Union Skills Workshops

Union Skills Workshops offered by the Worker Institute at Cornell are intensive classes lasting from one to four days and designed to improve the skills and deepen the knowledge unionists need to build and re-build strong and effective organizations.

Available Workshops

Workshops take place in our New York City, Rochester and Buffalo offices, as well as on-line. Any of the following workshops can be delivered on-site.

Collective Bargaining for Union Activists

This introductory-level workshop is designed to develop the skills of union negotiators who do not have extensive experience in advancing a collective bargaining strategy and in conducting face-to-face negotiations at the bargaining table

2-day workshop New York, NY

Managing With Labor's Values - Part 1: Helping Your Staff to Succeed

This workshop provides a good foundation for supervising and managing with labor’s values. Topics covered include the role of a supervisor/manger in a union or social justice organization, system for getting and maintaining positive performance, time and stress management in changing times, system for delegating and coordinating group projects, and matching management style to the needs of staff.

2-day workshop New York, NY

Managing with Labor's Values - Part 2: Building Accountability

This workshop focuses on understanding different behavioral styles at work and how to adapt when conflicting styles cause misunderstandings, unproductive efforts, and impede progress on reaching goals.  Featured topics include approaches/techniques for influencing behaviors, impact v. intent, finding yourself in results, expanding your sphere of influence and understanding behavioral styles to improve communication, cooperation. This is Part 2 of a workshop series on Managing With Labor's Values.

2-day workshop New York, NY

Costing Out a Contract (online)

This is a practical, how-to-workshop to give union negotiators and bargaining committee members the skills they need to prepare for contract negotiations. Exercises are used throughout the workshop to illustrate how to calculate the projected costs of an agreement.

3-week workshop Online

Effective Communication (online)

For anyone who wants to improve oral presentation skills through instruction and practice in a supportive environment. Overcome reluctance to speak in public, analyze and understand your audience for maximum effectiveness, gain tools to organize your thoughts for a more effective/powerful presentation.

3-week workshop Online

More Information

Workshops are designed primarily for full-time elected union officers and appointed staff, including business agents, staff managers, council representatives, organizers, grievance reps, researchers, safety and health trainers, communications/public relations staff, attorneys, financial managers, and health and welfare benefit fund trustees. Shop stewards, executive board members, bargaining committee members and rank-and- file activists also can benefit from participating in the workshops.

Our instructors bring to the classroom a diverse array of practical and leadership experience in labor, workplace, community, economic and organization issues. Teaching methods in our workshops and seminars are designed to engage participants interactively with learning exercises, case studies, panel sessions, video-aided presentations, simulations and small-group activities. The workshops identify objectives and strategies to confront problems, and help participants develop skills to address them.

Participants can attend individual workshops or earn the Labor Leadership Skills Certificate by attending a required number of workshops.