Getting involved with CUPE means learning new things ... about yourself, your union, your community. 

I encourage anyone who has thought of becoming a steward to give me a call or talk to their Chief Steward and let’s get you registered for the next Intro to Stewarding course.  If you are already a steward there are other course opportunities throughout the year so keep up to date here on our website Education space as courses are confirmed or call the union office immediately at 604-879-4671 to see the latest list.  Sally Bankiner, Secretary-Treasurer,

* See below for more information on the Steward Learning Series and click here for our CUPE Stewards Handbook.

If you want to attend a workshop, contact us at Local 15.
CUPE Locals and District Councils sponsor training workshops for their members throughout the year.
If you are a member and you are interested in a workshop but Local 15 isn't sponsoring it, contact us to find out if other members are interested and you might be able to get a workshop put on in your community or you might consider registering for a workshop being offered somewhere else in the province.

If you want us to sponsor a workshop please submit your request in writing on the CUPE Education Workshop Request Form found under the About, then Forms tab above.  Requests can be faxed (604-291-6248) or e-mailed ( 

Click here for CUPE BC educational programming information.

Calling all stewards! CUPE is proud to continue with our exciting education program - the Steward Learning Series. This series recognizes that the steward has an important role to play in a number of areas in the workplace and the union. It provides an opportunity for stewards to explore a number of topics - all from a steward’s point of view. This new series of three-hour modules will give stewards a wide range of knowl­edge and skills to represent members and respond to situations in the workplace. Some of these modules are mandatory for the Steward Learning Series Certificate, and some are optional.

Creating Harassment-Free Workplaces
It is the employers’ responsibility to ensure a harassment-free workplace but the union also has a role to play. Learn how to recognize harassment, educate the members about harassment, and represent members who are involved in harassment complaints.

What Stewards Need to Know About Health and Safety
Stewards need to work with health and safety committee members and health and safety activists to ensure that the workplace is healthy and safe for our members. Learn about health and safety rights and how stewards can support this important area of union work.

Handling Grievances
A refresher on basic grievance handling, this module highlights the steward’s role as educator. Participants teach each other “best practices” and share strategies for dealing with difficult grievances.

What’s Our Duty?
Stewards’ roles and responsibilities are covered by various labour laws. Where do stewards get their authority in the work­place? What is the duty of fair representa­tion? What other legislation covers the workplace?

Being an Ally for Equality
Championing human rights in the work­place and the union is an important role for stewards. But what does it really mean to be a good ally?

Mobilizing Workers
Stewards can play a key role when the union needs to mobilize its members, whether it’s to support the bargaining committee, or stop the employer’s attempts to contract out union work. Learn basic mobilization theory and practice new skills by working with current CUPE campaigns.

Why do I have to take notes? What kind of notes should I take? What happens to my notes if a grievance goes to arbitration? Are my notes private? Is it better to take notes on a computer or by hand? What happens to the notes I take when the case is finished? This module answers important questions about notes, and provides practice time to work on note taking skills.

Resolving Grievances Without Going to Arbitration
The union wins most grievances without going to arbitration. In this module, stewards discuss the pros and cons of going to arbi­tration and develop strategies and skills to settle grievances.

What Stewards Need to Know about Arbitration
Although most grievances get settled, some do go to arbitration. In this module, stewards become familiar with the arbitration process, arbitration terms, mediated settlements, and the role of the steward before and during arbitration.

What Stewards Need to Know about Health and Safety
Stewards need to work with health and safety committee members and health and safety activists to ensure that the workplace is healthy and safe for our members. Learn about health and safety rights and how stewards can support this important area of union work.

Hot Topics/Current Issues
This module is an opportunity for stewards to learn more about CUPE campaigns and issues, such as privatization and essential services. Check your education calendar for more information.

Creating an Accommodation Friendly Workplace
Human rights laws require employers to accom­modate workers who face barriers to employ­ment. This module covers:

  • the legal framework for the duty to accommodate

  • what a good accommodation process and plan look like

  • what to do if the employer is not willing to provide reasonable accommodation

Handling Discipline and Discharge
For many stewards, discipline and discharge cases are the hardest grievances to handle. Learn about:

  • key legal concepts and terms

  • the role of a steward during the employer’s investigation

  • when discipline is given during grievance meetings

  • how to develop effective arguments

Representing Members in Front of Management
Stewards and supervisors are equals when they meet about labour relations. This module equips stewards to be proactive when meeting with management. Learn tips for effective meet­ings, and build confidence by practicing meeting situations.

Building Your Case
Good grievance handling means keeping well organized files. Learn how to research a case thoroughly; how to separate facts from opinions; and tips for taking good notes.

Challenging Homophobia in the Workplace
When homophobia goes unchallenged it leads to a toxic workplace. This module will explore what it is like for lesbian, gay, bisex­ual and transgender people to live in a world that is geared towards straight people.

Challenging Racism in the Workplace
Is there racism in your workplace? This workshop covers what racism looks like in the workplace, and your role as a steward in stopping racism.

Conflict Resolution Skills for Stewards
Conflict is a natural part of our lives. It often leads to positive change. Knowing how to handle it well will improve your relationships with members and the employer. Learn about the different responses to conflict and practice communication skills that will help in situations of conflict.

Connecting with Aboriginal Workers
As demographics shift, Aboriginal workers are playing an ever-increasing role in the workplace. In this workshop, stewards will explore strategies for making your locals more inclusive to Aboriginal members.

Creating Gender Equality
How do you know sexism is happening in your workplace? What does it look like? This workshop provides facts and figures on women’s inequality and ideas for how stew­ards can challenge sexism in the workplace.

Disability Issues for Stewards
Disabilities can be physical or mental, visible or invisible, permanent or temporary. There are workers with disabilities in every work­place. In this module, stewards learn about different kinds of disabilities and what they can do to create accessible workplaces.

Green Action for Stewards
How will greening our workplaces impact workers? What does a green workplace look like? What action can we take to address important environmental issues? This work­shop will explore answers to these ques­tions and more, all from the perspective of a steward.

Mediating Member-to-Member Conflict
Helping members resolve day-to-day conflicts builds solidarity in the union. In this module, stewards practice coaching members who are in conflict with other

Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr…

  • What are they and how can they benefit my local?

  • How are groups using social media for activism?

  • How can I deal with people’s resistance?

  • What are the guidelines for using social media?

Explore questions like these and get lots of hands-on practice in CUPE’s Social Media workshop. Be sure to have accounts for both Facebook and Twitter already set up PP. Please bring your WIFI enabled laptop, or tablet for this hands-on workshop.

CUPE Stewards Handbook.pdf1.25 MB