Steward Essentials

Steward Essentials is designed for new stewards to help them do their job as a steward. The topics covered include:

  • How to read and interpret a collective agreement;
  • Essential skills required for union/management meetings;
  • How and when to file grievances; and,
  • How to navigate the grievance process.

Course Format

Five Week Blended Learning Course, with two live sessions and online asynchronous learning activities (independent study).

This blended learning course begins with foundational online learner prep, accessible up to four weeks prior to the first of two live sessions. Over the course of two days (one week apart), the live sessions will review ‘just in time’ online resources available to support stewards in fullfilling their role.

Live Sessions may be virtual, in-person, or mixed per each course offering. Please check the specific course offering dates or reach out to the Education Team (education@bcnu.org) if you have any questions.

BCNU Steward Education Program

This course is part of the BCNU Steward Education Program comprised of three sequential labour relations courses (Steward Essentials/Steward Intermediate/Steward Advanced). After completing Steward Essentials, we recommend you work 3-6 months as a steward before you take the next level course (Steward Intermediate). This will allow you to gain valuable on-the-job experience that you can apply in the learning activities during the course, and vice-versa. On successful completion of the course, learners will receive a course completion certificate. On successful completion of the program, learners will receive a program completion certificate.


  • Active Steward

We strongly recommend also taking the Building Union Strength (BUS) workshop prior to Steward Essentials. This workshop provides you with a basic understanding of the collective agreement and a good understanding of unionism.

Note: Course applications open four months prior to course start, and close 6 weeks prior to course start to allow Members time to request union leave.

Salary Reimbursement

In order to be receive salary reimbursement for this course, you will need to apply for Union Leave with your employer. Please apply for Union Leave after your application for the course has been approved. You can find the Union Leave Request form on the BCNU website. Learn more about How to submit your Member Expense Form for salary reimbursement.

Available sessions:

Product Name Seats Remaining Price
Steward Essentials - Live Sessions: November 20 (In-person) & 21 (In-person), 2024 Not open