SFL/CLC Spring School – course descriptions

November 2, 2017

Getting started – becoming a union activist

Learn about union structures, rules of order and bylaws in a friendly, fun environment. Gain an understanding of how important labour issues can be advanced from the grassroots level all the way to the bargaining table. In this course you will learn practical skills for becoming a union activist, including public speaking, effective communication, resolution writing, chairing and participating in meetings and conventions and running for union office.

Labour law

This course focuses on the development of and approaches to labour law from individual contract to collective bargaining and statutory regulations. Using the Saskatchewan Employment Act as the guideline, we will examine various Acts and leading decisions of Labour Relations Boards and courts (including the Supreme Court of Canada) in respect to workplace related legislation. This course will also review Labour Standards legislation, Human Rights and other equivalent federal and provincial legislation, including the application of the Charter of Rights. Implications for labour of possible new legislation may be discussed. The course will touch briefly on arbitration, but recognizes that this topic requires a separate course in itself.

Mental health in the workplace

This introductory 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 stigmas 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.

Unionism on Turtle Island

This course is designed for non-Aboriginal workers who want to learn more about Aboriginal issues and who want to work in solidarity with their First Nations and Metis brothers and sisters. Issues to be discussed will include history, spirituality, creating a representative workforce, Aboriginal issues at the bargaining table, and opening the union to Aboriginal activists. Aboriginal workers are also welcome to enroll in this course.

Human rights are workers rights

This course is a must for leadership and activists in our growing, diverse labour movement.  The course is rooted in class struggles, learning how oppression, racism, sexism, homophobia/transphobia and disability issues operate in your workplace and in the context of the broader capitalist economy – and learning how movements for equality have always been tied to workers’ rights and struggles.  In the labour  movement, we work hard addressing barriers for all workers on a daily basis, and this committed work has strengthened our roots.

Facing management effectively

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.