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The contract lies at the center of day-to-day union practice. The interpretation and enforcement of contract language depends on the union representative. How can union leaders, stewards, and rank and file members ensure that the contract is honored and not circumvented? This course explores issues that union reps experience on an everyday basis. Students will discuss how to resolve problems that are contract-based by effectively utilizing grievance procedures. Additionally, class participants will learn how to creatively harness the energy of union members themselves to build the local union and address problems that might arise in the workplace.

Key Topics

  • Grievance Procedures: First Moves, Presenting the Grievance
  • Conflict Resolution at the Workplace
  • Health and Safety Issues
  • Workplace and the Law

Approach and Features

The Union Steward’s Complete Guide, 2nd Edition, Edited by David Prosten is the required text. The Complete Guide is used for background information and to provide some structure to the class. Each participant will be required to discuss lessons learned from a chapter of their choosing and share with class. The primary emphasis is on skill building through scenarios and role plays not reading the entire textbook.  You may purchase the book using this link (The Union Steward's Complete Guide, 3rd edition).  When ordering this book for the class use BFLO to receive a 20% discount!

How Will You Benefit?

This course provides an opportunity to practice and improve your bargaining skills with students from across the country in various public sector, private sector and building trades environments. Your organization will benefit from learning lessons in a safe environment instead of at the bargaining table affecting the entire workplace.

This course is a part of the Cornell ILR Online Labor Studies Program and satisfies the Core Requirement for Collective Bargaining/Contract Administration. Upon completion you will earn 3.0 CEU's that can be used towards a Certificate of Labor Studies or an Advanced Certificate of Labor Studies.



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John Moody

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This course is part of this certificate