Volume 3, number 9, Fall 2003
"I'm thrilled about having the literacy file," says Barb Byers, the new CLC officer responsible for literacy. "There's an excitement about union literacy work that's infectious ... the people who get involved are highly committed to the empowerment of workers. Sadly, this work often goes unrecognized."
"Imagine how much more dynamic our movement could
be if our members could understand the rights they have won"
Before being elected Executive Vice-President at the CLC Convention in June 2002, Barb was President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) since 1988. She was a social worker and President of the Saskatchewan Government Employees Union from 1984 to 1988.
At the SFL, Barb initiated the WEST (Workers Education for Skills Training) Program in 1989. Through WEST, co-workers are trained as course leaders who instruct literacy and basic skills training in their workplaces. Barb is also a champion of clear language, and pioneered the option of submitting convention resolutions in a clear language format.
"Imagine how much more dynamic our movement could be if our members could understand the rights they have won through their collective agreements-if they felt empowered to own their organizations," says Byers.
In addition to Literacy, Barb has responsibility for Education and Campaigns, Labour College, Apprenticeship, Training and Technology, Health Care, Union Label and the International Labour Organization (ILO) .
Learning Together is published three times a year with financial support from the National Literacy Secretariat. We welcome your articles, event notices and opinion pieces.