Eight members of OPSEU have graduated from this year’s Member Development Trainees (MDTs) program.
The members came from all seven regions of OPSEU for the 12-week program that started in September. One of them was even hired midway through the program as a temporary staff representative. Congratulations Novia Grant-Simon!
The MDTs had a chance to job shadow seven staff representatives, an education officer and a web designer. They also had week-long stints at head office where they had training related to OPSEU and its operations, as well as specific sessions on Mental Health, Pay Equity, Bargaining Team Training and Negotiations.
MDT’s also had a chance to take part in Train the Trainer. Here, participants got a chance to co-facilitate a portion of a course using the “Popular Education” model.
As part of the wrap-up of the program, the MDTs took part in a round table discussion where they shared their insights into the program with the two Executive Board liaisons to the MDT program, Ed Arvelin and Nathalie Rondeau as well as Ilana Goodman, Administrator of Employee Relations.
OPSEU First Vice President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida was at the graduation and encouraged the MDTs to continue with the great work they are doing.
“I’m a great believer in this program,” said Almeida. “Most of our staff are drawn from the membership, and can use their frontline expertise to provide top notch service to the membership. The MDT program helps pave the way for members to have a long and fruitful career at OPSEU.”
Participants expressed their gratitude to staff for welcoming them, making them feel part of a team, and spending time mentoring them in their roles. The evaluations revealed how intense yet rewarding these 12 weeks were for the participants as they developed their skills and gained first-hand knowledge of frontline staff work.