Please note registration is now full. – JOIN THE WAITLIST HERE

Dear USW Locals,

I am very excited that we are holding our District School in the Fall of 2022. I am sure many of you have missed our summer school and we are very excited to be welcoming members to our in-person school in Kimberley, B.C. on October 2-7, 2022.

We have made a number of changes that we will be piloting this year, and will hopefully be able to include these changes when we return to summer school in 2023. These changes include giving members additional options to include families and providing childcare. We will continue to provide shared suites, but will give people the option of who they will be sharing with and also will have an option for single rooms at an additional expense for the participant. This also means that there will be different pricing options for the school and I encourage you to review the available options when registering your members.

I also want to remind locals that there are scholarships that are available for indigenous members attending the district school this year, as well as scholarships for members who are attending the National Gathering, to participate in summer school in 2023.

The following courses will be offered this year:

  • Advanced Grievance Handling
  • Leadership
  • Facing Management
  • Bargaining
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Building Inclusive Locals

One registration must be completed for each local union delegate and submitted to the District 3 office, with the registration fee.

Registration is now fullJOIN THE WAITLIST HERE

We look forward to your local’s participation in this year’s school.

In solidarity,

Scott Lunny,
Director, District 3

2022 Courses

Building Inclusive locals

When we combat racism or sexism, accommodate a worker or speak out against homophobia, we are helping to build understanding and respect in the union, and helping to build the solidarity we need to take on the struggles in the workplace, at the bargaining table, and in our legislatures. Sometimes it is easy to identify where we need to focus our efforts, but this course will challenge participants to dig a little deeper and examine some of our structures that may prevent activism in our union and workplace.

Through this course, participants will:

  • write inclusive proposals, develop a checklist and strategies for collective action
  • apply specific leadership skills to create, encourage and maintain inclusion in our locals.
  • use law and union policies to prevent and deal with harassment and discrimination in their workplace and their local.
  • evaluate their local and examine successful models of inclusion in the labour movement.

Advanced Grievance Handling

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 they have a case to move forward, and how to prepare their case. If you have a laptop, please bring it to the course.

This is an advanced course that will cover:

  • Analyzing grievances
  • Duty of Fair Representation
  • Introduction to case law
  • Research

Prerequisites: Steward 1 and 2

Occupational Health and Safety

This course is designed to introduce members to their role as a worker representative and their role on the joint occupational health and safety committee. This course will look at how to identify and address hazards, and how to assess the controls required to address hazards. We will introduce participants to how to access their provincial health and safety law along with Part II of the Canada Labour Code, regulations, and related laws. Participants will practice workplace inspections, accident and incident investigations and discuss other duties of workplace committee members or health and safety representatives.


This course will assist members who serve on Bargaining Committees to understand the collective bargaining process and prepare participants to work as part of the negotiating team. Participants will be better prepared for events in getting both themselves and the membership “ready and engaged” in the bargaining process. It will ensure participants are aware of the challenges they will face both within and outside of the committee while carrying out their responsibilities. Communication with the membership will be a key part of this training.

Sessions will include:

  • Determining issues
  • Communicating with the membership
  • Negotiating skills
  • Contract language
  • How to cost a package

Facing management

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 and communications skills, and build solidarity.

Sessions focus on:

  • Leadership styles
  • Presentation skills
  • Strategic planning
  • Campaign management
  • Mentoring
  • Problem-solving
  • Conflict resolution

Due to the number of courses being offered class sizes and registration will be limited.

All courses are registered on a first come – first serve basis.

Enroll early!

Registration is now fullJOIN THE WAITLIST HERE

Important information for 2022

District 3 School will be taking place on the traditional unceeded territory of the Ktunaxa Nation. Ktunaxa (pronounced ‘k-too-nah-ha’) people have occupied the lands adjacent to the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers and the Arrow Lakes of British Columbia, Canada for more than 10,000 years. The Traditional Territory of the Ktunaxa Nation covers approximately 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 square miles) within the Kootenay region of south-eastern British Columbia and historically included parts of Alberta, Montana, Washington, and Idaho.

  • The registration form and fee per person must be received in the District 3 office no later than September 19, 2022.
  • 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.
  • If you select shared accommodations, and have not indicated who you will be sharing with, we will select a roommate. Our two-bedroom suites have individual bedrooms and bathrooms, but shared living room and kitchen. Participants will not be required to share a bedroom, but there will be shared common space
  • Transportation will be arranged from the 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 Dayna Sykes ( when you receive it.
  • You are expected to attend and participate in all sessions, including the evening sessions. You are there with the trust of the members to use their union dues in a way that will benefit members, and the locals will be contacted if attendance is an issue.
  • Cancellations: If for any reason a student is unable to attend the school, please inform the District Office no later than one week prior to the commencement of the school.
  • Registration will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 2, there will be signs at check-in to indicate where this will be happening. There will be additional times to register for flights that arrive later in the evening.

Members 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 for these costs.

Robbie Kilbride Scholarship

In memory of Brother Robbie Kilbride, District 3 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 asked 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 September 15, 2022, along with a completed registration form and registration fee. The local of the successful applicant will be reimbursed the registration fee.

Robbie passed away on June 7, 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, B.C. 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, B.C. His skills at the bargaining table and before an Arbitration Board assisted him to carry 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, as well as employers and the lawyers he went up against.

In June of 1995, Robbie was assigned to the Trail, B.C. 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.

Registration is now fullJOIN THE WAITLIST HERE