UNA Labour School - April 2024

When: April 22-25, 2024 (see schedule)
Where: Canmore, AB
For: Local Executives (see eligibility criteria)

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Info & Registration

Registration Deadline: January 29, 2024

Eligibility

Each UNA Local has been allocated one spot for a member of their Local Executive. Locals must decide which Local Executive they are sending prior to registering in DMS. In addition to the one guaranteed spot per Local, there will be a draw for any remaining spots. Draw information is below. All attendees are provincially funded for Union LOAs/salary replacement, mileage, meals, dependent care, and accommodations as per UNA Funding Policy.

Registration

Once your Local Executive has selected the person who will be attending, they must register for the event in DMS. The event is found at dms.una.ca/labourschool2024. When registering, please indicate in DMS any dietary or accessibility requests. If your name has been drawn, we will contact you with further instructions.

Additional Spaces

The UNA Executive Board has approved provincial funding for 59 additional spaces for Local Executives to attend the Labour School who will be selected via a draw (preference of one additional space per Local). Local Executive members wishing to attend can enter their names in the draw at dms.una.ca/forms/564 no later than January 29, 2024. The draw will take place following the deadline, and winners will be advised within 24 hours via email. Draw entrants are expected to check their email and confirm their intention to attend no later than February 5th to confirm their space. Winners who have not responded by then may forfeit their space to the next alternate. Spaces are non-transferable.

Accommodations & Workshop Preferences

Once registration closes, UNA will contact registrants via email with the following:

  •  A survey to indicate their workshop preferences. (Workshop descriptions are below.)
  • Information on booking accommodations. UNA has hotel blocks held, and registrants will be provided information on how they can book their hotel room in the UNA blocks.

Schedule

Note: This is a draft schedule.

Monday, April 22

  • Travel to Canmore
  • 19:00: Welcome Reception
  • Registration will be open for a few hours prior to the reception.

Tuesday, April 23

  • Morning: Welcome & Plenaries
  • Afternoon: Workshop #1
  • Evening: Fun Night – Improv

Wednesday, April 24

  • Morning: Workshop #2
  • Afternoon: Workshop #3
  • Evening: Fun Night – Karaoke

Thursday, April 25

  • Morning: Closing Plenary
  • ~11:00: Adjournment
  • Travel Home

Workshop Offerings

Each participant will attend 3 workshops over the course of the Labour School.

Description

During this workshop, participants will walk through history to gain a better understanding of how colonization of Turtle Island, now known as Canada, has impacted the people who lived here long before settlers arrived. Through this exercise, participants will explore the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, how this relationship has been damaged over the years, and how they can work toward reconciliation. The Blanket Exercise explores the major themes and recommendations of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), examines how federal policies and programs impact the lives of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and identifies what Indigenous peoples and their allies are doing to bring about positive change.

Objectives

During this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Deepen their understanding of the denial of Indigenous peoples’ nationhood.
  • Learn how colonization impacted those who were here long before settlers arrived.
  • Gain appreciation for our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.
  • Recognize their role in working towards reconciliation.

Description

This workshop will provide Local Executives with tools to create and foster inclusivity in their workplaces and beyond. Participants will grow their leadership and advocacy skills in creating more inclusive spaces at work, in their union, and in their communities. Through reflection on privilege and unconscious biases, participants will explore ways they can empower themselves and others to be (better) allies and have conversations about inclusivity with more empathy and confidence. Participants will engage in discussions and activities to better understand the rich diversity in their workplaces and beyond, how to identify issues and barriers, and ways to promote diversity and inclusion.

Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Understand the importance and strength of diverse and inclusive spaces.
  • Identify areas for personal growth in inclusivity and allyship.
  • Recognize current challenges and opportunities in advancing inclusivity at work and beyond.
  • Utilize advocacy and leadership skills to take concrete actions to promote inclusivity.
  • Have conversations about diversity and inclusion with more confidence.

Description

The number one cause of disability in the workplace is mental health and addiction issues. Rates of mental health concerns in health care workplaces are historically high in the wake of rising acuity, poor staffing, abuse, and the isolation effects of the pandemic, to name a few recent challenges. This workshop will provide a labour relations framework to assess and analyze common types of restrictions and accommodations associated with mental health and addictions. The focus will be on practical advice for challenges that present themselves while supporting persons with mental health restrictions and planning their return to work. The workshop will include experiential learning activities.

Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Identify and incorporate abilities, restrictions, limitations, and accommodations related to mental health and addictions in return to work planning.
  • Apply strategies in developing and implementing individualized accommodations.
  • Understand return to work planning from a labour relations perspective and the steps involved in the accommodation process.
  • Identify roles and responsibilities throughout the return to work process.

Description

Locals play a critical role in monitoring the employer’s compliance with scheduling provisions of the collective agreement. Locals also receive questions about schedules. This workshop will provide participants with the knowledge and a tried-and-true method to analyze employer-developed shift schedules for violations of the collective agreement. Participants will also learn to enforce the process of posting new shift schedules and facilitating line selection, in compliance with UNA Procedures for mutual agreement. 

Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Understand scheduling provisions to enable them to review employer developed schedules for compliance with their collective agreement.
  • Understand scheduling provisions to enable them to assist with scheduling questions.
  • Apply UNA Procedures to scheduling provisions that require mutual agreement.
  • Understand the scheduling checker process for LROs and the relationship with Local monitoring.

Description

This workshop will provide Local Executives with an understanding of the principles of collective agreement interpretation and how to apply them. Through activities and discussions, participants will gain familiarity and confidence with navigating and reading collective agreements, the general rules of construction, and interpreting and explaining language. Participants will learn how to identify types of language, such as permissive, mandatory, and directory language, and how to approach discretionary and “grey area” language. This workshop will also explore common mistakes when interpreting collective agreements.

Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Navigate collective agreements and related resources.
  • Understand and apply the main rules of collective agreement construction.
  • Appreciate how factors outside of the plain language may impact interpretation.
  • Interpret and explain simple and more complex clauses.

Description

Local leaders play an essential role in communicating the hopes, concerns, expectations, and questions of their members to employer representatives. This workshop will provide Local Executives with an understanding of how to adapt their communication skills to achieve goals in a variety of settings. Through activities and discussions, participants will learn to identify management communication strategies and apply effective, respectful strategies to address common challenges such as delay tactics and intimidation. Special focus will be placed on balancing a collaborative approach with effective advocacy.

Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Understand a Local leader’s role in communicating with managers with a particular focus on what it means to work collaboratively with management.
  • Recognize management communication strategies and develop effective strategies to respond to management.
  • Develop skills in coaching and modeling effective communication strategies.