Sun Oct 23

Provincial Human Rights& Equity Team Mandate

Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) strives to be an inclusive and equitable organization that recognizes membership diversity. The Provincial Human Rights & Equity Team, reporting to and under the direction of the ONA Board of Directors, will deal with issues covered by the Ontario Human Rights Code and other areas of disadvantage.

Scope of work

Human Rights & Equity Team's work includes establishing and monitoring communications about approved objectives for the annual Caucus; publicizing commemorative dates of the equity groups; supporting the Human Rights and Equity Bargaining Unit Representatives by providing information that can be used by the Bargaining Unit, and publicizing the Human Rights and Equity Bursaries that are available to members.

The team, through the Vice-President holding the Human Rights and Equity portfolio, will report to the Board at each Board meeting on trends, including Local/Bargaining Unit Area Coordinators Conferences (ACC) enviroscans and on the status of the committee's work as well as any recommendations for consideration by the Board.


  • Review at each Human Rights and Equity Team meeting, for reporting to the Board, reports from the Vice-President and Human Rights and Equity Specialist about ONA's work with external groups and how they are promoting Human Rights and Equity issues.
  • Ensure there is a process in place for reviewing and responding to members' comments and concerns sent to ONA via the team voicemail boxes, the ONA Mailbag, or through direct contact with the Vice-President and Human Rights and Equity Specialist.
  • Ensure that ONA's policy for review and response to members' messages, electronic and otherwise, is captured in the Human Rights and Equity Team's processes.

Increasing members' understanding of human rights and equity issues

  • Develop and/or provide feedback on content for the Human Rights and Equity “Hot Topics” in the Human Rights and Equity Newsletter, other ONA publications, and on the website.
  • Monitor enviroscans on equity issues provided to the Board through the Local/Bargaining Unit ACCs enviroscans.
  • Consult in the development, delivery and evaluation of education, as appropriate.

Annual Caucus

  • Provide recommendations to the Board for the Human Rights and Equity education at the November Caucus.
  • Support and facilitate the education outcomes established by the Board for delivery to the equity caucuses each November
  • Review and report to the Board on the allocation of members' subsidies each year.
  • Review and provide feedback on the design of the November caucus.
  • Review, analyze and report to the Board on the November caucus evaluations.
  • Report to the Board on the annual report backs from the equity groups.

Equity Group Commemorative Dates

  • Maintain the ONA-approved commemorative dates for the ONA calendar, ONA publications and develop website content for scheduled dates.
  • Develop materials on recognized historical figures within Human Rights and Equity for publication.

Support Human Rights and Equity Bargaining Unit Representatives

  • Promote formal education (ONA Human Rights and Equity Workshops) and informal education (courses/seminars) for members interested in learning more about human rights and equity issues.
  • Consult in the development, delivery and evaluation of education, as appropriate.
  • Promote programs to enhance leadership potential through education.
  • Through the Vice President, Human Rights and Equity, distribute to Bargaining Unit Human Rights and Equity Representatives reports about ONA's work in human rights and equity including reported cases from the CEO Monitoring Report.
  • Monitor and report annually on status of bargaining units with greater than 100 members who have designated Human Rights and Equity Representatives.
  • Assist and encourage the development of networking through local/regional/provincial ONA caucuses.

Human Rights and Equity Bursaries

  • Use ONA established publications, including the website, to promote awareness of the Human Rights and Equity Bursaries available for members.
  • Review reports from the Board on how the Human Rights and Equity Bursaries are being used by members.


  • Chair: Vice-President, Human Rights and Equity Portfolio.
  • Designated Membership.

Equity Groups:

  • Members of Aboriginal Descent.
  • Members with Disabilities.
  • Francophone Members.
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Members.
  • Racialized Members.

Note: Every effort will be made to ensure there is membership representation from each of the designated equity groups.

  • Human Rights and Equity Specialist and Labour Relations Assistant from the Provincial Services Team (staff).
  • One member from Strategy Team/Team Managers (staff).

ONA Membership Expression of Interest Selection Process

Members will be selected annually in November, or as required to fill a vacancy on the team , by the President, and the Vice-President, Human Rights and Equity Portfolio. Only bona fide ONA members will be considered for the designated groups for the Team considering the following selection criteria:

  • Designated group representation.
  • Demonstrated commitment to Human Rights and Equity that is consistent with ONA's constitution, organizational vision and the committee's mandate.
  • Education and/or experience in Human Rights and Equity, while not essential is an asset.
  • Geographical and sector representation will be considered as appropriate.
  • Knowledge of ONA from experience working within the Bargaining Unit/Local/Provincial.

It is an expectation that all members selected to the team will attend ONA's Human Rights and Equity I and II education workshops if they have not previously done so. Members will be funded to attend.


The term of team members is for two years. Membership terms are staggered to ensure continuity.

Up to two consecutive terms are permitted using the Expression of Interest (EOI) process.


Funding within ONA Policy is provided for up to 11 days face-to-face meetings per year.

Team attends the November Caucus and a one-day prep meeting.

Team meets for orientation in January, and on average every second month, excluding July and August, during the year.

In months where there are no face-to-face meetings scheduled, the team will connect using technology as required.


Expenses will be reimbursed in accordance within ONA policy.

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