Invest in literacy, create Labour Market Partners' Forums, CUPE urges governments

    OTTAWA, Sept. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Union of Public Employees
(CUPE) is calling on governments to invest in literacy and create Labour
Market Partners' Forums that will give voice to the concerns and interests of
labour and employers.
    "Government alone cannot adequately respond to the wide range of literacy
and basic skills needs," said Paul Moist, national president of CUPE.
"Partners' forums, where labour is an equal partner with employers, are
critical to ensuring that workers across the country can develop their skills,
knowledge and potential."
    CUPE says Labour Market Partners' Forums should be permanent advisory
bodies at federal as well as provincial/territorial levels. The forums would
advise on education and training strategies that enhance literacy and skills
development and adjustment strategies for laid-off workers. They would make
recommendation on funding options for workplace-based upgrading, literacy and
basic skills and include a focus on infrastructure, quality models and
programs as well as equity and access.
    The new Labour Market Agreements (LMAs) between the federal and
provincial/territorial governments transfer funds and move responsibility for
delivering training programs to the provinces and territories. Because the
LMAs allow for training for employed workers with low literacy skills or
without a high school diploma, there are new opportunities for funding
literacy in the workplace programs.
    "Some provinces are moving ahead and developing partnership models," said
Moist. "But, what is needed is a pan-Canadian training strategy and the
federal government to make Partners' Forums part of the Labour Market

For further information:

For further information: Paul Moist, CUPE National President, (613)
558-2873 (cell); Claude Généreux, CUPE National, Secretary-Treasurer
(porte-parole francophone), (514) 884-5074 (cell); Sylvia Sioufi, CUPE
Literacy Program Coordinator, (613) 294-1997 (cell)

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