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  5. Paid Education Leave – Tips and Sample Language

The Employer agrees to pay into a special fund five (5) cents per hour per employee for all compensated hours for the purpose of providing paid education leave.  Said paid education leave will be for the purpose of upgrading the employee skills in all aspects of Trade Union functions. 

 Such monies shall be paid on a quarterly basis into a trust fund established by the National Union, Unifor and sent by the Employer to the following address:

Unifor Paid Education Leave Program

115 Gordon Baker Road, Toronto, ON, M2H 0A8

 The Employer further agrees that members of the bargaining unit, selected by the union to attend such courses, will be granted a leave of absence without pay for class time, plus travel time where necessary.  Employees on said leave of absence will continue to accrue seniority and benefits during such leave.

Funding Variations

In some smaller bargaining units Employers agree to pay into the PEL fund on a lump sum, quarterly basis (e.g., $500 per quarter).


Making the case for PEL to membership and leadership

Paid Education Leave is a negotiated agreement whereby the costs of union-delivered education for members and union leadership is paid for by the employer, allowing us to use our local union funds for other priority issues.  PEL also ensures people attending our programs get paid time off the job.

Our Paid Education Leave programs give leadership and members the skills we need to fight grievances, win arbitrations, succeed at the negotiating table, live up to our responsibilities under the Human Rights Code, improve health and safety, prevent harassment, resolve member-to-member conflict and overall build stronger local unions.

Through Paid Education Leave we are able to train the next generation of union leaders.

Our Paid Education Leave programs are delivered at our very own union-built, worker-owned facility where we can meet with union members from across the country to share resources, ideas and strategies.

Paid Education Leave is a national union priority with local union benefit!


Making the case to the employer

Paid education leave is a cornerstone of our bargaining agenda.  We will not leave the table without it and we are under direction from our National President’s office to hold to this position.

Our education programs equip bargaining committees, shop stewards, health and safety representatives and other union representatives to fulfill their obligations according to the law and with skill and due diligence.  The education we provide goes a very long way to ensuring that we have a good working relationship with management.

Through worker education we are able to elevate the overall knowledge in the workplace around health and safety, harassment, disability and return to work, bullying and general human rights issues.  Our education programs include information on workplace mental health, on conflict resolution, on violence against women and much more.

Paid Education Leave is an investment in developing strong working relationships between the union and management and in improving overall worker knowledge.

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