Thursday, October 22, 2009

Climate change course - Train the trainer

On October 14 & 15, OPSEU's new course - Climate Change - It's a union issue - went through the train-the-trainer process so that members and staff from around the province can deliver the course to local leaders and members. I am pleased to report that the union's Regional Education Committees (there are seven) can now add this course to their quarterly weekend education program.

The course covers the causes and impacts of climate change with a strong focus on climate justice and actions that can be taken in our union, workplaces, communities and personal lives to make a difference.

In all, there were 4 members and 4 staff who attended this two day training session. On Day 1, Education Officer Kay Singh and I worked through the generic course with participants. Education Officer Barb Thomas provided support by tracking issues as they came up during the course. Our goal was not just to train the trainers, but to help take it from a "boiler-plate" to course that is more OPSEU- and Ontario-specific and in conformity with the general format of other OPSEU courses. It was a very interactive two days and there was a lot of positive energy and excellent ideas shared to tailor this to our union's needs.

Front row: Laurie Sabourin, Kay Singh, Rhonda Gibson
Back row: Peter McKenzie, Janet Heyman, Christopher Frampton, Greg McVeigh, Don Doucette, Gary Shaul
(photo by Barb Thomas, Marie Thomson from Region 1 was also in the training session)

On Day 2, the trainers were divided into pairs and assigned different parts of the curriculum to deliver themselves.

Brainstorming results

The generic course was developed by Jackie Larkin in 2008 working with staff and members of OPSEU, PSAC, CUPW, CUPE, Steelworkers, BCGEU, BC Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). It can be found here, on the CLC website. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with environmentalists from across the labour movement.

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