By BARBARA M. WERTHEIMER
“I’m here! I’ve arrived!” With these words, some fifty or more years ago, a woman worker greeted the director of the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers, located just outside Philadelphia on the Bryn Mawr college campus. True, she was late for the school’s opening—but she had “arrived,” having walked all the way from Chicago because she had no money.
Today’s labor union and other working women also have arrived, in different times and by different paths. One of their routes is via residential schools focused on labor subjects and leadership training, held on college campuses across the country. The short-term residential institute, still a mainstay of labor education, is the focus of this “how-to” chapter.
A residential school, as labor educators know it traditionally, “takes people away from home for five or six days, offers concentrated training and at the same time a way to use labor education staff to reach a number of different locals at one time.”1 Usually its student body consists of officers, shop stewards, rank-and-file committee members, and active unionists, and sometimes union staff as well. A more formal definition in adult education terms is offered by Morgan, Holmes, and Bundy in Methods in Adult Education. The residental school
fosters intensive learning over a short period of time and, if organized correctly, prevents interruptions. Effort is exerted to develop informality, opportunity for participation and self-expression. Many techniques such as buzz sessions, role playing, group projects, and open discussion, as well as formal stage-audience presentations, may be used.2
Within the last four or five years, several types of residential schools for union and other working women have emerged. The AFL-CIO-sponsored George Meany Center for Labor Studies in Maryland offers a continous series of week-long training programs for union staff representatives. It has incorporated as a regular part of this program an annual training week for women staff and officers, directed by two women labor educators on its faculty. Two- or three-day schools are offered at an increasing number of university labor education centers around the country, often in cooperation with state federations of labor in the states in which they are located. These bring women together across union lines and enable those from the same towns and communities who may never have met to come together as union women. As chapters of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) organize in these states, they play a key role in advancing the movement toward statewide programs. A third kind of residential school is the week-long summer institute program sponsored regionally since 1976 under the auspices of the Standing Committee on Programs for Union Women, part of the University and College Labor Education Association (UCLEA).
How did these schools begin? In an effort to promote programming for and about women workers, a group of labor educators from universities affiliated with UCLEA met in 1975 and formed the Task Force on Programs for Union Women (as of 1978, the Standing Committee on Programs for Union Women). At its first meeting, the Task Force mapped out an ambitious three-pronged program: publication of a quarterly newsletter on women’s programs, to appear in the UCLEA Labor Studies Journal; inclusion of programs on or about working women as part of the agenda for all regional and national UCLEA meetings; and inter-university, inter-union regional women’s summer schools, to be conducted by the Task Force.
Since 1976, summer schools for union women have been conducted in the northeast, the midwest, and the south. From 1976 to 1980, some 1,200 women participated. In a like manner, the new Working Women’s Organizing Project, with its thirteen chapters of office workers in as many different cities, began in 1979 to hold annual residential summer schools based on the UCLEA model described here. Residential programs for working women are enjoying a renaissance, drawing from the past but building on the needs and energies of the present and the promise of the future.
While this chapter uses the one-week residential school for union women as a model, the principles on which these schools are planned and conducted apply as well to three-day programs or institutes lasting two weeks or more, and are, of course, transferable to residential programs not exclusively for women.
There is no question that there is a need for residential schools. “Union leadership is perhaps the only major profession in the United States for which there is no established and generally recognized sequence of professional training,” wrote Lois Gray, Associate Dean for Extension and Public Service of Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She believes that “Leadership training is one of the principal challenges facing the American labor movement.”3
Residential schools provide union activists and rank-and-file leaders with a concentrated training experience that encourages a better understanding of and more effective participation in the labor movement, and a willingness to assume increased union responsibility. They are particularly useful for union women, many of whom are new to the labor movement and inexperienced in its ways, as were many men in the 1930s. Today women seek both information and leadership training that will enable them to return to their locals better prepared to take their rightful place as equal partners in their labor union organizations. For many women this is their first exposure to union-oriented education and to programs that center around their concerns as working women.
Specifically, the schools for union women incorporate the following five purposes:
1. They provide skill training and information on labor union and working women’s issues.
2. They foster a spirit of mutual support and sisterhood among union women and among labor education staff.
3. They bring together a staff of university and union labor educators in a mix of women new to the field and those more experienced in labor education, to exchange program ideas and to learn from each other.
4. They provide a testing ground for ideas on programming for union women that can be transferred to home situations by both staff and students.
5. They give increased visibility to women in their unions, communities, and universities, demonstrating their interest in preparing for increased participation in their unions, and lending a new status to programming for women workers.
Planning and Conducting a Residential School
A planning committee that is representative of the women expected to attend the school is essential, both to ensure the relevancy of the program design and to recruit successfully. From the start, planning for the regional summer schools for union women has been done by a committee made up of the university and union labor educators who form the teaching staff and, after the first year, elected students from the preceding year’s school.
The committee should meet no later than six months preceding the summer school (the earlier the better.) After the first year, the evaluation from preceding years becomes important to the planning, and should be tabulated and the evaluator’s report circulated to the committee so that suggestions from students and staff become part of the planning process. Allow an entire day for the planning meeting, which should start with a review of the evaluation report. Decide on the size of the school and the cutoff number for registrations. Be sure the meeting room has blackboard and chalk; mapping out a program and schedule demands that planners see in front of them what they are working on as they go along.
The factors that one planning committee took into account in locating its school are suggestive. It sought:
A campus experienced in dealing with union programs (i.e., with access to xerox and multilith facilities, recreation equipment, ability to provide a picnic one night, a social room/lounge for exclusive use of school, easy access to telephones for calling home, air-conditioned classrooms, blackboards or flip charts for all classes, friendly office staff);
Room accommodations suitable for adult students;
A cooperative administration;
Atmosphere conductive to developing a spirit of unity (i.e., a central dining facility, students housed in one dorm);
No great distance between classrooms, dormitories, and dining;
Access for the handicapped;
Ability to provide for special dietary needs;
Possibilities for child care (there are not many requests for this; day-camp-age children are more likely);
Possible banquet room for final meal; and
Twenty-four-hour medical clinic.
It should be noted that strenuous efforts have been made to conduct summer schools on member-university (that is, UCLEA) campuses, rotating the campus each year where feasible. If booked well in advance, a college campus usually is available at reasonable cost for room, board, and use of conference facilities. An added advantage to using a UCLEA-member campus is that it has a labor education center that can requisition the best possible facilities, can oversee arrangements, and knows how to work with union groups.
The coordinator’s role is crucial. Ideally, the next year’s location should be chosen at the final staff meeting during the preceding year’s school, thus ensuring the reservation of space. At the planning meeting, the location should be confirmed and the coordinator chosen. The latter may be determined by the location: it makes good sense to have the host university’s labor center coordinate the school. If there is no experienced woman labor educator on the center’s staff, however, a codirector should be selected by the planning committee to work with the host institution. Women staff are essential role models for union or other working women’s schools. (Thus far this situation has come up three times. It brings home to the host university the importance of affirmative action in terms of its own staff.)
No one person will have all the attributes of the “ideal” coordinator. Perhaps the most important virtue is the ability to meld the school’s staff into a team that draws on the expertise of each for the benefit of the school as a whole. I have watched a relatively inexperienced coordinator who had this gift get every staff member working with her to help in those areas where she lacked experience. However, for the record, here are some of the qualities to look for in a coordinator:
Experience in organizing conferences and institutes;
Ability to work well with her peers, i.e., the labor education staff volunteering its time to teach at the school;
Ability to work with campus administration, on whose cooperation the school depends;
Some experience working with labor unions; ability to relate to rank-and-file women;
Ability to work well under pressure;
Knowledge of how to delegate responsibility and follow through;
Ability to deal with shifts in plans in emergencies;
Willingness to consult staff and accept suggestions gracefully;
Willingness to share the limelight with other staff;
Affiliation with a university that supports her time commitment to this activity, although it is her own dedication that will see her through.
The coordinator’s job commences immediately after the planning session adjourns. Chronologically, from that point to opening night at the school, she must see to the following:
Design, produce, and distribute the summer school brochure to ensure maximum time for recruiting.
Prepare a press release to be sent to all relevant publicity channels. Be sure “contact” name and address are included.
Set up registration procedures and system for the school and the method for handling funds.
Appoint coordinators for each of the program sub-sections (for example, workshops, issues sessions, evening programs). These coordinators have the responsibility for making sure that all staff who teach the sub-section topics prepare their outlines and materials in advance and reproduce enough copies for each of their students. If a teacher is having difficulty preparing, her coordinator will know it and can work with her. The summer school coordinator keeps in touch with each section coordinator, but does not need to follow up on each teacher. This serves to divide the cost of materials production, since there is no school budget for this (see below). Thus each union or university with staff participating in the school absorbs a small, manageable part of the cost. Supplementary materials distributed at the schools usually are available without charge from such sources as the AFL-CIO Education Department.
Alert the school evaluator to be sure all necessary questionnaires are readied.
Prepare program schedules for the week, registration forms for opening day, all kit materials and kit folders, name tags, and information sheets about campus facilities.
Obtain workshop descriptions from instructors for inclusion in confirmation letter to students. Advance registration for workshops simplifies registration day, and permits arranging for additional sections of popular courses (see Advance Registration, below).
Films, audiovisuals, projector must be ordered well in advance.
Arrangements must be completed and confirmed for summer school picnic, wine and cheese for opening-night “social,” photographer, exact number and location of classrooms to be used, location of each activity.
Student confirmation letter providing travel information, what to bring, times for registration, when dormitory rooms will be open.
Plan for opening-day registration procedures.
Teachers must be kept informed of the school’s progress as plans develop. This is especially useful if registrations are short from some areas, as teachers can help recruit further.
Prepare a contingency plan in case some staff scheduled to teach cannot make it.
Who will lead the group singing that is such an important part of each school? Have songbooks been ordered, or songsheets prepared?
When staffing the summer school, keep in mind that the director should not take on a heavy teaching load. Ideally, she should not teach at all, especially if the school has 75 or more students. Instead, she should plan to sit in on as many classes as possible to get a sense of how they are going. At the planning meeting, labor educators will have volunteered for various teaching spots, based on their particular areas of expertise, experience, or interest. Newer staff might take workshop assignments, since these tend to deal with specific content, are more limited in scope, and are more manageable as an introductory assignment. Brand new staff or trainees might assume a team-teaching role together with labor educators, who will know how to involve them, will give them the opportunity to handle specific assignments, and will provide them with useful feedback.
Administrative responsibilities should be shared among the staff. For example, one staff member should work with the school’s recreation committee, another plan and chair the evening programs, another take orders for school photographs, another coordinate travel arrangements, and so forth. The coordinator should work with the elected student committee of the school, meeting with it daily to iron out any problems it brings to her attention and helping it develop plans for graduation at the end of the week.
For the first year of the regional summer schools for union women, a small Ford Foundation grant enabled women whose unions initially did not support the school to attend. In many cases this has resulted in changed attitudes as unions came to see the schools as successful and appreciated the enhanced participation of women members who attended—or as the women became better organized and more effective in seeking their unions’ support.
Aside from this initial contribution, the schools have been self-supporting for “out of pocket” costs. What has been contributed is the time of the union and university education staffs and the not-so-hidden costs of telephone, supplies, reproduction of materials, as well as travel and room and board costs for staff. The schools do not cover any staff expenses except for those of a few women not released by their union or university who utilize their vacation time to come to teach at the school. Such extras must be built into the school’s limited budget, which also includes film rentals, travel for special guests for labor history night (usually retired union women who have no organization to pick up travel costs), the school picnic, the university’s conference fees, and the like. These expenses are met through a small extra charge over and above room and board. So far, none of the schools has operated in the red, thanks to careful budgeting and watch-dogging of expenditures. They are not luxury operations, but what they lack in elegance they make up for in spirit.
Student recruiting depends heavily on planning committee members and their many union contacts, on students from prior schools, on labor union education staffs, and on the cooperation of the AFL-CIO Department of Education, of chapters of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, and of the labor press. After their first year, the schools have been oversubscribed. Sometimes representation is a problem: do students come from a cross-section of unions? Are public- and private-sec tor unions and blue-collar workers registered in proportion to their numbers in the region? What about geographic and racial distribution? Here’s where the planning committee continues its recruiting help. Outreach may be needed to new unions, or older unions that have never sent delegates before. As a recruiting aid, each year’s evaluation form asks students to list contact suggestions for the following year (see Chapter 8). While many names on these forms duplicate those already on the mailing list, new ones also appear and become important new leads. A touchy problem is how to tell registrants and their unions when the cut-off point has been reached, and that they will have to go on the waiting list. Anger coupled with disappointment can affect the next year’s recruiting effort.
The program design for each summer school is worked over painstakingly each year to improve upon the preceding year’s school and to take into account suggestions from the evaluations. The tendency still is to over-schedule the week. Even listing some activities as “optional” does not really help, since most women want to squeeze the very most out of the week. The school routine is different from anything the students are accustomed to. Sitting in class for a large part of each day; being asked to think about one kind of problem after another (whether it is how to deal with an obstreperous member in a parliamentary procedure workshop or whether women’s concerns are met in the most recent proposals for National Health Insurance); sleeping less than they should because of the chance to talk with women from different unions and states; worrying about how things are going back home—all these and more contribute to fatigue. The schedule never accommodates to this, nor can it. Labor educators feel the limitations of just five days and so much to do. So free evenings become times for public workers to meet together to discuss their special problems; for an optional showing of films that might be useful back home; for the newspaper workshop to ready the summer school paper in time for graduation; or for the student committee to meet over some school problem or to plan the graduation ceremony. Rushed as the students feel during the week, however, it is part of the excitement and contributes to what is an unforgettable experience.
Students are required to attend both morning classes. In the schedule included at the end of this chapter, the first is centered around leadership skills that union women need and that provide the means for taking action back in the local union on some of the issues discussed during the second morning class. This schedule runs for four of the school’s five days, and permits four basic issues to be covered in some depth during the second morning class. Afternoon sessions are informal workshops, with eight or more offered during each of the two afternoon periods. Each student is required to select one workshop; a second is optional (a bow to the need for free time). Invariably, most students sign up for two. The subjects hit home: they are what the students came to the school to learn. The comment most often heard is: “I wish I could take them all.”
Each day begins with a plenary session for songs, announcements, and a sense of togetherness. Evening programs are plenary too, and vary. Opening night seems a good time for a film about working women, songs, introductions, and a run-through of the program. Another evening, devoted to Women in Labor History, proves inspirational and underscores that women in the past have been not only workers but union leaders. A picnic early in the week is relaxing, and provides a chance to get acquainted and to unwind. If there are songs and an open fire, so much the better. Another free evening with optional activities is a possibility. The 1979 school tried a mid-week free afternoon with a campus tour and an opportunity to shop or wander in town, holding classes that evening instead, again in an effort to have the week seem less pressured.
The final day of the school is a short one—most often graduation follows a noon meal, with departure in the early afternoon. In the morning, at the northeastern school, students meet first by states, then by unions, to work out what they will do when they get back home. Staff from those states and unions meet with them. How will they use what they have learned? How will they avoid coming on too strong with new ideas and their increased motivation? What will they do first? Next? How will they keep in touch with each other? At each state meeting students elect a representative and an alternate to serve as their contacts and to represent them at the next year’s planning committee meeting.
Evaluation forms must be filled out when students are gathered together that last morning. Otherwise it becomes impossible to collect enough of them to be meaningful. This turns out to be true of staff evaluation forms as well (see Chapter 8).
Graduation is an important event. The special certificates presented mean a great deal to the students, as does the school newspaper—which should include the name, union, address, and phone number of each student and staff person at the school. With a final singing of “Solidarity Forever,” each sister holding the hands of her neighbors, the school closes. No one leaves quite the same person that she was when she came.
Materials and methods can be a problem, as there is as yet no central clearinghouse or repository for the many excellent materials used at residential schools for union and other working women. Such a service would be valuable, for the teachers at these schools develop outlines and put together materials on countless subjects focusing on women workers. As an aid in locating materials, the reader is referred to James Wallihan’s Appendix on resources following Chapter 23.
Many teaching methods useful at residential schools are described elsewhere in this book. The emphasis is on involving the student in classroom participation. The theory behind this is, in part, that in their home locals many women face constant put-downs that lead to self-restraint; encouraging the fullest participation possible builds self-confidence. Also, we learn most when we are not passive; for maximum retention, the learner needs to hear, see, and do. Speak to an issue; ask a question; role play a possible solution to a problem; discuss a film after viewing it; exchange ideas in a rap group; see points raised in discussion listed on the blackboard; practice speaking before a group. A conscious effort is made to use as many of these methods as possible, in the hope that some students will make use of one or more back home.
Interchange among students is fostered. Students tend to congregate in groups that form early in the school week and to eat and move in these groups. The staff has a special mission: to circulate, to encourage and facilitate mixing. In the assigned classes, students who traveled together or who come from the same union or town are separated. All these efforts yield the kind of spirit that, as one labor educator put it, “sets me up for a year.”
Just as the summer school director wearily climbs into her car to head for home, thinking her job well done and over, having hugged the last teary-eyed student goodbye and thanked each of the staff, there comes the thought: follow-up publicity!
The group picture that each student treasures is only part of the reason for having a photographer come to the campus. It’s important for students from each international union to be photographed as a group. After the school a press release is drafted; as soon as the pictures are delivered the release is sent with the group picture and the names of the students to the editor of their union papers.
Union leaders with groups of students at the school (and ideally, each union leader) receives a letter thanking them and stating what a good contribution the student or students made to the school. (Inviting union leaders with sizeable delegations of students at the school, and State Federation of Labor Presidents from the region to attend graduation is important.) This can be a multilithed letter with a brief comment penned below the signature of the coordinator. (The letters should be individually signed and addressed to the union leader personally. The student will know best to whom in her local the letter would mean the most, and should indicate the name and address of this person on a sign-up sheet passed around during one of the morning plenary sessions.)
Students should be encouraged to write brief accounts of the school to submit, with their delegate picture, to their own union paper, and to their town’s newspaper. A “canned” story can be distributed about the school, with space for students to fill in their names and local union numbers. Too little publicity about union women ever appears in hometown papers; this helps to even the balance a bit.
Finally comes evaluating the school. As confidence in the process of evaluation and the evaluator has developed, at the northeastern school evaluation has moved from an informal to a formative type (see Chapter 8). Additionally, the comprehensive report that the school evaluator prepares provides important demographic information about the school’s student body. In 1978, for example, most of the school’s students ranged in age from 21 to 50. Married women made up 46 percent of the students; 60 percent of these had children over age 13, and only 5 percent had children younger than seven. Slightly more than one-half of the student body came from public employment, with the largest single group being clerical workers. This is in contrast to the representation at the southern school, for example, where a growing number of the students hold non-traditional blue-collar jobs, “either through affirmative action programs or through the opening of formerly male jobs to women (with the support of unions like the Communications Workers of America, the Steel and the Rubber Workers)”, reports Majorie Rachlin, a staff member at that school.
Based on the discovery that 14 percent of the 1978 northeastern school was made up of women on union staffs attending as students, a special staff workshop was conducted at the 1979 school. Twenty-one international and fifty-nine local unions were represented at the 1978 summer school among the 115 union women. More than one in every three women were stewards (31 in all); eight were local presidents. Altogether, 64 held some particular office. In addition, many mentioned community or other organizations in which they participated.
Three of every four women attending had their costs covered by their union, although some 47 percent had to use vacation time to come to the school. Why did they come? In their own words, to develop leadership skills; to understand more about grievance procedure and contract language; and, to learn how unions operate.
What problems did they want to deal with relating to their jobs and their unions?4 Improving communications between union and management; combatting discrimination against women; getting more people involved in the union; building rapport among leaders and committee members; helping women understand the benefits of collective bargaining; increasing participation in community and national politics and in health and safety problems. Attention to these responses helped shape the 1979 summer school program.
What did the labor educators feel the school accomplished? From staff evaluation responses, school objectives seem to have been met in this order: provided skill reinforcement; dealt with how to take what students learned back to their locals; discussed how to help involve more women in union activity; disseminated information about political and legislative issues; provided the opoortunity to exchange experiences; brought union women together in a new way. Even allowing for the difficulty staff had in ranking their responses, it appears the school’s major purposes were fulfilled.
At this time there is no way to begin to measure the school’s long-range impact. Follow-up over a period of years with students who have been at one, two, or more summer schools would be useful but costly. Without an office and staff to work with regional labor educators in a systematic way, this data will not be collected.
Coordination among the staffs of the residential schools for union women is minimal. It rests primarily with the Standing Committee on Programs for Union Women of UCLEA and takes place at the annual UCLEA meetings, which not all women staff are able to attend.
A problem that needs careful attention is how to program for the returning student. Various formats have been tried: an advanced school under the umbrella of a basic school; a special workshop for returning students on how to use workers’ education in the local; a program to develop returning students as teaching assistants. Should there be a blanket rule against students returning for more than one additional year? Each of these has been tried at one or more regional schools; there is a need for the schools’ staff members to discuss this and seek some programmatic solutions.
Another possible format might be schools for women workers built around special issues, open to those who have attended previous schools. For example, a three- or four-day school focused on health and safety issues on the job and how to develop a union committee and to program around them; or a school for older women on preparing for an active retirement; or schools on organizing the unorganized, on working women and the law, with a focus on equal employment law, or on involving women in the political process.
Further, there is a need to train women labor educators. A resident school accomplishes much in developing skills in teaching, in how to design working women’s programs and prepare course outlines, in program administration. As has been noted, these skills are transferable to programs for all working adults.
Additional regional schools need to be organized. Some universities without women staff, in areas that have never held women’s schools, are willing to do it—but they need help and, ultimately, they must add women to their extension faculties.
Are summer schools for union and other working women worth the time and effort they take? A look at the immediate impact of the schools leads to a resounding “yes” in reply. There is no doubt that students return home with a new ability to participate with confidence, and an interest in doing so. The schools build skills and provide knowledge on issues for several hundred union women each year. School staff from the states the women return to after the school report on the education activities the women have organized, the union offices for which they have become candidates, the union staff posts to which some have been elevated. Women staff at the schools provide each year a range of role models for the students: as teachers, as union leaders, as activists, as concerned human beings who happen to be women. For newer education staff, the schools prove a valuable training ground. Labor educators, young or seasoned, find the schools a source of new program ideas to try out when they go back to their union or university jobs.
The schools have gained recognition for union women. Five state federation of labor presidents journey to the southern school from as many southern states each year to attend the final banquet. Union cooperation with the schools increases every year.
Summer schools add impetus to the growing movement for programs for union and other working women conducted by universities, unions, and state federations of labor. The requests in this area by union groups to university labor education centers result in a new recognition that a portion of the budgets for labor courses should be allocated to women’s programs. It is hoped, too, that universities will be encouraged to examine the composition of their labor advisory boards to be sure that women are represented adequately.
The director of a university labor center, visiting one of the summer schools for union women, commented: “I can’t believe it! It’s like the 1930’s all over again. I never saw such spirit!” For a labor movement beginning to turn seriously to the task of organizing the millions or unorganized women workers in this country, the summer schools for union women provide potential leadership. Ultimately, women will be the ones to organize other women, to speak to them on their concerns, and to transmit enthusiasm and confidence in trade unionism as the vehicle through which working people can achieve social change.
ADVANCE REGISTRATION FOR SUMMER SCHOOL WORKSHOPS (SAMPLE FORM)
We want to provide enough workshop sections so that every student’s interests are met. Fifteen workshops are scheduled in two different afternoon sessions. Each student is expected to attend at least one workshop, but may elect to attend one in each session. Please help us by putting a (1) in front of your first choice and a (2) in front of your second choice. If you want to take two workshops, put a (1) and a (2) in front of your first choice for each afternoon session.
Return to Rochelle Semel no later than June 15. Thank you!
1:30–3:00 P.M. (Monday–Thursday)
Career Planning and Job Advancement. Aids students in assessing their own skills and abilities, developing work and educational goals and determining how to reach their goals.
Building CLUW Chapters. Takes you through the steps of building a local chapter; outreach to union women, getting your charter, electing officers, and developing action programs.
Advanced Grievance Handling. Using the case study method, students analyze and compare contractual differences and alternative grievance handling techniques; for people with some grievance handling experience.
Internal Organizing. Aids students to identify barriers and find practical solutions to encourage women to become active in their unions; programs that would make unions more responsive to workers.
Newsletter. Techniques and skills to write and publish a union newsletter; communication skills.
Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA). Develops skills to improve health and safety in the work place using the contract and state and federal legislation.
Public Speaking. Provides the opportunity to develop oral communication skills, with emphasis on how to organize and present speeches.
3:15–4:30 P.M. (Monday–Thursday)
Assertiveness Training. If you say yes when you want to say no, if you get aggressive when you want to state your case, then this workshop is for you; practice sessions in areas in which you have difficulty.
Basic Contract Language. Focuses on collective bargaining issues and related collective bargaining skills; especially for people with little or no bargaining experience.
Advanced Collective Bargaining. Collective bargaining issues and related package costs; developing and interpreting contract language and understanding cost figures of employers; for people with some experience in contract negotiations.
Basic Grievance Handling. The basic techniques of investigating, preparing, and processing a grievance; especially designed for new stewards.
Women and the Law. Reviews legal battles affecting women in the work place and in their private lives; sex discrimination; sexual harassment; marriage; divorce; property ownership.
Rap Group. Students and staff meet in informal groups to identify problems specifically related to their work place and discuss ways of solving them.
Workshop for Union Staff. Focuses on problems that union staff women share and will be shaped by suggestions from the group; time demands; how to encourage member participation; setting up programs to develop rank- and file-leaders.
1. Lawrence Rogin and Marjorie Rachlin, Labor Education in the United States (Washington D.C.: National Institute of Labor Education, Sept. 1968), p. 96.
2. Barton Morgan, Glenn Holmes, and Clarence Bundy, Methods in Adult Education (Danville, 111.: Interstate, 1976), p. 66.
3. Lois Gray, “Training of Labor Union Officials,” Labor Law Journal (Aug. 1975), pp. 472, 473.
4. Marjorie Rachlin reports that at the 1979 southern school, the subject of sexual harassment on the job surfaced with new openness. “It’s ready to be taken from the closet now; we ought to be doing more on that issue.”