AFL-CIO Community Services Program
The basic principal of the AFL-CIO Community Services Program is that the union member is, first and foremost, a citizen of the community, who cooperates with other citizens in making the community a good place in which to live, to work, to raise children, and to retire. The union member is concerned about the availability of adequate health, welfare and human services for the entire community. From this basic principle, organized labor developed a working relationship with United Way Worldwide that has lasted over 60 years.
Over 200 full-time state and local AFL-CIO Community Services Liaisons serve as links between their central labor councils and United Ways all across the country. The basic job of the AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison is to help the AFL-CIO Central Labor Council (CLC) effectively carry out the AFL-CIO Community Services Program. The Bloomington-Normal Trades & Labor Assembly (BNTLA) is the CLC for McLean County.
The primary responsibilities of the AFL-CIO Community Services Program are to help those in need and to involve union members in helping those in need. These responsibilities are met by a group of activities referred to as the core program of AFL-CIO Community Services. AFL-CIO Community Service Liaisons and Labor Agencies are required to put together an annual work plan that includes at the minimum the following core programs and activities:
- Assisting Community Services Committees in the CLC and local unions
- AFL-CIO Union Counselor Training Program
- Strike AssistanceHelping the unemployedInformation and referral
- Helping retirees
- Fundraising and volunteer recruitment for United Way
- Disaster relief
- Blood donations by union members
In 1994, the BNTLA and United Way of McLean County (UWMC) established an AFL-CIO Community Services Program in our community. Union members are invited to get involved with United Way in three ways:
- GIVE: Union members and workers are encouraged to contribute to the annual UWMC fundraising campaign.
- ADVOCATE: Union members are trained to provide information to co-workers and their families about local services and to refer them to the appropriate organizations.
- VOLUNTEER: Union members are connected with volunteer opportunities that utilize both their time and expertise to help nonprofit organizations and local communities in McLean County.