Site Search  
FacebookYouTubeTwitter
BCTF Advantage
Print version

School Union Representative Training Workshops

School Union Representative Training
Categories (select to filter)

Advocating for Public Education—A conversation between parents, teachers, and trustees

(3–5 hours)

This new workshop can be booked as a SURT is a PSI (Professional and Social Issues) workshop. The intent of this workshop is to bring together parents, teachers, and trustees together to invite a conversation about public education. The objective is to create a local understanding of public education in the 21st century.

The workshop asks participants to consider ways in which parents, teachers, and trustees can work together to achieve the conditions necessary for a vibrant public education system. 

Book this workshop

An In-depth Look at the Role of Joint Health and Safety Committees

(4 hours)

This workshop expands on Module 2 of the basic workshop. It looks at the duties and functions of the joint health and safety committee in the context of the four basic rights and of the general duties of employers, workers, and supervisors. Participants will discuss common difficulties committees face and will examine the effectiveness of their own committees. 

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

BC Blanket Exercise: Exploring Historical Relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples 

(2–3 hours)

This experiential workshop will help participants understand how colonization of the land we now know as British Columbia and Canada has impacted the people who lived here long before settlers arrived. Through this exercise participants will explore the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, how this relationship has been damaged over the years, and how we can work toward reconciliation.

Book this workshop

BCTF Code of Ethics: Understanding the Professional Relationship

(90 minutes)

This workshop helps members understand professional and ethical behavior as it relates to the BCTF Code of Ethics. It explores clauses, the rationale, and the processes for enforcement of and for dealing with alleged violations of the code. It defines the role of the Judicial Council and the role of local officers in promoting ethical conduct. Scenarios are used to promote discussion and to apply the Code of Ethics to members’ behaviours and situations.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Capacity Building: Developing the School Leadership Team

(90 minutes)

Developing the knowledge, skills, and union-mindedness of the school-based team of teacher leaders (staff representatives, PD representatives, SJ representatives, staff committee chairpersons, health and safety representatives) is an important way to build capacity in the local. This workshop looks at practical ways to use the power of the team to support and advocate for members, create positive relationships in schools, and promote teacher education agendas. (Please note: this workshop should only be booked when bringing union representatives from all the leadership areas together.)

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Contract Awareness: Know Your New Collective Agreement

(two 90-minute sessions)
This revised workshop is designed to familiarize staff reps and the school union team with the restored collective agreement language following our Supreme Court of Canada win. The facilitator will guide participants through the local's restored language, then use case studies to show how the language will be applied at the school level. The role of the staff rep is discussed, showing the importance of the enforcement of the restored language plus any applicable remedies at the school level. This is a "hands-on" workshop so participants must bring copies of their collective agreement as well as copies of the local restored language.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Creating a Culture of Professionalism

(90 minutes)

This workshop explores the ways local and school teams can and do lead on professional issues, develop ideas and practices around professional cultures, and seek ways to enhance and support the autonomous professional practices of teachers.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Creating Inclusive Spaces: Applying an Equity and Inclusion Lens to Your Local, Schools and Classrooms

(1.5–3 hours, includes off-screen working session and break)

Available as a SURT or PSI workshop. This workshop will provide teachers with strategies to help contribute to more inclusive environments. Participants will be introduced to a number of barriers to inclusion based on race, gender identity, sexual orientation, class and physical ability. They will then explore strategies and resources available on the BCTF Equity and Inclusion webpages to address these barriers. Through an inquiry model, participants will begin thinking about specific actions they can take in their classrooms, schools, locals, and communities.

Book this workshop

Creating Opportunities for Teacher Inquiry in your Local

(90 minutes)

This workshop is designed to support locals in advocating, developing and implementing teacher inquiry in their district by providing them with examples, suggestions, and resources. Participants will be introduced to the BCTF Teacher Inquiry program, delve into principles of the inquiry process, and have time to strategize and plan for a locally developed and locally organized inquiry project.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation. 

Book this workshop

Deconstructing Myths

(3 hours)

In this workshop participants are submerged into the depths of the mistruths that have made up the belief systems of mainstream Canada for far too long. Participants will be challenged to dig deeper through research, which must include historical documentation and oral testimony as opposed to acceptance of archaic misinformation and hidden fabricated narratives. In a commitment to the continuation of the work that teachers started with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, BCTF invites all teachers to join in the effort to seek truth through the deconstruction of myths in curriculum.

Book this workshop

Drawing on Our Analytical Toolbox: Dealing with Difficult Issues

(3–5 hours)

Do your staff reps and local executive need help analyzing the issues that are plaguing your local and schools? If so, this workshop will help members break down the parts of the issue so they can develop a plan of action that will help resolve issues at the school or local level. This workshop has a 3 hour version where the process is introduced. The 5 hour version gives participants hands-on experience analyzing an issue.

Book this workshop

Education Change: The Big Picture

(90 minutes)

This revised workshop looks at educational change through several lenses including:

- curriculum—what we teach
- our pedagogy—how we teach, assessment, and reporting
- political imperatives—such as Aboriginal Education, inclusion
- technology—the tools we use change what we do
- and contract negotiations—creating a different frame.

Participants will engage in activities that assess educational change initiatives in education using the lenses of students' learning, our ability to incorporate proposed changes in the classroom, and the overall benefits to public education.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Engaging Members Through Professional Issues: Unveiling the OECD’s Global Policy Agenda

(90 minutes)

This workshop will help participants identify the OECD agenda and develop concrete plans to broaden our approaches to professionalism, professional issues, and professional development. Participants will be provided background information on the OECD, its agenda, and its role in shaping the BC public education system. You will also be connected to issues of disengagement, burnout, and isolation within the teaching profession and to the OECD’s global policy agenda.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation. 

Book this workshop

Ergonomics

(3 hours)

British Columbia is one of only a few jurisdictions in the world that has comprehensive workplace ergonomics regulations. This workshop provides basic information about ergonomics and looks at the ergonomics requirements in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. Participants will learn: how to identify ergonomic problems in their workplaces, some risk assessment techniques, and some effective control measures that can be implemented to reduce the risk to workers of musculoskeletal injuries.

Book this workshop

Having Conversations

(5 hours)

Collaborative work can be fraught with challenges: time is wasted, goodwill is lost, and environments that should be productive become unsafe. However, when groups change the way they talk, they change the way they work together. This 5 hour workshop will examine how we can all improve our communication skills by paying attention to our conversations, and in turn help us enhance our work with colleagues, students, and parents.

We wish to thank Danielle Fullan-Kolton and the Manitoba Teachers’ Society for their permission to use these workshop materials.

Book this workshop

Incident Investigations and Reports

(90 minutes)

The legal requirements of accident/incident investigations and reporting will be reviewed. Various types of incidents and causes of incidents will be discussed. Participants will discuss a case study in order to proceed through the stages of investigation—necessary facts, investigative tools, visiting the scene, interviewing, and evaluating. 

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Incident Reporting

(90 minutes)

Dr. Jennifer Newman, a workplace psychologist, states that workplaces should have zero harm policies. Harm is preventable and unacceptable. All incidents must be reported and investigated to take steps to prevent further injuries or an exacerbation of injuries. The most important incidents to report are the near misses so that whatever caused the near miss is eliminated or controlled and does not cause a more serious accident or injury. This workshop will cover what should be reported, how to report, and what should come from reporting.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Investigations and Discipline: Knowledge is Power

(5 hours)

The workshop focuses on investigations at the local level and moves to investigations and discipline at the Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB) level. Progressive discipline is discussed in the workshop. The school staff rep’s role in investigations is featured in this presentation.

Book this workshop

Is it a Grievance? Problem-solving at the School Level

(two 90-minute sessions)

This workshop gives union representatives an understanding of the grievance procedure for solving disputes. Participants learn their role in grievance handling and enhance their skill in helping colleagues resolve problems at the school level. Participants must bring a copy of their collective agreement in order to examine issues of local or school concern.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Joint Health and Safety Committees/Worker Representatives

(90 minutes)

The provisions of the Workers Compensation Act will be reviewed. Scenarios and discussion of duties and responsibilities, including committee terms of reference, will be included. Participants will go over successful strategies for effective committees, including organization of meetings and reporting responsibilities. 

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Managing Conflict

(3–5 hours)

Conflict is inevitable in groups, but it does not need to cause division and animosity if it is managed effectively. This workshop gives participants an insight into their own conflict management styles, and gives some practice in effective conflict management and communication skills. The workshop also provides information about the mediation services available from the BCTF. This workshop is not conflict resolution, but conflict management, focusing on skills to ensure that conflicts do not escalate.

Book this workshop

Marking up the Wrong Tree? Conversations about teaching, assessment, and reporting

The revised curriculum is placing new assessment and evaluation demands on teachers. This workshop will allow participants opportunities to make sure they are doing what is actually needed and useful for assessing student learning.

Book this workshop

Meetings, Motions, Minutes and More 

(90 minutes)

This workshop will provide participants with the skills, understanding, and knowledge to organize, conduct, and participate more effectively in large and small meetings. Whether you are chairing, moving a motion, or struggling to understand what’s happening in the meeting, this workshop is for you. Everyone has a role in making meetings effective. The workshop will cover BCTF Simplified Rules of Order, agenda setting, writing motions, principles of participation, and strategies for employing these rules successfully.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Mentorship: Building an Integrated Community of Practice 

(3–5 hours)

This workshop is intended for school union representative teams, as well as groups of teachers interested in developing effective mentorship programs in their locals. Participants will explore mentorship as a way to build a collaborative culture within schools, locals, and/or districts. Questions, such as why mentoring is valuable for the teaching profession and what elements important in mentorship programs, will be addressed. The workshop will discuss the different models of mentorship programs, and how a program can be developed to work within existing local and district structures. The workshop provides participants with a range of tools to use when developing their own mentorship programs and the five-hour workshop will give local teams time to begin the planning process.

Book this workshop

Negotiating your Enhancement Agreement

(3 hours)

An Enhancement Agreement is an agreement developed between all local Aboriginal communities, the local teacher association who represents the teacher voice, a school district and the Ministry of Education designed to enhance the educational achievement of Aboriginal students and more importantly to underscore the integral nature of Aboriginal culture and ways of knowing. This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of how these agreements are developed and the importance of teacher involvement in the process.

Book this workshop

New and Young Workers

(2 hours)

This workshop covers Occupational Health and Safety Regulation Part 3 which defines young and new workers and the requirement to provide orientation and training prior to beginning work. Checklists, scenarios, and a review of the role of the joint health and safety committee will be included.

Book this workshop

New Teachers History and Relationships

(90 minutes)

This component of the “New Teachers” SURT will introduce new members to their union. The topics covered include the structure of the BCTF and a brief history of the Federation. Participants will also discuss the importance of professional relationships, including the BCTF Code of Ethics, professional boundary issues, and the importance of the teacher/parent relationship.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation. 

Book this workshop

Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Program

(90 minutes)

School health and safety issues will be reviewed in the context of the workplace and necessary policies and procedures. The basic elements of an OH&S program are covered. Sample or actual school district policies and procedures will be reviewed. 

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Occupational Health & Safety Training for New Committee Members and Worker Reps

(90 minutes)

This workshop is designed for new members of Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees in their first six months on a committee.  Effective April 3, 2017, Worksafe BC regulations require all new members of committees and worker reps to receive 8 hours of instruction on prescribed health and safety topics (OHSR 3.27) . This workshop satisfies that requirement. The content of the workshop also serves as a good back-to-basics refresher for committee people, or as a SURT.  

Note: The training prescribed for new committee people is outside of the 8 hour education educational leave entitled under Part3, Division 4, Section 135 of the Workers’ Compensation Act.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Preparation for Bargaining: The School Union Team

(3 hours)

This SURT aims to help school union reps (Staff rep, Pro-D rep, H & S rep, staff committee chairs) recognize that they have the capacity to work as a cohesive team; in other words, to work less in isolation in their capacity of supporting their colleagues. Strategies and activities are built into the SURT to help facilitate understanding, trust and communication among the school Union reps. A group approach with the school union team is more desirable at the school level. 

Book this workshop

Professional Boundary Issues: Teacher/Student Relationships

(3 hours, may be divided into two 90-minute sessions)

Sometimes the standards of conduct between students and teachers are ambiguous. Teachers place themselves in jeopardy when boundaries are crossed. This workshop helps school staffs and TTOCs identify the boundaries and provides them with support and resources. Reference will be made to the BCTF Code of Ethics.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Refusal of Unsafe Work

(90 minutes)

The process of refusal of unsafe work will be covered in the school context. Scenarios and examples will be reviewed in order for participants to understand the kinds of circumstances under which refusal may occur. 

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Role and Function of the Pro-D Rep

(90 minutes)

This updated workshop develops the skills and knowledge of the PD chairs as a union leader using the PD lens as a strategic tool. Strategies are explored for building member and public support for professional development, advocating for teacher-centered PD, and returning control of PD to teachers. 

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Role and Function of the School Site Health and Safety Rep

(90 minutes)

The School based health and safety rep is more than just another body around the Joint Occupational Health and Safety committee table. This workshop explores the role of the health and safety rep from the union activist perspective. The Health and safety rep is an advocate, an advisor, and an assistant. This workshop explains these roles and how they fit in the union role. 

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Role of the Staff Rep

(90 minutes)

This revised workshop has combined the “Role and Function of the Staff Rep” and the two “Advocacy for Staff Reps” workshops into a single full-day workshop that will prepared your staff reps for their work with members in schools. Staff reps should not feel that they are alone in doing this work in the school. They will learn about their rights as a staff rep, learn how to represent members in initial conversations with school administrators, and become familiar with the format and content of the provincial and local collective agreement.This workshop will also discuss how to establish a network of support at the school and local level. Facilitators will use strategies such as role-playing, problem solving, and discussions to guide participants through all aspects of their role as staff reps.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Safety Inspections

(90 minutes)

This module reviews the pre-inspection, inspection, and post-inspection stages. School-related checklists and other materials are used. Participants will learn how to identify hazards during safety inspections. Pictures of school activities will be used as a basis of discussion. 

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

School Goal Setting

(2 hours)

This workshop is for school staffs or other intact groups, like school departments wanting to explore and establish their vision and goals for their work. Participants will identify, share, and develop action plans in a collegial and supportive atmosphere.

Book this workshop

Self-directed PD Planning: The Autonomous Professional

(90 minutes)

Participants become familiar with professional self-directed planning options that build and support teachers’ autonomy, professionalism, and collaboration. Participants will explore the differences between effective, teacher-directed PD, the "consumer model" of PD, and types of in-service, as well as some of the stumbling blocks to effective PD.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Social Media

(5 hours)

The social media workshop is designed to educate teachers about the professional and ethical use of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. The workshop reviews the wide-ranging landscape of social media through the lens of appropriate boundaries and professional conduct. Participants will learn about the value of engaging online as an educator, best practices, and appropriate privacy settings. This five-hour workshop goes beyond the three-hour social media workshop as it also helps staff reps and local associations support members who are using social media or considering it.

Book this workshop

Social Media

(3 hours)

The social media workshop is designed to educate teachers about the professional and ethical use of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. The workshop reviews the wide-ranging landscape of social media through the lens of appropriate boundaries and professional conduct. Participants will learn about the value of engaging online as an activist and educator, best practices, and appropriate privacy settings.

Book this workshop

Staying Well at Teaching

(90 minutes)

Teaching is complex. High public expectations, class composition, educational cutbacks, and increased accountability affect schools, teachers, and students. BCTF surveys identify increased workload and stress as significant concerns for teachers. This workshop helps teachers stay well. Setting boundaries around workload, self-care and smart choices, and de-stressing are key themes. All focus on building shared solutions to both the demands of the work and the isolation of teaching. Participants will reconnect with colleagues, laugh, and tell stories as they assess their work-life balance and explore staying well and creating a healthy workplace. Skilled teacher facilitators will design the session to suit the needs of each school staff. Retreat locations away from the school are recommended, where possible.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Teacher Inquiry Program (TIP): How to implement TIP in the district/school

This workshop is designed to inform participants about the BCTF Teacher Inquiry Program (TIP) and how to apply for a TIP grant. Participants will explore the components of this BCTF-facilitated program and learn about the BCTF self-directed professional development model of teacher inquiry. Participants will have an opportunity to assess their district/school’s openness towards teacher inquiry and to develop a plan of action to recruit interested members to a TIP in their local or school.

Book this workshop

The School-Based Team and the Restored Collective Agreement


With the Supreme Court of Canada win, and the restoration of the stripped collective agreement language, many locals are finding that their school-based teams can now operate with language that restores a great deal of influence and decision making. However, the restored language is unfamiliar to the majority of teachers who have become accustomed to working within the stripped language. This 4 hour workshop will discuss the importance of “unlearning” past school-based team practices and the ministry designations for students with special needs.  Participants will discuss the implications of the local’s restored language and develop guidelines to ensure the language is being followed.

Book this workshop

Union Mentorship

(90 minutes)

In this workshop participants will explore the advantages of developing a local mentorship program for all members, particularly members from equity-seeking groups. Participants will discuss how to create a respectful and deliberate way to share information, support each other, develop leadership and confidence, and how to be open to new ideas and ways of doing things that are essential to this process of renewal. Addressing barriers to leadership opportunities by developing knowledge and understanding makes our Federation more inclusive and encourages the next generation of activists.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Violence in the Workplace

(3 hours)

Workplace violence is becoming a growing concern in the education sector. Every year dozens of workers in schools are victims of threats and violence in the performance of their jobs. This workshop explores the definition of violence, types of violence, and what is required to assess and plan to reduce and eliminate risks. The workshop discusses risk assessment, safety plans, privacy issues, and the right to know, all with a focus on keeping workers safe.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

Violence Prevention

(90 minutes)

This workshop reviews the WCB section on violence protection. Emphasis is on completing a risk assessment and on processing reports of violence, up to and including a WCB claim. In addition, the workshop discusses the law on the release of a student’s history of violence in the context of a violence protection program.

This workshop has been adapted for online facilitation.

Book this workshop

  • FacebookYouTubeTwitter
  • TeachBC
  • BCTF Online Museum
  • BCTF Advantage