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Training Policy


The presence in the workplace of active union members able and willing to disseminate information, voice members= concerns and desires, and act as union representatives in complaint redress procedures is a key to our success. Training is a vital part of engaging the membership and the volunteers in collective action. Our training program is designed to assist members taking on union responsibilities to better understand and enhance their skills in order for them to fulfill their role. These programs are developed with a view to ensuring equal accessibility to all active members in accordance with and subject to the Institute’s objectives as determined from time to time.

1. Effective Date

November 8, 2014

2. Policy Objective

The Institute=s training policy is designed to provide guidance to union officers and constituent bodies on the principles, objective, means, and approval of Institute training.

3. Policy Requirements

(a) Member Services Committee (MSC) Mandate

Institute training is the responsibility of Member Services Committee who has been mandated by the Institute Board of Directors to ensure the quality and consistency of Institute training through:

  • the development of recommended training guidelines for the regions.
  • the recommendation of regional training plans, of mentorship programs, of national training programs, and of pilot projects.
  • the recommendation of the allocation of resources earmarked for training, and
  • to evaluate and make recommendations to the Board of Directors on any matter pertaining to training.
  • The regional training guidelines will encompass such directions as:
  • The general structure of courses and target audience.

The duration of courses,

  • The number of participants.
  • The evaluation method and
  • The general course content.

Before recommending regional training plans to the Board of Directors, the Committee will take into account:

  • The need to ensure a fair distribution of resources allotted to training, and
  • Regional and national objectives as set forth by constituent bodies.

BOD - September 2010

(b) National Training Program

The Institute=s national program addresses the objectives of the Institute with regards to Human Rights, Employment Equity, Negotiations, Mobilization, Occupational Health and Safety, or any other national training program for Institute Groups, approved by the Institute.

The Institute training program aims to inform members on their rights and encourage them to support union activities in the workplace and promotes the development of knowledge and skills of union activities. Steward training remains the main focus of the program.

The training program is under the direction of the Manager of Regional Representation Services who, in close cooperation with the Member Services Committee, is responsible for its design and implementation. The National Training Officer, under the direction of the Manager of Regional Representation Services, coordinates the writing and the circulation of training material and ensures the liaison with the regional office staff to ensure the effectiveness of the training program.

The Member Services Committee in conjunction with the National Training Officer and the Committee on Human Rights in the Workplace develops human rights and employment equity training.

Negotiations training delivery to bargaining teams is the responsibility of the negotiator assigned to the Group, under the direction of the Section Head, National Negotiations and Employment Relations. Training is adapted to the team=s needs and approach to collective bargaining. Mobilization training in conjunction with negotiations is also the responsibility of National Negotiations and Employment Relations Section. It is developed in consultation with Group Executives on a case by case basis. New Groups joining the Institute will be offered orientation sessions.

(c) Regional Training Programs

The main focus of regional training is to provide Institute Stewards with the knowledge and abilities necessary to allow them to carry out their role in the workplace. It is designed to foster the relationship with regional staff and amongst Stewards in the region. Furthermore, regional training also includes the planning and provision of information sessions such as AIntroduction to PIPSC and the Union Movement@ and AExecutive Training@. These information sessions can be provided by an Employment Relations Officer or by an experienced elected or appointed member.

Regional Training Committees, established in accordance with Regional By-Laws and Regulations, report to the regional executive. They develop regional training plans with due regard to the guidelines recommended by the Member Services Committee and in close cooperation with the regional staff assigned to training.

The Regional Training Committee will determine basic and special training needs, prepare and submit regional training plans, review and recommend training content, review training evaluations, and implement a regional program of steward mentorship.

Regional staff are responsible for the development of training content, preparation of training materials, and the delivery of training to Stewards along with all logistical considerations in accordance with the Guidelines for Steward Training (Appendix A). Union officers may be solicited by regional staff to assist in the development and the delivery of training sessions as the need may be.

(d) Training Projects

Member Services Committee will review training projects submitted to its attention by any constituent body based on the priorities set by the Board of Directors and will make recommendations to the Board of Directors. Member Services Committee may recommend pilot training projects presented by constituent groups and regional training committees as resources allow in order to determine the benefit to the Institute and ultimately present recommendations to the Board.

BOD - September 2010


1. A Two-part Steward Training Program

The steward training program is composed of two parts, a basic training course and specialized training modules offered under the format of regional union training schools.

The basic training course is offered to members who have submitted an application form to become Stewards. The course must be successfully completed before the Steward is appointed. Regions must plan to hold this course twice a year, preferably every six (6) months, except in the NCR.

Specialized training modules are usually offered in regional union training schools. The Regions will be allowed to choose how to deliver the advanced training modules, within the approved budget. These are held once a year in each region, except in the NCR.

AGM 2014

Given the large number of members in this region, the NCR may hold a maximum of four (4) basic training courses and two (2) training schools each year.

2. Other Specialized Training

Other specialized training, such as Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) and Executive training sessions may be held separate from the regional union training school(s), as members of OSH committees and constituent body executives are not required to be Stewards.

BOD – August 2010

3. Regional Training Plans

Late in the year, a regional training plan outlining Steward training intended to be delivered during the next fiscal year will be submitted by each Region to the MSC, for review. Submission will include course level to be given, duration, time frame, anticipated participation, and budget.

Training plans will be reviewed by the Member Services Committee, and then forwarded to the PIPSC Finance Committee who makes a recommendation to the Board of Directors who has final approval.

4. Location

Location should be chosen to minimize cost while providing comfortable amenities conducive to learning and fostering exchange amongst participants.

5. Duration

Basic Steward Training is to be set for two and a half days.

The Regional Union Training School will last three (3) days including a Saturday B excluding travel time and are composed of multiple modules. As a general rule, participants must register for sessions with a total length corresponding to that of the school (3 days).

6. Training Schools

The Regional Union Training School is a way to offer specialized training modules. Specialized training modules can also be offered the day before a Steward Council or as a special request.

Generally, a school must contain at least three (3) different modules.

The selection of the modules offered in the school will be done by the regional training committee when preparing their yearly training calendar.

7. Mediation Training

Periodically, the PSLRB offers mediation courses in various cities across Canada. Stewards interested in this training must obtain the permission of their regional training committee prior to registering for a course.

BOD - December 2009

8. Attendance at Arbitration Hearings

On occasion, a request may be received by a region to allow a steward to attend an arbitration hearing. Such requests will be discussed with the Manager responsible for the case and the regional training committee will make the final recommendation to the appropriate regional executive.

BOD - December 2009

9. Number of Participants

Number of participants per session, should be limited to a maximum of 20, plus the trainers and invited resource people.

10. Training Organization and Delivery

Staff is responsible for the development of training content, preparation of training material, and generally for the delivery of training of Stewards. Union officers may be solicited by regional staff to assist in the development and delivery of training sessions as the need may be.

11. Participation

Basic training is accessible to members who have submitted an application form to become Stewards and to staff *. Advanced training modules are accessible to Stewards and staff. Some training modules such as Occupational Health and Safety or Executive Training can be offered to members who are not Stewards. Preference for attendance at these sessions will be given to those who sit, as PIPSC representatives, on OHS Committees or OHS Policy Committees, or are members of Executives as applicable. Stewards interested in attending the training will not be accepted to attend sessions they have already taken unless more than three (3) years have elapsed since they last took the training or unless the content of the course has changed significantly.

Usually, a minimum of six (6) months must have lapsed between taking the basic training and attending a regional union training school.

12. Training Outside the Region

Training outside the region will be considered in special circumstances. Training requests will be channelled through the Regional Training Committee who will forward the request to MSC with a recommendation.

13. Regional Training Budget

Should a region not spend all the money allocated in its overall regional training budget or for a specific training course, it may reallocate these funds to hold additional training sessions as approved by the Regional Executive. The region will inform MSC of such a decision and MSC will so inform the Board.

BOD – August 2010

14. Special Training Requests

Special training requests must be submitted to MSC for recommendation and subsequent approval by the Board of Directors. Submissions must include justification for the training, objective, outline of course, evaluation process, and budget as applicable.

15. Variations

Variations from these guidelines are to be submitted to the Member Services Committee for approval.

Publish Date: 18-OCT-2013 10:43 AM