Guiding Principles of Solidarity

As a trade union HSA values solidarity. Solidarity means that members of HSA act together to promote their common interests in their workplace. It also means that members commit to respectfully working through differences. Solidarity is demonstrated when members:

  • listen to each other,
  • support one another,
  • have the confidence to respectfully challenge each other
  • and work together to find solutions and compromises

Solidarity requires discussion, respect, curiosity, and compromise. Attendees at HSA events are expected to demonstrate this kind of solidarity.


HSA is committed to fostering respectful, inclusive and harassment-free workplace and functions and expects all members and other persons associated with the event to recognize the right of each person to be treated with respect. The Code of Ethics states general rules for all members and staff of Health Sciences Association for maintaining high standards of professional service and conduct toward colleagues, clients, and the professional union. Respect is a feeling and action. You demonstrate respect when you:

  1. Focus on impact of what you say or how you behave, not the intention.
  2. Accept discomfort as necessary for growth.
  3. Share speaking time, keeping it to one speaker at a time.
  4. Practice open-mindedness: listen to all points of view, honour diversity of opinion.
  5. Notice and question your judgements, assumptions and biases.
  6. Cultivate curiosity: seek to understand rather than persuade.
  7. Strive for intellectual humility. Be willing to grapple with challenging ideas.
  8. Differentiate between opinion—which everyone has—and informed knowledge, which comes from sustained experience, study, and practice. Hold your opinions lightly and with humility.
  9. Notice your own defensive reactions and attempt to use these reactions as entry points for gaining deeper self-knowledge, rather than as a rationale for closing off.
  10. Recognize how your own social positionality (e.g., race, class, gender, sexuality, ability) informs your perspectives and reactions to your colleagues.
  11. Identify where your learning edge is and push it. For example, whenever you think, I already know this, ask yourself, How can I take this deeper? Or, How am I applying in practice what I already know?

Recognize: We recognize that we must strive to overcome historical and divisive biases, such as racism and sexism, in our society.

Acknowledge: We acknowledge that we are all systematically taught misinformation about our own group(s) and about members of other groups. This is true for everyone, regardless of our group(s).

No Blame: We agree not to blame ourselves or others for the misinformation we have