Accomplishments

Since the Canada Job Grant was announced in the 2013 Federal Budget, ANSCLO has striven to be the voice of  community learning organizations in the province who will be impacted by this new program.

ANSCLO representatives have met with federal, provincial, and municpal politicians, as well as labour and community leaders and members of the media in order to help to tell the story of labour market programs that are raising the literacy levels of adults and lifting them out of poverty.

The ANSCLO position is clear: whatever its merits, the Canada Job Grant should not be implemented on the backs of our most citizens.

When ANSCLO was formed, key objectives were written based on feedback from community learning networks around the province, and were then included in the organization’s Memorandum of Association.

On October 15, 2012, the following “summary of accomplishments’ was presented to the membership by ANSCLO co-president, Peter Gillis, as part of a strategic planning process.  This summary shows the progress the has made on the various objectives.

Key Objective: Promotion

 Detail from Memorandum of Association – June 2008  

  • To enhance public awareness of Nova Scotia community-based learning organizations
  • To stimulate increased public support for community-based learning programs.

What we have done:

  • Website and brochure developed (2008-09)
  • First Provincial Learner Celebration held in Wolfville (July 2010) – over $23,000 raised from several sources to hold event; decent media coverage through CBC
  • Feedback sought from Dalhousie student Alicia Brett to help inform a communications strategy (Jan 2010)
  • Communications Committee established (October 2010) – progress remains to be made on newsletter, outreach to political parties, website remains weak
  • Attempts to establish a common open house in November 2011 – how many groups did so?
  • Article written for Literacy Nova Scotia newsletter (Fall 2011)
  • Second Provincial Learner Celebration held in Truro (April 2012) timed to piggyback on LNS event; just under $20,000 raised to hold event

Key Objective: Data gathering and dissemination

Detail from Memorandum of Association – June 2008

  • To examine and address the common challenges faced by community-based learning organizations
  • To create a bank of information and best practices that will be available to all community-based learning organizations.

What have we done?

  • Sharing day held at Holiday Inn Harbourview Hotel, Dartmouth, April 15/16, 2010 – 26 networks participate
  • ANSCLO Meetings held quarterly, with average attendance 12-15 members
  • Utilized IT through partnerships with NSCC, and LNS to make meetings accessible in winter (Jan 2010, Jan 2011)
  • Started roundtables at regular meetings to hear from all
  • Group emails now have a place to go – somebody is looking at these and bringing information forward in meetings with Karen Gatien e.g. EI issue for staffing, EI issue for learners coming to school
  • Membership has grown and has been formalized – as of Oct 2012 we have 26 board letters stating that networks support the mission and objectives of ANSCLO – in recent months draft letters were sent to Solutions Learning, Bedford Sackville, Mi’Kmaq Friendship Centre, and Chapel Island First Nations.
  • Executive committee structure formalized and approved (June 2009) – meets in between meetings to set agenda for meetings (i.e. business not set by one person…) and reports at board meeting
  • Input sought on all official ANSCLO correspondence (presentation to Minister, Adult Learning Act and Regulations, letter re LMA to M.P.’s, strategic planning event)
  • Meetings are used to collate information for meetings with DLAE staff
  • Strategic Planning Exercise held at Old Orchard Inn in Greenwich, October 15/16, 2012 – Evaluation surveys received from 14 networks

Key Objective: Representation – Advocacy within the Department of Labour and Advanced Education (DLAE) and without

Detail from Memorandum of Association – June 2008

  • To work closely with the Department of Education with a greater voice in discussions that impact on CLI funding.
  • Where and when appropriate, to speak as one voice for adult community-based learning organizations and the learners they serve.
  • To work with all levels of government to advocate for community-based learning generally and community-based learning organizations specifically.

What have we done?

  • Presentation made to Minister with 3 main themes – 1) discussion of new LMA program and request that CLO’s be part of funding 2) request that learners in CLO’s be able to access skill devel. Funding, 3) request that a new relationship be established with DLAE to discuss areas of mutual concern – May 2008
  • Request made to Literacy Nova Scotia to let us know when there is media request for information (October 2009)
  • After input sought from membership, Letter to federal M.P.’ s drafted (June 2011) and a version sent out to all CLO’s. Letter sent to some area M.P.’s
  • Letter to DLAE re. Adult Learning Act (Oct 15, 2010) – concerns put forward: 1) cannot be solely about employment 2) Act should embrace all efforts to work with adult learners, not solely in Skills and Learning Branch – makes for a fractured system 3) accountability runs both ways – from funder to provider, but also provider to funder – e.g. funders should be accountable to ensure that administrative burden on networks is reasonable 4) any notions of minimum hours for interventions is unnecessarily limiting 5) respect all learning paths, not just those that lead from ALP III/IV to NSCC
  • Letter drafted to Minister (DLAE) to prepare for possible budget cuts to community-based programming (Jan 2011) – letter did not have to sent
  • Letter to DLAE re. Adult Learning Act Regulations (October 31, 2011). Key point: with respect to notions of “quality of programming” in proposed ACT: government has a responsibility to ensure adequate funding so that community learning organizations can acquire the necessary resources to deliver quality educational programs, can attract and retain qualified professional instructional staff, and can provide quality learning environments.
  • Presentation to Employment Nova Scotia regarding making their programs accessible for learners in community programs (August 2011 and November 2012)

Key Objective: Standards

Detail from Memorandum of Association – June 2008

  • Establish and encourage standards of community-based learning organization program performance and evaluation.

What have we done?

  • Sought representation on Literacy Nova Scotia committee looking into standards document for community-based programs – November 2012

Key Objective: Wages and benefits

Detail from Memorandum of Association – June 2008

  • Work on a provincial basis to improve conditions, wages and benefits for employees of community-based learning organizations.

What have we done?

  • Work completed on health benefits package for community-based staff (2008-11). Lisa Joncas told us: must have 2 staff per network, staff must work 17hr/wk or more, remittances could be deducted at source organization (i.e. no administrative burden for ANSCLO)
  • Work completed on a pension package for community-based staff (Jan 2010 – June 2012). Jim Power (Sun Life Financial) told us: they define full time staff as 24 hrs/wk, minimum 3 people total, with $10,000 in contributions, 100% transferable to another plan or another retail institution.  Initial request for info from CLOs’s – 6 positive, 3 negative (9 responses)
  • Request made to Skills and Learning Branch to include additional mercs to accommodate employer co-pay for health – request denied (2008)

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