Report by Yolanda Soraya Apablaza Basoalto, President of the CUT in Talca Province and leader of the Staff Association of the National Sports Institute of Chile.
On behalf of the Central Confederation of Workers - CUT Chile, I took part in the course on "Crisis and the international economy", in 2009, in Turin and Madrid.
From the very first day of the course, I could see its relevance. Usually, we regional leaders in Chile have access to basic skills (policy and law on collective bargaining), the minimum knowledge that helps us deal with a collective bargaining process for the private sector, which is practically nonexistent in the public sector.
As the course progressed, it received input from the various speakers. I was thus able to get to know the experience of other participants and their trade union training schools. That made me think about doing something similar on a smaller scale, not for its novelty value, but because of the potential value for unions who, in the near future, would be going through their own processes of collective bargaining, of gaining an in-depth knowledge of things like the current free-trade treaty between Chile and the UNDAF.
As a representative of the CUT, I visited various sectors linked to the world of work, including government, private-sector, OTEC and union ones. To each of them, I proposed a joint training programme (they all invest in training separately), making it clear that the guidelines and content would be those drawn up by the provincial CUT, and suggesting potential resource persons. Without exception, all of them welcomed the proposal, and we have since held joint workshops to put the training programme together.
After the organizational meetings, we begin to float the idea among grassroots leaders, explaining the benefits it would bring to their organizations and their future collective bargaining.
The subjects covered by the course have been incorporated into the programme of the Trade Union School. It will have the support of the institutions mentioned above and will be for leaders from both the private sector and the public sector.