Sarah Evans and Rob
Wedel are both
workplace literacy instructors
at Capilano College in North
Vancouver, British Columbia. In August, Sarah interviewed
Rob. Here are notes from their conversation.
Education for Skills Training is an approach
to worker-centred literacy developed by the Ontario Federation of Labour
in the 1980s and adapted by unions throughout the country. Through BEST,
co-workers were trained as course leaders to instruct literacy and basic
skills training in their workplaces. In 1996, the Hospital Employees
Union in British Columbia started adapting this model by adding a role
for the college instructor in the classroom while maintaining the use
of peer tutors.
JUMP: The Joint Union Management Program,
which started in 1994 and ran until 1997, was a cooperative initiative
of unions and employers in the British Columbia forestry
industry, with funding from Forest Renewal British
Columbia. The goal of JUMP was to advance the industry
through investing in the workforce and creating a
learning culture in pulp and paper. LEAP was one
of many programs initiated under JUMP.
and Education Assisted by Peers is
an approach to worker-centred
literacy developed in 1997
in the British Columbia forestry
industry. LEAP programs were
run by trained peer tutors,
with the college instructors as a distant resource.
Sarah: In my experience,
no one comes to literacy work along
a straight line.
None of us planned to do this when
we grew up. How did you end up in
was in the construction trades
for quite a few years and they had this top-up UI
[Unemployment Insurance] program
so that you could still go to work
and get UI for a little extra money.
I got a job at community services in Abbotsford [British Columbia]. The job was
volunteer coordinator/interviewer. So you would recruit volunteers and then you
would interview them and offer them a position in something they would enjoy.
a job placement?
Rob: Like a volunteer
position in the community.
I would do the interview, make
my recommendation to where
I thought they should be placed and then
we would discuss that. I was doing that
for a month or two and an ad came
out in the paper for a volunteer
tutor coordinator for Fraser Valley
College in a contract with Corrections
Canada. I had this supposed experience
as a volunteer coordinator, and I had my teaching certificate, and so I went
for the interview and was offered the job. I took over a program from a person
named Linda Forsythe who was doing the tutor program at Kent Maximum Security
Institution for Frontier College.
I don’t know what happened
to that contract, but Fraser Valley
College picked it up and I followed in her footsteps and recruited both inmate
and community tutors and trained them and paired them with learners in the
prison system That’s
how I got started in literacy work.
remember you talking about this
before. That’s trial-by-fire!
it was quite a place to try and
make something like this work:
All the fine lines of security
and whether you were crossing the
line. The prison people essentially
hated us for doing this, but the
learners and the tutors loved it
because they got all this outside
contact. So they protected the program and looked out for it. In fact, numerous
times they told me what days to come and what days not to come and, of course,
some incident would happen the
day I was told not to come. So
they were very careful to make
sure we were protected.
had a lot of champions.
that your first - because you had
a teaching certificate, but you
were working in construction -
was working in the prisons your
first teaching role or had you
taught before with your certificate?
short-term substitute work. Offered
a few jobs and they all fell through.
were looking to get out of construction?
Or did this thing just come up?
had trained to become a teacher.
But the public school system turned
me off quite a bit, with my experience
with it. I became less and less
interested in making myself available
as a substitute teacher for the
public system. The longer the construction
would last in a year, the longer
I would stay with it.
turned you off the public school
lot of it was in Junior High when
all you did was just try and stop
students from tearing each others
eyes out or creating a riot, so
it was just a matching of wits
with the students who loved to
see if they could get the substitute
to run screaming out of room.
sounds like good training for the
prisons actually. (both laugh).
of screaming in the prison program
too—if we didn’t do
what somebody wanted.
how long did you do the volunteer
tutor program in the prison?
think we had the contract for three or four years and then I got into
when I became less of a tutor
coordinator and more of a coordinator
of the programs. We were at
Matsqui Medium, Ferndale Minimum,
Mission Medium, Kent Maximum
and at Mountain Medium.
a lot of programs.
guess through all that you started
to develop a pretty clear idea
of what literacy means to you.
definition of it has changed dramatically from where I
started. I initially
thought it was just about reading
and writing, but I’ve come to accept UNESCO’s definition,
which is to contribute effectively
to your society’s development.
I think that is closer to what
literacy means to me now and
I think those words are really
important because if you’re
not literate you can’t supposedly - and I believe this
to be true—that
you can’t effect positive change in your community. That’s
how I define literacy now.
That ability to communicate.
Communication is a word that covers a lot
of territory. What does communication
mean if you have a power-engineering certificate in a pulp mill
or if you are talking medical terminology in a hospital? That’s
a different kind of literacy
than what we normally call
literacy. But this set of literacy
skills is incredibly important to those
learners if they want to effectively
contribute. So that definition,
in my mind, has become so wide, so encompassing
of so many different skill
sets. It is not the simple ABC stuff that I first thought literacy
was all about.
really depends on the context.
Again that definition includes development of
the community. Well,
that’s a huge aspect of most people’s lives. What’s
troubling is that a lot of
people who aren’t effectively contributing
don’t recognize that they are not.. But that’s
another whole other issue.
among people who are supposedly
literate… So how did
you make the move from prison
literacy to workplace literacy?
one of the athletes said
in the current Olympics, “None
of our lives go in a straight
line, we all get pushed this
way or that depending on
what we are dealing with.” The
contract ended with Corrections
Canada and was given over
to the private trainers and
none of us were interested
in continuing with that,
or at least I wasn’t.
So I went and tried to piecemeal
work together at Fraser Valley
College. I did GED preparation
and just took pieces of work.
And then Capilano College
had an opening to cover an
English instructor in Sechelt
[British Columbia], so I
inquired about it, was interviewed
and was offered a few sections
of work. Then I started with
Cap and then, after a couple
of terms of partial work,
they were able to offer me
more and more work, so I
made the switch to Cap and
cut my ties to Fraser Valley
College. After a year or
two, I to work with the SARAW
[Speech Assisted Reading
and Writing] program at Cap.
a literacy program for physically
challenged people right?
I also dabbled in a couple
of different projects with
the college that were out
of the mainstream. Within
a few years, we were contacted
by Sylvia Sioufi from HEU
[Hospital Employees’ Union]
and she wanted to set up
a BEST-type program in the
hospitals in BC. This started
an on-going dialogue with
Sylvia, Pat Hodgson [from
Capilano College] and I,
and we started to build a
relationship of trust with
Sylvia. This initial dialogue
with the union partner is
one of the most critical
components of workplace literacy
programs. Through long discussions
(before initiating the LEAP
program, we had meetings
with the JUMP Coordinators
for a year and a half) around
philosophical issues and
possible delivery models,
you begin to develop a strong
sense of trust with your
partners. You need to have
this trust before you can
create solid programs. Through
these discussions with Sylvia,
Pat and I, we developed what’s come to be termed as
the hybrid model, which is
an instructor and trained
peer tutors working with
learners in the workplace. We did a pilot program at
VGH [Vancouver General Hospital],
followed the next year by another
pilot program at SMH [Surrey
Memorial Hospital]. Then
the HLAA [Healthcare Labour Adjustment Agency] took over the
funding for these programs and provided some stability, and
so we operated for a number of years under that funding source.
year was that first pilot
hybrid model—can you
talk more about it?
literacy programs in the workplace or outside of the
depending on the circumstances
they encounter. The unions we worked with,
including the HEU and those
in the pulp and paper sector, wanted to
embrace the peer tutors
as the primary source of instruction.
They thought that was critical
to the programs’ success, and I’ve
come to agree with them
as our partners have said
to me over and over again,
that people learn from
their peers in the workplace
whether it’s job-related
or otherwise. I had some
trepidation about relying
completely on the tutors,
especially in the LEAP
program where the instructor
was not in the classroom,
but I came to see how well
it did work. And, yes,
the training of the peer
tutors is critical to get
them philosophically on
the same page around what
peers can do and should
do. Once they start to
understand the philosophy
of what we are trying to
do, then they become much
better tutors in that they
allow the learners to really
direct the learning. Then
they just act as coaches
and cheerleaders, and sometimes
experts if they are being
asked to do that. The hybrid
model. In earlier discussions
with Sylvia, she recognized
that there were other issues
or other learning needs
that tutors might not be
able to meet, and she agreed,
especially at a very culturally-diverse
place like VGH, that it
would probably work to
have both the tutor and
the teacher in the room.
Even though the tutors
would sometimes defer to
the instructor (and that’s
not what we wanted to see),
the model worked very well.
And looking back, that
was a very successful model,
because the instructors
who were involved in that
hybrid model really believed
in empowerment for the
tutors, and they embraced
that concept and strove
to make it happen. I think
we learned in the pulp
and paper sector that there
wasn’t as much
need for the instructor
to be in the room because
their clientele wasn’t
as culturally diverse.
Although we had a hell
of a surprise when we piloted
the LEAP Program for one
year at the Skeena Cellulose
mill in Prince Rupert.
realize, starting out,
that we had a very diverse
cultural population at
that mill and probably
40 to 50 per cent of the
group were English-as-a-Second-Language
learners, and they could
not deal with the open-ended
LEAP delivery model. LEAP
does not have structured
grade-levels, so it wasn't
clear for them to see how
they were achieving any
of their goals. So we had
a real problem with that
program and it just about
fizzled and died in that
first year because we could
not react fast enough to
what the problems were
there. People like Jim
Energy & Paperworkers’ Union
of Canada] and Rob Tukham
[Pulp and Paper Workers
of Canada], the literacy
advocates for their unions,
would probably agree with
me at this point and say
that we should have gone
in with more of a health-care
type, hybrid model, where
the instructor is actually
in the classroom for a
portion of the time.
when people talk, nationally,
of the hybrid model in
BC, they are really talking
about BC’s version
of the BEST program, where
there are peer instructors
and an instructor in the
room. When we talk about
LEAP, it’s actually
not the hybrid model. LEAP
is more like BEST originally
was in Ontario with peer
instructors being the only
instructors in the room
and the College instructor
as a distant resource.
interesting. I always thought
that the reason you went
with the LEAP-style model in
the pulp and paper mills was
because the programs were in
Prince George and [the Capilano
College instructors] were in
North Vancouver. I thought
it was because of convenience
and geography. Of course, I
also knew that Jim Dixon and
Rob Tukham were pushing for
that, that they wanted the
tutors to have more autonomy
and to not have an outside
instructor in the classroom
at all. I knew they were pushing
for that for political reasons
because it would be more empowering
to the participants to see
their peers right up there.
I didn’t get the
diversity link. Or did you
find that out in retrospect?
come to believe, regarding
these different models of
delivery, is that it really
depends on the circumstances
of that workplace, and each
workplace is different than
the other. The Prince George
and the Fort St John mills
are essentially 30-50 year-old
white males with very little
cultural diversity, so the
learning needs are very typical
expected kinds of thing.
Sarah: They are interested in
upgrading their computer skills,
in upgrading their power-engineering
certificate or preparing for
trades certification. It’s
very specific to the workplace.
There were quite a few people interested in obtaining
their GED. Again, GED prep has very
clearly defined goals. And it is
easier for tutors to react to because
they are familiar with those goals,
and they are not outside of
their realm of experience.
Whereas the English as a Second Language needs were so diverse.
They were everything from very basic English literacy development
to improving speaking skills and communication skills, which
is another level of complexity which is very difficult for
a tutor to work with.
and a lot of different cultural expectations
about what teaching should look
like and what learning should look
Some of the cultures could not embrace
the idea of the learner-focus
because they could not see how that
could achieve their goals which were
structured grade levels, and so it
was very difficult because our tutors
were not trained to deal with that.
a constant tension, I think, in learner-focused
programs. That makes sense
to me. I had the same experience
at the racetrack . The more
diverse the learner population, the
more you probably need an instructor
presence to help guide what’s
right. And, as you know, the instructor
needs to know or learn when to step
in and when to step away, which is
a hard thing to learn to do. It’s all about trying to read people
and see how they are doing and what
their level of satisfaction is with
how things are going. I’ve
seen it work so well. You provide
some direction to the pair, or the
threesome of tutors and learners
and you step back away from that
and walk to the other side of the room and turn around and watch what’s
happening. If you see some incredibly
powerful learning going on, from
both sides, then you know it's working.
I remember being at Surrey Memorial
Hospital in the second year, and, by the time two months had passed,
I was wondering what I was doing in the classroom at all. Because
nobody needed me to do anything! They all knew what they wanted to
do next and it was all focused on what the learners had identified.
The tutors got them to clearly define their goals, and then they would
just work. And so you would just walk in and the room was buzzing
and you say to yourself, “I
should just get the hell out of here,
because there is no reason for me
to be here because I’ll
just interfere.” And
then you know, hey, it’s working! This where you want to get
attracted you to doing workplace
literacy work when it came up at
think part of the attraction was
that I always identified with, not
so much being a union member, but
being a working stiff myself and
seeing all the needs that surrounded
me with my work mates and how there
was no place for them. They couldn’t
access regular programming because
of their shifts, and in construction
you have to be so mobile. You are
in one city for two weeks and another
city for the next three weeks, so
you couldn’t enroll in any
kind of programming that was out
there anyway. I always thought it
would sure be cool to do something
in the camps, when I used to stay
in camps. And, of course, I found
out years later that Frontier College
had done some of that work decades
ago, when they set up literacy classes
in the camps. So I think there are
two things that attracted me to working
in workplace literacy programs. One,
as I stated, was the immense need
I knew would be out there. The other
thing was boredom: I taught regular
English in the ABE [Adult Basic Education]
program for a number of years at
Capilano College, and I was getting
a little bored with the structure
of that. And so, when I had the opportunity
to try something and work with working people, I just jumped at it. I just thought
this was too cool! And Sylvia’s
idea was just fabulous. I knew nothing
about BEST at that point. But we worked through that, discussed and thought about
and developed our delivery model. In spite of management’s negative expectations,
it was a huge recruitment success
as learner demand was ten times higher than the number of spaces we had to offer.
So that excited me even more when we realized how big of an audience we had out
there and how many were interested in getting involved with the program.
The program at VGH could have run
for another ten years without running out of learners. I don’t think they’d
ever run out of learners. So it was just a cool thing
to do. You just get hooked as you
see some of the successes.
what? Can you talk about some specific
forget one learner at VGH who wanted
to move into landscaping.
He figured he didn’t have the skills he needed to convert measurements
from imperial into metric and back
and forth. I think hewas with the
program for two or three months,
less than the full term, because once the tutor worked with him and
found he wasn’t bad at math
at all, he quickly learned how to
convert and learned the correct equivalencies.
He got a job in the area where he
wanted to work. So, when he was out mowing the lawns, he’d see
me, and he would jump off the mower
and run over to me and tell me what
a great job we were doing.
There were just hundreds of stories
I’ve seen—everything from the accomplishment of the GED certificate,
and how this achievement changes
the learner's entire life. One of
our tutors didn’t have his
grade twelve equivalencies. And he
helped other learners achieve theirs
and one day he decided to get his own, and he did and it changed his
whole life, his family life, his
whole world. He started to carry
himself with so much more self-esteem
that it carried into his family relationships,
into his workplace, into his community:
it was a huge personal success.
Another story is about one of the
tutors we had at [Canfor] Northwood
Pulp Mill. She was a qualified nurse.
She was convinced by the on-site LEAP Coordinator to become a LEAP tutor, and
she went through the training, and completed one year of tutoring, when she realized
that this was something she wanted to do for the rest of her life, that
is, helping people achieve their
learning goals. So she’s gone back to school to get her instructors’ diploma
so she can go back into the field
of nursing and teach other nurses.
Some of the successes aren’t
even identified when you are starting
out. You are aiming to help the learners
primarily and then you recognize
your tutors are starting to achieve
their goals. It’s pretty
powerful stuff and again, as I said,
it kind of hooks you. You get incredible
gratification for the kind of work
in. In this work, you’re just helping. You’re just another
peer. The college people should never
see themselves as anything but that.
We are just workers helping workers,
and I think that’s
the key to the philosophy. It works
all the way through the model. If
everyone is tied to that model philosophically,
going to work.
is empowering for the learners, it’s
empowering for the tutors. How about
for the instructors personally? What
would you’ve gained from doing
much deeper appreciation for, you
know it sounds corny but, for the
human endeavour, you know, to improve,
and how you can be a part of that.
Because it's such a huge thing when
you start to realize you’re touching lives everywhere you
hit the ground. As I became involved
in different programs, it was just
so cool to see that I’m affecting
maybe 100 different people’s
lives every day throughout the province
because of stuff that I’ve
started. It’s pretty exciting to feel that. It is so gratifying.
And it’s a horrible shame when you are pushed out or the program
ends or the funding ends and that
talk about exhilaration of programs
when they work and the disappointment
of programs when they end prematurely.
So what happened with BEST and with
both programs, there was a third
party providing the funding. It wasn’t
coming directly from either the
employer or the unions; it was coming
from royalties or labour adjustment
agencies. And when these ceased to
exist, then, typically, the employer
convinced that the program was worth
while funding. As these programs
were most often seen as union-driven,
union-run, union-coordinated programs,
the employer felt they "really
didn’t know what
was going on in those sessions" and didn’t trust the union
enough to continue. They certainly
weren’t interested in funding
really behind the idea. They just
did it because it was no
skin off their nose.
right, it didn’t cost them
anything. In fact, there were allegations
union members that the employer was
gaining extra funds by being involved
with the program by not covering
people that were coming to the classroom.
Hence, they would get money for that
person’s participation but they wouldn’t be paying
it out to anybody else to cover.
This didn’t help the program
because there was a lot of animosity
when people weren’t covered
and they would go back and be blamed
for not getting their work done.
ultimately, my understanding is that
what killed BEST in the end wasn’t
internal dynamics such as how to
cover people off on their shift when
they were going to the program. It
was the loss of the funding from
the Healthcare Labour Adjustment
Agency. The bigger picture changed.
And as I said before, the other issue
was that the HEU became much more
interested in trying to preserve
the jobs that were being cut by the
provincial government and the offering
of contracts to private entrepreneurs
who would take over HEU members'
the last provincial election?
The LEAP program dealt with the same
kind of loss of funding when the
JUMP folded up. And again, there
is still a glimmer of hope in one
of the locals at one of the mills.
Since they saw this coming, they
bargained for a clause that would
provide them funds, in their Collective
Agreement, so that they will be able
to continue to fund programs like
LEAP at their site. So we’ll
see how this works, and we’ll also see whether we can continue
the LEAP-type program without the
employer being committed to be involved.
Those are questions that need to
be answered yet.
of the programs, LEAP and BEST had
some form of government funding in
the beginning to start them up. But
ultimately that wasn’t what could keep them going sustainably.
it seems like an ongoing situation,
an ongoing problem, in workplace
programs is that the context in which
you are doing the work continually
shifts and the support for the programs
continually shifts, so you are trying
to develop something in a really
dynamic environment. Can you talk
in this field, in literacy projects
in the workplace, you are constantly
trying to strive for some kind of
sustainability. I’m reminded of a passage in Doris Lessing’s
book where she talks about these
people who she calls boulder-pushers. Every day these boulder-pushers
strive to push this boulder up this hill. Then, some catastrophe strikes,
like a hurricane, a wicked rainstorm or an earthquake, and the boulders
start rolling back down the hill. But the next day the boulder-pushers
are out there again and they start pushing the boulders back up the
hill. And the wise men up on top of the hill are looking down and
saying, “Good to see those
boulder-pushers are still trying
to push those boulders up the hill".
So, as I’ve often had this discussion with Tamara Levine, [Workplace
Literacy Project Coordinator, Canadian
Labour Congress] over the year
keep pushing, you gain a bit, you
slide backwards, you gain a bit more but you never really
go back to the bottom. There’s
always something that remains that you continue with, and sometimes
it's very hard to be positive when the boulders going the wrong way.
But, I guess as long as it doesn’t go all the way back down
the hill, you’ve still got something to go on.
I’m reminded of a much closer analogy to my work, and that is
what you’re doing at the racetrack. That’s a huge progression
of this boulder-pushing that we're doing, and in a completely different
area, one that I have not been involved with, but because of our work
together, it’s part of pushing that boulder in the right direction.
That’s the way this work goes and Tamara has tried to tell me
that over the years that she’s watched this collapse and then
this sudden encouraging development
and then collapse. It does get tiresome.
takes a toll.
But as I’ve
said earlier, when you recognize
how many people you are
effecting everyday and how that circle
can grow that’s what puts you back on that exhilaration level.
As far away as it is for me, I even take some of that gratification
from the racetrack work that you are doing. It’s like, in a
far-off way, I’ve been part of the learner successes at the
racetrack even though I’m miles away.
Sarah: It’s all
linked. I always think of weaving things together. It’s a different
but, because I worked with you at
Vancouver General, I bring some of
that to understanding how to do the
program at the racetrack.
been working really hard to link
our new champions, from the
racetrack, particularly those who
are in the unions at the racetrack,
to our other union champions, from
the CEP, PPWC, HEU, so they can share
their experiences, all this weaving together of the different pieces.
One thing that you wanted me to talk
about was the Working Together
project. One thing that this project
has really helped to do in BC is
to solidify our champions. It seems
like a small, tiny objective, but
it’s clearly the most important
and most effective. This Project has allowed those champions to learn
from the experiences they’ve had with their different programs,
to start to share them, to start to be proud of them, and through
that, they’ve been able to convince others that they should
take up the torch as well. That’s been an amazing thing to watch
because what we’ve done here is we’ve mentored these folks
to become highly effective champions. We’ve helped them partially
through our training, but more by modelling what we want to see in
the learning process, and they have taken it by the horns and learned.
They have now become the primary focus or attention of the Working
Together Project because they are the ones that made their Programs
work. The college people can say they have all this expertise, but
the audience really wants to hear from the guys who are actually doing
it at the worksite. That’s what convinces others that this might
be a worthwhile endeavour.
Sarah: It’s a continuation
of the process of what you were talking about – the process
stepping back. Now there is a whole
other level on which we can step
back as advocates and make a space for the people who are really convincing
and who really know.
Rob: That’s right. That’s
what happened at [the Working Together
Training] in Whistler, BC. That was
incredible to watch those guys take
over and own it. And you know those
other participants would just take
one look at these people and just
go "My God!” There is instant credibility there.
And they are so articulate. I don’t know how lucky we are to
grab the people we got. Well, they
came forward I guess.
you want to add anything on the topic
of health? Because the issue is about
literacy and health.
Rob: It’s hard to make
any comment on health, because in
BC the context as such is
changing, and in most cases these
are negative changes. People losing
their jobs or people being asked to roll back their wages, as well
as the constant encouragement by the provincial government to contract
out work. What really annoys me, is the contracts are going out to
firms not even from this province but from Alberta or even to the
So it’s been really hard for literacy advocates like us to even
be heard at the union level because they’re desperately trying
to retain their jobs. We don’t even get on the radar screen
in healthcare these days because we’re not even close to being
a priority. The Government throws money at transition education programs,
and again, often to private trainers, who are happy to take the money
and, at least on the surface, provide minimal kinds of assistance
to the workers in transition. It’s just a sham. It will take
us years to recover in the healthcare system and I don’t know
that we will ever recover. That boulder
is almost at the bottom of hill.
BEST programs helped people get to
that place where they could have
confidence and the skills to contribute
to society. And then, inversely,
as the situation in the healthcare
field shows, the neo-liberal agenda
is currently so totalizing that there
aren’t very many avenues
left for people to be able to contribute
only thing they are interested in
is a quick fix to help somebody with
transition that’s job-specific,
and so we don’t fit in
there. We don’t provide that kind of training. The "quick-fix" training
just doesn’t fit in our philosophy. Yes, I’d rather us
do it than others, but no one is
willing to pay the bill for doing
a job that we would be happy with or satisfied with because it’s
helping people contribute to their
society, not contribute to the workplace only. But that’s what
they want and that’s all that they’ll pay for—“I
want to see my people become better
employees and I’ll give
you 50 bucks per person if you can
do that overnight.” You know,
we just can’t and won't do that.
we're not in the business of doing
where do we go? What’s the next step?
think one of the primary objectives
of Working Together is to move into
other unionized environments that
are more friendly and maybe more
supportive. I think that’s the only
thing that will get us around this. I think as I mentioned earlier,
one of the pulp mills in Prince George has got it included as part
of their collective bargaining, and I think that’s the future
for union driven programs. In this way, the union will continue to
coordinate and have free reign to do what they like in the classroom.
I think that’s the only way. The document from CLC that Sylvia
wrote around bargaining for basic skills is something that everyone
needs to read. As we’ve discovered in initial conversations
around the future of LEAP, if you get that in the collective bargaining,
the locals will have freedom to do the kind of programming that they
want to do. They may not want to do LEAP every year. In fact that
might not be a good idea. But they could do some of the Seeds for
Change or some of the other union-driven agenda items in those sessions
and that would be a huge success. And the employer, as long as the
clause is in the Collective Agreement cannot direct what goes on in
that classroom. Sure it would probably have to be off-site for the
union-type curriculum stuff, but I think that is where the unions
will gain some real empowerment around learning for their members.
And maybe alternate years to LEAP, they can do some really cool stuff
like “Seeds” or some of those things.
the union owns the program more,
if it is enshrined in the Collective
and if (there are so many ifs) the
Collective Agreement doesn’t get torn up.
Rob: That’s right. Back
to pushing that boulder.
 The Hastings Park Workplace
Education Project takes place
in and around Hastings Park Racecourse
in Vancouver, BC. The project is now in its fourth year.
Working Together is a joint
project of the BC Federation
of Labour, Capilano College,
and participating unions
to promote literacy and lifelong learning for union members.
Some funding is provided by the National Literacy Secretariat.