Queer Folk You Know

This course will establish what allyship is, and what the critical role of an ally is in the greater LGBTQ+ community. Participants will learn various strategies for becoming better, active allies, and, they will have the opportunity to reflect on how they can support LGBTQ+ people in their personal and professional lives.  This workshop will contextualize the LGBTQ+ experience with human rights protections, labour history, and social justice.

Stand Up for Your Community – Writing to your Elected Officials

Are you not happy with the way things are going in your community, a new legislation or what your government is doing (or perhaps NOT doing)? Are you tired of electing people who you thought were going to change your world but end up breaking their word? You don’t have to sit still and go along with everything they say, pick up a pen and let this workshop help you learn how to write your opinions, thoughts and need for action, all while holding your elected officials accountable.

Letter to the Editor - How to write one

Did you ever read an article in media, a news story, have a challenge with a new law or experienced something at work or in life that you want the world to know about or changed? Have you ever thought about doing something about it but unsure of how to go about it? Writing a letter to the Editor is the first step! You don’t have to be a writer to tell someone what you’re thinking and feeling. Let this workshop teach you how to share your words and be heard.

Incident Reports – Writing Fact not Fiction

Were you hurt on your job? Perhaps harassed? Experienced racism? Are you afraid of what will happen if you speak up? The first step is to write down what happened. Incident reports are the cornerstone for your union to act on your behalf, but they can be hard to write if we allow what happened to overwhelm us. The stories we tell are different from the reports we make to see action taken.  This workshop will help you separate fact from feeling, feeling from anger, showing you ways to capture what happened and how it impacted you.

Understanding Basic Income

Before the pandemic, basic income was broadly seen as a piece of wishful thinking. COVID has proven this otherwise. With the introduction of CERB and other government measures, the basic infrastructure and tests on a national scale have publicly shown that basic income is achievable within our lifetimes. What is basic income? What does it look like on a day-to-day basis? This workshop will also explore how this policy impacts unions.

The Art of Negotiations

This course will provide members with knowledge about the negotiation process and procedures, the role of the negotiating committee and the union spokesperson. Bargaining power, concession bargaining, effectiveness of strikes and ratification votes are other topics that are covered in is course.

The Art of Negotiations

This course will provide members with knowledge about the negotiation process and procedures, the role of the negotiating committee and the union spokesperson. Bargaining power, concession bargaining, effectiveness of strikes and ratification votes are other topics that are covered in is course.

Workshop Descriptions

Assertiveness Training

This course will teach members what constitutes assertiveness; the difference between assertiveness and aggression; dealing with criticism and learning when to say “NO”. This course will also discuss how to become assertive with your peers and your employer as well as teaching women how to become assertive in the workplace.

AntiRacism & AntiOppression Training

This workshop will discuss the following - Stereotypes Prejudice and Discrimination, Elements of Power, Power of Relationships, What is Racism, The Meaning of Systemic Racism, Strategies for Dealing with Racism in the Workplace.

Conducting Meetings and the Roles of Union Officials On Committees

This course focuses on how to conduct union meetings, as well as teaching members how to use the rules of order to conduct meetings. The role of union officials on committees, appropriate issues to raise at labour management meetings, and tactics used by management to intimidate union representatives will be discussed.

Contract Interpretation

This course assists members in developing an understanding of how collective agreement language is interpreted by a Board of Arbitration. This course teaches members how arbitrators interpret commonly used words, phrases and ambiguous language in collective agreements.

Dealing with Management

This course will discuss the difference between management and union goals. This course will also prepare members to deal with management tactics and assist them in developing the necessary skills and confidence to deal with management.

Dealing with Stress in the Workplace

Everyone experiences some amount of stress on a daily basis – especially in the workplace. This course offers practical information about the physiology of stress, signs and symptoms, the varying degrees of stress, its impact on workers health as well as methods for coping with stress and means by which workers can work towards changing stressful conditions. Getting a handle on stress can make changes in every aspect of your life. This course also discusses the Union’s role in assisting members in dealing with workplace stress.

Dealing with Workplace Conflict

Grievance & Arbitration - Part 1 (Basic Stewards Training)

This course covers the basics of researching, filing a grievance, the difference between a complaint and a grievance. Members will learn when and how to advance a grievance to arbitration, how to prepare and present a grievance to management and understand how an arbitration hearing is conducted. This course is recommended for all new Union Stewards.

Grievance & Arbitration - Part 2 (Basic Stewards Training)

This course is a continuation of Part I and further explores the grievance process. Issues discussed in Part II of the Grievance & Arbitration workshop include : how and when to file grievances, as well as, how to present them and practical strategies for developing arguments and dealing with management at the various steps of the grievance procedure. By the end of this workshop you will know the difference between a grievance and a complaint, the legal responsibilities of union officials regarding grievances and how to deal with management representatives.

Human Rights - Part I

This course will assist members in understanding the interpretation and application of the Ontario Human Rights Code. This course also discusses the union’s responsibilities under the Human Rights Code.

Human Rights - Part II

This workshop will include discussion on various aspects and issues of racism, sexism, ageism, religious intolerance and disability. Other related topics include how unions and collective agreements deal with the problems of discrimination and intimidation in the workplace.

Human Rights & Duty to Accommodate

This workshop will teach you what constitutes a “disability”; what the standard of “undue hardship” means, and how to identify the essential elements of a job. This course will also discuss the employer’s duty to accommodate and the worker’s responsibility in being accommodated as well as a review of the legal jurisprudence on the duty to accommodate.

Labour History

This course traces the struggles and history of the Canadian Trade Union Movement and COPE as a union as well as public and private sector unions. This course also discusses why workers need unions and how to strengthen the trade union movement in your workplace and community.

Labour Law

This course will delve into aspects of labour including: the influence of legislation on trade unions, duty of fair representation by unions, the courts and mediators and arbitration. This course also provides an overview of the Labour Relations Act, Employment Standards Act, Occupational Health and Safety Act, Pay Equity Act, Health Professions Regulated Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code.


This workshop will teach you the following: Why workers choose COPE as their Union? How to successfully organize new bargaining units and set up a volunteer organizing committee at the workplace; the role of the volunteer organizing committee; the legal requirements of organizing; dealing with management tactics during an organizing campaign. What Employer’s are not allowed to do during an organizing campaign and preparing for the vote.

Introduction to COPE & the Canadian Labour Movement

This course provides members with basic information about the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, including its structure and democratic process. Participants will also learn about the history and development of COPE as a national union. This course will teach members to build and develop stronger union solidarity.

Political Action

This workshop will discuss what politics means to you as a member of a union, and how politics and politicians impact union members at work, at home in the community and the Union. The workshop will also discuss how political action affects bargaining and the rights of union members and why political action is important to COPE. This workshop will teach members to build and maintain relationships with candidates once they are elected and why it is important for Locals and members to maintain these relationships. The workshop will teach members the knowledge and skills required to stay informed on current topics, and how to advocate on critical issues facing union members.

The Art of Negotiating

This course will provide members with knowledge about the negotiation process and procedures, the role of the negotiating committee and the union spokesperson. Bargaining power, concession bargaining, effectiveness of strikes and ratification votes are other topics that are covered in is course.

The Basics of Being a COPE Union Representative

This workshop will teach you the following: role of unions; a brief history of COPE and the Labour Movement; understanding the governance structure of COPE at the Local, Provincial and National level. Also learning the role of a Union Representative in the grievance process; identify tasks of COPE representative in relation to her/his accountability and also how to become a COPE representative by developing leadership skills.

Union Leadership

This workshop will teach you how to be a better COPE leader by developing personal leadership skills; building stronger locals/bargaining units; how to build stronger commitments to COPE and the labour movement. This course will equip COPE leaders to become more active and involved in COPE and assist them in working towards creating social change. Participants will improve their communication and critical thinking skills; increase their comfort level at speaking to issues and will teach them to consensus build and develop stronger union solidarity.

Women's Issues - Part I

This course reviews the history of women in Unions and the labour movement in general. This course also analyzes the barriers and obstacles that women face and the dynamics that affect women’s involvement in society and workplaces.

Women's Issues - Part II

This course explores the roles, gender strife and politics for women’s roles in the labour market. “Sisterhood” what it means and why women need to be unionized. Members will also discuss the occupational health and safety issues affecting women in the workplace and the law in Canada as it affects women.

Workplace Violence, Harassment Bullying

This course will discuss the impetus for Bill 168. This course will also teach participants the general duties of the workplace parties, how to assess the risks of workplace violence and the roles and responsibilities of Health & Safety Representatives. Other related topics include understanding the terms and concepts of workplace violence, domestic violence and workplace harassment.