PARKSVILLE—CUPE’s Union Education department slogan, “Powerful Learning,” lived up to its name last week as the annual Parksville School this year welcomed participants from the Hospital Employees’ Union and expanded its program.
“We had about 20 HEU registrants for the first time at Parksville,” says Union Education rep Ruth Scher. “They ran a Grassroots Leadership Training course at our school, which helped to build great solidarity among CUPE members in B.C. We’re hoping for more joint CUPE Education opportunities with our HEU sisters and brothers in the future.”
Scher described the week as a great success, with facilitators reporting that everyone was engaged and actively participated throughout the week. A poster contest drew enthusiastic response, with each of the five entries reflecting the spirit of the workshops taken. In addition to Grassroots Leadership Training, the workshops were Creating Social Justice, the Steward Learning Series, Facing Management, and Advanced Occupational Health and Safety.
“Though rated by an impartial judge, all five posters were unique and artistic in their own right, so a decision was hard to make,” says Scher. “In the end, the Creating Social Justice workshop won the day.”
Another highlight was CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill’s opening remarks to the participants on Sunday evening. O’Neill welcomed HEU delegates and shared his insights on shopping “local first” and strengthening local economies.
Strong Communities coordinator Heather Inglis addressed the Wednesday sessions about the civic elections and why it’s important for each and every CUPE member and their family to vote.
Including the HEU members, total attendance this year was 90 participants.