Workplaces have changed dramatically over the last decade. Distressed employees do not always know where to turn for help when personal problems take over. United Way, in cooperation with the Labour Community Service, facilitates workplace programs to direct employees to the help they need.
The Labour Community Advocate Training Program can help your leadership, help their members cope with the many challenges in their lives.
Local unions with the Labour Community Advocate Training program help members with drug and alcohol problems, mental health issues, violence in the family, financial problems and more ─ essentially any personal issues affecting them in their workplace, home or community.
What is the Labour Community Advocate Program?
Labour Community Advocate Program (LCAP) is a training program that helps union leadership become workers advocates for their members.
Participants receive training on social issues faced by working people and the resources available in their community. Participants are trained in communication skills, interviewing, and referral techniques so they can assist fellow union members. The program also allows participants to explore the ways in which unions and other labour bodies can help build resilient and respectful communities.
The program provides an opportunity for Labour Community Advocates from different unions and associations to discuss their experiences and share ideas. It also provides training on community involvement, including the way community boards work and how to become an effective advocate on social issues.
Some of the topics covered in this program are: Community Services, Principles of Communication, Stress, Interviewing and Referral Skills, Conflict Resolution, Understanding Violence, Time Management, Addiction and Dependency, Mental Health, Financial and Credit Counselling, Harassment and Bullying, Loss and Grief, Work-Life Balance, Critical Incidents
Labour Community Advocates have three roles:
- To link workers facing workplace, personal or family challenges with resources in the community;
- To identify community issues where the union can play a role, through collective bargaining or social action; and
- To support community activism among union members, unions and labour organizations.
In addition to the knowledge and expertise of our presenters as they shed light, balance and insight into that given week’s topic, one walks away with the deep, rich and abiding life experiences that are brought to the table by participants.
What do they do?
Labour Community Advocates are trained to act as a resource to union members and to the local union itself. They can:
- Provide information to the union local and its members about community services.
- Listen and provide a resource where union members can safely and confidentially discuss a problem they are facing and identify how to precede.
- Make referrals to appropriate community services and act as a link or bridge for union members.
- Follow-up and ensure that referrals are appropriate, services meet the member’s needs, and support systems are in place once the member returns to his/her job.
- Act as a liaison to the community on behalf of the local and support member and union involvement in the community.
- Engage in prevention and union action by identifying issues that are having an impact on members and the community, and to identify ways the local union can respond.
The Labour Community Advocate Training brings together the worlds of our community agencies and resources in meaningful, relevant, and authentic ways as we make outreach into the community.
Who are the referral persons?
- Referral persons are individuals selected by their unions to act as a link between distressed workers and services that could be of help. The referral persons are trained, through this United Way program, to identify problems early and assist the individual employee in a caring, sensitive way, to find appropriate services.
Who should take the training?
- Union representatives or individuals representing an employee group or association, management, medical unit staff, human resource managers, first line supervisors. The training is open to both unionized and non-unionized workplaces.
Benefits of the program
- This program increases awareness of the personal and family needs of employees. It offers concrete approaches to guidance and assistance that result in: healthier employees; better employee productivity; reduced grievances and associated arbitration costs; reduced absenteeism; fewer Workers’ Compensation Board claims; fewer confrontations; a more productive and happy workplace. As well as offering our members to real solutions to the growing pressures of today’s world.
- LCAP training is provided each fall and spring through United Way Elgin Middlesex. Among other relevant presentations, the 10-session program covers the topics of substance abuse, stress, community resources, interviewing and listening skills, and assisting families in crisis.
What if we don’t have a LCAP /Why Start the Labour Community Advocate Training program?
- Get members the help they need.
- Strengthen your local by involving more members in the union.
- Be part of a national network of union activists and staff who work with our partner, the United Way – Centraide, to support community services and agencies through advocacy.
Our Labour staff is available to help your Union or workplace organize, and negotiate a Labour, community Advocate program.