Navigating Difficult Conversations for Inclusion and Equity

Brock’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI) is offering a Spring workshop: Navigating Difficult Conversations for Inclusion and Equity: Online from May 9th to June 30th

Navigating Difficult Conversations for Inclusion and Equity – Summer 2024 (Asynchronous)

Difficult conversations on challenging topics are often uncomfortable for educators and students. However, having difficult conversations as part of our teaching can help improve critical thinking skills and can assist in fostering a more inclusive educational environment. This workshop explores the potential of engaging students in challenging conversation -we will discuss the importance of multiple perspectives in teaching and pedagogical approaches to challenging topics in the classroom.   

This workshop will take place in Brightspace. 

Open to ALL Brock University Teaching Assistants, Lab Demonstrators, Course Coordinators & Marker-Graders.

Remember that Unit 1 members on contract can receive up to 5 hours of paid CPI training. This workshop counts as one hour of paid training.

Congrats to the New Executive Committee!

Here is your New Executive Committee for 2024-2025!

VP Unit 1Sarah
VP Graduate StudentsBen
VP Unit 1 InstructorsElizabeth D’
VP Unit 2/3Georgina 
VP Unit 4Rebecca
Lead Steward Unit 1Brigitte
Lead Steward Unit 2/3Donna
Lead Steward Unit 4Kate
Recording SecretaryKaren
Membership Outreach OfficerDan
Equity OfficerNwakerendu Waboso (K)
Health & Safety OfficerMikko
Congrats to the new Trustee, BRC & NDCC Delegates.

Trustee 2025 – Melissa St. Germaine-Small

Bargaining research Committee: Melissa St. Germaine-Small & Gloria Leahy

NDCC Delegates:
Jessica Srivastava
Abraham Begyina
Tracy Kennedy
Melissa St. Germaine-Small
Adwoa Owusu (Nana)
Michael Eshun


May 1 is workers’ holiday all around the world.

Here is a little bit of a background

And here are the events organized thanks to sponsorship and participation from Justice for Workers Niagara, Unifor 199, the Unifor Niagara Area Retired Workers Council, CUPE 4207, OPIRG Brock, Niagara Reproductive Justice, Niagara Health Coalition, Niagara District CUPE Council, CUPE 2977, and the Niagara Regional Labour Council.

Rally Against Privatized Healthcare

A rally against privatized healthcare at MPP Sam Oosterhoff’s office, and our evening event will feature live music performances and a community tabling fair! Workers, celebrate our achievements, and demand better labour conditions for all!

 11:30am to 1:00pm

MPP Oosterhoff’s Office: 4961 King Street, Beamsville, ON

Workers’ Gathering 

5:30pm to 9:30pm

Unifor Retiree Hall: 124 Bunting Road, St. Catharines, ON

Featuring community tabling and music performances by Gravely James (7:30pm) and The Feverish Lemons duo (8:30pm).

We hope to see many of you there!

Upcoming Online CUPE Education Opportunities

The following CUPE workshops are being offered online. You can register for one of them or
both of them. Registration is free!

Introduction to CUPE (online)
May 10 from 9:00 – noon (Mountain time) / 7:00 am – 10:00 am (Eastern standard time)
Information and Registration is here:

Anti-Harassment and Bystander Training (online)
May 10 from 1:00 – 4:00 (Mountain time) / 11:00 am – 2:00 pm (Eastern standard time)
Information and Registration here:

Human Trafficking Awareness

Moderated by Dr. Robyn Bourgeois and featuring five panelists. Join us for a discussion on this crucial issue – how to detect the signs, how to report it, and how to support survivors, followed by a Q&A.

Hosted by Hadiya’dagénhahs First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Centre and the Office of the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement at Brock University.

To Register
Brock students, staff, and faculty, please register via ExperienceBU.
Public registration via Eventbrite.

A link to the virtual event will be sent prior to noon on May 3, 2024

National Day of Mourning, April 28

Workplaces are not safe. Despite health and safety laws and health and safety mandated training, in 2022 in Canada, 993 workers were killed while on the job because of unsafe working conditions.  In 2022, there were 993 recorded fatalities on the job in Canada! About 15 years ago, the labour movement  developed a campaign, Kill a Worker Go to Jail! While there were some improvements in sentencing employers for causing injury and death, not much have changed since. The number of workplace fatalities is higher in 2022 than 2020.

Mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living. (Mother Jones)

Every year, on April 28th, workers commemorate those who lost their lives on the job with the resolve to keep fighting for the safety of their working conditions. The Niagara Regional Labour Council holds annual ceremonies at 10 locations in the region. We encourage our members to visit any of them on April 28th.

News article on CNI’s: Brock University nursing instructors among lowest paid

Brock University nursing instructors among lowest paid, says union

ByAllan Benner St Catharines Standard
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A team of registered nurses working to pass on their knowledge to the next generation is ready to go on strike if Brock University fails to provide fair compensation for the nurses’ efforts.

Phil Wachel, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 4207 aid about 50 clinical nursing instructors (CNIs) working in Brock’s nursing program voted unanimously in favour of a strike mandate after negotiations with the university reached an impasse on Feb 14.

He said a 100 per cent strike vote is almost unheard of.

“You get 95 per cent once in while, but you don’t get 100 per cent,” Wachel said. “There’s usually a dissenter among the group, but this is just so glaring that the CNIs at Brock need to come up close to the market rate, especially with the colleges getting into the RN business.” … Read more…

Celebrating CUPE 4207 Unit 1 Teaching Assistants

– Photo credit to Colleen Patterson – The Brock News, April 18th, 2024 –

Congrats over 70 Unit 1 Teaching Assistants who received acknowledgment, accolades, and awards at CPI’s TA reception on April 9th! Often overlooked and undervalued, we know that without the teaching supports of unit 1 TAs, the university would not be able to provide proper education and evaluation to its students.

A huge Congratulations to these outstanding award recipients for their hard work and dedication:

Huma Khalid, PhD student in Education – International Teaching Assistant Award

Richard Trotter (BEd ’22), Master of Education student – Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

Sandra Kroeker (BA ’09, MA ’19), PhD student in Child and Youth Studies – Teaching Assistant Award

Read more about it at The Brock News.

Annual General Meeting

We are holding the AGM on the 30th of April. There will be announcement of the election winners. The new Executives take office May 1!

Please register on Zoom (you must be a member in good standing) whether you intend to attend in person or not. All registrants will receive the meeting package and room location by email.

As usual, there will be light dinner, self-served.

Another Brock Press article on Unit 4 bargaining

CUPE 4207 Solidarity Rally raises awareness about CNIs as Conciliation extends into May

Cameron Sauder

By Cameron Sauder

April 12, 2024

This article is an update to the story of the CNIs in CUPE 4207 and the Conciliation meeting. To read the article written before the meeting, click here.

CUPE 4207 held a Solidarity Rally for CNIs at Brock as Conciliation went underway.

Early patrons of the Solidarity Rally on April 4 were greeted by Ron Walker, a Political Science TA and member of CUPE 4207’s first unit.

CNIs are real nurses who do real nursing and deserve a fair wage, said Walker as he held a CUPE flag and Solidarity Rally poster.

Inside the International Centre, CUPE representatives, CNIs and other supporters gathered and conversed. A self-serve breakfast bar provided coffee, tea, pastries and breakfast sandwiches, with vegan options available.

In the hour before the Conciliator arrived, the members of the Unit 4 Bargaining Committee, including Darlene Polich, Monica Hlywka, Rebecca LaRocca and Phil Wachel, were eager to explain just why this meeting was so important.

Polich described how this is a contract years in the making, with discussions about CNIs joining CUPE starting nearly three years ago, and the creation of Unit 4 occurring in 2023. Part of why this is so important is because of the drastic increase in CNIs over the last decade, with 2017 only seeing about 15 CNIs compared to this year’s 50.  … Read more…