Thank you, Chair and committee members, for inviting us to participate in this important discussion on Bill C-65.
I'm Ann-Therese MacEachern, vice-president of human resources. I'm with my colleague, Manon Fortin, who is vice-president of operations integration. We're proud to represent Canada Post, where we both have more than 25 years of experience at various levels within the organization.
Harassment and violence in the workplace are incredibly important issues, and we hope to contribute in a positive way to the development of this legislation. In the next few minutes, I will outline our approach to help ensure that our people feel safe, respected, and able to do their jobs without threat of harassment and violence.
First, it's important to understand the size and scope of our operations. More than 50,000 people, full- and part-time employees, work for Canada Post, not including our subsidiaries. With our size, our employees represent a microcosm of Canadian society. They interact with their colleagues, their supervisors, and countless customers in every province and territory.
It's our job to serve Canadians, and we're proud to do so, but it's also important to note that two-thirds of the complaints registered come from employees who believe they've been harassed, or worse, by a customer. As you see, our approach must be comprehensive, clear, and collaborative.
At Canada Post, our commitment is to create a workplace that brings out the best in our people and fosters a safe, supportive, and productive environment. Harassment, violence, or bullying in any form is not tolerated between our employees or against our employees. While nobody's perfect, we walk the walk with an approach that's focused on three main pillars.
The first is prevention through leadership, standards, training, and policies that reinforce expectations. Collaboration with our unions is also key. The second is an effective, appropriate, and timely response if an issue occurs, with numerous avenues for employees to be heard. The third is to review results, seek input, and look for areas to evolve and continuously improve our approach.
Prevention is the most important, so let me start there. It starts first with the tone that's set by the corporation through our values, our code of conduct, and our policies. As well, all five of our collective agreements include provisions with human rights clauses. These are more than just paper: they shape the culture and define the standards to which all employees must hold themselves accountable.
Leadership is where this approach is most evident. The day-to-day interactions our team leaders have with their employees and the tone they set are incredibly important. It's where I've seen a great deal of positive change in the last few years. Leaders who are accessible, know their people, engage with them in the workplace, and recognize good performance see better results. It also helps them to address issues with coaching, communication, and common sense.
To assist them, we provide training when they're first hired and refresher sessions on a regular basis. Core to the training is how to create a workplace free of discrimination and harassment. We also provide this type of training to all employees, starting with our onboarding process. I can provide more detail on the training during our discussion, but I'd like to highlight one example that demonstrates the importance we put on collaboration.
For more than 10 years, employees who are members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have participated in a training program called “Human Rights and Conflict in the Workplace”. This half-day training session was jointly developed and is co-facilitated with CUPW, our largest union. Approximately 30,000 employees have completed the training. Topics such as diversity in the workplace, harassment related to human rights, discrimination, and resolving conflicts are well received by participants.
This collaboration is not limited to training programs. Within our major facilities, we have long-standing local joint health and safety committees, where local management and union representatives work to prevent health and safety risks and address issues in a timely manner. In the event an incident occurs, employees have access to several options whereby they can be heard and supported, based on their comfort level. These are communicated to employees through various means to ensure they're aware of their options, as well as the consequences of inappropriate behaviour.
In all, employees have access to no less than eight different avenues, ranging from a discussion with a supervisor to confidential or anonymous programs run by third parties on behalf of Canada Post. I'd be happy to outline these in greater detail when we move to questions.
Regardless of their choice, complaints are addressed in a prompt and respectful manner. When investigating, management will not disclose the complainant's identity unless doing so is essential to resolving a complaint. This is important to the integrity of the process, just as important as ensuring the employee has the proper support in place once a report is filed. The investigation is quickly initiated and logged to ensure a proper response. The employee also has various avenues to turn to, such as employee assistance, for additional support.
Following an investigation, and depending on the circumstances, a range of consequences can apply. Some incidents are resolved with a frank conversation or a warning, while others involve more in-depth intervention. For serious violations, nothing short of dismissing the employee is the right thing to do. These decisions are never taken lightly.
As I said at the beginning, we've made progress, but improving workplace health, safety, and well-being is a continuous evolution. We collect and examine data on all our programs and review it regularly for trends, root-cause analysis, and improvement opportunities. This isn't just number-crunching; it's important in our ongoing improvement. Data allows us to detect trends to determine systemic issues. For example, this detailed level of analysis will greatly help to determine where we should place additional resources and support.
On behalf of Canada Post, I'd like to thank the committee for inviting us to appear. We applaud the government and members of the committee for working to provide clear expectations and direction for all federal employers through Bill C-65. Harassment, intimidation, and violence should not be tolerated in the workplace or any place. Employees should feel they have proper training, support, and protection, regardless of where they work.
Our approach has evolved over many years and aligns with the desired future state described in Bill C-65. We will continue to evolve and improve our approach to not only comply with the final legislation but also seek further improvements.
This is an important conversation, and you're on the right track. Start with prevention and collaboration, as it will have a tremendous positive impact on workplace culture. Ensure there are numerous avenues for employees to be heard and respected, constantly monitor progress, and look for opportunities to improve.
We'll be happy to take your questions. Thank you.