New union seminar launches in Prince George

Throughout the summer and fall, shop stewards at Save-On-Foods stores across the province will be invited to attend a special seminar held by the union to discuss ways to empower stewards as well how to make their meetings with management more productive.

The seminars will be facilitated by Secretary-Treasurer Kim Novak, along with various shop stewards throughout the province.

The seminar kick offs in Prince George next week . “We are looking forward to starting these seminars in the north because we know there is excellent work being done by our Save-On Foods shop stewards and we want to hear from them on what is working and where they need more support from their union,” explained Secretary-Treasurer Kim Novak. “In more remote regions  of BC, union representatives aren’t always able to make it to the monthly Growing our Future meetings and we want to provide the resources our stewards need to hold management accountable to following the terms of the contract.”

The idea for Growing Our Future was conceived in the 2013 round of bargaining. The meetings were designed to take a proactive approach to solving workplace problems by encouraging candid discussion between store management, shop stewards and members. “The intent was to strengthen the voice of our stewards, who are on the front line of resolving issues at store level, and ensure they’re on equal footing with management,” Secretary-Treasurer Novak said. “In many Save-On-Foods stores this has worked effectively but we know there’s room for improvement and to make those changes we need to hear directly from our activists.”

The Growing Our Future seminar will enable shop stewards to provide feedback on how their meetings can be improved. It will also give union leadership the chance to learn from members. “It’s critical that we hear firsthand from our stewards about what kind of support they need to continue to do their important work.”

While the seminar will focus on Growing our Future, Secretary-Treasurer Novak said it is also a good opportunity for shop stewards to ask questions and learn more about the recently ratified collective agreement. “It’s a chance for them to deepen their knowledge so they’re better equipped to help members.”

Growing Our Future seminars will take place in regions across BC throughout the summer and fall. All active Save-On-Foods shop stewards will be invited to attend.