JASPER – The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees’ ninth annual Labour School will open on Sunday with almost half the registrants attending Labour School for the first time.

The goal of the school is to provide advanced union education for committed AUPE activists, said AUPE President Guy Smith. AUPE Executive Secretary-Treasurer Bill Dechant will address the school’s opening session at 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28. More than 2,200 AUPE members have attended Labour School since its inception in 2002, and 240 will attend the 2010 event.

Courses begin Sunday evening immediately after Dechant’s remarks to the opening session, with instruction continuing right through to the end of the school, mid-day on March 4.

Training at AUPE’s Labour School and other education programs aims to help committed members deal with the challenges faced by union activists and to represent the union’s members more effectively.

Six courses will be offered at this year’s Labour Education School:

  • Leadership
  • Union Counselling
  • Advanced Steward Instruction
  • Duty to Accommodate
  • Organizing
  • Direct Action

“I’m so proud of all the new members who are attending Labour School this year,” Smith said. “Having committed and well-trained members is vital to the strength of AUPE in its efforts to mobilize the membership. These people are the voice for their co-workers, helping all members of the union feel confident and proud of the work they do providing services to the people of Alberta.”

AUPE invites local media to attend the opening session, or to arrange another time to attend the school during the week.

AUPE is Alberta’s largest union, with more than 73,000 members throughout the province.

For more information, contact:

Bill Dechant, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, AUPE, 780-930-3302

David Climenhaga, Communications Director, AUPE, 780-930-3311 or 780-717-2943 (cell)