NUPGE’s 21st session of Leadership Development School wraps up after a week of learning, team building | National Union of Public and General Employees

NUPGE’s 21st session of Leadership Development School wraps up after a week of learning, team building

“Hosting the Leadership Development School is one of NUPGE’s greatest privileges. Each year, we bring engaged and passionate members together to learn from current leaders and experts, but also from each other. It’s an honour to say NUPGE is helping to strengthen solidarity and equip these members as they grow into leaders of the labour movement.” ― Larry Brown, NUPGE President

Calabogie (22 Aug. 2019) ― The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has finished the 2019 session of its Leadership Development School (LDS). In 21 years, close to 500 members have benefited from a unique week of learning, sharing, and workshopping designed to strengthen the labour movement from within and benefit participants in their personal and professional growth.

Participants gain valuable insights from leaders in the labour movement and related fields

This year the school was set in a new location at Calabogie Peaks. Dr. Elaine Bernard, former executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program (LWP) at Harvard Law School, led participants through the core program; a series of 6 lectures and workshops on leadership, strategic choice, and strategic planning. Participants also benefited from sessions led by the following:

  • Andrea Auger, Reconciliation and Research Manager for the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, on “Just Because We’re Small, Doesn’t Mean We Can’t Stand Tall”
  • Melanie Benard, National Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Canadian Health Coalition, on “Access and Inclusion: Promoting Disability Rights in Canada”
  • Peter Black, from Mindfulness Meditation Ottawa, on “Mindful Meditation”
  • Bert Blundon, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer, on “The Struggle for Joint Trusteeship of our Pensions: Newfoundland Case Study”
  • Larry Brown, NUPGE President, on “Strategies to Oppose the Attack on the Labour Movement and Accountability and Good Governance in Unions”
  • Libby Davies, CM, former house leader and former deputy leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) and member of the Order of Canada, on Outside In: A Political Memoir
  • Euan Gibb, Interamerica Regional Assistant for Public Services International (PSI), on “The International Labour Movement Fights the Right: From the Local to the Global”
  • Carol Meyer, former managing director of NUPGE, on “Communicating with Young Workers and Intergenerational Cohesion”
  • Morgane Oger, Executive Director of the Morgane Oger Foundation, on “Emerging Freedom: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of Canada's Transgender Rights Campaign”

NUPGE Leadership Development School 2019 participants and mentors

Peer-to-peer learning a priority

Along with the knowledge imparted by experts in their fields, participants also gained a better understanding of the international labour movement by hearing from their fellow union members in the United States, Ireland and Australia. The international sessions are a valued part of the NUPGE LDS and help strengthen solidarity across our boarders. This year’s international participants were John King from the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU), Debbie Parks from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and Vanessa Seagrove from Unions NSW.









Left: NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer Bert Blundon leads a session for the first time at LDS; centre: Spirit Bear accompanies Andrea Auger to LDS; right: NUPGE President Larry Brown delivering one of his two sessions at LDS




The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE