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What is the role of the Working Group?

  1. Working Group members provide advice to the CUPE National Executive Board and the Literacy Coordinator on how CUPE can achieve its literacy goals. CUPE National goals for literacy are:
    • To achieve workplace-based programs and help members access literacy education.
    • To communicate in clear language at all levels of the union.
    • To get employers and governments to use clear language.
    • To raise awareness on worker-centred, union-based literacy principles, goals and methods – with union members and staff, employers, policy makers, educators, and others involved in adult education. This includes advancing a social justice agenda for literacy and workplace education.
  2. Working Group members serve as literacy advocates, and as a support for other advocates in their region. Members may be asked to represent CUPE at labour gatherings, at literacy events, and in outreach with locals and partner organizations. Working Group members also recruit and mentor new advocates, sharing information and ideas, and offering feedback and encouragement.

Who sits on the Working Group?

The Working Group is made up of CUPE members from across the country appointed by the National President. Working Group members are literacy advocates with knowledge and experience in union-based literacy and a commitment to advancing CUPE’s literacy goals.

The Working Group has one or more members from every province.

The National President will appoint a member of the National Executive Board to serve as NEB liaison to the Working Group. The President will also appoint one or more staff advisors to assist the Working Group with its work.

What are the responsibilities of the Working Group?

Members of the Working Group will:

  • Prepare for and attend Working Group meetings.
  • Participate in working groups of the Working Group as needed.
  • Participate in e-mail and phone communication of the Working Group between meetings.
  • When requested, represent CUPE at labour gatherings, at literacy events, and in outreach to locals and partner organizations.
  • Recruit and mentor new literacy advocates.
  • Report on Working Group meetings and activities to their CUPE Division Executive, provincial education committee and other committees involved or interested in literacy, the Regional Director, and regional staff involved or interested in literacy initiatives.
  • Inform the Literacy Coordinator and the Working Group of literacy-related developments in their region.
  • Communicate with provincial and regional literacy networks, including labour education and literacy committees and staff, literacy coalitions, and groups of literacy educators.

The National Executive Board (NEB) Liaison to the Working Group will:

  • Inform the Literacy Coordinator and the Working Group of significant developments within the union and decisions of the NEB.
  • Report to the NEB on Working Group meetings and activities.
  • Communicate questions and recommendations of the Working Group to the NEB, and communicate the responses back to the Working Group.

The Staff Advisors to the Working Group will:

  • Facilitate communication among Working Group members at the meeting and between meetings.
  • Help Working Group members carry out their responsibilities.
  • Work on a day-to-day basis to achieve CUPE’s literacy goals.
  • Help the Working Group, particularly the co-chairs, develop an agenda for each meeting.
  • Prepare and distribute material for the meetings.
  • Offer advice to the Working Group and share expertise on literacy and adult education.
  • Report to their staff director(s) on Working Group meetings and activities.

How does the Working Group carry out its work?

  • Meet two times per year.
  • Participate in regular email and phone communication as required.
  • Rotate co-chairs at each meeting.

The Working Group will review these Terms of Reference each year.