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“I don’t know that my speeches create disaffection, I know that my speeches create a fire in the minds of the people so as to change the conditions which now exist.” – Elma Francois

The Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies (CCLCS), in its Strategic Plan 2018 to 2022, identified as its overarching outcome result “Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Research”. The Elma Francois Institute for Research and Debate (EFIRD) is a core component of achieving this result. The EFRID is also intended to play a critical role for the achievement of Outcome Result 4 (CCLCS Strategic Plan 2018-2022): Improved Stakeholder Engagement and Brand Value.

It was felt that Elma Francois’ words embodied the focus of the College. It must ignite fires within the minds of its students so that they would be driven to be change agents in their respective environments. Additionally, Francois was one of many in the tradition of the proletariat intellectual and is therefore an inspiration to working class people who strive to academic and intellectual excellence.

Objectives:

  1. To make a fundamental contribution to the development of CCLCS as a centre of academic excellence in world of work and social development issues both nationally and in the Caribbean.
  2. Promote the College as a research reservoir for stakeholders
  3. Establish and manage relations with stakeholders for the advancement of the research and debate agenda of the College
  4. Guide the development of the research agenda of the College
  5. Represent and promote the College in national and international arenas as required and maintain close continued collaboration with partners.
  6. Identify new areas of research in keeping with the College. There are three tiers of focus here:
    1. The institutional research initiated by the college
    2. Research requested by or on behalf of stakeholders
    3. Research requested by external entities (general public for example; a company)
  7. Organise Academic conferences hosted by the college.

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Highlights from Caribbean Workers’ Forum II (2021)

In September 2021, the college Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies (CCLCS) held the Second Biennial Caribbean Workers’ Forum Virtual Conference, this time in partnership with the Ministry of Labour (MOL), the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL), the Caribbean Office of the International Labour Organisation, Public Services International (PSI), and the Global Labour University (GLU).

 

The theme, “Re-imagining the New Normal” was penned against the backdrop of the Covid 19 pandemic. As part of the road to recovery, discussions on the post Covid world have been guided by the term “the New Normal” and this conference presented an opportunity for participants, practitioners, academics and government officials to explore and evaluate the multiple manifestations of this theme. 

The conference was also designed for its audience to add to the debate and provide a research-based assessment of the extent of the potential for a paradigm shift in the “New Normal” as it affects the working people in the world of work and for the development of robust solutions to empower these working people.

 

The four day (4) event was virtually held due to the imposition of national health protocols and restrictions to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

 

Keynote plenary speakers included Dr. The Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. The Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Rafael Peels, Specialist in Workers’ Activities, International Labour Organisation.

 

There were a total of 65 presenters comprising of local, regionally and internationally recognized academics, trade unionists and activists including Dr Tyehimba Salandy (Trinidad), Dr Kai- Ann Skeete (Barbados), Dr Sarah Jay (Ireland), Professor Archana Prasad (India), Dr Sean Sweeney (New York), Dr Bruno Dobrusin (UK), Alana Dave (UK), Susan Hodge (Anguilla), Professor Nora Rathzel (Sweden), Dr Sacha Joseph Matthews (US), Dr Timothy Affonso (Trinidad), Winnifred Meeks (Jamaica), Victor Jones (Suriname), Maureen Chad Kalume (Kenya) and Elena Lorac (Dominican Republic), just to name a few.   

This event attracted over 250 delegates per day across the Caribbean and international community on its virtual platform.

 

Objectives of the conference: 

  1. To engage in a process of capacity building among workers and their representatives and organisations as they face a myriad of challenges, well exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  2. To develop new models of action based on evidence-based and data-driven development objectives for workers and their institutions.  
  3. To advance the use of social dialogue among workers and their institutions, the private sector, government, academics, and other stakeholders in the search for solutions, based on fairness, equity and social justice, to the pressing issues facing Caribbean workers and society.
  4. To use the independent and rigorous inquiry to support workers, their institutions and other stakeholders. 
  5. To contribute to increased awareness of the importance of social protection; deficiencies in regional social protection systems and to build dialogue on policies and actions that could be taken to close these deficiencies.  

 

Highlights from Caribbean Workers' Forum 2019

In August 2019, Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies (CCLCS), in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development (MoSLED), the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), hosted the Inaugural Caribbean Workers Forum (CWF). This Conference was conceptualised out of our recognition that the international forces at work in the process of globalisation presented severe threats to working people and their representative organisations. We are deeply concerned about the negative effects on employment, social justice, equity, income distribution, and increased marginalisation of working people among other issues. In this regard, this conference was an attempt to start a conversation to orient the workers and their representatives towards the development of robust solutions to empower working people.

Theme: “Wealth, Productivity and Social Protection: A conversation on the evolution of the 21st Century Caribbean Economy and its role of labour and its institutions”

Objectives of Conference:

  • To engage in a process of capacity building among workers as they face the challenges posed by a global environment.
  • To develop new models of action based on data driven development objectives for workers and their institutions.
  • To build a stronger rapport among regional workers institutions, academics, and other stakeholders to utilise the independence of rigid academic inquiry to assist and guide the process.
  • To cement the concept of social protection as a necessary part of the regional development dialogue.

YouTube Playlist for Sessions: CLICK HERE

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CCLCS worked with the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) and the Caribbean Employers Confederation (CEC) for the Regional Spotlight Initiative under the UNFPA. Under this project, a Regional Joint Positions document was created and adopted to address Gender-Based Violence at the Workplace.

On Thursday 4th August 2022, a media conference was held where both parties officially signed and launched this Joint Position document.