Catalogue of Workshops and Courses

Nothing builds strong unions like educated, empowered, and motivated union members. And nothing builds a powerful labour movement like bringing together union members from a diversity of workplaces, backgrounds, and activism to share information and ideas, discuss common concerns, and build friendships.

CLC’s courses and workshops are offered at regional and local schools, through webinars and can be delivered to provincial and territorial Federations of Labour, local Labour Councils, and CLC affiliated unions.

Many of the courses and workshops described in this catalogue can be adapted to a variety of lengths and modalities (in-person, online or webinar formats). All courses are designed and delivered in English. Some courses may be delivered in French. Please contact CLC’s Education Department for more information about our courses and workshops and how they can be adapted to suit your needs.

Union Skills and Knowledge

Arbitration Advocacy (weeklong) trains union advocates to present grievances at arbitration. The course includes two components: the mechanical aspect of the Arbitration process and the 'skills’ that are integral to the process. This course gives participants an intense, hands-on primer to the basics of how the arbitration process works, as well as the chance to prepare witnesses and present evidence, to conduct a cross-examination of an opposing witness and to prepare and present of a case before an Arbitrator.
Who this course is for: Union advocates who currently, or plan to, participate in the arbitration process.

Collective Bargaining Level 1 (weeklong) leaves participants with a solid understanding of the bargaining process and the factors that affect collective bargaining. This course also introduces some of the laws and rules that structure the bargaining process and provides opportunities for hands-on practice and skills development in preparing for and negotiating parts of a collective agreement. 
Who this course is for: Union members who currently, or plan to, participate in the bargaining process.

Domestic Violence at Work: Training for Union Representatives (2 days) helps shop stewards, health and safety representatives and other union representatives gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence at work, and the role of the union and the employer in addressing it. Participants learn ways to best support members who may be experiences of domestic violence, including how to recognize and respond to the warning signs and risk factors, and hope to connect members to support and services in the community. Union representatives will also leave with tools to build awareness in the workplace about domestic violence at work.  
Who this course is for: Experienced union representatives who work with members in workplaces.

Facing Management Effectively (weeklong) looks at the economic, political, and social forces at play between unions and management. It examines the roles and rights of each group and the different types of union/management relationships and styles. The course looks at the power, bias, and privilege dynamics between unions and management and how we can communicate effectively. The course focuses on problem solving – understanding issues, developing strategies, finding and presenting facts and argument, finding areas of agreement, building solutions, implementing and maintaining solutions. Participants can expect lots of interaction, and role-plays along with practical skills and tools for communication, analysis, strategy and critical thinking. 
Who this course is for: Union representatives who deal with management.

How to Record & Manage Meeting Minutes (90 minutes) is a workshop for anyone who has the responsibility of taking minutes or recording the proceedings at meetings and maintaining the official records of an organization.
Who this course is for: Recording Secretaries, Secretary-Treasurers, Officers and Executive members of unions, Labour Councils and any labour organization.

How to Run a Union Meeting (2 to 3 hours) is a workshop about how to plan, organize and lead a successful membership meeting. From setting the agenda, giving notice, and preparing the meeting space to managing the discussion and bringing the meeting to a successful conclusion, this workshop takes participants through the steps required to ensure their meetings are accessible, democratic, productive and fair. Part 1 (2 hours) focusses on planning, organizing and leading a meeting. Part 2 (1 hour) offers a deeper dive into parliamentary procedure and chairing a successful meeting.
Who this course is for: Union and Labour Council leaders, executive members, and committee members responsible for organizing, executing and chairing meetings large and small.

Mental Health in the Workplace (weeklong) is an introductory survey course that helps to raise participants awareness about mental health issues facing workers in today’s workplace. Activists will develop a range of strategies to specifically support, accommodate and represent members with mental health challenges at work. Participants look at the myths around mental illness, challenge stigma and explore what role the union can play in making our workplaces and unions more inclusive of members with psychological disabilities. Participants develop action plans to take on systemic factors affecting mental health through advocacy, bargaining and political action.  
Who this course is for: Union activists, stewards, committee members, local officers and union staff.

Steward Training Level 1 (weeklong) builds the skills, confidence, and knowledge a steward needs to represent their members. Participants will learn the roles and responsibilities of their position as stewards, the handling of grievances and complaints, problem solving skills, protecting contractual provisions in the collective agreement, and current issues for stewards. 
Who this course is for: New stewards or union members who wish to become stewards.

Steward Training Level 2 (weeklong) allows participants to practice more advanced grievance handling skills, using real life case studies and role plays. Participants discuss discipline grievances, harassment, drug and alcohol issues, and different styles of management. The course deals with procedures before the process of arbitration. Knowledge of the first stages of the grievance process will be assumed. 
Who this course is for: Chief stewards, business and assistant business managers, local officers, and stewards with considerable experience handling grievances.

Transforming Conflict into Union Solidarity (weeklong) approaches conflict in a novel way. It recognizes that conflict isn't always negative but that it is the outcome of the conflict that is negative or positive. The course teaches participants how to listen to people involved in a conflict, get to the root causes of a conflict, and how to coach people involved in a conflict to identify shared interests. Participants learn how to use those shared interests to help people involved in a conflict find solutions and turn the conflict and shared interests into union activism. 
Who this course is for: Union representatives, leaders, educators, organizers and other active union members.

Using Modern Tools to Talk with Your Members (weeklong) begins with an internal union communications audit, then teaches participants how to use a variety of communications tools to reach union members with the union's message. The course culminates with a custom internal communications plan. 
Who this course is for: All union members who wish to use a variety of communication tools.

Young Workers in Action (weeklong) is designed to give young union activists the skills they need to be effective in their workplace. The course covers public speaking, how meetings are run, how to read your contract, grievance handling, and the basic collective bargaining process. 
Who this course is for: Young workers and young union activists (age 35 years and under).

Leadership and Development

Building Solidarity in Polarizing Times (2.5 days) is a two-part workshop that reinforces key learning found in the CLC weeklong course “Transforming Conflict into Union Solidarity”. Participants develop “solidarity skills” aimed at assessing, initiating and continuing conversations to address difficult topics with hands-on learning over 3 to 6 hours. It focuses on having difficult conversations about divisive topics, and will give union activists, leaders and staff new tools for finding ways to navigate through conflict, bridge the divide and move forward together. Union solidarity will be needed more than ever in the coming years as we face the challenges of a changing world. Polarizing debates – about COVID-19 policies, the actions of the “convoy protests”, the sky-rocketing cost of living, the transition to a green economy, etc. – have divided families, communities, and workplaces. The exploitation of those divisions for political and economic gain by right-wing groups, politicians and financial interests threatens to undermine the solidarity on which unions, governments and democratic society is founded. When we can’t find that common ground we need to work together, we fail. And finding that common ground means engaging in conversation, sometimes with people whose views and actions we disagree with.
Who this course is for: All workers who are in a leadership role in their union - elected leaders, stewards, activists, rank-and-file union members, and union staff.

Candidate Development for Women (weeklong) is a next step for women leaders, designed to address the real challenges women candidates face. It introduces ways to balance the day-to-day challenges in the face of high stress campaigns. Participants will take away new ways of campaigning, strategic planning, and framing our message. By building on communication and presentation skills, participants will leave with the tools to best communicate their message in on camera interviews, face to face debates, and with new media. 
Who this course is for: Women leaders.

Igniting the Spark (4 hours) can be a stand-alone workshop or part of a larger training program aimed to recruit, elect and support women running for elected offices in government or in other elected positions (e. g. unions, associations, school boards, band councils, etc.). Women can make a difference by holding elected offices in government, unions, community organizations, school boards, band councils or other forms of Indigenous governance. This workshop helps women identify their personal inspiration and envision themselves making a difference in the political sphere. In this interactive workshop, participants explore ways of building on their own skills and draw on their own experience. Participants discover the skills required and skills they already have to participate in the political sphere.
Who this course is for: Would-be candidates and supporters, unionized workers, community leaders, and activists who identify as women or who are gender diverse, including non–binary, gender fluid, gender–nonconforming or genderqueer leaders. 

Instructor/Facilitator Training (3-5 days) introduces participants to adult and popular education practices and facilitation techniques that focus on learning, action and inclusive movement building. Participants learn skills and knowledge required to facilitate short courses or workshops and adapt materials for a diversity of learning needs and styles. 
Who this course is for: Union members who wish to become instructors in their own union and/or be called upon by the CLC to deliver labour education courses in a variety of settings.

Parliamentary Procedure and Public Speaking (weeklong) is a two-part course. Parliamentary Procedure covers how to run a meeting effectively, the duties of a chairperson and secretary, and how rules of order can provide a democratic and fair process to accomplish union business. Public Speaking covers how to speak persuasively to various groups and how different formats are used to speak at convention, debates, and impromptu gatherings. 
Who this course is for: All union members.

Women in Leadership (weeklong) offers an opportunity to develop and enhance participants’ leadership skills and knowledge around a variety of current and emerging labour issues. A major component of the course will cover communication and motivational skills that are important for women activists. Participants will explore ways of building on their skills and drawing on their experiences as they advance along the path to leadership and consider running for an elected position or supporting others who run. Whether you’re thinking of leadership within your union, your community, or in politics, this course is for you.
Who this course is for: Leaders who identify as women or who are gender diverse, including non–binary, gender fluid, gender–nonconforming or genderqueer leaders.

Organizing and Political Action

Election Ready – Canvassing Workshop (90 minutes) focuses on building excitement and skills to support labour canvasses. The training includes: a short introduction from the CLC and information about the current political climate and labour’s issues; a 20 to 30-minute hands-on training on talking about key issues to people you know and encouraging them to vote in the upcoming election; and practice engaging in face-to-face and/or telephone conversations. In some locations this training will be immediately followed by a 2-hour canvass. In others, invitations to canvass will follow the session. 
Who this course is for: Union activists and members who want to volunteer on a political campaign.

Election Ready  Pop-up School (3-5 hours) combines both workshops noted above. In this half-day session, participants will leave with greater skills and confidence to talk about labour’s issues at home, in the workplace and in community – as a workplace engager or as part of a local campaign. 
Who this course is for: Union activists and members who want to volunteer on a political campaign.

Election Ready – Workplace Engagement (90 minutes) focusses on building skills and confidence to talk about labour’s issues in the workplace, at home or as part of labour canvasses. The training includes a story-sharing session on how the issues are important in our communities and then moves these stories into a member/co-worker engagement plan, with time to practice talking about the key issues to people you know and encouraging them to vote in the upcoming election. 
Who this course is for: Union activists and members who want to volunteer on a political campaign.

Member Engagement – Member Action (weeklong) is designed for experienced shop stewards, local union leaders and union staff who want to transform how members engage with their union and how their union engages with their members. This course trains participants on the three-step approach to effective member engagement (Go, Listen, Build) and connects it to organizing approaches for building an active membership. Participants will leave with new skills and ideas for building and measuring a member engagement strategy. 
Who this course is for: Experienced shop stewards, local union leaders and union staff.

Mobilize to Organize — (Crash Course - 20 minutes) is a presentation on the difference between mobilizing and organizing and how both contribute to growing unions and winning campaigns. 
Who this course is for: Union activists and members who want to volunteer on a political campaign.

Small Talk That’s a Big Winner — (Crash Course - 20 minutes) is a presentation on the difference between mobilizing and organizing and how both contribute to growing unions and winning campaigns. 
Who this course is for: Union activists and members who want to volunteer on a political campaign.

Taking Unions into the Next Generation (weeklong) deals with the important issue of recruiting and mobilizing local union activists. It increases participants’ awareness of the needs and realities of the members of different generations in the union and workplace. It builds participants level of comfort and provides them with the skills for engaging in meaningful cross-generational dialogue. 
Who this course is for: All union members.

Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion

Challenging Anti-Black Racism (2 hours) is a primer for individuals to develop a basic understanding of anti-Black racism, as well as an understanding of the ways in which anti-Black racism manifests and impacts Black community members. Participants will explore ways to challenge anti-Black racism to better support Black members in the workplace and the union. 
Who this course is for:  Non-Black workers and allies.

Consent Culture (90 minutes) is built on the premise of grounding ourselves in an understanding of what consent/consent culture is. From here we can establish the building blocks that deepen our awareness of harassment, including sexual harassment. This short interactive session should be thought of as just one step in learning and talking about consent. It can be used as a “discussion starter” during the session and/or to introduce anti-harassment policies or codes of conduct within your union at a later date. 
Who this course is for:  All workers, especially union activists who are considering conversations about sexual harassment.

Introduction to Human Rights (weeklong) is a good starting point for union activists and leaders looking to build their skills and perspectives to better engage and represent the diversity of their members. 
Who this course is for: All workers, union members and leaders.

Islamophobia in the Workplace (90 minutes) is for individuals with little to no knowledge about Islamophobia at work and in the community. As a primer, this workshop is meant to facilitate the basics on Islamophobia and its manifestations in the workplace. The workshop inspires participants to learn more about the Muslim faith, Muslims and their unique needs in the workplace, and how they can contribute to making their workplaces more inclusive for Muslim workers. 
Who this course is for: Individuals with little to no knowledge about Islamophobia at work and in the community.

A Path to Reconciliation: Standing in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples (3 days) is for allies, including non-Indigenous activists, to learn the history of Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island (North America). Facilitated by Indigenous labour activists, its purpose is to build meaningful, long-term relationships among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples inside and outside of our workplaces, with the aim of acknowledging labour’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation. This course supports the decolonization of Indigenous peoples and the increase of Indigenous peoples’ representation in our workplaces and in our unions. Participants do not need any previous experience and are encouraged to bring open minds and hearts. 
Who this course is for: Union staff, union representatives, stewards, leaders and others who engage with members or lobby or advocate for social and political change.

Pronouns: Fostering Inclusive Unions, Workplaces and Communities (90 minutes) is a virtual, introductory level workshop to help participants better understand why gender pronouns are important, how to use them, and how they can help foster inclusive unions, workplaces, and communities. The workshop includes a video component, two small breakout group discussions, and brainstorming activities.
Who this course is for: Union representatives, stewards and rank-and-file members.

Key Labour Issues and Campaigns

Workshops and Webinars on Key Labour Issues and Campaigns (1 - 2 hours) provide participants with a basic understanding of a particular issue affecting workers, unions and our local and global communities. Participants will leave with a better grasp of the issue itself, how it impacts workers and unions, what the labour movement is doing about it, and how they can get involved. Issue-based workshops and webinars can be delivered on a variety of issues and campaigns including, but not limited to:  Anti-Scab Legislation and the Right to Strike; Care Economy and Care Work; Climate and Sustainable Jobs; Fair Taxation; Pharmacare; Public Services and Privatization; and the Union Advantage.

Learn More or Request a Course or Workshop

CLC Education Department: | 613-520-1080