The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) working group was struck to carry out the first phase of HEU's diversity, equity and inclusion strategy – a province-wide consultation with members about representation of equity groups and youth on the Provincial Executive.
The following consultation activities took place.
In-person consultation meetings
Just prior to the province-wide lockdown due to COVID-19, the working group held meetings with members in Victoria, Nanaimo and Courtenay on March 9, 10 and 12, 2020, with plans to hold in-person meetings with members throughout the province over March, April and May 2020.
But the in-person consultation plans were cut short to comply with Provincial Health Officer’s orders and to ensure safety for HEU members.
Online consultation meetings
In March 2021, the DEI consultations with members resumed, and shifted to an online format. Nine online meetings were held throughout March and April 2021.
The purpose of these consultation meetings were to:
- Share information about the current composition of the Union’s membership.
- Consult broadly with members on the potential options for the representation of equity groups on the P.E.
- Allow the working group to hear directly from members about DEI issues to inform recommendations for constitutional and policy changes at the 2021 HEU convention.
Consultations for equity-seeking groups
In May 2021, a number of consultation meetings were held for HEU members who identify with one or more equity-seeking groups, to create a space where members who share backgrounds and experiences can come together, and give their feedback about representation of equity-seeking groups in our union's Provincial Executive.
The following DEI equity group meetings were held:
- People with Disabilities (May 5)
- Women (May 5)
- BIPOC – Ethnic Diversity (May 7)
- Young Workers (May 7)
- LGB+ (May 10)
- Indigenous Peoples (May 10)
- Trans, Non-binary, Two Spirit (May 14)
To ensure feedback and input from as many HEU members as possible, the DEI working group also launched a DEI online survey in mid-April that ran until May 15, 2021. The survey was designed to be short and concise while still giving members an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas about diversity and equity in our union’s Provincial Executive.