Ontario Region Summer School – course descriptions

March 24, 2017

Facing management effectively

Examines the economic, political and social forces at play between union and management. Participants can expect participation, interaction and roleplays along with practical skills and tools for communication, analysis, strategy and critical thinking.

Member engagement – member action

This course 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 members.
This course will train participants on the three-step approach to effective member engagement (Go, Listen, Build) and connect it to a three-step approach for building an active membership (one-on-one communication, taking action on worksite issues, and designing a strategy and plan to win).

This training is particularly helpful for unions with upcoming contract negotiations, a backlog of unresolved grievances, a particularly disengaged membership, or a diverse membership that is not reflected in local leadership.
Each participant will leave the training with a worksite specific plan for creating an engaged and active membership as well as a series of measurable goals to evaluate outcomes.

Mental health in the workplace

This introductory survey course will help raise awareness for participants 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.  We will look at the myths around mental illness, challenging stigma and what role the union can play in making our workplaces and unions more inclusive of members with psychological disabilities.  We will develop action plans to take on systemic factors affecting mental health through advocacy, bargaining and political action.

Parliamentary procedure and public speaking

This is a two-part course.  Parliamentary Procedure covers how to run a meeting effectively, the duties of a chairperson and secretary, and how the rules of order can provide a democratic and fair process to get the business of the union accomplished.  Public speaking covers how to speak persuasively to various groups and how difference formats are used to speak at convention, debates, and impromptu gatherings.

Steward training level 1

This course 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.

Transforming conflict into union activism 

Transforming Conflict into Union Activism 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 will teach participants how to listen to people involved in a conflict to identify shared interests.  Participants will 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.

WHSC: making the link between occupational disease and the workplce, appeals, and documenting health and safety

This program enables participants to recognize the workplace origins of occupational disease and its impact on the environment. It equips them to take the steps necessary to win recognition of occupational diseases, advocate the adoption of changes in the workplace and control measures that will protect workers health, prevent the onset of occupational disease and promote worker well-being, submit occupational disease claims to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, and engage in community and political action.

Participants evaluate MOL inspectors’ decisions and orders, and investigate the merits of contacting the union to file an appeal in a timely manner.

Documenting Health and Safety
Identify, track, document and detail health and safety issues at work to improve working conditions and protect workers from reprisals. Workers need a way to ensure their health and safety at work is taken seriously, and that it is protected and addressed in a systematic and timely fashion. This is a hands-on, jump-start documenting system developed in response to this need. Participants examine six basic areas: (1) why documenting health and safety is critical, (2) ways to document, (3) specific types of documents to use (4) what to document (5) when to document, and (6) how to organize their documents.

ODRT level 1 & 2

Level 1 – Rights & Obligations (introductory course)

Level 1 begins by exploring the history of the health & safety and compensation systems in Ontario, the development of compensation legislation and the general principles of both systems. Participants will learn the basics of a disability prevention framework and how the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) determines whether an injury is compensable.

Level 2 – Benefits & Services

Participants will learn the significance of legislation (OHSA & WSIA), regulations and policy, including changes to the legislation and the effects these changes have had on benefits. The structure of the WSIB, the appeals process, including WSIAT are also explored. Further understanding on how to link primary and secondary prevention are also discussed.