NO PLACE FOR BULLYING, PERSONAL OR SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN EQUITY WORKSPACES – Council Statement on Respectful Workspaces

Equity’s national Council is actively listening to members' concerns about bullying, discrimination, and personal and sexual harassment.

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Equity’s national Council is actively listening to members’ concerns about bullying, discrimination, and personal and sexual harassment. We take these issues very seriously. This is a time of change in our industry and we are committed to making things better.
Council has been in touch with the membership on this issue since 2014. Equity’s 2015 survey and further consultation with members across the country informed the Not in OUR Space! anti-harassment campaign – a proactive initiative designed to change industry culture. Our work over the past 18 months has included a complete review and overhaul of all internal policies, bylaws and the member disciplinary processes resulting in the new Respectful Workspace Policy.
Early experience with Not in OUR Space! is promising; Members are calling Equity for assistance and advice in larger numbers. Engagers across the country are standing with Equity members and presenting a Joint First Day Statement of zero tolerance.
The Equity Support Spectrum, identifying multiple reporting options, is an excellent member resource, and Equity is well-equipped to respond to concerns. All staff in both the National and Western offices have all received basic training on harassment issues. Select senior staff have been trained as Respectful Workspace Advisors (RWAs), available to assist members experiencing unwelcome behaviour with support and advice about solutions. In extreme situations, RWAs will direct callers to the appropriate authorities. Members are encouraged to call or email an RWA with any questions, comments or when seeking advice.
On November 3, 2017, Executive Director Arden R. Ryshpan issued a statement affirming the Association’s commitment to changing workplace culture so Equity members can create in safe and respectful workspaces.
The broader entertainment industry is also committed to change. On November 23, 2017, senior staff from Equity were invited to a gathering of film and television leaders convened by ACTRA. Equity was asked to present the development process of the Not In OUR Space! campaign and resulting materials to the attendees. We encourage you to read the resulting statement here.
We welcome feedback from members about the actions that have been taken and how to move forward. Your national Council and Equity’s staff are committed to working with our industry partners to find sector-wide solutions to the problems of sexual harassment, harassment and bullying in our workspaces.
Much has been accomplished and there is still much more to do. As a community, we can create the change we seek for our industry.
The national Council of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
Kirsten Alter (Ontario)
Deena Aziz (Quebec)
Karen Bassett (Atlantic)
Scott Bellis, Council President (British Columbia / Yukon)
Nicole Caron (Dance)
Stephen Erickson, First Vice-President (Eastern Opera)
Sedina Fiati, Second Vice-President (Ontario)
Jaron Francis (Saskatchewan)
Jane Heyman (British Columbia / Yukon)
Aaron Hutton (Manitoba / Nunavut)
Catriona Leger (Eastern Ontario / Outaouais)
Ian Leung (Alberta North / Northwest Territories)
Minh Ly (Ontario)
Peter McGillivray (Eastern Opera)
Kate Sandeson (Stage Management)
Genny Sermonia (Ontario)
Diane Speirs, Secretary-Treasurer (Western Opera)
Allan Teichman (Ontario)
Paul Welch (Alberta South)
Zeph Williams (Ontario)
Paula Wolfson (Ontario)
Raugi Yu (British Columbia / Yukon)

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