Past Courses

OUR SPRING 2017 TERM BEGAN, MONDAY, MARCH 13th! Courses ran until May 8th, and Graduation was held on May 15th.

To learn more about each of our stellar faculty for the Spring 2017 Term, click here.

FIRST PERIOD – 7:00-8:10 PM

UNION MEMBERSHIP 101: Be the Change You Wish to See

Hugh Boyd, Assistant Business Manager/Treasurer/MBTA Rep, IBEW 104

Frustrated by the lack of participation in your union?  Disillusioned that the union does not seem to make a difference? This class will address those and other common issues, giving an overview of why workers join unions to improve their working conditions and how unions make those improvements.  We will also discuss how members can improve and strengthen their unions and the broader labor movement. We all have a part to play in being the change we wish to see in our union, in the labor movement, and during a Trump presidency.

STANDING UP FOR WORKERS’ RIGHTS DURING THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY: Grassroots Organizing and Strategy

Rand Wilson, Communications Director, SEIU 888

The new president’s appointments to federal agencies that oversee workers’ rights, organizing, occupational safety and health, and other labor protections appear to be hostile to workers.  Trump’s likely appointment to fill a Supreme Court vacancy may have major consequences for union security and fair share contributions. So called “Right to Work” (for less), already adopted in 26 states, has just passed in Kentucky and will likely spread to New Hampshire and additional states.  Republican-led legislators are also poised to attack state prevailing wage laws.  With Republican majorities in both houses of Congress and a willing president, a proposed federal-level National Right to Work bill could be a serious threat too.  How will the new environment affect labor organizing, union representation, and contract settlements?  What can workers, unions, and other labor organizations do to fight back and win?

NEXT STEPS FOR STEWARDS: Organizing around the Grievance Process

Tom Breslin, Assistant Director of Labor Education, MNA

Participants will learn strategies on how to supplement and enhance the grievance process by mobilizing around an issue to build membership strategy. Offered based on popular demand, this course will be an in-depth, hands-on coverage of grievance handling and everything it entails.

SECOND PERIOD – 8:20-9:30 PM

RESISTANCE IN A TRUMP PRESIDENCY: Winning Strategies for Progressive Electoral and Legislative Campaigns

Paul Feeney, Legislative Director, IBEW 2222

This class explores modern electoral and legislative campaigns, how unions and union members can make a difference to elect pro-worker candidates, and how they can hold those officials accountable once elected.   We will explore the basics of campaigns: from organization to campaign plans and budgeting to targeting.  We will discuss lessons learned from 2016 and debrief what worked and what didn’t work. We will also explore important parts of a winning campaign: field, messaging, modeling, communications, digital organizing, fundraising, and coalition building, etc.  This class is perfect for anyone interested in how the process works and what it takes to build and execute a viable electoral/legislative campaign. It might even inspire you to run for office yourself.

PERSUASIVE PUBLIC SPEAKING: Building Effective Presentation and Persuasion Skills

Richard Reilly, Arbitrator

Allyson Every, Executive Director, The Labor Guild

Political candidates hone and practice stump speeches to paint a vivid picture that wins support. Union leaders or community activists must also persuade and communicate effectively with members, managers, and groups in all kinds of situations. Whether discussing changes in labor law and relevant Supreme Court cases, or explaining union positions or benefits, practice and polish your speaking skills in a friendly, supportive environment with guidance and feedback from the instructor.

THE AMERICAN LABOR RELATIONS SYSTEM: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Kenneth Grace, Esq., Partner, Sandulli Grace, P.C.

This popular, continually-updated course explains the legal, economic, and political framework and context of labor relations in US workplaces. Topics covered include: collective bargaining, contract administration, major labor legislation, individual representation and employment law, public vs. private collective bargaining, organized labor’s past contributions, and current challenges and future prospects. This course provides students with excellent handout materials to navigate the topics discussed.

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