2022 Scholarship Application period is OPEN!

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Unifor Scholarships

Unifor recognizes that the cost associated with post-secondary education is a challenge for many working families.  To assist in making education more accessible, we have established 28 scholarships of $2,000.00 each. Five of these scholarships are administered by the Quebec Council with a separate application form (see www.uniforquebec.org).  Residents of Quebec must apply using that application process.

The scholarships are awarded to children of Unifor members in good standing.  Students must be entering their first year of full-time post-secondary education (university, community college, technological institute, trade school, etc.) in a public Canadian institution.  One of these scholarships will also be available to a Unifor member with at least one year seniority.  These are entrance scholarships only and are not renewable for students entering subsequent years of study. A more detailed description of eligibility criteria and the  application process can be downloaded below.

A selection committee composed of Unifor National Staff and Local Union Discussion Leaders evaluates scholarship applications. The selection committee reviews hundreds of applications annually and considers many factors when evaluating applications including academic achievement, responses to essay questions, and a demonstrated commitment to social justice through extracurricular activities and volunteerism. In addition, the selection committee ensures that scholarship awards are distributed to best reflect the regional, sectoral, and membership diversity of Unifor.

2022 Scholarship Application Important Dates

March 24: Online scholarship application period opens

June 10: Application period closes

July 18: Scholarship recipients announced

Using the Online Application

Your application must be submitted using the online application form NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2022.

Click on the appropriate link below to complete your online application.  Please ensure that you have READ THE INSTRUCTIONS carefully, and have the following documents ready on your device for upload with your application.

  1.            Current high school transcript (children of Unifor members only)
  2.            Reference letter
  3.            Local Union Officer signature form
  4.            Essay Answers

PLEASE NOTE:  Any applications missing any of the required documents, will result in an error message and cannot be submitted.  Please ensure you have all documents available before submitting.

Apply as the child of a Unifor member Apply Now

Apply as a Unifor Member Apply Now

Local Union officer signature form

Questions?  

Email @email


Details about eligibility and the full application procedure are contained in the following document:

Scholarship Application Package

ELIGIBILITY

The following criteria must be met in order to be eligible for one of our 23 Scholarships.

  1. You are a son/daughter of a Unifor member in good standing OR you are a Unifor member.
  2. You are enrolling in your FIRST YEAR of full-time post-secondary education at a PUBLIC INSTITUTION IN CANADA (university, community college, technological institute, nursing school, etc.).
  3. You are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada
  4. If you are applying for a scholarship as child of a Unifor member, you must provide a letter of recommendation from a teacher, principal or community activist.
  5. If you are applying for a scholarship as a Unifor member, your letter of reference can also be from a Unifor or other Labour Education Discussion Leader, Local Union Committee Chair, District Labour Council, or a member of your Local Union Executive.
  6. If you are applying for a scholarship as a child of a Unifor member, you must include your most current transcript/record of marks.
  7. Your application must be submitted using the online application form no later than Friday, June 10, 2022.

Please Note: The five National and Quebec scholarships are administered by the Quebec Council with a separate application form (see www.uniforquebec.org). Residents of Quebec must use that application process.

Please read the following instructions carefully:

You will be required to upload the following documents at the time you complete the online application:

  • Letter of recommendation as described above
  • A copy of your current transcript/record of marks (children of Unifor members only)
  • A document containing your answers to the four questions listed below
  • A signed copy of the Local Union Officer form certifying your eligibility for a scholarship

Applications missing any of the required documents, will result in an error message, and cannot be submitted. Please ensure you have all documents available before submitting.

Applicants will be notified by email July 18, 2022 of the disposition of their application. Questions can be directed to @email.

ESSAY QUESTIONS

Please follow the instructions below carefully. You are required to submit answers to the following questions:

  • Question 1 or 2
  • Question 3
  • Question 4
  • Question 5

QUESTION 1 or 2 (200 to 300 WORDS MAXIMUM)

Please answer this question after you have explored the issue by speaking with a Unifor family member or any other Unifor member you know in your community. You may also use other resources to answer the question, for example, newspaper articles and internet resources, including Unifor’s website and the Canadian Labour Congress website.

Unifor believes in “social unionism”. Social unionism means that although our union is rooted in the workplace, we understand the importance of participating in and influencing the general direction of society. We therefore strive to not only improve the lives of our members and their families, but also the lives of all Canadians and the communities in which they live. We also strive to build relationships with organizations assisting working people and their communities around the world

You must indicate which of the following (Question 1 or 2) you will be answering:

QUESTION 1 – In which specific way do you think Unifor has had a positive impact on workers and their communities?

QUESTION 2 – How are unions relevant to you (or not) in your life and in your community? Please provide specific examples.

Please answer questions 3, 4, and 5

QUESTION 3 (75-125 WORDS MAXIMUM)

In keeping within the principles of social unionism, Unifor has named each of its scholarships after individuals who were active in promoting social justice.

After reviewing the individual biographies found below, who do you find particularly inspiring and why?

QUESTION 4 (75-125 WORDS MAXIMUM)

How will a career in your chosen field of study enable you to contribute to society and how will this enhance the lives of others?

QUESTION 5 (75-125 WORDS MAXIMUM)

In what way have you demonstrated a commitment to improving your community, (or other communities), in Canada and/or around the world? Please note - this is IN ADDITION to any hours of community service that may be required in your provincial or territorial jurisdiction necessary to graduate high school.

Unifor National Union & Regional Council Scholarships

JIM ASHTON Memorial Scholarship

In memory of Brother Jim Ashton's passion for his principles and his loyalty to the labour movement and social justice, Unifor has instituted the "Jim Ashton Memorial Scholarship."

Brother Jim Ashton, former CAW National Executive Board member and president of the London and District Labour Council, became involved in the labour movement in the Phillips Electronics organizing drive in London where he was first elected to the negotiating committee, then later plant chairperson. Jim's activism led him to serve as President of CAW Local 27 from September 1985 until his appointment as CAW National Representative in October 1994.

LARRY BAUER Memorial Scholarship

As a tribute to Larry Bauer’s tireless dedication to improving the lives of working people, the CAW Council, at its April 1995 meeting, endorsed the establishment of the “Larry Bauer Memorial Bursary.”

Brother Larry Bauer actively served CAW Local 444 from 1967, when he became a shop steward, to his death on May 28th 1994, through the positions of committee person, plant chairperson, 1st vice-president and president, representing active workers and retired members from the Chrysler Marine Division. He was Chair of the CAW Chrysler Council, Chair of the CAW Chrysler National Bargaining Committee, Trustee of the CAW Council and Member of the National Executive Board of the CAW.

DAN BENEDICT Memorial Scholarship

Dan was an outspoken advocate for greater social justice, workers' rights and education, quality public health care, justice for seniors and a tireless campaigner for international solidarity.

In 1977, after working for CARE in France and with Walter Reuther at the CIO, he moved to Canada to join the United Auto Workers education department. In that capacity, he developed the unions Paid Education Leave program, the largest single adult education program for working people in Canada.
As a retired staff representative he remained active as both president of the Organization of Senior Citizens of Ontario and co-chair of the Ontario Health Coalition. In 1998 he was awarded the Order of Canada.

GEORGE BROWN Memorial Scholarship

Brother George Brown was instrumental in breaking away from their international union and forming the Canadian Electrical Workers Union (CEWU). Later George supported the merger of the CEWU into the Canadian Association of Industrial Mechanical and Allied Workers (CAIMAW) on December 1, 1969.

From the merger until the time of his sudden death at the age of 45 on April 4, 1974, George held the position of Regional Vice President for BC and Alberta in CAIMAW. Under his leadership the union in his region grew from a dream to having 2000 members in twenty certifications.

ROSEMARY BROWN Memorial Scholarship

Jamaican-born, Rosemary Brown was a social worker before becoming the first black woman ever elected to a Canadian legislature. In 1972 Rosemary Brown was elected to the B.C. Legislature as an NDP candidate and served her Vancouver riding for 14 years.

In 1986, Rosemary Brown left politics to become a professor of Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University and in January 1997 accepted a position to the CAW Social Justice Fund Board. Her passion for justice and equality was unparalleled.

CESAR CHAVEZ Memorial Scholarship

Cesar Chavez struggled from a child to find justice for migrant farm workers. He was responsible for organizing farm workers in California in the sixties.

The struggle was not easy, but under the leadership of Cesar Chavez, the United Farm Workers made historic achievements by appealing to the best in people from all walks of life, to help farm workers.

While his childhood school education was not the best, later in life, education was his passion. The walls of his office in La Paz (United Farm Worker Headquarters) were lined with hundreds of books ranging from philosophy, economics, cooperatives, and unions, to biographies on Gandhi and the Kennedy’s. He believed that the end of all education should surely be service to others. .

Cesar Chavez insisted that those who labour in the earth, were entitled to share in the rewards of their toil, will never be forgotten.

TOMMY DOUGLAS Memorial Scholarship

Tommy Douglas made the move to politics in 1935 when he was elected as an MP of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). After nine years in the House of Commons Douglas was elected the leader of the provincial CCF in Saskatchewan. In 1944, Douglas found himself head of North America's first-ever socialist government.

Elected to five terms, he introduced Saskatchewan residents to social welfare, universal old age pensions and mothers' allowances, public car insurance, labour reforms and his long-standing dream of universal Medicare.

Under his leadership the CCF extended the vote to all Native peoples. He was also responsible for the 1946 Bill of Rights, which prohibited discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or creed. In November 2004, Canadians voted Tommy Douglas the Greatest Canadian of all time following a nationwide contest.

TERRY FOX Memorial Scholarship

An active teenager involved in many sports, Terry was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer and forced to have his right leg amputated six inches above the knee in 1977. The night before his operation, Terry read an article about an amputee who had competed in the New York Marathon. Indirectly, that story along with Terry’s observations of the intense suffering of cancer patients set the stage for what would ultimately become the most important decision in his young life.

In 1980, Terry Fox inspired the nation by attempting to run across Canada on an artificial leg. He called this quest the Marathon of Hope. His mission was to raise money and awareness for cancer research. It was a journey Canadians will always remember. This heroic Canadian is  gone, but his legacy is  just beginning.

GEORGE HUTCHENS Memorial Scholarship

George served as President of the International Union of Electrical Workers (I.U.E.) George spent years working on behalf of his members who would eventually merge with the Communication Workers of Canada.

BUD JIMMERFIELD Memorial Scholarship

"Eight children lost their father and our union an activist, when Ralph "Bud" Jimmerfield died of esophageal cancer caused by exposure to metalworking fluids on January 31st, 1998. Many others carry on the fight for healthy and safe workplaces and just and fair workers' compensation. The path has been well paved by Brother Jimmerfield."

A long-time member of CAW Local 89, Bud Jimmerfield worked for the same employer, an auto parts manufacturer, for 31 years. He spoke of his strong belief in training and the need to be proactive on health and safety matters. The sad irony is that someone who worked tirelessly to improve the health and safety of others lost his battle to a disease caused by the hazardous conditions he fought against.

Sari Sairanen, Unifor Director of Health and Safety, says, “Bud made a major contribution to health and safety throughout the province and the country. He used his health and safety activism and his own experience as a lesson to inspire others.”

PETER KLYM Memorial Scholarship

Peter was one of the early peace activists in the labour movement. Peter was a member of the Communications Workers of Canada. According to one fellow unionist, Klym “was marching for peace years ago, when it really took guts to do that sort of thing”. Peter continued to fight for the same goals until he passed away on August 4, 2007.

L.H. (Henri) LORRAIN Memorial Scholarships (2 scholarships awarded)

Henri was originally with the UPIU (United Paperworkers International Union). Henri was instrumental in leading the Canadian members of the UIPU to break from the international and form a Canadian Union for Paperworkers in 1974.

NELSON MANDELA Memorial Scholarship

After a lifetime of sacrifice in the struggle against the racist system of apartheid in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa in the country's first non-racial elections in April, 1994. Throughout the 1950's, Mandela was repeatedly harassed by the apartheid authorities because of his active role as President of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League. He was banned from attending public gatherings and forced under the racist laws from holding elected positions in the ANC.

Arrested at Rivonia in 1963, Mandela was tried for sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment along with seven other liberation movement leaders. Held at the notorious Robben Island prison, the international community joined in a worldwide campaign to free the people's leader. That campaign finally succeeded and Nelson Mandela was released without conditions on February 11, 1990.

His vision of the new South Africa is captured in these words:

"Let us reconstruct South Africa in the vision of the Freedom Charter, as a country that belongs to all its people, black and white."

DENNIS McDERMOTT Memorial Scholarship

Dennis McDermott’s life in the trade union movement began in 1948 at the Massey-Ferguson plant in Toronto.He joined Local 439 of the UAW and quickly became a union activist.

McDermott organized what is thought to be the largest public demonstration in Canadian history, a rally of 100,000 people to protest Canadian economic policies on Nov. 21, 1981 in Ottawa. He served as a national representative and Canadian Director of the UAW until his election as President of the Canadian Labour Congress in 1978. McDermott was later appointed Canadian Ambassador to Ireland.

EVELYN McGARR Scholarships (2 Scholarships awarded)

Evelyn served as Secretary Treasurer of the I.U.E. International Union of Electrical Workers. As a woman Evelyn was a pioneer in leading the way for women to get involved and run for positions in her union. Evelyn’s hard work and passion for justice was an inspiration to many women in the labour movement.

PATRICK McEVOY Memorial Scholarship

While Pat was President of Local 174, International Moulders Union, he came to realize the only way workers could control their own destiny was through building a sovereign, democratic trade union movement in Canada.

When Pat met with some of the workers of Griffin Steel on June 14, 1964 to found the Canadian Association of Industrial Mechanical and Allied Workers (CAIMAW), he knew it would be a daunting task to break away from the International Union.

Pat McEvoy not only founded CAIMAW, he was instrumental in shaping its successful destiny. In 1991, he would tell the CAIMAW membership:

“Because we have been a forward looking union, the merger with CAW is a natural extension of our own political and social values. There is no other union that meets the criteria we have set for ourselves. The CAW is a natural step in our evolution. Solidarity with this fine organization can only be beneficial for all our members.”

On March 30, 1998 the CAW National Executive Board established a bursary to recognize the fine, outstanding contribution Pat McEvoy made to establishing democratic, sovereign, Canadian trade unionism. He could not have wished for a finer tribute.

TOM PICKFORD Memorial Scholarship

Tom served as an RWDSU International Representative and Vice-President and later RW/USWA Key Staff from November 24th, 1980 to his untimely death on August 1st, 1998.

Most of his working life was spent trying to make life better for the working people of Nova Scotia where he resided and Atlantic Canada where he was Regional Director.

MERL RODOCKER Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is in memory of Brother Merl Rodocker for his tireless efforts of bringing Canadian unionism to his workplace. Merl was involved in just about every organizing campaign in the Canadian Association of Industrial, Mechanical and Allied Workers (CAIMAW). And he also helped other new Canadian unions to organize.

On October 12, 1984 just two months prior to his death by cancer, around a hundred of his closest friends gathered at the union hall in New Westminster to pay tribute to Merl’s contribution to the union movement. On leaving the hall Merl, in obvious discomfort from his illness, stated that without doubt this was the most wonderful night of his life.

PROMOTING EQUALITY Scholarship

This  scholarship is in recognition of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. It is intended to inspire and encourage Unifor members or children of members wishing to pursue  full time post-secondary education in non-traditional fields of science, technology, engineering, math and the trades. .

VICTOR REUTHER Memorial Scholarship

Victor and his brothers Walter and Ray played a pivotal role in building the UAW into a powerful voice for working people. But it was at the time of the CAW's formation in 1985 that Victor's support for the Canadian union and its progressive brand of social unionism was brought to the forefront.

During UAW organizing campaigns he played a key role in establishing the right of workers to bargain with automakers. Retiring from the UAW in 1972 he received the union's highest honour - it's Social Justice Award, and in 2001 he received Sweden’s highest civilian award, the Knight of the Polar Star.

ROBERT WHITE Memorial Scholarship

Bob White was the founding President of the Canadian Auto Workers Union. Bob began working at the age 15 and was immediately active in his union. He was elected a union steward at the age of 17, and at the age of 22 led 500 workers off the job in his first strike. In 1959, Bob became the President of Local 636 of the United Auto Workers. In 1960 he was appointed as International Representative of the U.A.W. and assigned to organizing duties within Canada. In 1972 Bob was named the assistant to Dennis McDermott, the Canadian Director of the National Office of the U.A.W. Bob succeeded McDermott to become the Canadian Director of the UAW in 1978.

In 1984, Bob led the Canadian membership of the UAW to split from the American-based union to form the Canadian Auto Workers Union. There was a growing sense among Canadian members of the UAW that the US based union was not doing enough to protect the interests of Canadian workers, and that independence from the UAW was the only option for greater autonomy and self-determination for Canadian workers. Bob was acclaimed the first President of the new union at the inaugural Convention in 1985. Bob served three terms as President of the CAW which had become the largest private sector union in Canada during this time. He became President of the Canadian Labour Congress in 1992, where he continued his work as a strong advocate for quality jobs, labour and human rights, fair trade, environmentalism, peace, and social justice for workers in Canada and around the World.

NATIONAL AND QUEBEC COUNCIL Scholarships

(5 Scholarships – Administered by Quebec Council)
Five scholarships are available to the children of members in Quebec.  Applicants for these scholarships should consult www.uniforquebec.org for more information on the rules and separate application process.