Education & Training Resources for UFCW Canada Local Unions
UFCW Canada has developed a number of education and training programs for Local Union Members, activists and staff.
Unique programs include the Youth Internship Program; the Layoff and Closure Program; the Bullying Prevention Program, and the Retail Violence Prevention Program; as well as resource materials including the Steward’s Reference Guide, the Proud to be Union handbook, and the Strike and Lockout handbooks.
In addition to UFCW Canada's renown online education program webCampus, the union also offers Members and their Local Unions a long list of in-person courses and workshops, including:
Collective Bargaining for Committees assists members of their union negotiating committee to better understand the negotiation process with their employer. This course helps committee members and heads-of-committee to prepare and work together on the committee, and with fellow members throughout the negotiations process.
Bargaining for Equality is designed to raise awareness about the ever more diverse UFCW Canada membership and the challenges they face; and looking at ways to address the needs at the negotiating table for a diverse domestic, as well as migrant membership.
Stewards Training Level 1 examines the role of stewardship in the workplace. To many UFCW Canada members, the steward is the core of the union— their primary connection to their union. Stweards are the first person a member looks to for guidance, leadership, and help. It is a challenging and critical role. The course helps participants understand that role, its key responsibilities, and effective ways to deal with conflict and issues in the workplace.
Stewards Training Level 2 takes the cornerstone principles learned in Stewards Training Level 1 and expands on them by focusing on improving skills when dealing with management and members in more advanced grievance situations including handling management meetings and drafting complex grievances.
Health and Safety – There are over 50 different courses and workshops available on Health and Safety issues, trends, regulations, enforcement and preventative measures. Courses provide participants with knowledge from everything to basic workplace rights, to ergonomics, to successful workplace committees, to community building over H&S issues. Courses can be custom tailored to suit the needs of any particular Local Union.
Human Rights & Diversity – Behaviour is not just based on experiences but also on how people have been educated and socialized about various diverse groups. All forms of oppression are interconnected. Each person will see their experiences through their own race, class, religion, sexual orientation, ability and gender. The links between oppressions can lead to joint struggle and solidarity therefore we must encourage people to explore the links between their own social group identities and also to understand the similarities and differences in the dynamics of oppression upon themselves and others.
This is a workshop designed to increase participants’ level of comfort to open a discussion on racism, oppression and harassment. Participants will develop a personal understanding of commonly used terms and begin to recognize the complexity and debate around language. Participants will also explore taking action for change-both personally and in the workplace.
Union Building – This course attempts to develop strategies and methods, to effectively organize and build solid partnerships with diverse organizations and communities outside of the union. The goal is to learn about union building and renewal, the reasons for union building, and the things we can do as unionists to implement union building so that we have a strong, vibrant, and growing trade union in the years to come. Union building and renewal concerns the requirements of equity and diversity that are essential to the growth, prosperity and survival of the union movement in the decades to come. It is about our continual ability as union activists to adjust to the changing conditions of the workplace, and to most importantly, represent working people in Canada.
Walmarting the World – Participants will understand globalization, and learn how it affects us in our homes, community, workplace and union. Participants will be exposed to Walmart’s corporate practices and strategies that make it the biggest and most profitable corporate power in the world, and learn how this affects us within our workplaces.
Speaking with Confidence – This workshop helps participants build skills on how to face others in positions of power – supervisors, friends, co-workers, family, men – and others with confidence. Participants will be able to practice these skills so that they feel more comfortable speaking up with confidence in different situations from one-on-one conversations to formal meetings. They will learn to understand what it means to speak up for yourself and others with confidence.
Sister 2 Sister – This workshop concentrates on breaking down barriers between women, and about women. Participants will find ways of strengthening women’s roles in the union at a local union level; in addition, they will share experiences and learn from each other about how we can move forward to make better links with other women’s organizations.
Women and Politics – This is a workshop that will demonstrate to women how important it is to participate in the political arena. Participants will learn various ways to contribute to the process, and how they can get involved.
Making Our Mark – This workshop will give participants a sense of where we have been as a labour movement, where we are now, and where we need to go through the perspective of a female eye. It will help participants understand that our strength lies in our diversity – who we are, how we work together, keeping in mind our various backgrounds. Participants will also learn about key issues affecting women today and how we may respond.
Making Time – This course will develop members’ skills and choices within their personal lives toward the goal of improved quality of life. It will provide member’s with the skills to acknowledge the value of time management in their personal life, family life, and at work, and appreciate the value of putting themselves first. The workshop will assist them in recognizing unhealthy outcomes of poor life balance, and outline effective time management techniques.
Politics Matter, Women Matter – This workshop instills to union women that organizing and mobilizing our sisters will ensure our voices are heard; it is the best way to advance the vision of equality and build a just society. Participants will leave this workshop encouraged to participate in political action and to strengthen links between union and community issues. Skills will be taught on issues relating to political action, on keeping a pro-active perspective on organizing and mobilizing women in their union and communities, and on building a campaign supporting working women’s right to unionize.
Organizing for Activists – This course instills the need for organizing within workplaces. To shows participants that there is a need to protect what we have, obtain new benefits, not to take rights and social programs for granted, to maintain our gains from long political struggles, defend a way of life, be social responsibility, and to show how unionization has a positive impact on society.
Note Taking – This course shows participants the importance of taking good notes, and showing them some techniques and applying them to note taking. In most work environments, it is important to keep communication flowing between co-workers, members, supervisors, and the public. Because communication problems will occur, your ability to take accurate notes and to keep good records is very important. Note taking is accomplished through effective listening. The process of attempting to understand what someone is saying is an important skill underlying all note-taking. The writing could be anything from a grocery list and love letters to essays and incident reports. We need to take into account all writing factors when we sit down to write or take notes. “Taking” notes may seem like a receptive act – you just sit back and someone gives you information. Good note takers know that the process is much more complex and that it involves a fine balance between listening and doing.
Pandemic 101 – This is a workshop designed to increase participants’ understanding of what influenza is, and how it works with respect to a pandemic and it’s affects on a workplace. Participants will develop a personal understanding of commonly used terms and begin to recognize the complexity and debate around the costs associated with a government announced pandemic. Participants will also explore taking action for change-both personally and in the workplace.
Youth Internship Program – The National Youth Internship Program trains young members through hands-on experience in areas such as the history of the labour movement, politics and it’s role, and importance, globalization and it’s role in the workplace, understanding your union, and many other areas. It is a 4 week long program spread out throughout the year.
Introduction to Politics – This course gives union members the basic understanding of the political system and how it affects them as individuals, union members, and members of the community. It explores everything from the basic government structure, to government services and taxation. Unions and Politics-This course highlights the affects of the political system and the union dealing with their membership using actual case studies from within the history of UFCW Canada, showing the direct relationship between political parties and the legislation they inact.Strike and Lockout, picket captain training- UFCW Canada negotiates 95% of their union contracts without a work stoppage; this course will prepare members to take a leadership role at times of turmoil with their employer. This course also prepares members to take a proactive message to their employers during negotiations.
History Gallery – If we do not learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it. This workshop will examine the history of UFCW Canada and the labour movement within North America and highlight the struggles of working people that so many people take for granted each day.
Additional Courses – UFCW Canada is committed to continuing education and broadening the knowledge of the Membership. Together as Canada's leading and most progressive union, we believe that education is a resource and plays a vital role in shaping the future of our union. The following courses are additional resources available to UFCW Canada Members and their Local Unions:
- Bullying and Workplace Violence
- Good Enough to Work, Good Enough to Stay
- Canadian Activism: Making a Difference
- Organizing and Planning
- Political Action
- Retail Violence Prevention
- Train the Trainer
- Workplace Safety and Insurance (WSIB)
- Leadership Workshop
- Globalization 101
To find out more about UFCW Canada training and education services and courses, please contact UFCW Canada at 416-675-1104 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.