UNION PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The Illinois Federation of Teachers recognizes the quality union-sponsored professional development is critical to helping you be more effective in your job and as a union leader That's why the IFT offers a wide variety of professional development programs. Courses are taught by union members and staff who have been specially trained to meet your professional development and union training needs.
Professional development and training
Union leadership institute (ULI)
NOVEMBER 7-8 • FEBRUARY 6-7 • APRIL 24-25
Submit completed registration by October 23, 2020.
All 2020-21 ULI courses are scheduled to be held remotely. Class hours and start times will vary.
Participants must attend all three-weekend sessions to complete these courses.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the important role that Unions play in protecting the health, safety, and livelihoods of members. Strong, responsive local leadership is more important than ever.
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. We have adapted our training to meet the changing needs of union leadership as we grapple with COVID-19 and racial injustice.
2020-21 ULI courses
BOOT CAMP FOR UNION LEADERS
FUTURE DATES TBA
Designed for newly elected leaders, prospective leaders or for veteran leaders who want to recharge their skills, this newly revamped course will help participants develop and enhance their leadership skills to ensure the success of their locals/councils in today’s challenging education, economic and political climate.
Build skills and clarify roles of local officers and activists;
Learn skills to work with different learning and leadership styles in order to build an effective team;
Compile a leadership toolbox of valuable skills and resources;
Enhance the essential skills to empower and motivate others to be active in the union; and,
Have fun in the leadership role!
EFFECTIVE GRIEVANCE ADMINISTRATION
FUTURE DATES TBA
This interactive course will help participants master the grievance process with group practice and simulated role play.
This course will help participants develop critical skills designed to:
• Separate gripes from grievances;
• Develop grievance investigation and research skills;
• Take problem-solving approaches to settlement;
• Write, prepare and present grievances.
INTRODUCTION TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
FUTURE DATES TBA
This training provides those with little or no bargaining experience with an understanding of how and why negotiations work and prepares participants to actively engage in the bargaining process.
• Review collective bargaining laws;
• Learn the different stages in a negotiation;
• Prepare and write negotiation proposals;
• Learn what makes the negotiation team work well together; and,
• Learn how the mediation process works.
ADMINISTRATOR ACADEMY INITIAL TEACHERS EVALUATION 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
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:
Communications and Information
Mobilization and Engagement
Political, Legislative, and Community Engagement
Lee Ann Gemmingen
Southwestern Illinois Federation of Teachers, Local 6600
The LEAD training we received helped us to plan, strategize, and implement our ideas to move forward with our vision of building partnerships to educate, empower, and evolve.
Elgin Community College Faculty Association, Local 3791
Understanding our contracts and how to defend them is more critical than ever. There is no better place to learn that than from experienced union staff and activists.
Peoria Federation of Support Staff, Local 6099
Worksite Leader training helped me see
how important it is to establish one-on-one
connections with coworkers. I have so many new ideas now and plan to pursue a leadership position in my local.
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 email@example.com 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.