Core to Labour Community Services work is the delivery of a 10-week program designed to train union members to become referral agents in their workplaces. Participants receive training on social issues faced by working people and the resources available in their community. Participants are trained in communication skills, interviewing, and referral techniques so they can assist fellow union members. The program also allows participants to explore the ways in which unions and other labour bodies can help build resilient and respectful communities.
The program provides an opportunity for Labour Community Advocates from different unions affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress to discuss their experiences and share ideas. It also provides training on community involvement including how community boards work and how to become an effective advocate on social issues.
Some of the topics covered in this program are Community Services, Principles of Communication, Stress, Interviewing and Referral Skills, Conflict Resolution, Understanding Violence, Time Management, Addiction and Dependency, Mental Health, Financial and Credit Counselling, Harassment and Bullying, Loss and Grief, Work-Life Balance, Critical Incidents.
LABOUR COMMUNITY ADVOCATES HAVE THREE ROLES:
- To link workers facing workplace, personal or family challenges with resources in the community;
- To identify community issues where the union can play a role, through collective bargaining or social action; and
- To support community activism among union members, unions, and labour organizations.
In addition to the knowledge and expertise of our presenters as they shed light, balance, and insight into that given week’s topic, one walks away with the deep, rich, and abiding life experiences that are brought to the table by participants.
WHAT DO THEY DO?
Labour Community Advocates are trained to act as a resource to union members and to the local union itself. They can:
- Provide information to the union local and its members about community services.
- Listen and provide a resource where union members can safely and confidentially discuss a problem they are facing and identify how to proceed.
- Make referrals to appropriate community services and act as a link or bridge for union members.
- Follow-up and ensure that referrals are appropriate, services meet the member’s needs, and support systems are in place once the member returns to his/her job.
- Act as a liaison to the community on behalf of the local and support member and union involvement in the community.
- Engage in prevention and union action by identifying issues that are having an impact on members and the community, and to identify ways the local union can respond.
The Labour Community Advocate Training brings together the worlds of ministry and guidance counseling in meaningful, relevant, and authentic ways as we make outreach into the community.