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Every January the Canadian Labour Congress kicks off the 5-week Winter School program at Harrison Hot Springs Resort on Sunday afternoon. Registration takes place at the Campaign Fair where teachers and students gather information about the week ahead and get prepared for that evening’s dinner hour and General Assembly. There is a lot of excitement in the air as attendees make connections with others from the labour community and prepare for the week of labour-oriented classes, forums, and Choir Night.
The highly rated courses cover a multiple of topics, such as Women in Leadership, Collective Bargaining, Steward Training, Facing Management Effectively, and Labour Law to name a few, and are taught by instructors from a cross section of Canadian labour industries. CEU President Laura Snow and CLRO, Kristy Child are familiar instructors at Winter School and again this year were invited to share their knowledge and teach courses in their areas of expertise.
Winter School is vital to advancing labour leaders as it builds leadership skills and provides leadership tools; it exposes CEU members to the labour community at the provincial and federal level; and it promotes the CEU and the important work its members do. It is the place to share skills and experiences with members from affiliated unions and to build solidarity with the labour community.
Everyone who attends CLC Winter School recognizes the benefits and the opportunities that come from networking with other labour leaders.
Here are a few comments from CEU Stewards and Executives who attended this year:
I took ‘Psychologically Healthy and Safe Workplaces’ and would say the highlight was meeting a group of like-minded people who understand the challenges of supporting positive mental health in the workplace. It was interesting to see the similarities present regardless of the industry or type of workplace. We watched a great video that I thought was beneficial in understanding how microaggressions can build up and hurt people over time:
I took ‘Facing Management Effectively’, and the instructors were excellent. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet others from different unions, but I also enjoyed the time spent connecting with fellow union members from WorkSafeBC.
I registered in the course ‘Facing Management Effectively’, it was good and well instructed.
The opportunity to network is one of the benefits of attending CLC as is to raise the awareness of CEU’s members and the work they do. One of the big takeaways for me was the understanding that everyone goes through the same struggle.
It was interesting to hear about the different work environments and the different challenges other unions have in other workplaces but there was a feeling of camaraderie that you are not alone.
What I enjoyed about the Choir exercise, is that it brought our class together in a style that was outside of our comfort zone. We worked together and overcame that difficulty and laughed while practicing our song. The thought gem I took away is there’s ‘solidarity through our differences’.