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What is Union Education?

Union education incorporates trade union principles to support you as a shop steward, a labour activist and a union member. The courses are designed to help you learn more about the labour movement and the processes and procedures unions and employers must follow under the BC Labour code.

Union education is communicative and participatory. No formal testing or assignments are required. The knowledge gained through role plays, group discussions, practical case studies, videos coupled with the experience of your classmates makes for exciting and interesting labour relations conversations.

What kinds of courses are offered?

Courses in collective bargaining, social media, shop stewarding, retirement planning, health and safety, grievance procedures, arbitrate, political action, interpersonal communication, public speaking, financial officer’s training….

What is a weeklong school?

These are intensive weeklong courses – think of it as bootcamp for a variety of topics – collective bargaining, WCB claims, steward training, human rights law etc…

The Canadian Labour Congress hosts the CLC Winter School in Harrison January -February – this is an opportunity to work with members from other affiliate unions, from the public and private sectors.

CUPE BC hosts two weeklong schools – Kelowna in the summer and Nanaimo in the fall. These courses are attended by CUPE members, most from BC but on occasion members from out-of-province will attend.

The BC Federation of Labour holds a number of courses in Health and Safety – please see the Health and Safety Committee page for more information.

The BC Fed also hosts a Young Workers (Age 30 and under) event at Camp Jubilee every year.

Are the skills only for union work?

The skills gained through union education are applicable and transferable to your job at UBC. Skills like negotiating, mediating, conflict resolution, assertiveness training, accounting, note taking, problem solving, critical thinking, investigating, presentation are incorporated in most education courses.

How can I sign up?

The union office will take care of your registration. Any expenses you incur are covered by the union so you will never be out of pocket for any labour training.

Your wages are covered by a “book-off.” A book-off is when your department is reimbursed for your time so you are paid your full wages for union leave.

What is the Education Committee and what do they do?

The education committee is responsible for educating and keeping the membership informed of various labour and union-oriented courses and seminars available. It also liaises with the Education Department(s) of CUPE, the CUPE Regional Education Representatives, labour affiliates like the BC Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress, and other organizations.

The education committee is always looking for ideas and feedback.


CUPE BC Education: https://www.cupe.bc.ca/resources


Union Office 604-822-1494| office@cupe2950.ca