Who we are
The Provincial Human Rights Committee (PHRC) is comprised of one member from each of OPSEU’s seven regions. Delegates in each region elect their representative at the biennial Regional Meeting.
The PHRC assists in establishing local and other human rights committees within Ontario and in OPSEU’s regions. It develops and promotes programs that encourage all members to participate in Union activities, and increases awareness and understanding of workplace, community, national and international human rights issues.
Committee Members 2015-2017
Cell: (519) 919-0852
Marco Costa, Vice-Chair
Cell: (647) 308-1451
Cell: (705) 527-5237
Work: (705) 549-3181 ext. 2004
Home: (613) 702-0240
Rob Boulet, Secretary
Home: (705) 494-8678
Cell: (705) 493-6473
Work: (705) 474-3450 ext. 4466
Owen Smith, Chair
Cell: (807) 252-7020
Terms of Reference
This is a description of the purpose and structure of the Provincial Human Rights Committee (PHRC). It outlines information on general aims and functions of the committee, how meetings are conducted, how finances are monitored, and the roles and responsibilities of all seven (7) elected representatives. phrc_terms_of_reference_approved_2015.pdf
What We Do
Some of the specific activities of the Committee are:
- to identify needs within the membership with respect to Human Rights issues and to develop avenues to address those needs;
- to liaise with Executive Board Members and provide recommendations with respect to policies and procedures that will ensure equity and inclusiveness for individuals in the workplace and union;
- to liaise with the Executive Board Members and provide recommendations around human rights issues as impacted by current public policy trends, organizing and bargaining changes and issues;
- to liaise with the Executive Board Members and provide recommendations around human rights issues as impacted by current arbitration and legislative changes;
- to develop resources that are crucial to providing an increased awareness of human rights issues, events, speakers, etc;
- to make available workshops, presentations, educations, forums for discussion, information as requested by provincial, regional and local members;
- to support other Provincial Committees and caucuses based on human rights issues and perspectives but within their focus;
- to raise consciousness and sensitivity around current issues affecting our members from a human rights perspective through available media i.e. In Solidarity, e-mail, educationals etc.
The Committee has identified the following strategic areas on which it will focus its education, collective bargaining, organizing, and communications work:
- anti-gay/anti-abortion issues;
- decent pay for work, the importance of maintaing public services and fighting for the working class;
- combatting the misconception about unions;
- accommodation, accessibility and the importance of breaking down barriers;
- environmental issues;
- promoting employment equity and bringing greater awareness on the plight of migrant workers; and
- supporting Aboriginal communities.
The Provincial Human Rights Committee was first mandated at the 1992 OPSEU Convention as a result of a constitutional amendment. The amendment read: “There shall be a Provincial Human Rights Committee composed of one Member, to be elected at the regular biennual regional meetings…”
Statement of Respect
Harassment or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated at OPSEU functions.
Whenever OPSEU members gather, we welcome all peoples of the world. We will not accept any unwelcoming words, actions or behaviours against our union members.
We accord respect to all persons, regardless of age, creed, political affiliation and racialization including and not limited to People of African descent, Black, Caribbean, South Asian, Asian, women, men, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, members of ethno-racial groups, people with disabilities, gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender/transsexual people, and gender diverse persons, francophones and all persons whose first language is not English.
In our diversity we will build solidarity as union members.
If you believe that you are being harassed or discriminated against contact ____________ (specify names)* for immediate assistance.
* It is the event co-ordinator’s responsibility to designate at least two qualified persons. The names and phones numbers of such persons must be listed. One of the designated members shall be female.
Download a copy of the Statement of Respect here (scroll down to “Human rights forms and documents” section.
Revised November 2019
Here are some PRHC materials to print and distribute:
Connect with the PHRC on social media! PHRC Facebook page