About the Family and Community Education Fund

Through contributions from participating local unions, the USW FCEF supports a wide range of educational and community activities for members, our families, and our neighbours and allies.

A brief history of the fund

Since 1989, through the contributions of participating local unions, the USW Family and Community Education Fund has supported activities like:

  • Steelworkers Summer, where members’ children work at summer jobs in a USW district or national office to learn more about what our union does.
  • Family Education Days, where local unions host picnics and fun days for the whole family and wider community.
  • Subsidies to local unions to send young members to NextGen, district and national conferences.

We want to help Steelworker families learn about our union and the struggles of working people across Canada and around the world. And we want to support members with family responsibilities so they can fully participate in all of the union’s activities.

The fund could support activities such as:

  • Providing child care for members while attending union events.
  • Camps for kids with a union or social-justice focus.
  • Pre-retirement planning courses for members and spouses.
  • Cross-district exchanges to learn a second language and learn more about our union.

USW has a long history of being active in the communities where we live and work. We want to continue the tradition of sponsoring community events and working in solidarity with community groups to advance equality throughout the country.

The fund could support activities such as:

  • Building partnerships with community groups that advocate for unemployed workers, injured workers, workers newly arrived from other countries and so on.
  • Courses for community members on topics ranging from first aid to local history.
  • Community activities that build support for striking or locked-out workers or for bargaining campaigns.

The USW understands the crucial importance of identifying and supporting young activists within our union.

The fund could support activities such as:

  • NextGen programming at the district and national levels.
  • “Union advantage” presentations in high schools to promote the benefits of joining a union and of working safely.

We want to grow our union by engaging new activists from within our current membership, including new hires or long-time members with more free time now that their children are older. Engaging and mentoring new activists is one way to broaden and diversify our staff and leadership.

The fund could support activities such as:

  • Projects led by a local union women’s committee or human rights committee.
  • Mentorship programs or support for additional activities as part of existing mentorship programs.
  • Scholarships for first-time attendance at a union course, conference or other union event.

An advisory committee, made up of members and staff appointed by the Canadian directors, is responsible for reviewing the state of the Fund, as well as approving and evaluating projects.

What does this mean for contributing locals?

Develop a project: Your local, women’s committee, human rights committee, area or regional council could develop a project related to one or more of the Fund’s four theme areas. Work with your District Education Coordinator or the Fund Coordinator on the details.

Large projects are reviewed on a quarterly schedule. The next deadline is April 16th.

What does this mean for non-contributing locals? 

Join the Fund: If your local union does not already contribute to the Fund, mobilize your members to approve joining. Go to Join the Fund for more details. Local unions must contribute to the Fund in order to apply for project funding. Other activities sponsored by the Fund may be open to all Steelworkers and their families; some conditions, such as registration fees, may apply to individual events.

FCEF 2019 Advisory Committee 

Join the fund

Get access for members to great programs, the right to apply for project funding, and help build the collective strength of our union.

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How to add an education component to your project

We’ve created some educational activities that can be easily included in any project.

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