Daniel Mallett


[Excerpt] The Education Advisory Committee, the longest standing committee of the Canadian Labor Congress, met in 1994 to deliberate on issues of vital importance to the future of trade union education within the Canadian labor movement. At the time, the participants did not realize that their deliberations would determine our movement's direction in education until the year 2000. Discussions ranged from how we can coordinate the development and sharing of education materials, offer more schools and educational activities, use new technology in the area of distance education, and build more resources to further our education work. In the course of the discussions, the question of who we were reaching emerged as the major theme. The discussion document entitled, Why We Educate summed up the discussions this way: "...Trade union education has historically targeted the local union leadership and activists through a myriad of educational institutes and schools. Once back in the workplace it was anticipated that this group would share its knowledge and skills. After years of trade union institute training, the time has come to broaden the target group and take labor's message beyond our traditional arenas for education. "Union leaders and activists must take responsibility for undertaking the trade union education of the non-activist members in the local. This will require the education community of the labor movement to gear some of its resources toward coordination with other trade union services such as communications and research, but also to change some of the focus at its institutional schools to providing participants with the tools for education in the local union and workplace."