Region 5 Weekend Educational – September 24-25, 2022

To: Region 5 Local Presidents, L.E.C.s, and E.B.M.s
From: Region 5 Education Committee

LOCATION: Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Toronto, 475 Yonge St, Toronto ON, M4Y 1X7
DATES: Saturday, September 24, 2022 – 9:00AM to 5:00PM
Sunday, September 25, 2022 – 9:00AM to 1:00PM (approx.)

CHILDCARE: 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

COURSES: We are pleased to offer the following six courses:

  1. Dismantling Anti-Black Racism
    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.
    This course is a core OPSEU/SEFPO educational component that is valuable for all Union activists to attend.
  2. Duty to Accommodate 2: Making Accommodation Work
    Does your employer balk at providing proper accommodations? Has your employer challenged the medical information the member has provided? Is the employer asking members for independent medical exams? Do you hear grumblings from co-workers about the number of accommodations in the workplace?
    Building on the skills and information in the first course, “Duty to Accommodate: A tool for inclusive workplaces”, Making Accommodation Work: Duty to Accommodate 2 examines the challenges of supporting a worker in need of an accommodation. This course investigates strategies and skills for gathering information, challenging employer tactics used to prevent accommodations, developing a fair accommodation plan, and communicating with co-workers to build more workplace solidarity.
    While the course focuses mainly on the practical aspects of accommodation due to disability, many of the issues such as collective agreement language, attendance management programs, co-worker resentment apply to accommodation based on sex and family status as well.
    Note: Due to the volume of information about Duty to Accommodate, it is strongly advised that participants take “Duty to Accommodate: A Tool for Inclusive Workplaces” before Duty to Accommodate 2.
  3. Stewards 1: Making a Difference in the Workplace
    This updated version 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 resources and information in OPSEU/SEFPO, and understand the grievance process and their role in it. Participants must have completed Stewards 1 before registering in Stewards 2. Participants should bring their collective agreements.
  4. BPS Benefits and Appeals: Helping Members Navigate through the Fine Print
    Benefits are increasingly under attack from employers, insurers, the media and government. It’s time to protect these hard won working conditions. The BPS Benefits and Appeals course examines internal and external benefits and the many interactions they have with workers day to day lives.
    Additionally, the course provides skills for the union activist to support members in understanding and navigating their particular benefit situation. Lastly, the course explores what we can do as a union to defend and strengthen our collective agreements and the social safety net from current attacks. Participants should bring their benefits booklets and Collective Agreements to the course.
    Important Note: This course is not intended to create local benefits experts that do appeals. The course is intended to increase awareness and develop skills of local leaders to help support members with their benefits appeal issues.
  5. Women in Activism: Staying Connected
    Are you a woman who wants to get involved in your Union but you are uncertain as to where and how to begin? Have you wondered how activists got into the position they are in and why they got involved? Do you have the energy and interest but lack the confidence in getting yourself elected to a position? Then this is a course for you.
    This new course will take you through the journey of successful women in unions and the political arena, how they got there and what they have achieved. You will understand your role as an activist gain confidence in taking the first steps and feel motivated in encouraging others to do the same. You will review your own time management strategies and work out a schedule for yourself.
    Through scenarios, role-play, interactive videos and checklists, you will understand the issues women have faced over the years; some of which still continue today. You will learn how to build on these wins to make further inroads for women.
    Suggested Pre-requisite – one elected activist and one partner who is not elected (take a closer look at who you may want to bring). This can be an encouragement to mentor others.
  6. Health & Safety: Level One
    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.

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.

Applications must be received by: 4:00 p.m. August 26, 2022
ATTENTION: Susan Kesper, Fax: (416) 944-0288 or Email:

Download application form and detailed list of courses.


About opseulocal500

Union office Unit 1, B-2A, (Basement, room 2A), Queen Street West Site 1001 Queen Street West Toronto, ON M6J 1H4 Tel: 416 535-8501 x32330 Fax: 416-583-1254 Email:
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