UNION PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

IFT's professional development opportunities are designed to meet the needs of both new and experienced local leaders and activists in all IFT constituency groups. Our programs provide participants with hands-on learning and a chance to network with other IFT members from throughout the state. We have adapted our training to meet the changing needs of union leadership as we grapple with COVID-19 and racial injustice.

Administrator academy
initial teachers evaluation training (ISBE #AA2001)

IFT is offering this course as part of our Union Leadership Institute program to support unions as they implement a locally bargained appeals process. Participants who successfully complete this two-day course are designated in ELIS as qualified evaluators of teachers.

Participants must complete and submit pre-work, complete both full days of training and successfully complete an assessment in order to qualify as an evaluator.

This training qualifies for Professional Development credit or Administrator Academy credit. Evidence will be provided for teacher evaluator credential.

 
VIRTUAL TRAINING DATES

FEBRUARY 2022

Feb. 15  |  4-6p

Feb. 26 & 27  |  8a-4:30p

JUNE 2022

June 1  |  4-6p

June 11 & 12  |  8a-4:30p

OCTOBER 2022

Oct. 4  |  4-6p

Oct. 15 & 16  |  8a-4:30p

REGISTRATION FORMS MUST BE RECEIVED 15 DAY PRIOR TO TRAINING SESSION.

2022 GREAT LAKES ULI

Co-sponsored by the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers

BUILDING OUR COLLECTIVE POWER!
 

TRAINING DATE & TIME:
Sunday, June 26 at 3:00 p.m. Central to Thursday, June 30 at 12:00 noon Central

Lake Lawn Resort, 2400 E. Geneva St., Delavan, WI 53115

Great Lakes Union Leadership Institute is a four-day training and leadership development program.  The purpose of the Great Lakes ULI is to provide hands-on learning of union skills, to further acquaint you with the AFT and our issues, and to give you a chance to exchange information with your union brothers and sisters in a relaxed, casual setting with wonderful resort amenities. The program is open to any AFT member but is designed with the needs of the Great Lakes Region in mind.

This year’s Great Lakes Union Leadership Institute offers five tracks – all aimed at helping local unions build power to better the lives of our members, those we serve and our communities.
 

  • Building Member and Union Power in Non-Bargaining States

  • Effective Grievance Administration and Organizing

  • Introduction to Negotiations and Contract Campaigns

  • Organizing with Parents and Communities

  • Union Leadership Skills to Help Build a Strong Union
     

Note that each course is offered through the entire week thus limiting enrollment for any participant to a single track.

REGISTER AND DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE TODAY!

TRANSPORTATION

GO Riteway is a prompt door-to-door transportation service linking Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway with all of southeastern Wisconsin.

Call 800-236-5450, 414-769-2444 or visit www.goriteway.com for reservations and additional information.

SCHEDULE

The program will begin with registration on Sunday, June 26, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Work sessions will begin on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. and conclude on Thursday, June 30, at 10:30 a.m. Sessions on Monday through Wednesday will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 4:30 p.m. Some classes may require additional preparation time on site.

WEATHER & DRESS

Outside temperatures may range from 60 to 85 degrees (the average temperature in June is 79 degrees). Dress is casual. Fluctuating air-conditioning temperatures in conference rooms may require additional or warmer clothing.

REGISTRATION RATES

Registration rates cover lodging, a reception on Sunday, two dinners, four breakfasts, four lunches and coffee breaks throughout the week.

  • Commuter Rate: $375 per person

  • Single Occupancy: $1025 per person

  • Double Occupancy: $675 per person

MEALS

Meals are for participants only. There are limited guest tickets available for purchase at on-site registration to attend the Sunday night dinner and Wednesday barbecue. Guests will be required to conform to COVID-19 protocol for any functions they attend.

COVID-19 PROTOCAL

This is the current COVID-19 protocol of the American Federation of Teachers. The American Federation of Teachers has a responsibility to provide a safe work/meeting environment that is free of known hazards. AFT has established extensive protocols in this age of COVID for a safe in-person meeting environment, including vaccination, testing for our meeting spaces, masking and distancing. We believe our collective responsibility to each other’s well-being, safety and health is best served by ensuring that everyone who attends AFT meetings is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

You will be notified in advance of any changes in COVID-19 protocols.

COURSE MATERIALS

Some courses may require you to bring your local’s constitution and contract to class. You will receive notification prior to the conference in the registration confirmation letter.

REGISTRATION, DEADLINES, AND COURSE CANCELLATION POLICIES

Register online.

 

For more information, call 630-468-4066 if you are in Illinois; call 800-238-1133, ext. 4497, if you are in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, West Virginia or Wisconsin.

Course registration is assigned on a first-come basis, enrollment is limited and varies between courses. The earlier you submit the completed conference registration form and payment, the more likely you are to receive your first-choice course.

We strive to place you in your first-choice course. Course availability is not guaranteed. When completing your registration form, please indicate a second choice for your course of study in case your first choice is canceled. If your first-choice course is not available or is filled, and you have not indicated a second or third choice, your registration will be fully refunded.

You will receive a confirmation notice and other information at least one week prior to the program.

 

NOTE: Final registration deadline is Thursday, May 19. No refunds for cancellations received after June 15.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT COURSE

Your time is precious, so picking the right course is essential. To assist in your selection, we have clustered the courses by subject. In addition, we have indicated a target audience for each course, based on participants’ union role and level of union experience in the subject. The experience levels are basic, intermediate and advanced. We encourage you to contact your state leadership or AFT/ULI (800-238-1133, ext. 4497) to discuss your particular needs and placement.

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COURSES

UNION LEADERSHIP SKILLS TO HELP BUILD A STRONG UNION

TARGET AUDIENCE

This course is intended for newly elected or appointed leaders, stewards, prospective leaders and newer staff from all AFT constituency groups. This class is relevant for all local union leaders whether in collective bargaining states or states without collective bargaining.

WHY TAKE IT?

Leadership in today’s difficult economic and political environment is especially challenging. This program helps you develop the skills and knowledge you need to support your local in successfully managing these difficult times, including assuring an inclusive and diverse environment and meeting the needs of members in the digital age.

KEY OBJECTIVES

  • Identify your own leadership style;

  • Understand specific constructive and destructive leadership behaviors;

  • Improve your effectiveness in empowering and inspiring others; and

  • Have fun in the leadership role.

APPROACH

This course involves highly interactive discussion using small-group and individual exercises, and minimal direct presentation.

EFFECTIVE GRIEVANCE ADMINISTRATION AND ORGANIZAING

TARGET AUDIENCE

This course is intended for local union leaders and executive board members, worksite leaders and union activists who have experience in processing grievances on behalf of our members and potential members and who are interested in building a strong union through an engaged and mobilized membership.

WHY TAKE IT?

The course provides a comprehensive study on the investigation, analysis and presentation of complicated grievances, with a focus on creating and identifying opportunities for dispute resolution as well as for mobilizing members and allies around worksite issues. Participants will have the opportunity to examine and practice effective strategies in the grievance resolution process both through processes outlined in the collective bargaining agreement as well as through internal organizing.  There will be an opportunity to learn the steps leading up to an arbitration as well as how escalating mobilization tactics can advance solutions while building a strong union.

KEY OBJECTIVES

  • Enhance skills for preparing and presenting grievances from meetings with management representatives to presenting a case in an arbitration, hearing or mediation session

  • Enhance skills in resolving worksite issues and problems through internal organizing and mobilizing

  • Understand building power to be solution-oriented – from worksite member engagement and collective action to research, legal strategies, contract language and grievance handline

APPROACH

This highly interactive course will use in-depth discussion of case studies along with extensive individual and group simulated case presentations.  There also will be small group exercises and mini-lectures.

NOTE: Participants will need a copy of their local’s constitution and collective bargaining agreement for this course. Participants also should bring written examples of grievances and worksite problems that the local union has addressed in the past.  A laptop computer for classwork is recommended.

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INTRODUCTION TO NEGOTIATIONS AND CONTRACT CAMPAIGNS

TARGET AUDIENCE

This course is open only to those with no experience or who are involved in their first bargaining situation.

WHY TAKE IT?

If you want to understand why and how bargaining works from start to finish, this program is for you. Learning by doing is this course’s key feature, an approach that prepares you to be a full player in the bargaining process, from developing initial proposals and selecting the team to reaching a settlement.

KEY OBJECTIVES

  • Use surveys and past grievances to generate bargaining proposals;

  • Cost out proposals;

  • Identify and act appropriately during the different stages of bargaining;

  • Write bargaining proposals;

  • Put together a team and work like one; and

  • Develop a strategy to get a deal.

APPROACH

This course uses discussions, small-group exercises and direct presentation.

NOTE: This course requires additional work outside of class. You will need a copy of your local’s constitution and your contract for this course.

A calculator and laptop for classwork are recommended.

ORGANIZING WITH PARENTS AND COMMUNITIES

TARGET AUDIENCE

Local union leaders and activists interested in learning the skills and examples of parent and community engagement for outreach and academic support to navigating issue campaigns together and winning for the policies and resources our school communities deserve.

WHY TAKE IT?

We’ve seen disingenuous pandemic narratives spun that families’ and educators’ interests are not aligned in advocating for our students. We know that is the furthest from the truth. AFT educators and families work together every day for the academic and social-emotional growth students and the flourishing of our school communities. Encouraging family voice and advocacy, alongside educator expertise and organizing are the building blocks to take this powerful partnership to the next level.

The goal of this course is to explore the pivotal moment we’re in for parent and community engagement with AFT members and practical organizing tactics for internal and external engagement in order to bring parents and community partners together to ensure public education is equitable.

KEY OBJECTIVES

  • Explain why parents and allies are vital for the survival of public education and the labor movement, and explore how we can build power together

  • Express the impact of current attacks on public good from privatization and vouchers to book bans and attacks on teaching honest history.

  • Conduct one-on-one conversations with members and parents 

  • Learn about campaign tactics and family engagement models that help develop genuine relationships with parents

  • Create an outreach plan that utilizes worksite structure and establishes a School Organizing Committee that can build to a district or statewide formation.

APPROACH

Three weeks before the course begins, participants will be asked to complete a survey about their experiences building relationships with families and community.A case study will be built using that input. The course will include guest speakers, mini-lectures and group discussions, small group work, exercises to be done individually as well as in groups.The course will be interactive and participatory.

NOTE: For this course, there is pre-work. Three weeks before the session begins, participants will be asked to complete a survey and return it within one week.

BUILDING MEMBER & UNION POWER IN NON-BARGAINING STATES

TARGET AUDIENCE

If you’re a local union or state AFT leader in a state without a collective bargaining law or in one where collective bargaining for public employees is severely limited, this course is for you!  While vigorous collective bargaining may not be possible, there are many ways in which we can advance the interests of our members, potential members, those we serve and our communities.

WHY TAKE IT?

This course explores traditional and creative ways for unions in non-bargaining or limited-bargaining environments to win!  Participants will learn how to build a strong union with deep connections to community.  We’ll also explore strategies and tactics that can advance our goals.  We’ll learn from each other and from a few guest speakers about what’s worked (and what hasn’t).  We’ll explore strategies for mobilizing members, potential members and allies; communication strategies – in person and online; campaign planning - from identifying the decision makers (is it the legislature, a school board, a community leader, a mayor….) to getting to a win!

KEY OBJECTIVES

   At the conclusion of this course participants will:

  • Be able to lead a team in building a strategic campaign plan with goals, strategies, tactics, milestones and benchmarks as well as compression points

  • Be able to identify governance practices, structures, approaches and campaigns that build a strong union and engage members, potential members and allies

  • Be ready to maintain and promote an organizing mindset and culture within their local

  • Be prepared to develop effective narrative frames and messages and communications strategies – both internal to the local union and to the broader public

APPROACH

Three weeks before the course begins, participants will be asked to complete a survey about key challenges they face in building a strong union.  A case study will be built using that input.  The case study will be used throughout the course.  The course will include guest speakers, mini-lectures and group discussions, small group work, exercises to be done individually as well as in groups.  The course will be very interactive and participatory.

NOTE: For this course, there is pre-work. Three weeks before the session begins, participants will be asked to complete a survey and return it within one week. Two weeks before the course, participants will be sent a workbook and about 50 pages of reading.  For the course itself, participants will be asked to bring their local union’s constitution and bylaws. 

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professional development & training
AFT LEAD PROGRAM

(Leadership Education and Development)

The IFT, in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and Cornell University, offers the LEAD program to help local union and council teams establish strong relationships with their members and the community. Throughout the year-long program, LEAD teams hold several collaborative meetings to assess their challenges, determine how to strategically overcome them, and develop an effective action plan.

DOWNLOAD 2021-22 LEAD INFORMATION

Professional Issues Training and Support
IFT members are experts in their fields and uniquely qualified to train their colleagues. After completing an IFT Train-the-Trainer course, members are armed with the skills and materials they need to conduct professional development programs in their locals.

IFT members have instructed many programs in their own locals and councils, including:  
Initial Teachers Evaluation Training

Evaluation Empowerment

Building Responsive and Trauma-Informed Schools

Worksite Leader (WSL) Training
The WSL program is designed to help union activists be effective worksite leaders in their building or workplace. By informing and engaging members, WSLs play a critical role in growing and strengthening their locals and the IFT.

To become a WSL graduate participants must complete five courses, including:
Union 101
Communications and Information
Worksite Advocacy
Mobilization and Engagement
Political, Legislative, and Community Engagement


 

Union leadership institute (ULI)

NOVEMBER 6-7 • FEBRUARY 5-6, 2022 • APRIL 23-24, 2022

IFT’s ULI program has been designed to meet the needs of both new and experienced local leaders and activists in all IFT constituency groups. ULI provides participants with hands-on learning of union skills, professional development opportunities, and a chance to network with other IFT members from throughout the state.

 
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CUSTOM TRAINING

Additional trainings and assistance are available based on local need and demand. Examples of custom programs include: campaign and candidate training, social media, current legislative issues, and the teacher evaluation process.

questions? Contact Benita Twillie at btwillie@ift-aft.org or 630/468-4080.

Being a union member is the most effective way to advocate for yourself, your profession, and those you serve.

Now more than ever, it's important that your elected officials hear from you. Office visits and phone calls are the most effective way to have your voice heard.

Empower yourself. Check your voter registration status, register, find IFT-endorsed candidates, and other useful voter tools and resources.

Explore our centralized hub of current issue campaigns and find grassroots volunteer opportunities to take action on your own time.

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RETIRING WISELY: MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION