Apply now for Region 5 in-person and virtual educationals, Feb. 3-4, 2024

Member Education/Formation des Membres logo

Region 5 will be hosting online and in-person educational events on Feb. 3-4, 2024.


Online and Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen St West, Toronto ON, M5H 2M9


Please download and complete one of the two application forms. Once completed, they must be signed by an Local Executive Committee member and emailed to

Dates and deadline

  • Saturday, February 3, 2024 – 9:00AM to 5:00PM
  • Sunday, February 4, 2024 – 9:00AM to 1:00PM (approx.)

All applications must be approved/signed by a Local Executive Committee member from the applicants Local, per OPSEU/SEFPO Policy 6.2.2. Applications without the required signatures will not be processed.

Applications must be received by: 4:00PM on December 18, 2023. All applications must be sent to


Childcare will be available Saturday from 8:30AM to 5:00PM and Sunday from 9:00AM to the end of classes. Parent/Guardians MUST be on site at all times when utilizing childcare provided by OPSEU/SEFPO

In-person courses

We are pleased to offer the following eight courses in-person only at Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel:

1. Stewards 1: Making a Difference in the Workplace

In-person only. Prerequisites: None

This updated version (March 2015) of Stewards 1 includes a more detailed description and history of OPSEU/SEFPO’s equity-seeking groups. The course continues to support stewards through a range of tools and practical activities. The key aims are to strengthen steward skills to orient a new employee to the union, have effective one-on-one conversations with a cross-section of members, develop a communications strategy to enlist diverse member involvement, and develop approaches to everyday workplace problems.

Throughout the course, participants are supported as they develop a profile of their members, clarify the tasks of the steward, find the resources and information in OPSEU/SEFPO, and understand the grievance process and their role in it. Stewards 1 is a prerequisite to Stewards 2 and must be completed before taking Stewards 2. Participants should bring their collective agreements to the course.

2. Stewards 2: Facing the Employer, Building Member Involvement

In-person only. Prerequisites: Stewards 1

This revised follow-up to Stewards 1 focuses on investigating and writing a grievance, facing management, and involving members in worksite action. Participants will use their own collective agreements to identify grievances. They will become immersed in an evolving case study in order to interview a grievor, write up a grievance, face the employer at a step 1 and make a presentation on safety issues to the union side of the Joint Health and Safety Committee. They will examine the elements of effective mobilization and develop a campaign strategy for a local. Participants should bring their collective agreements to the course.

3. Stewards 3: Dealing with Discipline

In-person only. Prerequisites: Stewards 1 & Stewards 2

This is an advanced level steward course. It is suggested that participants take Stewards 1 and Stewards 2 prior to signing up for this program. Dealing with Discipline is a skills and knowledge focused workshop that will assist union activists in their duties representing members that are facing discipline up to and including dismissal.
The course bridges concepts from Stewards 1 and 2, Basic and Advanced Grievance Handling and Workplace Investigations. Participants should bring their collective agreements to the course.

4. Health & Safety: Level 1

In-person only. Prerequisites: None

This course is designed for members and stewards who want to become more involved in health and safety activities in their workplace. There is a strong focus on health and safety legislation to enable participants to use the legislation effectively in their own workplaces. Participants work in groups to explore the legislation and to gain a better understanding of their rights and employers’ obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. Participants are introduced to the concepts of hazard identification, assessment and control and develop a greater understanding of the components of an effective health and safety system.

5. Duty to Accommodate: A Tool for Inclusive Workplaces

In-person only. Prerequisites: None

Provincial legislation and existing case law require employers and unions to provide accommodation short of undue hardship. This interactive course examines the roles and responsibilities of the employer, the union and the member in accommodating members with disabilities and all other protected groups under the Ontario Human Rights Code. It builds activists’ skills to support members requiring an accommodation, and to deal with employer resistance to accommodation in the workplace.

6. The Indigenous Journey: Walking Together: Part Two

In-person only. Prerequisites: The Indigenous Journey: Walking Together: Part One

As a follow-up to the Indigenous Journey: Walking Together course, the Indigenous Journey 2, explores the relationship between Indigenous peoples and white settlers. This unique course will examine the relationship from settler contact to today through the lens of Indigenous people.

7. Women in Unions: Getting Involved

In-person only. Prerequisites: None

This course is for diverse women who are just getting involved in OPSEU/ SEFPO, who want to know how things work and how they can make a difference in the union. Participants will bring their own experience of the workplace, community and union to develop an analysis of what is needed in their locals, and how they can contribute to building an inclusive union. Through hands-on activities, women will practise making their voices heard, and will develop strategies for supporting the involvement of other diverse women in the union.

8. Advancing Union Issues through Labour Management Committees

In-person only. Prerequisites: None

Often union-side members become cynical about labour management committee work because the employer refuses to meet, or follow through on action. This course aims to strengthen skills of labour management committees to solve workplace problems and build the union, whether management is cooperating or not. A variety of activities are used to clarify the union-building potential of LMCs, to assess the effectiveness of a labour management committee, and to strengthen skills to move a workplace complaint to resolution at the LMCs.

Attention is paid to a) arguing an issue; b) addressing management tactics; c) using the LMC to communicate with members; d) strategies to mobilize members to back LMC work; e) connecting LMC work to bargaining and mobilizing work in the Local.

Online courses

We are pleased to offer the following two courses online only:

1. Let’s Start Meeting Like This! Running Meetings that Build the Union

Online only. Prerequisites: None

Have you ever been confused at meetings about when you can speak and when you can’t? Perhaps you have tried to run a meeting where there was no quorum, or where people kept interrupting each other and getting off track. Maybe you’re discouraged because you’re not sure how to make meetings a good use of anyone’s time. This course examines the potential of meetings to tap into diverse members’ energy and interest, and to build union capacity. Practical, hands-on activities will help you a) develop an interesting agenda and get members to the meeting; b) understand how to write and put forward a motion and use basic rules of parliamentary procedure effectively; c) facilitate an effective meeting discussion; d) deal with meeting “nightmares” who often look like members who won’t stop talking, or who can’t agree.

2. Dismantling Anti-Black Racism

Online only. Prerequisites: None

The 1.5 day Dismantling Anti-Black Racism course will raise awareness, provide a better understanding, and include strategies to dismantle anti-Black racism (ABR). It explores the topics of what anti-Black racism is and provides Black history highlights for a deeper understanding of the history of slavery and its impacts today. The course addresses the need to confront white supremacy. Participants will understand how colonization and the socially constructed concept of race has affected Black people. Additionally, the course highlights past, present and future efforts to address anti-Black racism in the workplace and in OPSEU/SEFPO.

In this introductory course, participants will develop skills and strategies in order to identify and intervene in situations of anti-Black racism. They will use case studies, videos, and real life scenarios to navigate difficult conversations. Participants will also have access to current terminology and be provided with tools to have (ABR) discussions that are important to engage in, especially with family members, fellow union members, neighbours and co-workers. This course will equip participants with the knowledge and ability to take action against anti-Black racism in our Union.

As per Constitutional amendments made at the 2022 Convention, there will be mandatory Systemic Anti-Racism training for all elected Union activists that will be rolled out in the near future. We encourage participation in this DABR course as a core OPSEU/SEFPO educational component supporting this important initiative.

Important Information

  • The Participant and Course Selection Process will be carried out in accordance with OPSEU/SEFPO Education Policy.
  • Confirmation will only be sent to applicants who are accepted.
  • Lost Wages will not be provided for this Educational.
  • Single accommodation is approved for this Educational.
  • OPSEU/SEFPO’s 60km rule will be waived on Saturday – this means that if you live further than 60km from the hotel you are entitled to single accommodations on Friday and Saturday; if you live within 60km of the hotel you are entitled to single accommodations on Saturday night only.
  • You are responsible for booking your own accommodations directly with the hotel, if required. An online direct booking link for rooms in the Event Group Block will be issued to successful applicants at the following rates: Single $329.00 (taxes not included).
  • As a reminder, in accordance with OPSEU/SEFPO policy, full attendance is mandatory for participants at the educational. If you are unable to attend with full attendance without an acceptable reason, you will not receive credit for the course and your expenses (if any) may not be paid.
  • Persons attending OPSEU/SEFPO meetings are requested to refrain from using perfume, cologne and other fragrances for the comfort of other participants.
  • Participants are also to refrain from bringing nut products, bottled water and Coca Cola products to OPSEU/SEFPO Events.
  • Application forms must be signed by one (1) Local Executive Officer (OPSEU/SEFPO Policy 6.2.2) and received by no later than 4:00PM – December 18th, 2023.
    Lat applications may not be acknowledged.



  • A block of rooms has been reserved at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen St W, Toronto ON, M5H 2M9.
  • Members are responsible for making their own Accommodation and Payment arrangements. Accommodations must be booked no later than January 12th, 2024. All unreserved rooms will be released for re-sale after this date. OPSEU/SEFPO Policy states that members are responsible for their own rooms AND paying for same, you are also responsible for any cancellation. Failing cancellation, you are responsible for the room charges.
  • An online direct booking link, and telephone instructions for reserving a hotel room will be issued to successful Educational applicants after the registration deadline of December 15th, 2023.
  • For this event, members living outside 60 kms of the hotel will be entitled to room accommodation for both Friday and Saturday nights of the weekend educational as per OPSEU/SEFPO policy. Members living within 60 kms of the hotel will be entitled to room accommodation for Saturday night only, as required. Members will be reimbursed for the cost of a single room.
  • Cancellation (New policy)
  • Notification by a member to cancel course attendance should be received by both the local president and the Regional Office no later than 48 hours before commencement of the regional school (no later than 9:00 A.M. on the Thursday prior to the weekend school). When a member does not attend and the Regional Office has not been notified 48 hours prior to the school’s commencement, the member will be assessed a $50.00 penalty. Extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration.
  • A member cancelling participation must notify and their local president on or before 9:00AM on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.

Childcare/elder/dependent care

  • Use of the On-site Childcare is encouraged.
  • Members who arrange their own childcare will be reimbursed at $15.00 an hour to a maximum of $220.00 per 24-hour period, per OPSEU/SEFPO Policy 4.2.2.
  • Childcare claims will be honoured for children up to and including age 16, for whom the member is the parent/guardian.
  • Friends, family, or professional or Commercial Services or any other arrangement satisfactory may provide care to the member making the claim. Claims may be verified and must be signed by the service provider.
  • Members seeking childcare through OPSEU/SEFPO for this educational must include the completed Childcare Registration paperwork with their Application forms.
  • If childcare is requested, the child/dependent must be in attendance with the program. If the child/dependent is not in attendance you will be responsible for the full cost of the accommodation.
  • Family/Attendant care will be reimbursed at the rate of $15.00 per hour to a maximum of $220.00 per 24-hour period and must be signed by the care provider(s). Please specify hours claimed for each day. This policy covers the expenses for persons over the age of 16, permanently residing with, and under the care of a member, who are differently-abled and/or aged.

Expense claims

  • A member will be reimbursed for the actual cost incurred for travel by public transportation. As per the policy of the Union, the most economical means of transportation should be used.
  • Where a member is required to use their private vehicle, they may claim for such travel at the current rate. The total distance travelled and destination points are to be indicated on the expense form.
  • Members must arrange their own travel and are encouraged to carpool.
  • Current Kilometric Rates: round trip mileage at a rate of $0.55/km; one (1) OPSEU/SEFPO member travelling alone, $0.60/km; two (2) OPSEU/SEFPO members, $0.65/km; three (3) OPSEU/SEFPO members, $0.70/km four (4) OPSEU/SEFPO members $0.75/km.
  • All expenses must be submitted on proper Expense Claim Forms or via the Member Portal.

Lost wages

  • Lost Wages will not be provided for this Educational as per OPSEU/SEFPO Policy; this means that time-off letters are not being issued for this Educational.


  • Breakfast: Members who stay at the hotel or had to be present for an OPSEU/SEFPO event before 0800 hours (8:00 a.m.) are eligible to claim twenty-one dollars ($21.00).
  • Lunch: Members attending this educational may claim twenty-nine dollars ($29.00) lunch on both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Dinner: Members who stay at the hotel or had to be present for an OPSEU/SEFPO event past 1700 hours (5:00 p.m.) are eligible to claim thirty-eight dollars ($38.00).



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