About Us

“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.


  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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Video Events

Past Video events: Click Here


Buzz Publications

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

Caribbean Workers’ Forum II

15th – 18th September 2021

The second Caribbean Workers’ Forum (CWF II) will evaluate the challenges presented by the COVID 19 pandemic and will be held online with the theme: “Reimagining the New Normal”. The Conference will take place from the 15th to 18th September 2021 and will target practitioners, activists, and academics in Labour Studies and associated fields. It will also target workers’ institutions such as trade unions, cooperatives and credit unions. 

In 2019 the global community was faced with the challenge of managing the outbreak of COVID 19 which quickly escalated to a global pandemic. Governments implemented public heath orders and varying strategies to mitigate spread of the virus. The imposition of self-quarantine through the stay at home directives gave rise to, among other things, several questions about infringements of fundamental right as citizens.  

While the scenario obviously required an immediate response, the subsequent suspension of rights invariably had a disproportionate negative impact on the most vulnerable in society. Moreover, with businesses being asked to shut their doors, there were multiple infringements on workers’ rights. 

As part of the road to recovery, discussions on post the COVID world are being guided by the theme “The New Normal”. This conference will evaluate the multiple manifestations of this theme and contemplate the nature of a post COVID world which is being constructed and the implications for workers’ and workers organisations. 

The objective of this Conference is to contribute to evidence-based debate on these issues and their manifestation. It is expected that the conference will add to the debate on the post COVID world and provide a research based assessment of the extent of the potential for a paradigm shift in the “New Normal”. 

It is into this space that Cipriani College, with its partners, is seeking to bring its credibility as an institution that was established to empower workers and to ensure that they have a stake in Caribbean development.

Objectives of the Conference

The specific objectives are:

  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.

Important Dates

  • Extended deadline for submission of abstract: 31st July 2021
  • Notification of acceptance: one week after submission
  • Extended deadline for Paper submission: 31st August 2021


Contact us for more information via Phone/WhatsApp: 1-868-497-8977 or 1-868-497-8895