District 3 Summer School - CANCELLED

District 3 Summer School - CANCELLED


Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic we have made the decision to cancel the 2020 Summer School out of concern for the safety of our members.

We are currently working on a plan to resume our courses and will be doing this in the fall with scheduled regional schools.

More details will follow.




District 3 will be holding its annual weeklong Summer School at the Trickle Creek Lodge & Kimberley Alpine Resort in Kimberley, BC on June 14-19, 2020.

I am pleased to announce the following courses will be offered this year:


This course offers an opportunity to learn new skills and strategies for Steelworker activists to use in joint labour-management committees and as a shop steward.  This course is designed for new and experienced activists that would like to learn about union-management relations, traditional and modern management theories and systems, and the history of work organization.  Communication skills, group dynamics training, and conflict resolution skills will be emphasized.  The course offers hands-on practice sessions in skill-building techniques so that you will be as comfortable in the boardroom as you are at a union meeting.


Steelworkers are leaders inside and outside of our workplaces: protecting workers' rights, speaking out for change, and motivating and encouraging the participation of members at work, in our communities and through political action.  Leadership for action will help you develop leadership skills, building on your strengths to communicate effectively with members to build solidarity.  Sessions focus on leadership styles, presentation skills, strategic planning, campaign management, mentoring, problem-solving and conflict resolution.


This advanced grievance handling course will cover how to strategize for the final grievance meeting and look at how to resolve, withdraw, or move forward. Participants will learn how to use research to determine if they have a case to move forward and how to prepare their case. If you have a laptop, please bring it to the course.

PREREQUISITE: Participants must have completed the Stewards for Action course (Level 2)
NOTE: If you have access to a laptop, please bring it with you. If your local has access to Westlaw, please try to make accommodations to get access to the account.


This workshop will look at how we are currently running our local meetings and discuss strategies on how we can have meaningful membership meetings. The course will cover a number of the aspects of meetings, including parliamentary procedure, the duties of a chairperson, and how the rules of order can provide a democratic and fair process to get the business of the union accomplished, preparing, reading and debating motions and looking at how to engage members in the meeting and the local union.


This course is designed to acquaint participants with provincial health and safety law along with Part II of the Canada Labour Code, its regulations, related laws, occupational health, principle of controls, workplace inspections, accident and incident investigations and other knowledge relevant to the duties of workplace committee members or health and safety representatives.


Steelworkers are dealing with the destructive consequences of globalization on various levels.

From forestry and mining to manufacturing and telecommunications, our members are negotiating with massive multinationals for which Canadian workplaces are but a small part of their global operations. We're often confronted by job losses due to unfair trade agreements, environmental degradation from reckless resource extraction and the weakening of laws and regulations intended to protect workers and communities. Meanwhile, workers arriving in Canada hoping to build a better life often face exploitation, such as widespread abuses of the wage-suppressing Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

This course will look at the tactics and tools used by employers and governments to spread and sustain this model of globalization, the response from unions in collective bargaining and politics, as well as alternatives for a model of development rooted in global justice.



• The registration form and fee ($1100.00 per person) must be received in the district office no later than May 13th, 2020.

• The registration fee includes all meals from Sunday evening to lunch at noon on Friday. There will be a banquet Thursday night. The fee also includes accommodation (Sunday to Thursday inclusive) and course materials.

• We cannot make arrangements for room preferences or guarantee single accommodation. Many participants will have a roommate, but this will be in two-bedroom suites, with shared common space. Participants will not be required to share a bedroom. The accommodations' pairings will be randomly selected, and there will be no changes to room assignments without the Education Coordinator's approval.

• Transportation will be arranged from Cranbrook airport. Be sure to include your flight number and arrival time on your registration form. If you do not have the flight information at the time of registration, please email to Ginette Talbot-Hoogeveen (ghoogeveen@usw.ca) when you receive it.

• Registration will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 14th at the hotel.

• Please ensure that each student has a copy of all the information contained in this package.
Note: Participants will be required to pay for any incidentals incurred while in attendance at the school. If you do not cover these costs, the hotel will contact you or your local for the remuneration of these costs. The District will not be responsible.


Robbie Kilbride Scholarship

In memory of Brother Kilbride, District 3 Director Stephen Hunt is offering a scholarship to a local union member who wants to participate in the Advanced Grievance course.

To apply for this scholarship, you are to write a 300-word essay on: "Factors to consider when making the decision to move forward in advancing a grievance". The essay is to be sent to the District 3 office no later than May 13th, 2020, along with a completed registration form and registration fee of $1100.00. The local of the successful applicant will be reimbursed the registration fee.

Brother Robbie Kilbride passed away on June 7th, 2004, leaving behind a long legacy of participation in the District 3 Summer Schools. His years of dedication to the Arbitration course have left his mark not only on the course but also on the hundreds of students who witnessed Robbie at his finest in the classroom. When it came to instructing others and mentoring Shop Stewards, Robbie was an accomplished teacher.

Robbie started his career at IPSCO in Port Moody, BC as a member of Local 5404 in 1974. Robbie held many positions in his local, including President. When IPSCO closed its operation in 1989, Robbie became an Organizer for the Steelworkers.

In June of 1990, Robbie became a Staff Representative and was assigned to service in Kimberley, BC. His skills at the bargaining table and before an Arbitration Board assisted him in carrying the local unions in the area through some difficult times. His passion was doing arbitrations, and he was widely known and respected for his abilities by trade unionists, employers and the lawyers he went up against.

In June of 1995, Robbie was assigned to the Trail, BC office where he remained until 2000 when he was transferred to the Winnipeg office and became the Area Supervisor. He was also the District 3 Health and Safety Coordinator and a member of the National Health and Safety Committee. Robbie was an active member of the NDP and sat on the Manitoba Federation of Labour.

Download the registration form (PDF)