and an appeal is lodged with the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the PSAC Component/Local or Area Council member of the Tribunal will be appointed by that Component/Local or Area Council, and the Component/Local or Area Council will be solely responsible for his/her expenses.

(d) Each party shall normally be responsible for any expenses incurred as a result of testimony from any witness they wish to call. However, where the appeal is upheld, the appellant may, in extenuating circumstances, request full or partial payment of reasonable expenses incurred by witnesses for the appellant. Such expenses, whose reasonableness shall be determined solely by the National Board of Directors, shall be paid by the applicable level of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

(15) Upon submission of supporting documents, a member(s) may seek reinstatement of their membership through the appropriate level of the PSAC. Should a request for reinstatement of membership be denied, the member(s) concerned may appeal the decision to the National Board of Directors whose decision is final and binding.

(16) Notwithstanding the above, the removal from office provisions of this Regulation shall be deemed to have been complied with by a Component under the following conditions:

(a) When provision is made in the Component By-Laws for a referendum vote of the membership of the particular constituency represented by the officer proposed for removal from office; or

(b) When, in the case of an officer who was elected by representatives rather than by direct membership election, provision is made in the Component By-Laws for a vote by representatives of the particular constituency represented by the officer proposed for removal from office.

(17) Notwithstanding the procedures contained in the previous paragraphs of this Regulation, disciplinary action may be initiated in accordance with Section 25 of the PSAC Constitution at a higher level than where the actions giving rise to disciplinary action occurred.

(18) The procedure for dealing with any disciplinary situation which may arise which is not specifically covered under this Regulation shall be deemed to be covered and processed within the spirit and intent of this Regulation.

(19) Notwithstanding any previous provisions of this Regulation, in the case of an alleged violation of Section 25, Sub-Section (5) (n) of the PSAC Constitution, the following procedures may be utilized:

(a) At the Local level, the alleged violation of Section 25, Sub-Section (5) (n) will be signed by a Local member and submitted to the Local Discipline Committee or Local Executive for study and recommendation to a general membership meeting. The member alleged to have violated Section 25, Sub-Section (5) (n) will be notified in writing, notified of the general membership meeting and given an opportunity to make representation at the Local meeting. The decision of the general membership meeting will be forwarded to the Component President in writing together with all relevant documentation. The Component President, after satisfying himself/herself that the proper procedure has been followed, shall submit the matter to the National Board of Directors for decision.

(b) At the Component national or regional level, upon receipt of an alleged violation of Section 25, Sub-Section (5) (n) signed by a Local member, an assigned Component National Officer shall notify the member charged, conduct an investigation providing an opportunity for the member charged to make representation and prepare a written report for the Component President. The Component President shall submit the written report to an executive body of the Component for its review and recommendation. The Component President, after satisfying himself-herself that the proper procedure has been followed shall submit the matter to the National Board of Directors for decision.

(July 2017)