Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Last evening’s founding meeting of Equity Watch was successful beyond her wildest expectations, Halifax writer and activist Judy Haiven tells the Nova Scotia Advocate. Equity Watch is a new organization that aims to call out public and private employers who refuse to stamp out bullying, misogyny and systemic discrimination in their workplaces. “I was very surprised, I expected maybe a handful of people, and what we got were 35 angry people ready for action.”

We spoke with Liane Tessier, the Halifax firefighter who will on Monday receive a public apology from the city and Halifax Fire for its misogynistic treatment of her. To accept HRM’s offer to settle and apologize wasn’t an easy decision for Tessier, who hoped that the ten-day human rights tribunal scheduled for October would expose the many culprits at HRM and the Fire Department who made her life hell for all these years. Now she has documented all the ghastly details on her website.

The City of Halifax is not following up on a recommendation around criminal record checks that would remove obstacles to hiring Black and Indigenous workers in its Municipal Operations Programs (MOPS) division. The policy hasn’t really changed, and the City’s employment website is as uninviting to people with even a trivial criminal record as it has always been..

The City of Halifax applies a fair wage consideration when evaluating bids for services. But it’s just fluff, as the recent awarding of a parking enforcement contract shows. HRM doesn’t really care how well third party workers are paid, as long as costs are down.

Halifax City outside workers, members of CUPE Local 108, rallied in front of City Hall to tell the city to get back to the bargaining table, revoke a lock-out notice, and stop chipping away at their pensions. Current city proposals dealing with workers’ pensions are simply unacceptable, the union says.