Learn how to change the world
Posted: April 18, 2017
Luis Gonzales from MoveUP wants to change the world. Now he knows how after attending the Unions in the Community course as part of the Labour Community Advocates training program last February at the CLC Harrison Winter School. “I’m passionate about making my community stronger. Through the Labour Community Advocates program, I learned how to do that. As well, I have built a network of union members and activists across the Lower Mainland and around the province to help me with this goal.”
Building a better workplace and a stronger community go hand in hand. That’s why the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and United Way jointly offer the three-level Labour Community Advocate training program annually at the CLC Harrison Winter School.
Labour Community Advocates link workers facing workplace, personal or family challenges with resources in the community. They also help identify community issues where a union can play a role through collective bargaining or social action; and they support community activism among union members, unions and labour organizations.
“Labour Community Advocates provide a lifeline for union members who need support, which we all do from time to time. Having a Labour Community Advocate program in a workplace or through a union means that workers can get immediate referrals to community experts and services. That makes an immense difference in someone’s ability to deal with stress, change or tragedy in their lives. And sometimes it’s just a case of knowing you are not alone,” says Nikki Hill, Director, Labour Participation Program, United Way of the Lower Mainland.
The next Labour Community Advocates program runs January 14 – February 16, 2018 at the Harrison Winter School and includes the Labour Community Advocates Level 1, which provides participants with information about the social issues faced by working people and the resources available in their community, Critical Incident Stress, and Unions in the Community, which help participants like Luis develop skills such as working with coalitions, developing community campaigns and creating networks of labour and community activists. And that’s especially important right now in British Columbia.
“With added stress like affordability of housing and food in our province, the interest in learning how to help other union members is so important to me and my union and we had multiple members in the course this year,” says HEU member, Carmen Rogers. As a result, United Way is offering additional training to help Labour Community Advocates expand their skills. Level 2 sessions on workplace harassment and bullying and work/life balance for activists are being offered at United Way of the Lower Mainland offices June 17. For more information and to register visit: http://www.uwlm.ca/events/labour-campaign-advocate-training/