Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act

EMPLOYMENT LEGISLATION 
NEW ONTARIO LAW EXPANDS EMPLOYER DUTIES TO ADDRESS WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Ontario employers now have a legal duty to create a workplace sexual harassment program and must do so in consultation with worker health and safety representatives.
 
In passing Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, the government amends six pieces of legislation to roll out their action plan across the province. 

New employer duties
Specific amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act) add to employers’ existing duties by requiring greater accountability with regard to workplace sexual harassment, including:

  • Developing and maintaining a written program to implement the sexual harassment policy in consultation with the joint health and safety committee or representative. (As a result of feedback from workers and their representatives, this consultation was the one significant change made to Bill 132 as it made its way through to passage.);
  • setting up procedures and measures for workers to report incidents to someone other than their supervisor or employer, if those persons are the alleged harasser;
  • establishing how information obtained during harassment investigations may be disclosed;
  • ensuring investigations are appropriate to the circumstances;
  • communicating, in writing, the results of a harassment investigation to the worker and alleged harasser (if they’re an employee);
  • reviewing, at least annually, the harassment program.

Health and safety advocates welcome the new changes but suggest they fall short of providing workers with needed programs and protection against all types of workplace harassment. Bill 132 defines and specifies a process to address workplace sexual harassment. All other prohibited forms of harassment however do not appear to demand the same level of employer accountability.

According to the Ministry of Labour existing language in the Act is intended to cover all forms of harassment, defining workplace harassment as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” As such the existing definition was drafted to cover all 15 prohibited grounds for harassment as set out under Ontario’s Human Rights Code, among them sex, religion and disability. In addition the Ministry says this language prohibits psychological and personal harassment.

With the changes, Ministry of Labour health and safety inspectors have new powers to order sexual harassment investigations, at the expense of the employer, by an impartial, qualified person.

Universities and colleges have additional duties to work with students to adopt campus-wide sexual violence and harassment policies and programs. The government is also committing funds for training front-line workers in health care, education, justice and hospitality sectors to enable them to better identify and respond during high-risk situations.

Issues unaddressed
Restricted access to investigation reports will limit use of that information in prevention efforts. Not deemed to be a health and safety report under the Act, employers are not required to share sexual harassment reports with the joint health and safety committee.

While many other Canadian jurisdictions have also enacted specific working alone regulations Bill 132 fails to address this significant risk factor for workplace violence and harassment, including sexual harassment.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, as Bill 132 received Royal Assent, the Ontario Human Rights Commission also weighed in with a new policy position on gender-specific dress codes. According to the Commission, sexualized and gender-specific dress codes may violate the Ontario Human Rights Code and may make workers more vulnerable to sexual harassment from others in the workplace.

Bill 132 comes into force on September 8, 2016.

Other related resources:

With these changes, Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act places adds to employers’ significant duties for addressing workplace violence and harassment. The Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) offers a three-hour Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention Training program designed to help workplace parties better understand workplace violence, harassment and bullying and to fully comply with the legal obligations. Be sure to check out WHSC’s compliance checklists for employers and workers and fact sheets on workplace violence, harassment and bullying.

Need information? Check out WHSC Workplace Violence Resources.

*Published by the Workers Health and Safety Centre


Educational Opportunities for Members

Educational Opportunities for Members

Stewards in Action Level I”
Steelworkers Toronto Area Council (STAC)

April 20-22, 2016 | 25 Cecil Street, Lower level

Your Local Union recently voted to send up to ten (10) members to the STAC course “Stewards in Action Leve I”, April 20-22, 2016. More info

If you are interested in attending please contact us by April 4 and include a short statement on your interest and involvement in the Union, as well as your supervisor’s name and email address.

This course is designed for new stewards. It will help participants better understand the role stewards play in not only grievance handling, but also in “building solidarity” in the unit, local and the community.

The course covers:

  • Where steward fits in the union structure
  • How to do effective grievance investigation and use the Fact sheet
  • Different types of grievances and wording or grievances
  • Getting to know the collective agreement
  • Timelines for grievance handling
  • Communicating in the union and with management
  • Mobilizing in the workplace

Labour Community Advocate Training Level I
LABOUR COMMUNITY SERVICES
TORONTO Session: Wednesday evenings, February 24 – May 4 | 6pm – 9pm
Ontario Federation of Labour, 15 Gervais Drive, Toronto

YORK REGION Session: Thursday evenings, February 25 – May 5 | 6pm – 9pm
CUPE 905 HALL, 165 Pony Drive, Newmarket

The Labour Community Advocate Training provides you with:

  • good listening, confidentiality and communication skills
  • how to gather information and referral skills
  • to help members beyond what the collective agreement provides
  • links workers facing workplace, personl or family challenges with appropriate resources in the community 

Topics covered include:

  • Unions and communities working together
  • your community service
  • principles of communication
  • interview and referral
  • stress: cause and impact
  • addictions and dependency
  • understanding violence
  • family law
  • tenant issues
  • labour community advocates and equity
  • linking labour and community

MORE INFO

If you are interested in attending please contact us by February 12, indicate which location you are interested in, and include a short statement on your interest and involvement in the Union.

 

 


Job Evaluation Update 2015

This powerpoint presentation is the latest update on the process of Job Evaluation between Local 1998 and the University:

[embeddoc url=”http://www.usw1998.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Job-Evaluation-Town-Hall.pptx” viewer=”microsoft”]

Educational Assistance Provisions

Staff-Appointed Unit

LETTER OF INTENT  – EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

INTRODUCTION
In keeping with its policy objective to provide staff members with opportunities for personal development and establish a working environment that will encourage them to develop their abilities, the University has designed this practice on Educational Assistance. Its provisions define the extent to which the University will financially assist staff to further their formal education.

TERMS OF REFERENCE 
Qualifying staff members referred to below are those staff who are eligible in terms of University service (described under ELIGIBILITY) and have academic acceptability by the Faculty, School, Centre, etc., from whom the course is to be taken and the approval of the Department Head before beginning the course as described under PROCEDURES.

ELIGIBILITY 
Bargaining unit employees holding administrative staff appointments whether full-time, part-time of twenty-five (25) percent or more, or sessional are eligible. In the case of part-time staff members, for the first three (3) years’ continuous service, the funding is pro-rated in accordance with the part-time appointment.

PROVISIONS

  1. One hundred (100) percent Tuition Waived

Tuition fees are waived for a qualifying staff member taking:

  1.  A University of Toronto degree course, up to and including flex-time PhD Programs and part-time Doctoral studies. For undergraduate courses, the maximum tuition waiver shall be limited to three (3) full courses during the Fall/Winter session, and one (1) full course during the Summer session and reimbursement will be limited to the equivalent general Arts & Science course tuition fee. For Master’s level programmes, flex-time PhD Programs and parttime Doctoral studies the tuition waiver shall be limited to the part-time programme fee or three thousand ($3,000) dollars per academic year, whichever is less. The University will also waive the balance of degree fee, to the lesser of the equivalent remaining programme fee or three thousand ($3,000) dollars per year, so long as the employee has already received a tuition waiver under this policy; or
  2. a University of Toronto course taken as part of the “academic bridging” programme; or
  3. a University of Toronto course taken as a “special student”; or
  4. a diploma or certificate programme offered through Woodsworth College or other University of Toronto academic divisions, for which students are registered as University of Toronto students and receive diploma at Convocation in accordance with the University Policy on Diploma and Certificate Programmes. The maximum tuition waiver shall be limited to three (3) full courses during the Fall/Winter session, and one (1) full course during the summer session and reimbursement will be limited to the equivalent general Arts & Science course tuition fee.
  5. courses offered by the School of Continuing Studies that are work or job related, up to a maximum of five hundred ($500) dollars per course, and personal interest courses for which a taxable benefit is assessed up to a maximum of two hundred and fifty ($250) dollars per course, with a combined maximum six (6) courses per academic year. 59

Courses should be taken outside of normal working hours. However, if the course is not otherwise available, one such course at a time may be taken during normal working hours provided the approval of the Department Head is obtained and alternative work arrangements are made.

2. Fifty (50) percent Tuition Reimbursed 

Fifty (50) percent of tuition fees will be reimbursed to a qualifying staff member who shows successful completion of a job-related course given at a recognized educational institution (other than those in 1. above). Such courses should be taken on the staff member’s own time, after normal working hours and must be either:

  1. Individual skill improvement courses which are related to the staff member’s present job or to jobs in the same field to which the staff member might logically aspire.
  2. Courses of study leading to undergraduate certificates, diplomas or degrees offered at recognized educational institutions. Such courses must either be an asset to the staff member in the performance of his/her present job or directly related to his/her potential career. Individual courses, even though unrelated, will qualify provided they are a part of an eligible certificate, diploma or degree programmes.

University of Toronto Schools (UTS)

LETTER OF INTENT  – EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

INTRODUCTION
In keeping with its policy objective to establish a working environment that will encourage staff members to develop their abilities, UTS has designed this practice on Educational Assistance. Its provisions define the extent to which UTS will financially assist staff to further their formal education.

TERMS OF REFERENCE 
Qualifying staff members referred to below are those staff who are eligible in terms of service (described under ELIGIBILITY) and have the approval of the Supervisor before beginning the course as described under PROVISIONS.

ELIGIBILITY 
Bargaining unit employees holding administrative staff appointments whether full-time, parttime of twenty-five (25) percent or more or sessional are eligible. In the case of part-time staff members, for the first three (3) years’ continuous service, the funding is prorated in accordance with the part-time appointment.

Term employees are not entitled to educational assistance under this Letter.

Courses should be taken outside of normal working hours. However, if the course is not otherwise available, one such course at a time may be taken during normal working hours provided the approval of the Supervisor is obtained and alternative work arrangements are made.

Tuition Reimbursed 
Seventy five (75) percent of tuition fees to a maximum of $2,000 per year will be reimbursed to a qualifying staff member who shows successful completion of a job-related course given at a recognized educational institution.

Such courses should be taken on the staff member’s own time, after normal working hours and must be either:

  1. Individual skill improvement courses which are related to the staff member’s present job or to jobs in the same field to which the staff member might logically aspire.
  2. Courses of study leading to undergraduate certificates, diplomas or degrees offered at recognized educational institutions. Such courses must either be an asset to the staff member in the performance of his/her present job or directly related to his/her potential career. Individual courses, even though unrelated, will qualify provided they are a part of an eligible certificate, diploma or degree program.

Victoria University Unit

LETTER OF INTENT  – EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

INTRODUCTION
In keeping with its policy objective to provide staff members with opportunities for personal development and establish a working environment that will encourage them to develop their abilities, the University has designed this practice on Educational Assistance. Its provisions define the extent to which the University will financially assist staff to further their formal education.


TERMS OF REFERENCE

Qualifying staff members referred to below are those staff who are eligible in terms of University service (described under ELIGIBILITY) and have academic acceptability by the Faculty, School, Centre, etc., from whom the course is to be taken and the approval of the Department Head before beginning the course.

ELIGIBILITY
Bargaining unit employees whether full-time, part-time of twenty-five (25) percent or more are eligible. In the case of part-time staff members, the funding is pro-rated in accordance with the part-time appointment.

PROVISIONS
1. One hundred (100) percent Tuition Waived
Tuition fees are waived for a qualifying staff member taking:

(a) a University of Toronto or Ontario Institute for Studies in Education degree course, up to and including the Master’s level, flex-time Ph.D. programs and part-time doctoral studies. For undergraduate courses, the maximum tuition waiver shall be limited to three (3) full courses during the Fall/Winter session, and two (2) full courses during the Summer session and reimbursement will be limited to the equivalent general Arts and Science course tuition fee. For Master’s level programs flex-time Ph.D. programs and part-time doctoral studies, the tuition waiver shall be limited to the part-time program fee or $2,500 per academic year, whichever is less. The University will also waive the balance of degree fee, to the lesser of the equivalent remaining program fee or $ 2,500 per year, so 119 long as the employee has already received a tuition waiver under this policy; or

(b) a University of Toronto course taken as part of the “academic bridging” program; or

(c) a University of Toronto course taken as a “special student”; or

(d) a diploma or certificate program offered through Woodsworth College or other University of Toronto academic divisions, for which students are registered as University of Toronto students and receive diplomas at Convocation in accordance with the University Policy on Diploma and Certificate Programs. The maximum tuition waiver shall be limited to three (3) full courses during the Fall/Winter session, and two (2) full courses during the summer session and reimbursement will be limited to the equivalent general Arts and Science course tuition fee; or

(e) those courses offered by the School of Continuing Studies that are work or job related, up to a maximum of $500 per course, and personal interest courses for which a taxable benefit is assessed up to a maximum of $250 per course, with a combined maximum 6 courses per academic year.
Courses should be taken outside of normal working hours. However, if the course is not otherwise available, one such course at a time may be taken during normal working hours provided the approval of the Department Head is obtained and alternative work arrangements are made. Any modification of hours worked under this arrangement will be paid at straight time (i.e., no overtime).

2. Fifty (50) percent Tuition Reimbursed Fifty
(50) percent of tuition fees will be reimbursed to a qualifying staff member who shows successful completion of a job-related course given at a recognized educational institution (other than those in 1. above). Such courses should be taken on the staff member’s own time, after normal working hours and must be either:

(a) Individual skill improvement courses which are related to the staff member’s present job or to jobs in the same field to which the staff member might logically aspire.

(b) Courses of study leading to undergraduate certificates, diplomas or degrees offered at recognized educational institutions. Such courses must either be an asset to the staff member in the performance of his/her present 121 job or directly related to his/her potential career. Individual courses, even though unrelated, will qualify provided they are a part of an eligible certificate, diploma or degree program.

University of St. Michael’s College Unit

LETTER OF INTENT #4 – EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE
The University agrees that employees in the bargaining unit shall be entitled to the benefits of the Educational Assistance Policy attached hereto.

INTRODUCTION
In keeping with its policy objective to provide staff members with opportunities for personal development and establish a working environment that will encourage them to develop their abilities, the University has designed this practice on Educational Assistance. Its provisions define the extent to which the University will financially assist staff to further their formal education.

TERMS OF REFERENCE
Qualifying staff members referred to below are those staff who are eligible in terms of University service (described under ELIGIBILITY) and have academic acceptability by the Faculty, School, Centre, etc., from whom the course is to be taken and the approval of the Department Head before beginning the course as described under PROCEDURES.

ELIGIBILITY
Bargaining unit employees.

PROVISIONS
1. One hundred (100) percent Tuition Waived
Tuition fees are waived for a qualifying staff member taking:

a) A University of Toronto degree course, up to and including the Master’s level. For undergraduate courses, the maximum tuition waiver shall be limited to three (3) full courses during the Fall/Winter session, and one (1) full course during the summer session and reimbursement will be limited to the equivalent general Arts and Science course tuition fee. For Master’s level programs, the tuition waiver shall be limited to the parttime program fee or $3000. per academic year, whichever is less. The University will also waive the balance of degree fee, to the lesser of the equivalent remaining program fee or $3000. per year, so long as the employee has already received a tuition waiver under this policy; or

b) A University of Toronto course taken as part of the “Academic Bridging” program; or

c) A University of Toronto course taken as a “special student”; or

d) A diploma or certificate program offered through Woodsworth College or other University of Toronto academic divisions, for which students are registered as University of Toronto students and receive diplomas at Convocation in accordance with the University Policy on Diploma and Certificate Programs. The maximum tuition waiver shall be limited to three (3) full courses during the Fall/Winter session, and one (1) full 45 course during the summer session and reimbursement will be limited to the equivalent general Arts and Science course tuition fee.

e) Courses offered by the school of Continuing Studies that are work or job related, up to a maximum of $500. per course, and personal interest courses for which a taxable benefit is assessed up to a maximum of $250. per course, with a combined maximum six (6) courses per academic year.

f) Courses should be taken outside of normal working hours. However, if the course is not otherwise available, one such course at a time may be taken during normal working hours provided the approval of the Department Head is obtained and alternative work arrangements are made.

2. Fifty (50) per cent Tuition Reimbursed
Fifty (50) per cent of tuition fees will be reimbursed to a qualifying staff member who shows successful completion of a job-related course given at a recognized educational institution (other than in 1. above). Such courses should be taken on the staff member’s own time, after normal working hours and must be either:

a) Individual skill improvement courses, which are related to the staff member’s present job or to jobs in the same field to which the staff member might logically aspire.

b) Courses of study leading to undergraduate certificates, diplomas or degrees offered at recognized educational institutions.

c) Such courses must either be an asset to the staff member in the performance of his/her present job or directly related to his/her potential career. Individual courses, even though unrelated, will qualify provided they are a part of an eligible certificate, diploma or degree program.

This Policy is conditional on the University of Toronto continuing to permit access to the employees and their dependants at no cost to the Employer.