Canadian coaches soon to be represented by a union?

Following the evolution of soccer in the country, canadian coaches could see their working conditions regulated. Rabah Benlarbi has gathered around him a dozen colleagues to create a union to defend his profession. The technician advocates dialogue with the federations and clubs as a first step.

Soccer is becoming more professional in Canada. Clubs are becoming more structured and players are benefiting from excellent coaching, easily competing with European standards. But one thing has not yet followed the movement: the status of many coaches. In addition, the pandemic, leading to a suspension of activities in the clubs, has revealed legal loopholes that have plunged some coaches into troubled waters financially. « Many are paid volunteers or self-employed, » said Rabah Benlarbi, who initiated the initiative. The idea is not to fight with the federations and clubs but to build intelligently through dialogue. We want to integrate all our colleagues in this union: educators, coaches but also sports directors. For the moment, there are about ten of us and we want to federate as many as possible to have more weight in the negotiations. »

The emergence of a union opens the door to other benefits for soccer technicians. « The goal is also to put in place tools to help the profession, » continues Rabah Benlarbi. « Facilitating the possibility of obtaining foreign diplomas or legal assistance are part of the missions we set for ourselves. » For the moment, the process of creating the union has been launched and the formalization should not be long in coming: « The idea for the moment is that I take over the presidency to put everything in place in accordance with my experience at UNECATEF in France, » explains the coach who has been in Quebec and is now in Ontario. « But I’m not here to stay. I think a three-year term will be enough before I pass the baton. »

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