For many young people, and even mature students, it can be extremely difficult to attend post-secondary education. Gone are the days when families could more easily save money for college or university study for their children, leaving many students to try to go it alone. Often working 2 and 3 summer jobs and keeping at least one job while in school creates hardships that no student should have to endure.
UFCW Local 401 is proud to offer access to a number of scholarships to assist members and their dependants – an important program with skyrocketing tuition and other costs associated with higher education. Local 401 has its own scholarships and they are the Robert McWilliams Memorial Scholarship and The Grant Notley Memorial Scholarship. UFCW Canada offers the Begg’s-Dowling-Mathieu Scholarship and the UFCW Canada Migrant Workers Scholarship. And finally, members also have access to UFCW’s International Scholarship Program. All are excellent ways to help offset education costs and we encourage all members and eligible family members to check out what’s available.
You can read a bit more about each of these scholarships below:
Robert McWilliams was a Union Representative at Local 401 for a significant number of years. A committed activist, Robert is known to have aggressively defended workers rights throughout his life. Robert became especially well known for his role in ensuring that Superstore employees were treated fairly when the Company was becoming newly established in Alberta.
Robert worked with young union members who were university and college students and believed strongly in protecting the rights of part-timers.
Unfortunately in 1989, Robert died suddenly in a tragic traffic accident in downtown Edmonton. It is on Robert’s behalf that this scholarship was created in his memory.
The Robert McWilliams Memorial Scholarship is available to UFCW Local 401 members and their immediate families. Immediate families shall include and be limited to spouse and children. The members of the Scholarship committee and their immediate families shall be excluded from this compensation. Any individuals who have previously received a Robert McWilliams Memorial Scholarship are also exempt. Only applicants who have been a member or are sponsored by another family member with at least six months seniority as of the yearly deadline date, will be considered.
The Robert McWilliams Memorial Scholarship is awarded every year to Local 401 members or eligible family members as stated above. There are two scholarships awarded worth $2,500.00 each.
An application to this scholarship consists of a three part essay as well as being accompanied with proof of full-time enrolment at an accredited post-secondary educational institution.
Grant Notley was an extremely influential person to many Albertans during his reign as leader of the New Democratic Party in Alberta. His dedication, commitment and hard work was recognized and respected by his fellow politicians as well as those of all political sectors. In recognition of his achievements and contributions to Albertan’s, UFCW Local 401 has ensured his name and legacy lives on through the Grant Notley Memorial Scholarship.
The Grant Notley Memorial Scholarship is available to UFCW Local 401 members and their immediate families. Immediate families shall include and be limited to spouse and children. The members of the Scholarship committee and their immediate families shall be excluded from this compensation. Any individuals who have previously received a Grant Notley Memorial Scholarship are also exempt. Only applicants who have been a member or are sponsored by another family member with at least six months seniority as of the yearly deadline date, will be considered.
The Grant Notley Memorial Scholarships may vary in value from $500.00 up to $2,000.00. Each year there is up to $25,000.00 allocated for disbursement to eligible applicants as stated above who enter into a post-secondary educational institution.
An application to this scholarship consists of a three part essay as well as being accompanied by a passport size photo. We encourage you to keep posted for this year’s requirements.
The United Food and Commercial Workers is a union that believes scholarships for working people and their children can make a positive contribution to the building of a more just and equitable society. In this belief, and in a lasting tribute to three builders of the UFCW and its predecessor unions, the Beggs-Dowling-Mathieu Scholarship Program (BDM Scholarship Program) was established to assist UFCW members and their children with the costs of post-secondary undergraduate studies. The program carries on the spirit of helping others that was embodied in the lives of three remarkable trade unionists:
William J. Beggs – 1920-1976
The untimely death in 1976 of Canadian Assistant Director Director Bill Beggs left a tremendous void in the Canadian Food and Allied Workers union. He was a tower of strength in the labour movement and a devoted friend to the hundreds of union members across Canada. His life was dedicated to the interests of the Canadian working class; his goal, a better society for all.
Fred Dowling – 1902-1974
Fred Dowling was a great pioneer of modern trade unionism who devoted his life to fighting for social justice and equality for all. For nearly 30 years, Fred guided and directed the United Packinghouse Workers union in Canada, and is particularly remembered for his work in political action and education. He encouraged union members to involve themselves in the political process and to work towards the election of governments supporting the interests of the working class.
Roméo Mathieu – 1917-1989
Roméo Mathieu’s example helped form the cornerstone on which our union is built. His leadership as Director of the Canadian Food and Allied Workers (Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of America) was a vital factor in making possible the merger that created the UFCW in 1979. It was the eternal need to bring union representation to unorganized workers, as well as the quest for unity and solidarity in the labour movement, that were the driving force of Brother Mathieu’s long and illustrious career.
Each year, eighteen scholarships of one thousand ($1000.00) dollars each are made available. They are awarded to UFCW members in Canada, or to the children of UFCW members in Canada, who are attending full-time undergraduate studies at a Canadian university, college or other recognized post-secondary educational institution.
Applications and rules may be obtained online at both www.ufcw.ca as well as below.
As of 2022, UFCW Canada Migrant Worker Scholarships are no longer available. Migrant workers and community allies are encouraged to apply for the UFCW Canada Equity Grant Program to support their work under any one of the program’s three streams. Click below to apply for the UFCW Canada Equity Grant Program.
The UFCW Charity Foundation offers scholarships to union members or their immediate family who want to further their education and demonstrate a commitment to their communities and to UFCW values. UFCW Local 401 members or their dependents are eligible to apply for the scholarship and can win up to $8,000 towards school! The deadline to apply is May 28, 2023.