Decide who will present this proposal to the employer. It could be your local president, your chief negotiator, a staff representative, a representative of your education committee or someone chosen just for this task.
Whom you choose will also depend on whether you are negotiating the program as part of regular collective bargaining or as a separate bargaining process between collective agreements.
If the spokes person was not involved in writing the proposal, make sure s/he is well briefed on the issues. Be sure the person has adequate time to prepare. Consider doing some bargaining role playing as part of the preparation.
Be prepared. Have facts, figures and arguments handy:
Have your story straight:
Show that you know a great deal- even more than the employer - about the literacy and basic skills needs of the work force.
Deal with the employer's resistance strategically. Anticipate the employer's objections and incorporate answers to the most important ones in your presentation. (Note: this approach can backfire if you have not prepared good answers.)
Get your foot in the door. You might not get everything you want the first time around. But it's important to at least put your education program in place. You can better it in future rounds of bargaining.
For example, one union started with a three cent per hour levy for training per employee. Through subsequent agreements, the union has now been able to raise the levy to twenty cents per hour per employee.
Lock up the language. If you have language prepared, then use it as a starting position. Make sure you have a good sense of what the union's bottom line is. But do not leave the table until all the "i"s are dotted and all the "t"s crossed.
Added at closing. Literacy is unlikely to be the central issue in your union's bargaining. That means it may not be possible to reach agreement on it early. It might be more possible to add it to a final settlement as the deal is taking shape.