Providing post-secondary leaders with learning opportunities to gain the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively manage labour relations in the sector.

As an employers' association, PSEA is uniquely positioned to provide specialized human resources and labour relations training tailored to post-secondary leaders' unique needs.
Check out our current offerings

Multi-Format Delivery

At PSEA we are proud to offer learning opportunities in two formats to ensure you have options.

We are offering our learning workshops through both in-person sessions and online formats.

Typically our in-person learning opportunities take you out of the office for a full day while we break the online learning into three-hour timeslots over multiple weeks.

Experienced professionals facilitate our sessions. These sessions include real-life examples, practical learnings and opportunities to meet and learn with peers in the sector.

Sector Focused

Our learning is sector focused and designed for non-unionized members. We understand the sector's unique challenges and designed our workshops to specifically build labour relations capabilities and capacity in the post-secondary sector.

Most sessions are included in your PSEA membership.


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Workshop Fees

Due to rising costs, we are introducing a small, shared cost recovery fee for some of our offerings. PSEA continues to see high usage of our learning program, with our learning events identified by member institutions as one of the top-valued PSEA services. To continue to develop and deliver timely, relevant learning offerings, we are introducing a fee for some learning events. These fees will cover the costs for meal expenses and recover part of the costs for external presenters and development of new learning events.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Sometimes, PSEA needs to cancel a workshop, webinar, or academy. We will try to provide at least one week's notice for such occasions; however, there may be a last-minute cancellation due to the presenter's illness. PSEA will notify each registrant by e-mail. PSEA will not be responsible for travel reimbursement or any other expenses incurred by the registrant on or before the specified cancellation date but will refund the session cost.

Cancellations by a registrant must be communicated in writing to learning@psea.bc.ca at least 10 business days in advance of the session. A full refund will be issued for cancellations received in writing 10 or more business days before the session. If a registrant cannot attend, you may substitute another excluded employee from your institution to attend in your place; please let us know in writing about any substitution to learning@psea.bc.ca before the event.

Workshops   WORKSHOPS

Labour Relations Essentials

This two-day workshop is recommended for people leaders new to their role and/or new to the post-secondary sector.

During the workshop, participants will learn foundational labour relations principles and practices as they apply to the post-secondary sector. Through this workshop, participants will:

  • gain an understanding of the legal framework behind labour relations,
  • explore the interplay between legislation and collective agreements, key labour relations concepts such as management rights, union duties, roles and responsibilities of union and management, discipline, and grievances.

The workshop provides participants with opportunities to apply their knowledge and understanding of labour relations principles directly through group work and real-life examples.

Critical Conversations: Leading in a Unionized Workplace

This workshop is recommended for people leaders and those wanting to refresh their skills.

During the workshop, participants will learn communication skills to help them set expectations and address workplace issues constructively, leading to positive outcomes. These skills will include active listening, empathetic communication, and conflict resolution techniques. By incorporating these skills into their day-to-day work, participants can become effective leaders who can successfully manage people's issues in a unionized environment.

Contract Language and Interpretation

This workshop is recommended for post-secondary people leaders and human resources or labour relations practitioners.

During this workshop, participants will learn contract language and interpretation basics, including understanding the collective agreement, key steps to interpretation, knowledge of past practice, and how it applies in day-to-day practice.

Progressive Discipline

This workshop is recommended for people leaders and human resources or labour relations practitioners seeking a refresher on progressive discipline's core principles and practices.

Managing employee performance can seem daunting to leaders, especially when managing performance concerns. This workshop seeks to demystify handling both culpable and non-culpable behaviour in the workplace. During the workshop, participants will learn how to establish performance expectations and determine an appropriate corrective response.

Managing Grievances

This workshop is recommended for people leaders and human resources or labour relations practitioners seeking a refresher on the core principles and practices of managing grievances.

During the workshop, participants will learn the role of managers, union representatives, Human Resources and PSEA in the grievance/arbitration process and the technical aspects of grievance handling, such as identifying, preparing for, and participating in grievance discussions.

The Investigation Process

This workshop is recommended for people leaders and human resources or labour relations practitioners seeking a refresher on investigating misconduct in the workplace.

During this workshop, participants will learn when a duty to investigate is triggered and best practices on how to ensure that the investigation is fair, impartial, and legally defensible. Participants will receive tools and resources as takeaways.

Conducting a Workplace Investigation

This workshop is recommended for people leaders, human resources or labour relations practitioners who conduct investigations in their institutions.

Every workplace investigation will be distinctive in its facts and circumstances; however, your organization should follow general guidelines and principles to mitigate damage and protect positive workplace relationships. Investigations play an essential role in addressing misconduct in the workplace. Having a clear investigation process ensures your employees know that you will treat all employees fairly. If conducted properly, investigations can help protect the institution's interests by appropriately identifying and responding to misconduct in a fair and unbiased manner.

Responding to Harassment and Conflict in the Workplace

This workshop is recommended for people leaders, human resources, and labour relations practitioners.

Responding to and investigating workplace harassment complaints can be a complex, high-stakes process with far-reaching implications for teams. The workshop will provide varied insights from a legal and labour relations perspective and expertise from a Human Resources Leader and a professional investigator. Participants will experience an investigation first-hand using simulation and role play to build their skills and learn how to avoid costly pitfalls and legal liabilities.

Building Healthy Workplaces

This workshop is recommended for people leaders, and human resources or labour relations practitioners.

We are all working toward a respectful workplace: an environment where there is a strong culture of inclusion, diversity, mutual respect, and open communication. What is preventing some work environments from this kind of positive culture?

Bargaining Academy

This workshop is recommended for people leaders and human resources or labour relations practitioners who will be involved with bargaining at their institution.

Collective bargaining can be complicated, challenging, and, at times, stressful. During the workshop, participants will learn the fundamentals of collective bargaining and experience the bargaining process from start to finish through simulation and role play.

Labour Relations Program for Academic Leaders - PILOT

This program is designed for academic leaders with fewer than two years of experience in an excluded academic leadership role (Typically Dean/Associate Dean/Director level) and/or is new to the province where labour relations (managing unionized faculty) is part of their administrative duties.

During the five days, participants will work with a group of leaders from across the sector to navigate the challenges of what they are expected to know and be able to do – not least managing the shift from peer to leader, from union member to excluded employee.


Emerging Issues   EMERGING ISSUES

Estoppel: Managing Past Practices and Promises

Does your organization have a long-standing practice that either contradicts the Collective Agreement, goes beyond what is required in the Collective Agreement, or is just so long-standing you wonder if you can change it? Did someone write an email 15 years ago promising to act in a certain way and that promise doesn’t make sense anymore? Are you unsure if a promise was made or exists?

University and College Governance: Their Relationship to the Practice of Labour Relations

University and College governance is a complex matter involving multiple stakeholders. The College and Institute Act and the University Act set out a bicameral governance model that is sometimes complicated. As legislative bodies operate outside Human Resources, their roles can sometimes be forgotten when responding to grievances or discussing bargaining issues. At times, labour relations issues can creep into decisions that properly belong to the governing bodies.

Navigating Freedom of Expression and Academic Freedom in BC’s Public Post-Secondary Sector

Customized Training   CUSTOMIZED TRAINING

PSEA supports its members in building the capacity of their staff to manage labour relations issues effectively. PSEA can tailor workshops for your institution’s specific needs and develop new workshops based on established labour relations best practices and theory.

Advantages to bringing our training in-house include:

  • Allows people leaders and human resources team members to focus on gaps, issues, or challenges specific to their institution.
  • Increases the transfer of learning and application of labour relations principles and practices by using institution-specific examples and scenarios.
  • Provides an opportunity for people leaders and/or human resource team members to better align around labour relations practices: who does what, when and why.
  • May be more affordable. Rather than employees travelling to PSEA, we can come to you!

Here is what one member said about our in-house deliveries:

“There were a number of new concepts, and having the chance to practice and engage with the concepts with other leaders from the college and the Human Resources Team was invaluable.”
    People Leader, Coast Mountain College

If you are interested in customized training, please get in touch with Janet Amos, Director of Learning and Development, by email at janet@psea.bc.ca.