PSAC and the Canada Employment and Immigration Union are dismayed by the lack of action to address racism and discrimination within Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
A report on racism within the federal immigration department details instances of racist insults, stereotyping, and derogatory comments from supervisors, managers, and coworkers. The report also includes complaints about discrimination and racial bias in hiring and promotion within the department as well as in IRCC’s programs, policies and client services.
“Racism and discrimination are longstanding issues in the department, and management’s failure to act is simply unacceptable,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president. “We have repeatedly flagged serious incidents of racism experienced by our members and provided a clear path forward to address racism in the workplace.”
PSAC-CEIU has previously urged IRCC to launch a full employment equity review, among other key recommendations, but these appeals continue to be ignored.
The union was not consulted during focus group sessions or once its findings were released. CEIU met with the deputy minister and senior management at IRCC in September demanding answers and action, yet none of the union’s issues or feedback have been addressed.
“Absolutely no action has taken place for months despite clear demands from our members, and our meetings with IRCC senior management,” said Eddy Bourque, CEIU national president. “Inaction, silence and sidelining the union are not how you address racism in the workplace.”
PSAC-CEIU calls for action
We are calling on the IRCC to immediately take action, in consultation with union representatives, on the following:
- Carry out a thorough employment systems review to examine all policies, systems and practices relating to hiring, promotion, training, and separation to identify and remove systemic biases and barriers.
- Complete a review of IRCCs programs, policies and client services to address systemic racism in service delivery.
- Conduct a survey of all employees at IRCC about racism, discrimination, harassment, and micro-aggressions.
- Provide mandatory training to all managers, supervisors, and anyone who sits on a hiring board on systemic racism, implicit bias, and anti-oppression.
- Review the make-up of hiring boards to ensure they are diverse and knowledgeable about removing biases and barriers in the hiring process.
- Provide mandatory training for all employees on implicit bias, micro-aggressions, anti-racism, and human rights.
- Create a mentoring and development program for racialized and Indigenous employees.
- Implement a complaint process that provides a clear, fair, and expeditious process for complaints of racism and discrimination.