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CUPE offers a wide variety of workshops and different ways for members to access union education.  If you want to know more about the upcoming workshops in our catalogue below or to request one for your local, contact your regional education representative or check our workshops page.

Download the catalogue.

Being an Ally for Equality

Championing human rights in the workplace and the union is an important role for stewards. But what does it really mean to be a good ally?

See the list of currently available workshops.

Building Strong Local Unions - 14 hours

With the right vision, your local can be stronger. This workshop covers:

  • Issues, problems and solutions that are relevant to your local
  • Strategies for making your local more inclusive
  • An action plan to strengthen your local 

See the list of currently available workshops.

Challenging Homophobia in the Workplace

When homophobia goes unchallenged, it leads to a toxic workplace. This module will explore what it is like for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to live in a world that is geared towards straight people.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Challenging Racism in the Workplace

Is there racism in your workplace? This workshop covers what racism looks like in the workplace, and your role as a steward in stopping racism.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Clear Language - 9 hours

Unions rely heavily on the written word to inform members of their rights and to encourage them to participate in the workplace, the union and the community. But our communications aren’t always as effective as we would like.  This workshop will help you develop clear writing and design skills to reach more members and make your local stronger. 

See the list of currently available workshops.

Collective Bargaining: Preparing for Bargaining - 9 hours

What can your CUPE local do to get ready for bargaining? How do you choose a committee, prepare proposals and build membership support for bargaining? This workshop will help you answer these questions and prepare your local for bargaining.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Collective Bargaining: Bargaining Skills - 9 hours

This course is for bargaining committee members. CUPE members who have already taken the “Preparing for Bargaining” workshop will learn more about the bargaining process by role-playing and discussing bargaining strategies. Learn how to develop a bargaining plan, present a proposal to management, and build support from the membership during bargaining.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Collective Bargaining: Strike Preparation - 6 hours

This is for locals facing the possibility of strike action within the next four to six weeks. The focus is on how to organize picket lines, set up strike pay and other internal local structures that will support a successful strike.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Combating Workplace Bullying - 6 or 9 hours, or 3 hour joint session with management

Bullying hurts everyone. As union members, we have a role to play in combating workplace bullying. Come and talk about:

  • What bullying is, and isn’t
  • How bullying hurts the target, the witnesses, the employer, the union, and even the bully
  • How not to be a bystander
  • How the union can make a difference

See the list of currently available workshops.

Communicating CUPE - Weeklong

Do you want to build a more powerful local?  Communication is key. Develop skills to reach your members and the public. You will get hands-on experience developing campaigns, media skills, newsletters and electronic communication with members. Take this workshop and watch your local take off!

See the list of currently available workshops.

Communications: Social Media - 9 hours

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube… explore questions like these and get lots of hands-on practice in CUPE’s Social Media workshop. 

  • How can they benefit my local?
  • How are groups using social media for activism?
  • How can I deal with people’s resistance?
  • What are the guidelines for using social media?

See the list of currently available workshops.

Conflict Resolution - 9 or 14 hours, or weeklong

Conflict is a natural part of our lives. Learning to handle it well will improve your relationships with other members, co-workers and the employer. This workshop will:

  • Deepen your understanding of conflict
  • Strengthen your communication skills
  • Provide opportunities to practice responding to conflict

See the list of currently available workshops.

Connecting with Aboriginal Workers

Aboriginal workers are playing an everincreasing role in the workplace. In this workshop, stewards will explore trategies for making your locals more inclusive to Aboriginal members.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Creating an Accommodation-Friendly Workplace

Human rights laws require employers to accommodate workers who face barriers to employment. 

This module covers:

  • The legal framework for the duty to accommodate;
  • What a good accommodation process and plan look like;
  • What to do if the employer is not willing to provide reasonable accommodation.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Creating Gender Equality

How do you know sexism is happening in your workplace? What does it look like? This workshop provides facts and figures on women’s inequality and ideas for how stewards can challenge sexism in the workplace.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Creating Harassment-Free Workplaces

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure a harassment-free workplace, but the union also has a role to play. Learn how to recognize harassment, educate the members about harassment, and represent members who are involved in harassment complaints.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Creating Psychologically Healthy and Safe Workplaces

What are the psychological hazards in a workplace? What is our role as stewards in making our workplaces psychologically healthy and safe?

See the list of currently available workshops.

Creating Racial Justice - 9 hours or weeklong

Stopping racism in the workplace and the union will benefit everyone. This workshop will:

  • Deepen your understanding of racism
  • Explore the history of racism and colonialism in North America
  • Explore how to be an ally for racial equality

See the list of currently available workshops.

Disability Issues

Disabilities can be physical or mental, visible or invisible, permanent or temporary. There are workers with disabilities in every workplace. 

In this module, stewards learn about different kinds of disabilities and what they can do to create accessible workplaces.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Duty to Accommodate - 9 hours

Learn about the rights and responsibilities of both employers and unions under the Duty to Accommodate. This workshop will:

  • Explore case law, key concepts and the prohibited grounds of discrimination under human rights law.
  • Show you how to make the case for accommodating workers and help union reps and employers come up with appropriate accommodations for members.
  • Look at how we can break down stereotypes and stigmas and help bring other union members on board to support the accommodation process for those who need it.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Financial Officers - 2 days

This workshop is for secretary-treasurers and trustees.  You will practice:

  • Keeping a monthly ledger
  • Filling out the per capita tax form
  • Preparing a budget
  • Auditing the books

See the list of currently available workshops.

Health and Safety Modules:

Before you start the series, you must complete the 9-hour Introduction to Health and Safety workshop. After that, you can start taking modules in the Health and Safety Learning Series. All modules are 3 hours.

To receive a Health and Safety Learning Series Certificate, you must complete:

  • All modules in the Skills section
  • At least 3 modules of your choice from the Perspectives section
  • At least 3 modules of your choice from the Hazards specific section
  • The modules don’t have to be taken in any particular order 

View the Health & Safety Learning Series brochure

Introduction to Health and Safety - 9 hours

This course serves as an introduction into the world of health and safety, and explores different basic concepts such as:

  • Identification of hazards
  • Hierarchy of controls
  • The basic role of health and safety committees
  • The general duty clause
  • Basics on the right to refuse

See the list of currently available workshops.

Skills Section 

H&S: Basics of Incident Investigation

Learn how to identify root causes of workplace incidents, injuries, and diseases, common routes of entry of toxic substances, and your role in the investigation process.  

H&S: Identifying and Documenting Hazards

In this module, you will learn techniques for identifying hazards, such as body maps, surveys and inspections. You will also develop a methodology for dealing with the hazards you find.

H&S: Law and Orders

This module covers the basic origins of health and safety law, how to find, read and interpret relevant section of law and highlights some of the more important aspects of the specific health and safety law that applies to you.

H&S: Making Committees Work

This module explores the structure, role and function of health and safety committees, their strengths and limitations, and how they can best work within the legislative framework, and within our union.

Perspectives section

H&S: Equality in Health and Safety

Coming soon

H&S: Preventing Mental Injury at Work

New forms of work, job insecurity, work intensification, high demands, violence and a resulting poor work-life balance are resulting in psychosocial and mental health problems in CUPE workplaces. This module focuses on the workplace as the cause of mental health issues, and not the individual. Discuss strategies and actions that actually help make workplaces psychologically healthier and safer.

H&S: Solidarity beyond Borders

Health and safety standards are starkly different around the world.  Trade deals signed by our government not only keep workers in other countries down, but can also hurt Canadian workers. This module examines a few of the socioeconomic and political realities of the global workforce to illustrate how poor health and safety laws around the world make it harder for us to bring positive change to workers in Canada.

H&S: Women and Work Hazards

This module looks at the impact of the physical and social work environment on women’s health, and ways to influence research, policy and practice to reduce the health disparities related to gender.

Hazard Specific Section

H&S: Ergonomics

This module looks at the musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace, such as strains or carpal tunnel syndrome, the risk factors and the employers’ obligations to prevent these types of injuries.

H&S: Harassment Prevention in the Workplace

Coming soon

H&S: Indoor Air Quality

Coming soon

H&S: Violence Prevention in the Workplace

This module examines the risk factors that lead to violence in the workplace, and the employer’s obligations to prevent workers from being exposed to and injured by violence while at work. We examine relevant health and safety law, and start to develop strategies to make our workplaces safer.

H&S: Workload and Overwork

Coming soon

Human Rights: An Introduction - Weeklong

What are human rights? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948, in response to the atrocities of World War II. Human rights have become a part of social expectations, but how do they affect us? This workshop will help you:

  • Identify the link between oppression and class struggles
  • Determine how all kinds of discriminations operated in the past, and how they operate today
  • Challenge oppressive attitudes and behaviours, ideas and systems in our society through individual and collective action
  • Explore how talking about human rights issues strengthens our union

See the list of currently available workshops.

Introduction to CUPE - 9 hours

In this workshop you will:

  • Deepen your understanding of union values
  • Learn about CUPE’s structure
  • Find out how unions solve problems
  • Gain skills that will help you play a stronger role in your CUPE local

See the list of currently available workshops.

Labour History and the Class Struggle Today - 9 hours

Unions have led the charge for shorter work weeks, health and safety legislation, collective bargaining rights, benefit and pension programs, paid sick leaves, workers’ compensation, and much more. Now unions are under attack… We will explore the history of unions in Canada and key moments in CUPE’s 50 year history to understand:

  • Why are unions under attack?
  • Who benefits when workers’ rights are weakened?
  • What can we learn from our history to help us move forward and build our power at the bargaining table and in the political arena?

See the list of currently available workshops.

Learning About First Peoples -14 hours or weeklong

How do we create a welcoming, inclusive, and discrimination free environment for Aboriginal members in the workplace and in the union? In this workshop you will:

  • Identify the injustices that Aboriginal people have faced historically and still face today
  • Learn how Aboriginal peoples have resisted injustice, including
  • The Idle No More movement
  • Analyze why oppression of Aboriginal peoples continues today
  • Strategize about actions we can take as allies - as individuals and as a union - to support justice for Aboriginal peoples

See the list of currently available workshops.

Learning at Work: It’s Our Right! - 9 hours

Workplace learning programs help our members upgrade their skills. In our ever changing workplaces, it’s important for all to know what these programs can offer CUPE members. Literacy and essential skills are union issues. You will leave this workshop with the tools needed to set up a workplace learning program for your members.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Literacy Awareness

Literacy is more than reading and writing. It also affects our workplaces every day in different ways.

In this workshop, you will learn about literacy, how it affects you as a steward, and what you can do to support an inclusive union and workplace.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Parliamentary Procedure - 9 hours

Have you ever sat through formal proceedings at a meeting or convention and wondered what a “point of order” is?  If so, this workshop is for you! Come and learn how to participate better in union meetings and conventions.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Pensions: An Introduction - 9 hours

  • Do you want to get a pension plan in your workplace or improve the one you have? 
  • Do you want to understand the information you get about your pension?
  • Do you wonder how a public pension plan will work for you?

Note: This workshop is NOT a retirement planning workshop.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Public Speaking - 9 hours

This workshop will help you gain the confidence you need to speak up at a meeting or public event. Take the opportunity to practice speaking on various issues and resolutions. Learn ways to deal with nervousness and prepare and present both.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Recording Secretaries - 9 hours

This workshop helps recording secretaries learn about their role and duties.  Learn how to:

  • Take minutes at meetings
  • Organize paper and electronic files
  • Write clear effective information bulletins and reports

See the list of currently available workshops.

Retirement Planning - 9 hours

It’s never too early to start planning for your retirement. Learn about government and workplace pensions and leave with some good tools to help you prepare financially and psychologically. NOTE: This workshop does not provide specific or personal financial advice.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Saying “NO” to harassment - 9 hours

What is harassment? How do we recognize that a behaviour constitutes harassment? What are the effects of harassment and what can the union do about it?

This workshop will help you understand:

  • What harassment is
  • How to handle complaints
  • How to use contract language, education, and workplace policy
  • To prevent harassment

See the list of currently available workshops.

Steward Learning Series: Creating Psychologically Healthy and Safe Workplaces - 3 hours

What are the psychological hazards in a workplace? What is our role as stewards in making our workplaces psychologically healthy and safe?

See the list of currently available workshops.

Stewarding: Introduction to Stewarding - 9 hours

What does a CUPE steward do?  If you are a new steward and want to learn how to help CUPE members solve workplace problems, this introductory workshop is for you! In this workshop you will learn:

  • The role of the steward
  • Investigating workplace problems
  • CUPE’s structure
  • Filing a grievance
  • Meeting with management
  • Dealing with workplace complaints 

See the list of currently available workshops.

Stewarding – Steward Learning Series

This program acknowledges the important role stewards play in the union. It provides stewards with a wide range of education courses to help them do their job. See the Steward Learning Series brochure for details.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Taking on Privatization - 14 hours

This workshop examines the biggest threat to CUPE jobs and public services. Find out how to:

  • Spot the early warning sign of privatization
  • Respond to privatization and contracting-out threats
  • Build a campaign to fight privatization in your local 

See the list of currently available workshops.

Understanding Mental Health - 3 hours

Learn about mental health and mental illness, explore our own attitudes and stereotypes about mental health, and learn tools for representing members when mental health is an issue.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Using our Power at Election Time - 6 or 14 hours

School, municipal, provincial or federal election coming up? The outcome of elections affects workers, public services and equality rights. This workshop will cover the political context we’re in, and how to get involved to make a difference. It will also help you get ready to engage our greatest source of power to affect the outcome of any election: our members.

See the list of currently available workshops.

What’s in your Collective Agreement - 2 hours

Aimed at new members, this two-hour workshop will provide you with information about:

  • How the union works
  • What your collective agreement says
  • What to do if you have problems at work 

See the list of currently available workshops.

Women Breaking Barriers - 9 hours

Are you a woman interested in taking on a leadership role in your union?  If so, then this workshop is for you! It covers topics relating to women’s oppression, politics and social change – all from a woman’s perspective. Explore the barriers, challenges and opportunities for women in the union. Discover your own personal leadership style and develop a plan to seek more formal recognition of your leadership skills.

See the list of currently available workshops.

Women Speaking Up - 9 hours

Feel more comfortable “speaking up” in different situations – speeches, meetings and one-on-one communication.

In this workshop, you will:

  • Know what makes a speech or presentation effective
  • Learn and practice tips for dealing with nervousness
  • Prepare an outline for a speech or presentation
  • Gain experience speaking in front of a supportive group

See the list of currently available workshops.

Workshops coming soon:

International Solidarity - 6 hours

In today’s world, borders have become virtual for banks, companies and financial institutions. Global, international trade and investment agreements consolidate global corporate power. Uniting to struggle with workers around the world has never been so critical. CUPE’s solidarity must expand beyond our borders if we are serious about realizing equality and justice for all workers. In this workshop, participants will:

  • Explore the root cause of inequality, austerity and privatization
  • Identify where we have power‎ to act
  • Strategize what solidarity ‎looks like 

Coming this fall…

  • New Bargaining Education Program