Region 5 Weekend Educational May 6-7, in-person and online

Education and Organizing

PDF version

The Region 5 Education Committee is pleased to offer a May 6-7 educational opportunity with both online and in-person options:

In-Person courses (Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel):

  1. Dismantling Anti-Black Racism
  2. Stewards 1: Making a Difference in the Workplace
  3. Stewards 2: Facing the Employer and Building Member Involvement
  4. Local Treasurers Course
  5. Women in Unions Getting Involved
  6. Duty to Accommodate 2: Making Accommodation Work
  7. Health & Safety 1: Making a Difference in the Workplace
  8. Advancing Union Issues Through Labour Management

Online courses via Zoom:

  1. Indigenous Journey – Walking Together
  2. Basic Grievance Handling
  3. Dismantling Anti-Black Racism

Please note that you may only participate in either online OR in-person courses for this Educational – there are no hybrid attendance options.

Applications must be received by: 4:00 p.m. April 6th, 2023. You can apply online or by emailing or faxing the fillable form in this PDF to Susan Kesper at fax (416) 944-0288 or

Late applications will not be considered.


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


  • Saturday, May 6, 2023 – 9:00AM to 5:00PM
  • Sunday, May 7, 2023 – 9:00AM to 1:00PM (approx.)


Dismantling Anti-Black Racism – 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.

Stewards 1: Making a Difference in the Workplace- Prerequisites: None

This updated version (March 2015) of Stewards 1 includes a more detailed description and history of equity-seeking groups within the OPSEU/SEFPO membership. 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, 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.

Stewards 2: Facing the Employer and Building Member Involvement- Prerequisites: Stewards 1

Know: What is in your Collective Agreement, what is a grievance, how to take good notes, grievance vocabulary, the steps of the grievance process, methods of communicating with diverse members, mobilizing techniques, connection between an involved membership and management respect, strategies for good meetings with management.

Feel: Confident in dealing with a range of member issues, committed to involving diverse members in the union, assured to deal with management as an equal.

Be able to: Find and interpret articles in the collective agreement Interview a grievor, document and keep good notes, write a grievance Prepare for a meeting with management, conduct oneself effectively in a meeting with management Identify mobilizing potential in a grievance, develop a mobilizing plan, get action on diverse issues affecting a variety of member,

Local Treasurers Course

Prerequisites: None

The local treasurer is an important position in any local. The treasurer not only has to keep the financial records in order, but also has to ensure that money is spent in a responsible manner. Sometimes, ensuring local fiscal responsibility can lead to conflicts with other local executive members as well as the membership at large. At that point the local treasurer may have to exercise their skills in diplomacy and reasoning, backed by the policies and bylaws of the union.

Likewise, the position of trustee carries great responsibility. Just as the name implies, trustees must be trusted to ensure that spending and accounting practices are legitimate. The goal of this course is to give the necessary tools and education to local treasurers and trustees in order that they can fulfill their roles in the local. The course will also draw on members’ experiences to solve problems occurring with the administration of local funds

Women in Unions Getting Involved

Prerequisites: None

This course is for women who are just getting involved in OPSEU/SEFPO, who want to know how unions work and how they can make a difference in the union.

By taking part in this course, participants will: Know – Who to reach out to for information and support in OPSEU/SEFPO. Women’s locations, roles, and culture in the union. How OPSEU/SEFPO works. The links between our work in our communities, our union, and the labour movement Feel. Validation for the diverse skills, energy, and visions we bring to the union. Supported in our new roles as union activists. A sense of belonging in OPSEU/SEFPO. Be able to. Analyze barriers to women’s participation in the union and develop strategies to address them. Develop a vision of where we want to go in OPSEU/SEFPO, and where we want OPSEU/SEFPO to go. Advance issues in ways that build the union. Support the involvement of women from different backgrounds in OPSEU/SEFPO.

Duty to Accommodate 2: Making Accommodation Work

Prerequisites: Duty to Accommodate 1

By the end of this course you will:

Know: Responsibilities of the member, the union, and the employer in the accommodation process. The process of making and implementing an accommodation plan. Elements of good collective agreement language. Elements of effective policy and protocol for return to work. Principles of attendance management that are consistent with the duty to accommodate. Mechanisms required at the local level to monitor accommodation implementation. Connected rights under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, The Ontario Human Rights Code. What confidentiality means and why it is important

Understand: The importance of the local’s active involvement in accommodation in protecting all workers’ rights. How proper accommodation can reduce divisions between co-workers.

Be able to: Support a member to take steps required to get needed accommodation. Get appropriate information from doctors helpful to accommodation planning. Identify systemic barriers to workplace accommodation, and take these into account in individual accommodation plans. Develop an accommodation plan, particularly on the basis of disability (including mental health and family status). Take the first steps in setting up local union mechanisms for accommodation planning, implementation, and monitoring. Recognize and challenge employer strategies to avoid proper accommodation. Build more co-worker solidarity on accommodation and towards a member on accommodation. Document efforts at accommodation in case a grievance is required. Detect barriers to proper accommodation in attendance management programs

Health & Safety 1: Making a Difference in the Workplace

Prerequisites: None

By the end of the course participants will, be familiar with the Occupational Health & Safety Act, and will know how to use the Act to address a workplace health and safety issue. Understand the rights and responsibilities of Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) and Health and Safety Representatives. Understand the employer’s responsibilities under the Act. Understand how to identify, assess and control workplace hazards. Understand how to make a health and safety complaint to the Ministry of Labour and how and when to initiate a work refusal

Advancing Union Issues Through Labour Management

Prerequisites: None

Strengthen our ability to use Labour Management Committees to solve workplace problems and build the union.

Course goals Know: The roles of Labour Management Committees and its members in advancing members’ issues and building the union. Effective collective agreement language for labour management committees.

Signs of an effective Labour Management Committee. What issues are appropriate to bring to the LMC and why.

How to move a workplace complaint to resolution at the LMC. Different ways to argue an issue. Management techniques used against our Labour Management Committees and ways to overcome them. Strategies for advancing the union’s agenda at LMC meetings.

Feel or understand: Confident facing the employer in Labour Management Committee meetings. Respectful dialogue with the employer about workplace concerns. Collective leadership as a way of building the union.

Be able to: Identify when the LMC is the most effective way to solve a workplace problem. Prepare appropriate arguments on workplace issues. Face management effectively at the LMC table. Communicate with members about the status of their issues and how they are being addressed. Connect LMC issues to collective bargaining.

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.

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. Please note that normally hotel accommodations are reimbursed at double occupancy, but due to ongoing health and safety reasons related to COVID-19, single accommodation will be approved for this Educational.

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.

Officers of your L.E.C. mean President, Vice-President(s), Secretary, Treasurer, or Chief Steward. If you are a Local Officer, the signature of another Officer must be obtained. Applications without the required signatures will not be processed.


Important: if you apply using this form, you must also forward a sign-off email from an LEC member to


Childcare/elder/dependent care

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

Applications forms must be signed by or accompanied by an email from at least one Local Executive Officer and either submitted above or received by no later than 4:00 p.m. – April 6, 2023

We encourage the use of the onsite Childcare

Members who arrange their own childcare will be reimbursed for Child Care at $15.00 an hour to a maximum of $220.00 per 24 hour period.

Child care claims will be honoured for children up to and including age 16, for whom the member is 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 child care through OPSEU/SEFPO for this educational must include the completed Childcare Registration paperwork with their Application forms.

If childcare is requested they must be in attendance with the program. If the child 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.

Family/Attendant Care will be reimbursed as per OPSEU/SEFPO policy as outlined on the back  of the expense claim. Such allowance is not intended to reimburse the claimant for dependent/family expenses they would have normally incurred as a result of employment except where the absence exceeds the normal work day or week. Family/dependent care will be reimbursed at the rate of $15.00 per hour. If you have any questions, please check the OPSEU/SEFPO Policy Manual.


A block of rooms has been reserved at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen St W, Toronto ON, M5H 2M9

Book your own room before April 24, 2023

Be sure to request the OPSEU/SEFPO group rate

Single: $289.00 Double: $289.00 (Taxes not included)

Tel: 416-361-1000 and request the group rate with code “OPSEU” prior to April 4, 2023

Members are responsible for making their own Accommodation and Payment arrangements. Accommodations must be booked no later than April 4th, 2023. All unreserved rooms will be released for re-sale after this date. OPSEU 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.

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. Please note that normally hotel accommodations are reimbursed at double occupancy, but due to ongoing health concerns amid the COVID pandemic, single accommodations will be covered for this educational.

Cancellations (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 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 4, 2023.

Expense forms

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 car pool.

Current Kilometre Rates: round trip mileage at a rate of $0.55/km; one (1) OPSEU passenger, $0.60/km; two (2) OPSEU passengers, $0.65/km; three (3) OPSEU passengers, $0.70/km four (4) OPSEU passengers $0.75/km

All expenses must be submitted on proper Expense Claim Forms.

Lost Wages

Lost Wages will not be provided for this Educational as per OPSEU Policy.


  • Breakfast: Members who stay at the hotel or had to be present for an OPSEU event before 0800 hours (8:00 a.m.) are eligible to claim ($13).
  • Lunch: Members attending this educational may claim ($19) lunch on both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Dinner: Members who stay at the hotel or had to be present for an OPSEU event past 1700 hours (5:00 p.m.) are eligible to claim ($29).


Indicate the amount required on the Advance Form and return to

Human Rights Accommodation Request Form

Please fill out this form.