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Education: A foundation for AMAPCEO

Publish date: Wednesday, March 31, 2021 update

Members reviewing a document on a laptop

The AMAPCEO Education Committee is winding down after six years of work to fulfill its commitment to make member and activist learning a core priority for the union.

The genesis of the committee dates to 2014, when then-Treasurer Dave Bulmer, intent on growing AMAPCEO’s educational capabilities, partnered with then-Chapter Chair for Education, Training, Colleges & Universities, Cynthia Watt, to bring a plan to the Annual Delegates' Conference. Their vision became a reality when the Committee was established in January 2015.

Bulmer co-chaired the inaugural group with then-Vice-President, Sally Jurcaba. The first year was spent laying the foundation for the Committee’s work—including identifying target audiences, mediums for delivery, and the need for a strategic educational plan. After rising to Vice-President in 2016, Watt became Committee Chair, a position she’s held since. In 2017, the group delivered a five-year Education Plan and in the years since, AMAPCEO has hired two full-time staff members, Cassie Bell and Patricia Chong, implemented a Learning Management System (LMS), and grown its portfolio of offerings.

In recent years, AMAPCEO has invested in greater space for membership activities. With onsite space to deliver programming—and cost savings from not having to rent hotel space— education has taken flight. AMAPCEO offers entry-level Workplace Rep training three times per year, advanced-level training twice per year, and mentor-level coaching annually. Likewise, training for Health & Safety Representaives and Employee Relations Committee members has been re-introduced. 

Though the Committee has subsided, work continues on the Education Plan. Course offerings are expanding, pathways to activist competency are being mapped, and course and program calendars are being designed—all coordinated through the use of the LMS’ technology.

President Bulmer thanked Committee members, past and present, including member Jane Koster who was there from start to finish. “This was something near and dear to me, so I am so very pleased that we’ve made the immense progress we have to date,” he said.

Bulmer thanked Watt for joining in the vision early on and for her leadership these past five years, noting she had been the driving force over that time and chief author of the Education Plan. He also thanked the many members of the Board of Directors over the years who saw fit to invest in his business cases for improved office space and the increased human resources needed to enable this strategic priority.

“We should all be proud of what we’ve built together,” Bulmer said. “AMAPCEO will reap the rewards of a high-quality education program long after we’ve all moved on.”

More about AMAPCEO and our Members: Established in 1992, AMAPCEO is a bargaining agent that represents 14,000 professional and supervisory public servants, most of whom work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in 130 communities throughout Ontario and in 12 cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council; Ontario Health (Quality Unit); Public Health Ontario; the Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; and in the former Offices of the Ontario Child Advocate and the French Language Services Commissioner (now part of the Ontario Ombudsman).