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Labour school

AUPE Labour School is an annual labour and union education training school for AUPE members who have completed other courses and are active in their component.

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Labour School 2020

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When: March 8-12, 2020
Where: Jasper Park Lodge, 1 Old Lodge Road, Jasper, AB
Registration deadline for members: September 9, 2019
Registration deadline for Chapter approvals: October 8, 2019
Application form: Register through AUPE’s Online Registration System

Online registration for AUPE’s Advanced Labour School is now open and will close September 9, 2019. The upcoming school will take place March 8 -12, 2020 at Jasper Park Lodge.

The AUPE Labour School is an advanced school. The courses are intended for members that have taken AUPE-sponsored core courses and are active in their component. Labour School builds upon, and enhances, the ongoing AUPE education provided throughout the year. As this is an advanced school, there are “prerequisites for each Labour School course--prerequisites and positions must be met at the time of application.

The courses offered this year are:

  • Continuing Education for Stewards
  • Advanced OHS
  • Leadership Essentials
  • Creative Action
  • Talking Union

Please note that completing your application does not guarantee that you will be selected for Labour School. Your application will be sent to your Chapter for approval, followed by your Local, before being sent to AUPE Headquarters for final selection. Acceptance for Labour School will be announced in December.

Contact us

If you need more information about Labour School, please email the Registrar at You can also contact the Member Resource Centre at 1-800-232-7284, or use the contact form here, and our agents will be happy to help you.

Future dates

Labour School 2021
Sunday March 7-Thursday March 11, 2021
Jasper Park Lodge
1 Old Lodge Road
Jasper, AB

Labour School general information

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AUPE will make ALL ACCOMMODATION ARRANGEMENTS. AUPE pays only for DOUBLE OCCUPANCY. Single occupancy requests will be accommodated subject to availability. The difference between single and double occupancy is approximately $80.00 + hotel tax + GST per night.

If you require changes to your accommodation, please contact Kelly Steele at or 1-800-232-7284 before Feb. 17, 2020. Accommodation changes cannot be processed after that date.

Bus Schedule

The bus schedule will be available in February 2020. Transportation letters will be available on your dashboard for Labour School attendees in February 2020.

Policies and Forms

  • Scent policy
  • Child care policy
  • Elder care policy
  • No pets, guests, spouses, or family members will be allowed to accompany participants during the actual school from Sunday, March 8, 2020, 2:00 pm to Thursday, March 12, 2020, 12:00 pm.
  • AUPE is not responsible for any costs outside of the March 8-12, 2020 dates.

Labour School course descriptions and prerequisites

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When applying for any of the courses at this year’s school, please note the prerequisites for each course. Applicants must have the met the prerequisites and/or required positions at time of registration.

Advanced OHS

Prerequisite: OHS for Stewards and must be a Union Steward

Alberta’s Bill 30 has completely updated the province’s OHS system, a major change since 1976.

Now, all Alberta workplaces will have an onsite safety representative or a joint OHS Committee. AUPE members will require the knowledge and skills necessary to help reduce the rates of injury and occupational disease.

Are we up to the health and safety challenge?

Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn how to resolve common health and safety issues, and hold employers accountable under Alberta’s legislation.
  • Gain the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to participant effectively in a worksite committee.
  • Understand why limitations in the Internal Responsibility System mean it will be necessary for you to organize for safety.

This course is for: Stewards who want to hone their skills and knowledge to participate effectively on a worksite joint OH&S Committee and promote a culture of safety in the workplace while also organizing co-workers for safety.

This courses utilizes: Working in groups, students will discuss current issues with AUPE’s specialist staff, explore case studies from our award-winning CSI video series, welcome a guest speaker, review checklists, and identify risks by examining photos of workplace hazards.

Comments from previous students: “I learned what should happen in an OHS Committee,” “how to respond constructively to my manager,” and “what to share with our members.”

Continuing Education for Stewards

Prerequisite: Must be a Union Steward

Continuing Education for Stewards will build on the skills of the Grievance Handler by exposing stewards to a number of case studies with multiple issues.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply Grievance Handling Steps
  • Demonstrate proficiency in completion of required grievance handling documents.
  • Describe process for Duty to Accommodate
  • Recognize how different jurisdictions are applied to scenarios.
  • Model appropriate behaviour in grievance hearings

Note: This is not an introductory course.

This course is for:

  • Union Stewards with experience in grievance handling.
  • Those looking to build on their reading, writing and research skills.
  • Those wanting to practice their grievance hearing presentation skills.
  • Those who want to learn about Human Rights legislation and how to be able to identify and assist members who face discrimination at their workplace.

This course utilizes:

  • Guest Speakers
  • Case Studies in both written and electronic forms
  • Group work
  • Individual assignments
  • Possible work before and after the course

Leadership Essentials

Prerequisite: Basic Conflict Management course

Leadership in today’s rapidly changing world requires a dynamic set of both skills and personal attributes. Challenges to effective leadership include a capacity for communication skills, respect, ethics, empathy, mentoring and relationship building. This interactive course will focus on both skill development in these areas and practical application of demonstrating “leadership”

Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate self-reflection as it relates to leadership style
  • Recognize effective communication skills
  • Model and incorporate ethical practice
  • Correlate importance of relationship building
  • Assess motivations for leadership
  • Apply presentation skills developed through course

Note: This is not a component officer training course, though the skills can assist with your leadership roles in component positions.

This course is for: Members interested in reflecting on their leadership style and enhancing their skills. Those willing to maybe step out of their comfort zone in order to learn more about themselves and what they can offer to leadership within AUPE .

This course utilizes:

  • Group work, Personal assessments, Case scenarios, Videos and Guest Speakers
  • Leaders take a stand and have a voice. Learners will have an opportunity for an individual five-minute leadership presentation using the communication ad presentation skills developed in this course.

Comments from previous students:

  • “I like that we didn’t just sit and read. It was interactive which made it enjoyable for me”
  • “I will have more confidence talking to my members in my chapter and local (my voice will be heard)”
  • “Public speaking isn’t as scary as I thought it would be”
  • “Learned that being a leader means collaborating with others, it does not mean doing everything”

Talking Union

Prerequisite: Rethinking Politics course (formerly called Introduction to Politics)

Unions are under attack, because they are one of the only institutions powerful enough to stand up to runaway corporate greed and cuts to public services. Fighting back won’t be easy – Alberta has the lowest unionization rate in the country and the media amps up common misconceptions about organized labour. Workers are also divided by barriers to solidarity.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Promote the benefits of unions, strong public services, and the value of your work.
  • Define union terms in order to “talk union.”
  • Explain why business and government often blame workers and attack their unions.
  • Start conversations to refine issues and learn from others.
  • Identify paths and resources to continue learning and mobilizing.

This course is for: Members who want to gain confidence practice having conversations and tools needed to challenge negative stereotypes about labour.

This course utilizes:

  • A homework assignment
  • Group work, including story circles
  • Current data and research
  • Public speaking
  • A strong focus on promoting diversity and over coming barriers to solidarity

Creative Action

Prerequisite: Must be a Union Steward

Looking to gain more direct action skills, and make your union activism more fun, participatory and increase its impact?

Art and direct action have a long standing connection – from banners and posters to best communicate your message, to singing chants and songs, to staging theatre in the streets! (and so much more). In this course you will enhance your ability to plan direct actions, learn why/when to do it, and discover the principles and tactics of creative action. Be ready to get creative, strategize, challenge your assumptions on what direct action can be, and learn how to elevate your activism.

Note: Once you have completed this course you will be added to a pool of AUPE activists who will be called upon to engage in future union actions. Gain the skills and be ready for action!

Learning Outcomes:

  • Apply steps and tools for planning a direct action
  • Incorporate creativity in your union activism
  • Demonstrate creative skills and tools
  • Model leadership when organizing a creative action

This course is for: Stewards who want to add to their direct action toolkit.

This course utilizes:

  • Various forms of artistic expression, including visual art, theatre, and music
  • Facilitation by artists and organizers
  • Participatory learning
  • Group work