UNW Courses

Module 1: The UNW, Your Union

This is an introduction to the UNW. The module forms the cornerstone of all UNW courses. It aims at increasing members’ understanding of their Union, what the Union does for them and their rights and obligations as workers and UNW members.
Please note that members cannot take other UNW courses if they have not attended this module or the PSAC’s TUB course.
Target: General Membership  Duration: 5 Hours (1 Day)
  • What is a union?
  • History of the UNW
  • Structure of the UNW
  • What services does the UNW provide?
  • Where do members’ dues go?
  • How to join the UNW
  • Benefits of UNW membership

Module 2: Respect in the Workplace

Do you feel harassed at work? Do you know how to cope with this type of behaviour? Do you know your rights when faced with harassment at work? These are some of the topics that are discussed in this module. The overall aim of this module is to contribute towards a work place which values and respects all workers.
Target: General Membership Duration: 5 Hours (1 Day)
  • What is workplace harassment?
  • UNW anti-harassment policy
  • Issues on harassment (legal, human rights, productivity, self-esteem, etc)
  • Achieving workplace respect/preventing workplace harassment
  • Filing harassment complaints

Module 3: The UNW Grievance Process

This course will help especially UNW Shop Stewards and other Local representatives learn how to handle grievances with confidence. Members are also encouraged to take this course. The course covers how to investigate workplace problems, how to word grievances as well as presenting grievances to management.
Target: Local Representatives Duration: 5 Hours (1 Day)
What is a grievance?
  • The grievance handling process: levels and roles
  • Becoming aware of an issue
  • First level grievances
  • Second or final level grievances
  • Arbitration
  • Closing of files and notification to grievors

Module 4: Understanding Your Collective Agreement

The collective agreement is a contract that defines your relationship with the employer. Do you know what yours says? Do you understand it? This module will help you interpret your collective agreement. Don’t wait until you get into trouble before reading your employment contract. It is your responsibility to know what it contains. It is your right to enforce it.
Target:  General Membership Duration: W ill vary depending on the collective agreement involved and level of depth and intensity required
  • What is a Collective Agreement?
  • Ten things to look out for in a Collective Agreement
  • Finding the information you need in a Collective Agreement
  • Interpreting the Collective Agreement
  • Applying the Collective Agreement

Module 5: UNW Shop Steward Course

Shop Stewards are the eyes and ears of the Union at each workplace. To play this role effectively, Stewards need to be thoroughly prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. This module examines the very important role of a Steward and offers an excellent opportunity to meet, share and network with others.
Target: Shop Stewards Duration: 5 – 10 hours (1 to 2 days)
  • Introduction to the UNW
  • The Shop Steward
  • Steward’s role in providing information
  • Steward’s role in handling first level grievances
  • Steward’s role in helping GNWT members with staffing appeals
  • Steward’s role in helping GNWT members with job evaluation

Module 6: Local Executive Training (LET) Program

While numerical strength has always been the advantage of the labour movement, a dedicated, committed, visionary leadership is equally important and needed.  This module outlines the roles and responsibilities of executive officers and helps them to lead and manage efficient Locals that can better service their members’ needs and impact positively on their lives, families and communities.
Target: Local Executive Officers Duration: 10 hours (2 days)
  • Introduction to the UNW
  • What is a Local?
  • Local Executive officers
  • Local Meetings
  • Financial administration
  • Communication, correspondence, filing
  • Public relations
  • UNW Conventions

Module 7: Occupational Health and Safety

Health and safety are union issues because one injury, or death, of a worker is one too many! UNW members now have an opportunity to examine health and safety policies and practices at their workplaces. 
Target: All Members  Duration: 10 hours (2 days)
  • What is occupational health and safety?
  • What do the NWT Safety Act and Regulations say about health and safety?
  • The 3 Employee rights
  • Safe work methods and practices
  • Health and safety and your Collective Agreement
  • Joint union-management Health and Safety Committees

Module 8: Labour Ware

LabourWare is a system designed to manage the grievance process from complaint stage through arbitration. It is a web-based software application that can be accessed through the internet.

This course is designed mostly for Local executive members, Shop Stewards and other union representatives who are responsible for filing grievances in the Local.

Target :  Local Executive members Duration: 10 hours (2 days)

By using LabourWare, UNW Locals can conduct quick searches to find information on grievances, employers, collective agreements and members’ databases. They can also upload documents, files and images and share these as part of their correspondence. As well, details about grievance meetings can similarly be stored. Locals manage access to the system thus providing ready access to their Executives and Stewards.