CUPE activists from across the country took part in a lively and informative session on restorative processes Tuesday morning at CUPE’s National All Committees Meeting.

The session, led by Shila LeBlanc of Restorative Approach, focused on the potential restorative practices hold for unions.

National committee members learned how restorative processes can strengthen solidarity and build capacity for labour action. Committee members also developed their skills by practicing reflective listening with one another.

The training session is part of CUPE’s ongoing effort, led by the Safe Union Spaces Working Group, to create safe and welcoming spaces for all members. The working group was established by CUPE’s National Executive Board (NEB) in March 2021 in response to serious misconduct in the union. Comprised of the women members of the NEB, the working group’s mandate is to address sexual and gender-based violence and other forms of harassment and discrimination in CUPE union spaces.

Since its inception, the working group has identified and begun to implement several steps to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, harassment, and other forms of discrimination in CUPE. These include the introduction of preventative practices at union events and the integration of restorative justice principles into our complaints processes. Recent initiatives include a panel and bystander training session at CUPE’s Sector Council Conference in October. Other Safe Union Spaces initiatives, including local pilot projects, will be rolled out soon.