header
 

class descriptions

[ Not all of these classes are offered every year ]

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Advanced Grievance Handling
This course will focus on effective strategies for investigating, analyzing, and presenting complicated grievances involving discipline and discharge, (hostile work environments, performance deficiencies, and substance abuse). Participants will study common standards of discipline used by arbitrators and will explore alternatives to grievance filing and their impact on worker morale and union solidarity. Appropriate for stewards, officers and staff with actual grievance handling experience. U-LEAD 1


Advanced Internal Organizing and Solidarity Building
This course can be specially designed with a central labor council or union to be offered in conjunction with special campaigns that need to be carried out at the work site. It goes beyond the principles of one-on-one communication to focus on how to develop and implement specific campaigns. Participants should be familiar with the basics of one-on-one communication, mobilization structures, and identifying issues. The class will focus on recruiting and training volunteers, framing the issues, implementing the plan, and evaluating results. U-LEAD 2


Advocacy Skills for Union Activists
Do you want to represent your members more successfully in grievance meetings? Be more effective handling safety and health or other issues with management? Build a better working relationship with your supervisor? This class can help! We will examine effective responses to common supervisory styles; learn how to communicate more assertively with management; and practice presenting well-reasoned, compelling arguments in grievance meetings and other settings. Designed as a follow-up to the Basic Grievance Handling course. U-LEAD 1


Arbitration—Preparation for Arbitration
This class provides an overview of the arbitration process and techniques for preparing a case for the arbitrator. Learn about case theory, witness preparation and examination, opening statements, and issues of evidence and proof. This class is designed for union officers or chief stewards who are responsible for assisting in the preparation of arbitration cases. It will also be useful for others who would like to know more about how the arbitration process works and how they can help to build strong cases. U-LEAD 1


Arbitration: Preparation & Presentation
This program concentrates on developing the skills necessary for the preparation and presentation of grievance arbitration cases. Classroom sessions on the preparation of cases and the techniques of presentation emphasize the role union representatives play in arbitration. When offered as a five day seminar the program includes mock arbitrations which are presented before practicing arbitrators. The simulated arbitrations are taped and class members presentations are critiqued by the arbitrators and instructors. U-LEAD 1

Bargaining on Safety & Health Issues
Even though health and safety are mandatory bargaining subjects, they are most often dealt with outside of the formal collective bargaining arena. Contract language, however, can be a valuable tool for the union in addressing safety and health issues. For example, contract provisions can mandate exposure levels below OSHA limits, establish effective worker training programs, and provide a stronger union voice in safety and health decisions. This workshop focuses on both preparation for bargaining and actual language to protect members' safety and health. U-LEAD 1

Basic Grievance Handling
Are you interested in learning how to investigate grievances. . .apply standards of discipline and discharge. . .use grievances as a union-building tool. . .present cases to management? This class is for union members, stewards, and officers who would like an introduction or a refresher on these essential union skills. U-LEAD 1

Becoming a More Effective Workplace Advocate
Being a union steward or representative involves many things: investigating and presenting grievances, informing members about their rights on the job, encouraging their participation in the affairs of the union, and mobilizing them to take action. This class will discuss using the grievance process as a tool to build the union and offer concrete ideas on how you can become a more effective advocate for your members. U-LEAD 1

Building Unity and Power
To survive and grow in tough times, unions need power! Power in the workplace means a membership that is mobilized to fight for a fair contract, works together to solve problems at work and to build unity among the employees, and is informed about and active in the life of the union. This class will help identify why members aren't more involved and will explore concrete ideas for building member participation and union power. U-LEAD 2

Bullying/Workplace Violence
Bully bosses, tension between coworkers, harassment and even violence—these are situations that occur with alarming frequency in our workplaces. This workshop will help you recognize bully bosses and give you strategies for dealing with bullies and other workplace harassment issues. It will also introduce the elements of an effective workplace violence prevention program. U-LEAD 5

Collective Bargaining
Success in negotiating your contract requires knowing what your members want, organizing them to show their determination, researching and preparing persuasive arguments on the issues, using the labor laws effectively, and bargaining skillfully at the table. This class introduces all these aspects of the collective bargaining process. This class may cover public sector or private sector only. U-LEAD 1

Construction Industry Organizing
This class is designed to help building trades organizers learn how to organize and win new contracts in the construction industry. We will look at how to pick a target, how to build market share, and how to run a campaign that includes both top-down pressures and bottom-up organizing. U-LEAD 4

Contract Campaigns
Successful contract negotiations require the development of a strategic action plan that includes involving members in actions to demand a fair contract; and a strategy for pressuring employers to do the right thing. This class will provide training in analyzing the employer, mobilizing members, and coordinating what happens at the negotiating table with the campaign away from the table. We will go through the steps involved in successful contract campaigns in both the private and public sectors, using examples from real campaigns. U-LEAD 2

Current Trends in the Labor Movement
In this class, Participants will discuss the key challenges and critical issues facing workers and unions today. What can we learn from labor’s recent wins and losses? How do we rebuild labor’s power and standing in the community? And what do the changes in today’s workforce, economy, and labor structures mean—it’s not your father’s labor movement, but why does it matter? This “Big Picture” class will discuss and grapple with the implications of these developments for effective union activism and leadership. U-LEAD 4

Dealing with the Media
Want to get your union's story out to the public? This class is designed to give unionists a better understanding of how the media works and how to get the union message out. All components of building a media campaign will be covered, including how to: identify 'the public' that you want to reach, write press releases, talk to reporters, and conduct an interview on TV or radio. U-LEAD 3

Dealing with Workplace Harassment
Harassment at the workplace can take many forms, based on gender, race or ethnicity or sexual orientation. Harassment can come from coworkers as well as supervisors. This class discusses how workers can deal with harassment as well as the role of the union. Unions need to have a plan and deal forcefully with harassment, and stewards and coworkers are important to establishing a safe workplace free of harassment. U-LEAD 5

Economic Issues: How Workers Are Getting Burned & What Can Be Done About It
A $1 billion budget shortfall in Oregon . . . a continuing push for more trade deals as globalization expands . . . corporate financial rogues like Enron . . . the threat of further dismantling of the public sector. What do these phenomena mean for all working people, here and around the globe? What can unions do to protect workers and members? Are there real world solutions that can tackle some of the economic issues that sound too complicated to understand? Come discuss these issues with other unionists as three economic experts lead sessions to help you come to grips with what's happening to our jobs and how unions and workers can fight back. U-LEAD 4

Employment Law: Know Your Workplace Rights
Have you ever wanted to know your legal rights at work – apart from what's in your union contract? Have you ever tried to defend a co-worker, but not been sure eactly what they're entitled to under law? This workshop will provide an overview of the most important employment laws affecting Oregon workplaces, including anti-discrimination law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and basic wage and hour regulations. U-LEAD 4

Facilitation Skills
An effective leader needs to be able to lead group discussions in a way that promotes honest participation and respectful interaction among the participants but also leads to a clear plan of action within a reasonable period of time. This workshop will give you the basic skills of how to draw out and build upon the experiences of participants, be inclusive, lead good discussions, summarize what was said and move the agenda forward. It will feature hands-on practice dealing with challenging situations, and practical solutions that can be used in facilitating meetings, classes and other group events. U-LEAD 4

Frame or Be Framed: New Strategies to Communicate Labor's Message
What is the union movement all about? What are the values that we believe in and what is the message that we present to others about our beliefs? How can we communicate our values and develop strong messages that can be used more effectively in the areas of bargaining, politics, and community action? These are important questions vital to enhancing the strength, credibility, and public image of the union movement. This class will address these important questions by focusing on how we define and present the union’s message in our work. The class will especially focus on how to “frame” issues effectively and counter the ways in which others use “frames” to distort the image and message of unions. Participants will examine how unions currently frame important issues and work on developing concrete plans and strategies that more effectively present issues and messages to the key audiences the union is trying to reach. The class will enable activists, leaders, and staff to become more effective advocates for union values, ideas, and principles.

The Future of the Labor Movement
This class is for students who have finished or are nearing completion of the requirements for their U-LEAD certificate. It presents an opportunity to use the knowledge gained from other classes and your own experiences to systematically reflect on some of the key challenges and most pressing issues currently facing the labor movement. Among the issues the class will consider are organizing challenges, outreach to immigrant workers, and debates over restructuring the labor movement. Students will be required to do some reading prior to the class. Labor leaders and outside resource people will also offer their perspectives as part of the discussion. U-LEAD 4

Inside Job: Who Wrecked the Economy and What Can We Do About it?
Budget shortfalls, growing inequality, job loss, unfair trade deals and corporate roguery. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Fierce political attacks on unions and collective bargaining. These are among the serious challenges facing working people in Oregon and the U.S. In this class we will review how we got into our current economic mess, evaluate concrete alternatives and solutions, and discuss how unions can push for economic reform that benefits working people U-LEAD 4

Inside/Outside: Bargaining Effectively with a Contract Campaign
Successful contract negotiations require the development of a strategic action plan that includes involving members in actions to demand a fair contract; and a strategy for pressuring employers to do the right thing. This class will provide training in developing a campaign plan that mobilizes members and coordinates what happens at the negotiating table with activity away from the table. We will go through the steps involved in a contract campaign, for both large and small locals in both public and private sector. U-LEAD 2

Internal Organizing and Solidarity Building
To survive and grow in tough times, unions need power! Power in the workplace means a membership that is mobilized to fight for a fair contract, works together to solve problems at work and to build unity among the employees, and is informed about and active in the life of the union. This class will help identify why members aren't more involved and will explore concrete ideas for building member participation and union power. U-LEAD 2

Introduction to Labor Law
This course introduces union members to the basics of labor law covering both public and private sector employees. Topics include organizing and the law, unfair labor practices and protecting the rights of union activists, and legal issues surrounding contract negotiations. The class is designed to demystify the law and give all union activists more tools to run effective campaigns for union recognition and negotiating fair contracts. U-LEAD 4

Labor Heritage and Laborís Future
Does history really tell us anything concrete about how to shape labor strategies for today? This class will examine winning and losing labor struggles since World War II, and analyze what they tell us about developing strategies today. Weíll look at victorious strikes and lost strikes; at legal strikes and some illegal wildcats; at union political and legislative victories and defeats; at successful corporate campaigns and unsuccessful ones. Some events covered will include the 1959 Oregonian strike, the 1970 postal wildcat, the PATCO strike, the J.P. Stevens and P-9 contract campaigns, the Oregon minimum wage initiative of 1996 and the current battle over collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin. U-LEAD 4

Labor History and Current Issues
This class is designed to give union members a sense of the rich heritage of the American working class both in Oregon and throughout the country. It will trace the history of unions and labor struggles from colonial times to the present through lectures, small-group discussions, and videos. The class will emphasize how we can use a historical analysis to understand our current situation, and how we can make fellow union members and the public more aware of the history of the American labor movement. U-LEAD 4

Labor History I: From Colonial Times to World War I
This class examines the rich heritage of US and Pacific Northwest labor history from colonial times up to World War I.Topics covered include the origins of the first trade American trade unions; the growth of the factory system; labor wars of the late 19th century; the founding of the AFL and IWW, and early unionism in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. (This is the first of a two part sequence.) U-LEAD 4

Labor History II: World War I to Present
This is the second of a two-part class, and covers the era from World War I until the present. Through exercises, lecture, discussion and film, participants will examine some of the major themes and events in twentieth century labor history. Topics include the rise of scientific management, 1920's repression and the renewal of the labor movement in the 1930's, labor during the war, the post-war "Accord," the rise of public employee unionism, labor and the civil rights movement, and the anti-labor offensive of the 1980's. The class will cover national labor history as well as the history of Oregon's unions. U-LEAD 4

Labor Law: Key Employment Issues
Stewards, officers, and union staffers need to be prepared to advocate for members on many legal fronts. This course will target four key areas where the law, the contract, and emerging legal cases intertwine. With the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you will get a good overview of the laws and learn how to handle grievances in these areas. We will also discuss issues involving immigrant rights and new communication technology, and your role in protecting both the workers and the union. U-LEAD 4

Labor and Politics
This class will examine the most important political issues facing Oregon workers. We will look at how the political system really works, and how union members can gain more influence in the decision making process. The class will have a special focus on the central issues that are likely to be at stake in the 2004 elections. The course will include presentations by some of the key political players in the Oregon labor movement. No previous knowledge or experience is necessary—this class is designed to enable all union members and activists to participate effectively in the political process. U-LEAD 4

"Leader and Teacher:" The Effective Union Steward
In addition to handling grievances under the contract, the effective union steward is a workplace leader: teaching workers how to assert their rights under the contract and organize support for the union. This introductory class emphasizes these components of the steward's role rather than the technical aspects of contract interpretation. Through case problems and role plays, participants will explore how to identify and mentor new leaders and how to organize solidarity activities. Students will explore their own strengths as leaders and identify areas where they can expand their skills and inspire others. U-LEAD 1

Leadership Skills for an Effective Union
What does it take to lead an effective local union? How can local leaders help shape the goals and activities of their union and successfully deal with the challenges it faces? This class will focus on helping union leaders learn to develop and move a pro-active agenda for their union, including running effective meetings, communicating the unions's message, and building a sense of teamwork and accomplishment. U-LEAD 3

Making Meetings Work
Parliamentary Procedure and Other Strategies
Whether you chair them or attend them as a member, union meetings are a fact of life. If they're effective, they can help build the union; if not, they can contribute to member apathy. Learn how to improve your own meetings with solid preparation, an action orientation, efficiency, involvement, and follow-up. The class will also cover the basics of Parliamentary Procedure and alternative rules for smaller, informal meetings. U-LEAD 3

Mapping Labor's Political Agenda
This class revies events and trends in Oregon and national politics that affect labor. We will examine the most important political issues in the Oregon legislature and how union members can participate in these issues and in decision-making processes. The class will explore how to promote a broader labor agenda – in elections and beyond – with concrete practical skills for union activists. U-LEAD 4

"May I Have a Word With You?:" Communicating with Clarity and Effectiveness
As a union activist, you do a lot of communicating. How do you make sure your message is transmitted accurately and that you correctly interpret the response? What preparation do you need to have a persuasive argument? In this class we will explore the elements of clear, effective and persuasive communication in both written and spoken form. We'll discuss grievances, letters, reports, emails, personal conversations, and speaking out in meetings. Come prepared to practice and improve your skills. U-LEAD 3

Mediation Skills
An important skill for union activists and leaders is the ability to help resolve problems among our own members. Mediation is a structured process we can learn to help diffuse conflicts in a workplace and bring about mutually acceptable solutions-before a problem escalates or results in discipline. Mediation can also help deal with issues inside the union and build unity. This class will focus on establishing the proper climate for mediation, helping the parties listen to each other, identifying underlying interests, and moving toward a resolution. U-LEAD 3

Organizing the Unorganized
This course covers the why’s and how’s of union organizing. Why is organizing unorganized workers crucial to the survival of the labor movement and workers' standard of living? How do union organizing campaigns work? What is the legal framework for organizing? What are the new strategies and approaches being tried by labor around the country? These and other questions will be addressed, and the role of union members in supporting their organizations' organizing efforts will be explored. U-LEAD 2

Politics 2010: A User's Manual
2010 will be an extremely important year for the union movememnt with the approach of the mid-term Congrassional elections, the Oregon governor's race, and state legislative contests. This class will help participants prepare for effective political involvement in 2010 and beyond. Topics that will be covered include a review of key issues of interest to workers (e.g., trade, health care, job creation, stimulus spending), ideas on how to talk to members about politics and get them to participate in the political process, and effective techniques for educating elected officials and the public about working people's concerns. If you want to enhance your union's effectiveness in the political arena, this class will provide you with ideas and inspiration on how to make your voice heard. U-LEAD 4

The Politics of Immigration: What Should Unions Do?
The global economy and trade deals like NAFTA have had major effects on workers, unions, and communities and have prompted large-scale immigration to both Oregon and the U.S. Unions are now fi guring out how to respond to the challenges posed by immigration, which has become a controversial issue affecting both workplaces and communities. In this class participants will gain insight into how they can present and discuss immigration issues in their unions and learn more about the strategies unions are using in reaching out to immigrant workers. U-LEAD 4

Popular Education Techniques for Worker Educators
Learn more about the ideas and techniques of education for worker empowerment as it is practiced in the US today! Popular education is a form of social change education that builds on what workers already know, giving them a chance to practice new skills as well as to think critically about the world around them. The class will cover course planning, using forum theater and other activities, and facilitating good discussions. Designed especially for union and community activists with responsibility for training in their organizations. U-LEAD 3

Private Sector Contract Campaigns
Successful contract negotiations in the private sector requires the development of a strategic action plan that includes: a campaign to generate member interest and support; research and preparation of persuasive arguments on the issues; the building of community coalitions to support the union in its efforts; and at-the-table strategies. This class will provide an overview of contract campaigns in the private sector, and will help participants apply the principles to their own unique situations. U-LEAD 1

Public Sector Labor Law
This course introduces unionists to basic public sector labor law under the Public Employment Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA). It focuses on maximum effectiveness under the law while maintaining a grassroots organizing approach to workplace problems. It addresses organizing and the law, unfair labor practices, activists' rights, legal issues in the collective bargaining process, and recent changes in the act. U-LEAD 4

Recruiting and Developing Leaders
Is your union having problems recruiting stewards? Have you got fewer and fewer activists doing more and more of the union work? Are you worried about keeping your union strong as established leaders retire or reduce their activity? This class will tackle these problems by examining new ways to identify, recruit, and develop local union leaders from among your unionís interested members. We will discuss strategies for reaching out across all generations in your union to increase the interest and expertise of newer activists and to bring new ideas, perspectives, and energy that promote the unionís values and goals. U-LEAD 2

Skills for Effective Union Leadership
A class for new and aspiring leaders! This class will address challenges facing unions today and implications for union leadership. You will identify your own leadership style, learn about working with and motivating union members, consider new leadership strategies and techniques, and discuss issues of power and ethics in unions. U-LEAD 3

Speaking with Authority
Would you rather do just about anything than speak in front of a group? Do you freeze up or stumble when asked a hard question in a public setting, even though you know the answer? Do you wish you could have communicated more effectively when you gave a report at your last union meeting? Clearly, union activists and leaders need to be able to communicate effectively in a variety of settings. This class will help you prepare an effective public speech, learn how to tailor your message to a particular audience, and offer tips on how to overcome your fears about public speaking. We will practice techniques to help you feel more confident and in control, whether you are speaking to a co-worker, at a union meeting, or at a public event. U-LEAD 3

Steward Training for Spanish Speakers
This class for Spanish-speaking unionists will focus on how to solve worksite problems. You will learn how to investigate, prepare and present grievances, as well as how to use grievances to build support for the union at your workplace. This class is for members, stewards, or officers who would like to learn these essential union skills. U-LEAD 1

The Stressed Out Workplace: Causes and Solutions
Stress—there is no shortage of it in today's fast-paced, short-staffed workplace. It can become "toxic" for workers, leading to chronic illness and injuries. What are the stressors we face in our jobs and lives—and what do they do to us? More importantly, what can we do about it? This class will explore individual and collective (union) strategies to eliminate, reduce and cope with workplace stress. U-LEAD 3

Strong Stewards, Strong Union: Solving Workplace Problems and Building Member Involvement
This class will focus on the effective investigation, preparation and presentation of grievances, as well as on methods of addressing other kinds of worksite problems that stewards may face. Using discussion and small group exercises, we will discuss proven techniques to generate member involvement and build support for the unionís activities in the workplace. This class is designed for new stewards and for members, stewards, or officers who would like to learn or brush up on these essential union skills. U-LEAD 1

The Struggle Continues: Labor History Since World War II
This class covers the tumultuous era of labor and working-class history from World War II until the present. Through exercises, lecture, discussion, and film, participants will examine some of the major themes and events in labor history since 1945. Topics include the post-war ďAccord,Ē the effects of the Cold War on the labor movement, the rise of public employee unionism, labor and the civil rights movement, the anti-labor offensive of the 1980s, and the struggles surrounding globalization. The class covers national events and trends as well as the history of Oregonís unions. U-LEAD 4

Survive and Thrive (How to Be a Union Activist and Have a Life!)
We all need balance in our lives. And part of being an effective union leader is being a good role model so that others want to join our movement. This class will help us find ways to set priorities, manage our time more effectively, combat stress, and to say "no" without guilt to some of the demands on our time. U-LEAD 3

Teaching Union Stewards: Training Techniques & Innovations
This class is designed for union officers, staff and education committee members responsible for training local union stewards Participants will review the steps necessary to plan a training program, develop an instructional agenda, and design classroom materials. Students will explore the wide range of classroom techniques used in labor education including icebreakers, individual student exercises, group exercise, role playing and audio visual aids. Participants will also get a chance to try out their own material and approaches in presentations to class members. U-LEAD 5

Turning Members Into Unionists
Would you like your members to be more active? Do you ever feel as if they don't fully understand "why unions matter?" Would you like for members to have a greater appreciation of the history, heritage, values, and traditions of the union movement? This class will discuss specific techniques and approaches aimed at overcoming apathy, motivating members, and inspiring them to become more aware and active trade unionists. U-LEAD 2

Union Leadership Training for Spanish Speakers
This class will be taught in Spanish for Spanish-speaking union members and activists and will focus on developing union leadership and advocacy skills. Special attention will be paid to issues that affect immigrant workers, and to the challenges they face at the workplace. U-LEAD 3

The Union's Role in Protecting Worker Safety
Unions have long been one of the main advocates for better safety programs at work. Unions push for effective legislation but also operate at the workplace with worker activism. Oregon is one of the few states that requires work site safety committees and they are a great way for unions and workers to be involved in workplace safety. Learn about legislation and union activism for worker safety. U-LEAD 5

What's Going On With the Economy?
Budget shortfalls, growing inequality, job loss, unfair trade deals and corporate roguery. If you've been looking for a clear explanation in plain English for how the economy works, this is the class for you. We'll discuss problems in the American economy and their impact on our jobs and pocketbooks. We'll evaluate real world solutions and discuss how unions can organize to build economic reform that's good for working people. U-LEAD 4

Wired Up: Building Your Activist Base Through Social Media
Facebook ... Twitter ... web conferencing ... flash mobs... The explosion of social media in recent years has opened up new opportunities to engage members in the life of their union. When combined with solid internal organizing strategies, these tools can attract a new generation of unionists, increase two-way communications between leaders and members, and bring excitement and creativity to union actions. This course will provide an overview of whatís possible, with hands-on practice. Designed for those new to the technology, and for those working to bring new tools to their union. (Bring a laptop computer to the class.) U-LEAD 2

Wisconsin & Beyond: Challenges for Unions in the 21st Century
The past year has seen unprecedented attacks on unions and workersí rights in both the public and private sector. Elected officials at both the state and federal levels have set to work restricting collective bargaining rights, cutting wages and benefits, undermining standards in the construction industry, and more broadly trying to make it harder for working people to effectively organize. And all this is happening in a time of economic crisis, when unions may be more needed than ever before. This class will examine the past year, understand who is behind the attacks, help think about what the future may bring here in Oregon, and help strategize about what role union members can play in strengthening the position of working people within the state. U-LEAD 4