Education FAQs

Curious about the education and training courses we offer? We've compiled this handy list to answer frequently asked questions we receive. If you have a question about something that's not on this list, please contact our Education Department.

Course information FAQs

Who can attend SGEU training?

All members in good standing can apply to attend a union course. Some pre-requisites apply for certain courses.

Who is a member in good standing?

According to SGEU's Constitution, a member remains in good standing if they are:

  • Not more than three (3) months in arrears in payment of dues.
  • Gainfully employed in a bargaining unit for which the union holds or seeks recognized bargaining rights.
  • Not penalized by suspension or termination following sanction under the Code of Ethics of the Constitution or the Policy of the union.
  • Not penalized by suspension or termination following sanction of a breach of SGEU’s Statement of Equality, provided that in accordance with any applicable laws, no such penalty shall require the employer to discharge such member from employment; and
  • Not penalized by suspension or termination for participating in an attempt by another organization to displace SGEU from its bargaining rights in respect of any bargaining unit SGEU represents.
What can I expect from my training?

SGEU training focuses on developing and increasing the knowledge of our members. You can expect expert facilitators to lead the courses with a rigorous discussion of the subject matter. You can meet new friends from different SGEU sectors and bargaining units with varied experiences, which will provide learning opportunities for all. We use teaching methods that are participatory, encourage reflection and dialogue, and respond to different learning styles.

What expectations does SGEU have of me when I attend a course?

For in-person training

  • Bring your collective bargaining agreement with you.
  • Follow any instructions provided by email.
  • Read instructions about venue, accommodation, and travel carefully, as courses aren’t always offered at SGEU facilities.
  • Update your dietary needs (if any) when you are registering.
  • Attend the entire course from beginning to end.
  • Refrain from using scented products, due to sensitivities and allergies.
  • Please contact the course facilitators with questions.

For online training

  • Have a high-speed, stable internet connection.
  • Find a quiet place with no distractions.
  • Use a laptop or desktop computer with a camera. Cell phones are not recommended, as they are not effective while screen sharing.
  • Run test meetings with Zoom and WebEx ahead of time to make sure your audio and video work well.
  • Join the meeting 10 minutes before the course starts.
  • Have your camera turned on if your connection allows. (If there is a poor connection, turning off the video might help.)

Respectful behaviour at all SGEU courses

  • Participate actively and respectfully in all course activities.
  • Respect the privacy of all members participating in the course.
  • Acknowledge and respect diverse opinions.
  • Refrain from using your cell phone during the course.
  • Notify the SGEU Education Department if you are not able to attend.
What courses am I eligible to take?

If you are an SGEU member in good standing, you can explore different courses available to you under learning and development section on our sebsite.. We have different levels of learning development courses available to all SGEU members, stewards, elected SGEU leaders, etc. To understand pre-requisites and eligibility, please visit our course calendar.

If you need information about the courses you have taken or any courses you are eligible for, please contact our Education Department, and we will provide you with information.

Are all the courses listed in the course information section offered?

All the courses are listed in our course calendar. The date, course description and prerequisites are on the course calendar. However, location, training method, facilitators, and a number of participants are not listed, as they are subject to change.

Can I attend a course more than once?

If you have taken the course 10 or more years ago, you are eligible to re-take it.

Who facilitates SGEU education courses?

All SGEU courses are coordinated by our SGEU Education Officer. The courses are co-facilitated by knowledgeable and experienced staff and trained member facilitators. We have designated facilitators for our specialized courses like Unionism on Turtle Island.

How many educational courses am I eligible to take?

The SGEU education year is from January 1 to December 31. There is no cap on how many courses a member can take annually, but there are different pre-requisites for each course.

Are there required course materials?

As an attendee, you will be provided with all course information when the course is complete. The materials will be shared via email to all that participated.

Please bring your collective bargaining agreement to all our courses, as we will be referring to it.

Who makes decisions about what is offered?

The Education Learning & Development Committee works closely with the Education Department to ensure a high-quality program that meets the needs of our members. This standing committee is comprised of elected representatives from all six sectors and a representative from the Human Rights & Equity Committee. They meet regularly to review the programming and discuss ideas for strengthening it, based on feedback from course participants.

What if I have specific requirements?

Please indicate on your application form if you have dietary, accommodation, allergy, mobility, visual, hearing, or other requirements. We will do our best to meet your needs.

Expenses FAQs

If I want to attend SGEU training, do I have to pay for it? Who pays for my expenses?

SGEU provides a wide range of training for members. If you are an SGEU member in good standing, you can take courses offered by our union. If you are scheduled to take the course during your workday, we will provide you with union leave (reimbursed to the employer). If you are attending training on your scheduled day off, we will pay you a stipend for training hours. You will need to provide information about union leave requirements, number of hours, etc. when you register for training. For stipend, attendees will fill out expense claim forms provided at the end of the course.

If you are attending training during your vacation, that must be approved ahead of time by SGEU's First Vice-President. You will be able to attend the course after approval.

How do I get time off to attend courses, and do I receive payment?

If you are registered to attend training during scheduled work time, SGEU will give you union leave, which means your work pay will be reimbursed by the union to your employer. When you register, you should notify us of how many hours of union leave you require to attend the course. If you are attending training on your day off, you will get a stipend for the training time ($20 per hour). To claim a stipend, you will have to fill out the standard expense claim form at the end of the course.

What travel expenses are covered by SGEU when I attend the course?

If you are coming from outside the city the course is held in, you will be paid for travel time. If you use your own vehicle, you can claim your mileage in the standard expense claim form, and it will be reimbursed by SGEU, based on our policies.

What meal expenses are covered by SGEU when I attend the course?

Lunches are provided for all in-person SGEU courses. If you are attending courses outside of your city (staying at a hotel), you can charge for breakfast if the hotel does not provide it. You may also claim for supper as directed by SGEU policy.

What about dependent care expenses?

Dependent care is also reimbursed within certain guidelines. See the SGEU Policy Manual for more specific information on these and all other expenses. Members are required to submit a receipt and complete a claim voucher to receive reimbursement.

Will SGEU provide hotel rooms for out-of-town participants?

Yes, if you are attending courses outside of your city, you are entitled to a hotel room. View our Policy Manual for the distance eligible for a room.

After you register for a course, you will receive hotel information. If you cannot attend the course once the hotel is booked, you are responsible for cancelling the hotel room and informing the Education Department ahead of time.

According to the SGEU Policy Manual, “when the union has arranged direct billing, individuals who do not inform the meeting coordinator of room cancellations or changes will be billed for the room charges.”

See the SGEU Policy Manual for more specific information on these and all other expenses or contact the SGEU Education Department.

Registration and attendance FAQs

How do I register for a course?

You can apply to any of our courses online. View our upcoming courses and register for the course(s) that interest(s) you.

After you register, you'll receive a confirmation email, union leave forms, and additional information about the course.

If the course is full, you will receive an email indicating you are on the waitlist. You will be contacted if a spot becomes available or if SGEU schedules an additional course. Since all our correspondence is done via email, please ensure you have an updated email address in our database.

Are courses ever canceled?

According to SGEU Educational Operation Guidelines, if the class isn’t at 40 per cent capacity within four weeks of the course date, we reschedule the course and notify participants.

What if I am unable to attend all or much of a course?

If you are accepted into a course but then decide to withdraw, notify the SGEU Education Department right away, in case there are others waiting to get into the course.

If on the day of the course, you are unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances, inform the SGEU Education Department.

If, while attending a course, you must unexpectedly miss part of it, speak to one of your facilitators.

What if I am sick on a day that I am scheduled to attend training?

Contact the SGEU Education Department, so that the course facilitators can be notified. You should also contact your employer to notify them that you require a sick day. The union will cancel your union leave if you cannot attend a course due to illness.

Can I take courses wherever I want?

We offer courses in Saskatoon, Regina, and Prince Albert. Members should register for the course in the area nearest them. If there are special circumstances or needs, please contact the SGEU Education Department.

What happens if I try to register for a course that is full?

If the course is full, you will be placed on a waitlist. You will be notified via email if there are any openings, and then you will be registered.

How does SGEU decide who gets accepted into the courses?

Our Education Department screens applicants to ensure they have the pre-requisites to attend the courses. Then, applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as space is limited.