Our Constitution

Amended: Sixth Convention of the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers on October 1-3, 2021

Values and Beliefs

Our Values and Beliefs as outlined in the Constitution:  Honesty, Integrity, Fairness, Equality, Respectful Treatment, Family Consideration, Common Sense, Decisions Benefiting the Members, Decisions Promoting the Workers, Involvement (including stakeholders), Democratic Processes, Trust

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null POLICIES - Human Rights


Authority: National Executive Board
Implementation: Values and Beliefs Committee
Date: April 18, 2015


This Policy is intended to apply to complaints, concerns and areas for improvement regarding the activities of the Union, interactions between members, and broad workplace issues respecting Human Rights and equality. However, direct complaints arising in the workplace may be dealt with through the grievance procedure and/or applicable Human Rights legislation and do not necessarily fall within the scope of this Policy.


CUSW is committed to maintaining the human dignity of all persons and groups of persons and is dedicated to the highest standards of human equality. CUSW believes that every member has the right to equal opportunity and full participation in the workplace and the Union.

CUSW believes that every individual has the right to be treated with respect and dignity and is committed to the pursuit of an equitable, respectful and an inclusive environment within which its members can fully participate. CUSW believes that equitable and barrier free participation is at the heart of workers’ Unity.

CUSW actively endorses these standards at every level and in all of its Union activities, within the workplace and the public.

All members of CUSW and employers interacting with the Union are expected to uphold and abide by this Policy by promoting equal and respectful treatment of all persons. These persons are expected to promote these values, and work to address and resolve Human Rights issues, whenever possible. Members are expected to work to promote barrier free environments, within the Union, the workplace and the public at large. This Policy, together with the Equality Policy and Procedures on Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Harassment are the means by which CUSW maintains a comprehensive code of Human Rights and equity values. CUSW and its members have a vital role to play in promoting, protecting and advancing Human Rights and equality within the Union and within the workplace.

To achieve its commitment, CUSW strives to:

  • Promote awareness of the diversity of our membership and the needs of diverse groups;
  • Provide an inclusive environment that recognizes members’ differences;
  • Identify barriers to equal opportunity and full participation, and develop effective policies and procedures to eliminate these barriers;
  • Ensure that organizational structures, activities and policies include and address the need of diverse members;
  • Conduct collective bargaining on Human Rights, equity and accommodation issues;
  • Advocate for effective workplace policies and complaint investigation procedures;
  • Provide a supportive and welcoming environment for members requiring accommodations;
  • Provide policies and procedures for the investigation and resolution of membership complaints; and
  • Provide services, organizational structures, activities and policies concerning Human Rights and equity issues.


The mandate of CUSW is to organize and defend workers and to promote equality, respect and safe workplaces for all workers. CUSW strives to promote its Values and Beliefs which include equality, fairness, democratic process, honesty, integrity and respect. CUSW believes that adherence to its values are crucial for all members of the Union to carry out their work.

Members of CUSW commit to be governed in their conduct and actions by the principles of this Policy, the Equality Policy and Procedures on Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Harassment, and the Values and Beliefs of the Union.

All members agree to:

  • Abide by the commitments as stated in this Policy;
  • Support and encourage each other in promoting the Values and Beliefs of the Union and the commitment as stated in this Policy;
  • Encourage the commitment as stated in this Policy within the workplace and in the public;
  • Recognize and value individual difference;
  • Communicate openly and promote involvement within the Union;
  • Encourage democratic process;
  • Encourage honest and integrity in all dealings with other members and the Union;
  • Commit to not engaging in barrier creating conduct; and
  • Ensure that we do not act in ways that are aggressive, bullying or intimidating.


As part of CUSW’s mandate to promote development as an inclusive and equitable organization, CUSW shall create Human Rights and Equity Committees which will deal with issues covered by this Policy and other disadvantages and barriers to equality.

The Human Rights and Equity Committee shall be comprised of two (2) Unit Executive members. The members of the Human Rights and Equity Committees will receive training on Human Rights and equity issues, as well as training regarding the principles of fairness and natural justice, the duty of fair representation, problem solving and mediation techniques.


The recall procedures as prescribed under this Constitution apply equally to members of the Human Rights and Equity Committees.


  1. Any member who believes that there are Human Rights, equity, or barrier issues affecting the Union or the Union’s members is encouraged to take action, where appropriate, and communicate their concerns to the person/entity engaging in barrier creating conduct.
  2. A member is encouraged to follow this Policy’s procedure and bring forward any issues relating to this Policy, regardless of whether that member is directly affected by the conduct or policy in question. CUSW believes that all members have a role in creating equal and barrier free environments for all workers.
  3. If direct action fails, or is not appropriate, the member is encourage to report  any concerns with regards to this Policy to the Human Rights and Equity Committee of their Unit. A member may raise the concern with the Committee directly, or indirectly through their Workplace Representative.
  4. Complaints and/or concerns reported to the Human Rights and Equity Committee shall be forwarded in writing.
  5. Once the Human Rights and Equity Committee receives a complaint, the Committee will meet to discuss the issues that arise from the complaint.  The Committee will investigate the complaint to determine whether the issue falls within its mandate, whether the issue is not of a trivial nature, and whether, in considering the Union’s resources, the Union will take carriage of the complaint/concern.  Note: Use of resources will need to be approved in advance by the National Executive Board. 
  6. The decision of the Human Rights and Equity Committee will be communicated to the member who submitted the initial complaint/concern.
  7. Once the Human Rights and Equity Committee determines that the Union will take carriage of the complaint/concern, the Committee will discuss potential methods of resolution. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the Committee may:
    1. Propose the provision of supports to the complainant in order to facilitate the complainant in rectifying the issues arising from the complaint his or herself;
    2. Propose facilitated discussions between the complainant and the person/entity alleged to have violated this Policy;
    3. Propose mediated discussions between the complainant and the person/entity alleged to have violated this Policy;
    4. Propose the development of training, policies or procedures to rectify the equity and/or barrier issues;
    5.  In the event of a serious violation of this Policy, propose a hearing of the Judicial Committee of the National Executive Board;
    6. Propose any other methods of resolution as are appropriate in the circumstances of the concern/complaint.
  8. The  Committee in its sole capacity will determine the most appropriate methods of resolution for each concern/complaint. However, the President of CUSW retains the right to direct each Committee in the carrying out of its mandate under this Policy as he/she deems appropriate.


The Human Rights and Equity Committee members shall inform the National Executive Board of issues that arise within the Unit which are related or relevant to the mandate of the National Executive Board or any National Committee.