From National—The Union Education Program

After having to cancel the Union Education Program (UEP) that was scheduled for October 2020 until March 2021, we are re-launching the UEP, in the hopes that the pandemic will be behind us and public health regulations will have been lifted. We have used this hiatus to revamp the curriculum so that it better reflects the context and issues of our post-pandemic world.

CUPW’s Union Education Program (UEP) is a four-week residential program aimed at developing knowledge and skills for union activists. It is an intensive, enriching and experiential learning practice focused on addressing current labour and social issues; finding adequate tools to combat social and economic injustice; discovering links among various unjust systems and practices; and developing solidarity to fight back with direction, vigor and efficacy against systemic oppression.

We also strongly urge elected officers of Locals and Regions to consider applying to the Union Education Program.

The Union Education Program is not a tools based program. You will not learn about the specifics of Collective Agreement issues.


The objectives of the UEP are to:

  • Increase our knowledge of the world and of politics
  • Increase our knowledge of the labour movement
  • Increase our knowledge of the climate emergency
  • Deconstruct concepts that form part of our accepted belief system, but which need to be questioned such as:
    • Colonialism
    • Capitalism
    • Neoliberalism
    • Patriarchy
    • Systemic racial, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, age, faith-based oppressions, and others
  • Sharpen our skills in debating
  • Explore our leadership abilities
  • Develop public speaking tools
  • Learn how to develop campaigns
  • Consolidate our campaign development abilities
  • Expand skills in relating with the media
  • Re-connect with ourselves, each other, the land and nature
  • Develop our solidarity

And have fun while exploring all these aspects of labour activism! 

Venue and dates

The UEP takes place at the Unifor Family Education Centre, in Port Elgin, Ontario

Port Elgin is 220 km northwest of Toronto.

The four-week program takes place one week at a time, over 5 months:

–       Week 1: November 25 – December 02, 2022 (2 days of preparation; 5 days of training)

–       Week 2: February 26 – March 3, 2023 (5 days)

–       Week 3: March 26 – 31, 2023 (5 days)

–       Week 4: April 23 – 28, 2023 (5 days)




All CUPW members in good standing are eligible.

Preference will be given to members who are actively involved in the Union, and who have attended CUPW educationals.

Other relevant criteria include membership in an equity-seeking group and activist experience outside CUPW.

Participant Expenses

The Union Education Fund pays the following costs for participants:

–       Lost wages

–       Meals and accommodation at Port Elgin

–       Travel costs

–       Child care and elder care expenses per CUPW policy (7.63)

Application Form

You can obtain an application form either from your local president, or download it from

Those who applied in 2020 and who emailed CUPW Education to state their wish to be considered an applicant, do not have to re-submit an application.