The report is the result of union advocacy. Over the past decade, LGBTQ2+ CUPE members have been engaged in several gender and sexual diversity initiatives with community partners, particularly around seniors’ issues. Sensing a gap, CUPE’s National Pink Triangle Committee put forward resolutions at the 2017 and 2019 CUPE National Conventions to raise awareness on LGBTQ2+ seniors’ issues and to promote LGBTQ2+ competency in public services.
As part of this work, CUPE collaborated with Egale Canada and Carleton University on a joint research project to determine how to ensure safe and accessible public services for LGBTQ2+ workers and senior service users.
Building on interviews and focus groups with LGBTQ2+ public service workers and seniors across Canada, the study finds that working conditions for LGBTQ2+ workers are related to service conditions for LGBTQ2+ clients, and vice versa. The report identifies several promising practices to help workers and clients, including employment equity, cultural competency standards tied to funding and increasing LGBTQ2+ representation on governance boards. It also calls on policy makers to address the specific concerns of marginalized groups within the LGBTQ2+ community, noting that the perspectives of racialized, Black, trans, Indigenous, persons with disabilities and low income LGBTQ2+ people are too often overlooked.