HRM’s Municipal Operations unit is a bad place to work, especially if you’re Black, queer or a woman, says an independent consultant who reviewed the workplace for diversity and inclusion. African Nova Scotians experience harassment and racism, homophobia is a problem, and only 4 percent of the full time workforce are women. Ongoing cutbacks are part of the problem.

A collective agreement signed earlier this week between Adsum House and its employees, members of CUPE, will ensure that all employees of Adsum for Women and Children will earn at least a living wage. This is likely a first in Nova Scotia. It’s part of a deliberate strategy, says executive director Sheri Lecker. “Sometimes you cannot wait until all pieces of the puzzle are there. This is one of those times.”