Report from the Prairie/NWT Training Committee Chair to the 2019 PRC

The duties and responsibilities of the regional training committee are:

  • Reviewing, monitoring and strategically advising on regional training issues, with the focus being on building a vibrant and healthy steward network.
  • Providing advice to the Regional Executive concerning Institute training programs and the recruitment and training of stewards.

The Prairie/NWT Region Training Committee is comprised of:

Robert Trudeau (chair)

Sharon Losinski

Samah Henein

Bobby Eiswirth

Nancy McCune (Director)

Ernie McLean (PIPSC staff)

Training completed in 2018:

Regional Labour School

  • May 10, 11 & 12 at the Matrix Hotel, Edmonton, Alberta

Stewards are asked to select either Module 1 or Module 2.


Occupational Safety and Health

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • acquire a better understanding of your occupational health and
    safety role, particularly concerning your participation in an
    occupational safety and health committee;
  • improve your basic health and safety prevention knowledge,
    especially in the area of the rights and duties defined in Part II of the Canada Labour Code;
  • improve your ability to represent members in the workplace by
    putting into practice existing OSH mechanisms and recourse,
    including those set out in Part II of the Canada Labour Code
  • develop your analytical and intervention capabilities through critical
    thinking and pooling your respective experiences;
  • contribute to the development of a network of Institute health and safety representatives in your region.

Investigation Techniques

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • familiarize yourself with the role of the steward in the investigative process;
  • examine the basic concepts and practical considerations related to evidence;
  • identify foundations for successful investigation techniques;
  • develop the ability to collect and analyze evidence and to conduct investigations related to member cases;
  • improve communication skills for purposes of investigating, conducting interviews, and representing members.

Module 2

Performance Management

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • identify components of the Performance Management Program;
  • appreciate areas of concern around performance management;
  • develop and evaluate options for supporting members going through the performance management process;
  • appreciate the stewards’ role in supporting members and;
  • identify resources and services to assist members.

Managing Interpersonal Conflict

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to: 

  • appreciate the impact of individual conflict styles in groups;
  • identify the causes and cycle of conflict;
  • develop tools and communication methods for de-escalating interpersonal conflict;
  • appreciate the nature of triggers in generating conflict and;
  • develop interpersonal communication competencies necessary for building relationships and communicating across differences.

Basic Steward Training in 2018 – 20 participants per course

  • March 15, 16 & 17 at Matrix Hotel, Edmonton, Alberta
  • October 25, 26 & 27 at Fairmont Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Course is designed to:

  • Reflected on the purpose of unions in the workplace and in Canadian society as a whole and on the reasons why they became active in the union;
  • Developed a better understanding of their role as steward;
  • Familiarized themselves with the structure and internal functioning of the Institute;
  • Been provided with an overview of problem-solving mechanisms available to address issues of concern to the members they represent;
  • Identified strategies and approaches to help build the union presence in their respective workplace.

Steward Council

  • September 28 & 29 at Fairmont Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Day one of the 2018 Steward Council featured “New Organizing Tactics – A Phoenix Solution” and “Member Privacy”

The following day featured a motivational speaker with a presentation titled “Pressure Cooker Confidence”.  There was also a session on “How to have a conversation with your MP”.  The council finished off with concurrent café style training sessions presented by our EROs.

Lunch & Learns

What is a Lunch and Learn Session?

A Lunch and Learn session is a PIPSC-sanctioned activity to communicate information, increase visibility, meet new members or advise PIPSC members on specific topics.

To minimize costs, these sessions are usually held in the workplace, over the lunch hour and, in some instances, right after work as long as there are no costs involved for travel or salary replacement.

Who can organize a Lunch and Learn Session?

Any member, steward or constituent body of PIPSC can organize an event at their worksite or other venue. A lunch and learn could also be suggested by regional staff.

What costs are allowable for a Lunch and Learn Session?

If required, room rental can be refunded, as well as cost of light lunch and/or refreshments (e.g. sandwiches or pizza, non-alcoholic beverages).

What topics can be discussed at a Lunch and Learn Session?

A lunch and learn session is, by definition, a training or educational opportunity. It is designed to circulate information to the members on a specific topic over a one hour period. Topics can be as varied as:

  • Presentation for new members (PIPSC : An Introduction to Your Union)
  • Information on Pensions
  • Explanation of the PIPSC Web Site
  • Explanation of the provisions of the Work Force Adjustment Policy
  • Familiarization with collective agreement articles
  • Bullying
  • The necessity of stewards in the workplace (steward recruitment drive)

However, the following are examples of events which would be deemed inappropriate as lunch and learn activities:

  • a meeting or AGM of a constituent body
  • any topic of a political nature such as to discuss candidates in a PIPSC election
  • update on collective bargaining

What is the process to request a Lunch and Learn Session?

Limited funds are available in each of the regional training budgets to help defray the costs of these sessions.

  1. Requests must be made prior to the event to the Regional Training Committee Chair by a constituent body, regional staff, steward or member on the Institute approved form (link below).

Note: For clarity, travel costs and/or salary replacement will not be reimbursed.

  1. An email with a standard Request for Lunch and Learn Form attached to the Regional Training Committee chair is the preferred method of request.
  2. The Regional Chair of the Training Committee will review the request and reply with approval/denial via email.
  3. Once the approval for the Lunch and Learn session is received the steward may proceed with organizing the event (booking meeting rooms, guest speakers, inviting members, etc.). Please ensure that you keep your receipts for expenses incurred.
  4. Please bear in mind that reimbursement of claims received at the Institute for activities, which have not been previously authorized by the regional training committee, may be denied.

Training and Education Committee

The Training and Education Committee shall be responsible for advising and making recommendations and/or providing advice to the Board on any issue relating to the recruitment, training and education of Stewards/members and the Institute training program.