January 24, 2024

Upcoming Training Opportunities Available to NASA Members

Adult students attending a lecture

March 2 & 3 Basic Shop Steward

Basic Shop Steward is offered through the Edmonton & District Labour Council at their weekend Spring School, requiring a full day on Saturday, March 2, and a half day on Sunday, March 3.

This is an in-person class you would be taking with other public and private sector union members.

If you’re wondering what a Shop Steward is, the basic description would be a union contact or even a representative who goes through training to learn more about the collective agreement, grievances, and union rights. They can then be a point of contact for other union members and even be trained to file and present grievances and represent members during investigations and discipline meetings.

NASA has not yet established a role for Shop Stewards, so this training would be for information purposes and with no commitment on your end. This training is still valuable because it covers things like policing the collective agreement, grievance procedures, arbitration, investigations, and even touches on negotiations. A component of it also covers talking about the union with other members.

The more you and your co-workers are knowledgeable about those processes, the better equipped you will all be to spot possible issues with your agreement and how management applies it.

There has been some discussion within the NASA Executive to look at establishing a Shop Steward role after this upcoming round of bargaining is completed.

May 7 – June 11 Organizing Core Fundamentals

Core Fundamentals is a free 6-week virtual course offered by Organizing for Power and Jane McAlevey. The course is six 2.5-hour sessions every Tuesday from May 7 – Jun 11, with two tracks available to register for: daytime from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and evenings from 6 – 8:30 p.m.

The course is run virtually and internationally with hundreds or possibly thousands of participants, it’s pretty inspiring. There will be assigned reading passages and sometimes assignments between the weekly sessions.

Organizing in this context means the process by which colleagues work together to build a culture of union awareness and participation. McAlevey’s work has highlighted many case studies of the successes co-workers can achieve through a more open and participatory union culture.

The course sets out to support this through skills-based training on things like focused conversations to drive participation, collective actions to build and measure union strength, looking at word choices and how they influence communication and action, identifying leadership, and understanding and working within social relationships to improve outreach.

Registration is through minimum groups of 10. NASA’s Labour Relations Director, Trevor Zimmerman, will be registering the NASA group.

If you want to attend either or both trainings, please get in touch with Trevor to discuss your attendance, including reimbursement for registration for the Basic Shop Steward class.