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BCNU's commitment to the ideals of inclusivity is rooted in a belief that our strength is enhanced by successfully enabling all members to participate meaningfully in the life, direction and activities of the union.

The membership of BCNU is diverse and dynamic. Its composition is broadly reflective of the rapidly changing face of the workforce in our province and across the country.

Originally formed as the Human Rights and Diversity Committee in 2005, the name was changed to the Human Rights and Equity Committee in 2012. Its purpose was, and is, to guide BCNU and its decision makers in fostering a supportive and welcoming environment for all. For Mabel Tung, BCNU treasurer and Vancouver General Hospital nurse, continued support for the Human Rights and Equity Committee illustrates BCNU's commitment to becoming "an inclusive organization that represents everyone".

Collaborating under the umbrella of the Human Rights and Equity Committee are BCNU's four equity caucuses-Workers of Colour Caucus, Aboriginal Leadership Circle, Workers with Disabilities Caucus, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Caucus.

BCNU's four equity caucuses were established according to the same principles enshrined in the Human Rights Code of British Columbia and the pro-active policies initiated by unions and other progressive organizations around the world. These principles and policies recognize the necessity to enhance the voice and place of members of certain communities who have been the subject of historic and systemic discrimination and marginalization.

BCNU enhances the voice and place of its members who have experienced such discrimination through the Aboriginal Leadership Circle, the Workers of Colour Caucus, Workers with Disabilities Caucus, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Caucus.

A Men in Nursing Group was also established, as a way of recognizing the challenges which men may face as they enter a profession that has been shaped and circumscribed historically by patriarchal gender norms.

Unions in the early history of colonial British Columbia were not always so charitable when it came to embracing the rights of those workers who may have carried markers of difference in their appearance, accents, or in their cultural or religious practices.

Today, however, unions throughout Canada recognize that their present and future strength lies in ensuring that all their members find their voice and place in the work of their union. Through the creation of the Human Rights and Diversity Committee and the caucus structure BCNU is well positioned to ensure that its diverse and dynamic membership find in BCNU a genuinely supportive and welcoming environment.

BCNU is proud of playing a leading role as a champion in the struggle for human rights and genuine organizational diversity.


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