Six good reasons to bargain basic skills
1. Union members want more education and training
- Jobs are less secure. Hardly a day goes by without news of major
plant closings, layoffs or mergers and takeovers. Only about 1 in 3 of
the new jobs created in 1998 was a permanent, full-time, paid job. An
astounding 57 per cent of jobs created fore women in 199 8were part-
- New developments in information technologies and ways of working
require new skills.
- Studies confirm that more education is generally linked to a lower rate
of unemployment for any group of working people.
2. Basic skills are the gateway to further workplace training
- Further workplace training is often done through computers and
information technology, or requires high basic skills.Many jobs now
demand that workers use computers. Basic skills are often an
essential first step.
- Surveys indicate that workers who have more education receive more
workplace training. This means that union members who have less
formal education are often excluded from employer-provided training.
Unions have to fight against this bias and for programs that ensure all
members have access to training.
- Many older union members and some younger ones left school early or
have skills they've rarely had the chance to use. Their basic skills may
- Many unions have a high percentage of new Canadian members
whose first language is neither English nor French. Immigrant
workers often have difficulty with official language reading, writing
and communication skills, although they may be highly literate in.
their mother tongue.
3. Skills for job security and portability
Union basic skills programs can give members greater job security and
greater portability of job skills by:
- Providing members with the skills to pass licensing or certification
- Equipping members to take advantage of other training programs
offered by the employer and/or the union in the workplace.
- Giving members the foundation to access further education outside