Choosing a workshop

The HEU education department’s top priority is promoting union activism – through a wide range of training opportunities to help members gain new skills, and learn how to tackle issues affecting their jobs and their communities.

Our goal is to create a supportive and active learning environment for all participants.

To help you consider what training is best for you, we have identified a number of learning themes. Go to the workshop page and choose “Filter” to help focus your search.

Workshops may fall into more than one of these themes.

Steward training

Shop stewards play an important role in helping members understand their rights and their collective agreements when it comes to addressing workplace issues. The steward training series provides progressive training for shop stewards.

The introductory level is aimed at new stewards and members who are interested in becoming stewards. Active and experienced stewards and chief shop stewards are encouraged to take part in advanced training.


HEU leadership workshops help members build skills to be leaders in their locals and in the community. Leadership workshops include training to help members build knowledge and self-confidence, develop organizing skills, strengthen inclusion and diversity at their locals, and encourage union activism.

Some leadership workshops are designated for particular groups such as: Women in Leadership and Cultivating Space: Women of Colour in Leadership.

Occupational health and safety

HEU offers workshops aimed at training members about occupational health and safety (OH&S) in the workplace.

These workshops include training for Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) Committee members. Some workshops under this theme also address specific OH&S issues such as Domestic Violence at Work and Mental Health First Aid.

The introductory OH&S workshops are aimed at HEU members interested in learning about safety issues or becoming a health and safety representative.

More advanced OH&S workshops are for JOHS Committee members and active shop stewards. Some require two years of experience in these roles.


HEU is a social justice union. A major part of our social justice work includes ongoing education and training of our members about social justice and issues affecting equity-seeking groups (such as people of colour, people with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+, Indigenous Peoples, and women).

Workshops offered under this theme include: Introduction to Equity, Introduction to Human Rights, Anti-Racism Workshop, Truth and Reconciliation and Cultivating Space: Women of Colour Leadership.

Workshops under this theme generally prioritize participation from members who identify as being part of one or more equity-seeking groups.

Table officers training

This is a three-day training for HEU members who have been elected to Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary-Treasurer or Assistant Secretary-Treasurer roles in their local executives. It will cover how table officers can fulfill their duties, run local meetings and elections, and build a more active and engaged local.

This training is only for newly-elected officers, who have not previously taken this training.

Local building

HEU locals are the cornerstone of the union’s democratic structure, and a key communications link between the work site and the provincial union. Strong locals build our strength as a provincial union.

We offer a number of workshops aimed at helping HEU members and local leaders strengthen their local’s work.

These workshops include sessions that help HEU members learn more about getting involved in the union, HEU campaigns and the social justice movement, facilitating workshops and education meetings, organizing around workload issues, and addressing workplace conflict.

Schools and conferences

Schools and conferences are multi-day, intensive training opportunities for HEU members offered by both HEU and HEU-affiliated labour organizations such as the Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the B.C. Federation of Labour.

Some schools and conferences are open to all HEU members (selected through each training’s selection process) and others are designated for identified groups of HEU members, such as women, young workers, or members in a particular job classification.

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