Fireside chat: Unions and the federal workplace: challenging the status quo for justice and equity

Feb 28, 2024
In-person and Zoom
CAPE Boardroom, 18th floor
350 Albert Street, Ottawa

As part of Black History Month celebrations:

“Unions and the federal workplace: challenging the status quo for justice and equity”

Fireside Chat

February 28, 5-7 PM EST
In-person and via Zoom
CAPE Boardroom, 18th floor | 350 Albert Street, Ottawa 
**Interpretation and sign language services will be available
*The event will be recorded*
** CAPE members only **

>>Register today to participate!

 To mark Black History Month, the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) is hosting a bilingual fireside chat with a panel of prominent voices in the Black federal employee and union communities to discuss what changes required for unions to better support and represent their Black members, and what the employer can do to ensure Black employees achieve justice and equity in the federal workplace.

The discussion will be moderated by Bernadeth Betchi, a CAPE member, representative plaintiff in the Black Class Action lawsuit, and 2023 CAPE presidential candidate. She will lead a dynamic panel that will bring together:

  • Jennie Esnard, National Capital Region Chief Steward, PIPSC
  • Hayley Millington, National Executive Vice-President, Union of National Employees


You and other CAPE members will have the chance to engage with the panel and share questions, thoughts and ideas, and learn how to better support and advance justice and equity for Black employees in the federal workplace.



1. What barriers do Black public sector workers face in our unions, and what could our unions do to better represent this population?

2. What are the demands and claims of Black employees within the public sector?

3. What kind of organizational model and structure do we need in the workplace to ensure that our members' needs are taken to heart and that concrete, non-performative action is taken?

**Note that the event will be catered with various simple meal options. 

>> Program

  • Discussion
  • Health break
  • Q&A

All you need to know to participate

 >>Register today to participate


>> Zoom link

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 655 5398 0996

Passcode: 837211


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Meeting ID: 655 5398 0996

Passcode: 837211

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>> Accessibility – requesting accommodation

This event has been designed to be accessible. CAPE provides common accessibility measures, including online access, English and French audio interpretation, LSQ interpretation, and communication access real-time translation (CART) captioning.

However, we encourage members who require additional accommodation to inform us of their needs using our registration form no later than Friday February 23 so that we can take measures to accommodate your needs, where possible. Please note that we may not be able to accommodate requests received after this deadline.

>> Speakers must identify themselves

Members who wish to engage in the conversation must be identified by their name and local or department. Anonymous participation is not allowed as this is a members-only event.

Online discussion participants:

>> Microphone required to protect interpreters’ health and safety

CAPE would like to do its best to allow for online participation while respecting the health and safety requirements of its interpreters.

While online participants will be allowed to join in the conversation, using a proper microphone will be mandatory.


Cellphones, earbuds, or wireless headsets are not approved for speaking due to the health and safety risks the sound can pose to the interpreters.

>> Sound check needed to participate verbally online

Online participants who want to engage in the conversation verbally will be required to log on 15-30 minutes early to do a sound check with the technicians. Participants who wish to speak must:

  • be identified by name and local or department
  • turn on their camera when speaking
  • have a headset with a built-in mic and wired USB connection

The technicians, interpreters and CAPE staff reserve the right to cut off microphones or not interpret should the sound not be of adequate quality to ensure the health and safety of interpreters. 


Online participants will be able to ask questions verbally if sound-checked, and through the Q&A function of Zoom.


>> Send us your questions in advance or during the chat!

You may send questions or comments ahead of or during the chat to Please add FIRESIDE CHAT in the email subject line.

Stay tuned for more details!