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Learn to fight

Pickets need captains, unions need stewards, and workplace actions need activists. Become one with AUPE’s free courses.

Mar 28, 2024

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By Alexander Delorme, Communications Staff 

AUPE members are setting the tone in 2024. The whole union’s focus is on collective bargaining. Negotiating teams in all sectors and representing members across the province have entered bargaining with strong mandates and serious demands. All 95,000 AUPE members are preparing to fight for the raises, job security, staffing levels, and dignity they deserve. 

“This is a historic year of bargaining for AUPE members, so we’re doing everything we can to strengthen our collective power,” says AUPE Vice-President Darren Graham. “A key part our strategy is ensuring we have the knowledge and skills to navigate the negotiating process, organize for change, and deliver results for Albertans.” 

Every battle needs warriors. The best are well trained and versed in effective tactics. That is why AUPE offers several free courses which focus on workplace action, improving as a steward, and leading your co-workers on the picket line. Register today for the courses that will prepare you for the fight ahead. 

“The more AUPE members build their knowledge base and get involved, the more prepared we are for collective bargaining."
Darren Graham 2023

Darren Graham, Vice-President

Picket Captain Training 

Picket Captain Training

What happens when bargaining breaks down? What happens when our employers refuse to give us a fair deal? Well, lots of things can happen, but the most obvious is a strike. 

Picket captains are leaders during a strike. They provide members with critical information, real-time updates, and otherwise ensure members are striking effectively and without interference from the employer. 

But we are not just preparing for strikes. Our employers can lock us out, too. Having experienced picket captains is even more important when it is the employer forcing us to not work. 

AUPE’s one-day Picket Captain Training course will teach you everything you need to know, including the steps leading up to a strike, what to expect on the line, and what we need to do to win. Register today. 

Workplace Power 

Workplace Power

Ever heard of Direct Action? It is a term that describes member-led actions taken to fix problems on their worksites. It is usually for issues that fall outside of the collective agreement, but can also be used to put pressure on your employer during bargaining. 

The Workplace Power course is where you learn about effective Direct Action. Workplace Power is all about you and your colleagues working together to pressure your boss (or employer) to do the right thing. Some AUPE members wear the same colour on the same day, some click their pens all at once when the boss walks by, and others even perform a March on the Boss. 

This two-day course shows you how to organize these actions with your coworkers. All the skills you learn from Workplace Power are also useful when organizing to support your negotiating team at the bargaining table. 

Register today. 

Union Steward Workshops 

Union Steward Workshops

Already a union steward? Great, now take your activism to the next level! 

AUPE is hosting its annual workshops for stewards across the province. Each workshop includes the same four topics at each location, so don’t worry about missing out. The four sessions are: Dealing with Difficult Managers, Don't Bargain with My Mental Health, Spotting Unfair Labour Practices During Bargaining, and Grievance Writing Scenarios. 

Register now for the workshop nearest you: 

  • May 16 - Edmonton HQ 
  • May 31 - Calgary RO (Regional Office) 
  • June 20 - Edmonton HQ 
  • Nov 13 - Lethbridge RO (Regional Office) 

Registration for each event will close three weeks before the event date. 

According to Vice-President Graham, all members should take advantage of the courses AUPE offers, even if they don’t think they need them. 

“These courses are important tools that will help us in the fight ahead,” says Graham. “The more AUPE members build their knowledge base and get involved, the more prepared we are for collective bargaining.” 

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