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The Bonnie Ladin Union Skills Training Program


The AFL-CIO Bonnie Ladin Union Skills (BLUS) Training Program offers weeklong intensive courses for union leaders, staff and activists that combine in-class instruction with discussions of real-world experiences shared by a diverse group of students. The main training areas include:

  • Union administration;
  • Collective bargaining (private and public sector);
  • Organizing (internal and external);
  • Arbitration and grievance handling;
  • Communications and media; and
  • Best financial practices.

BLUS courses are taught by a corps of experienced instructors, to help participants to better serve their union and community brothers and sisters. The BLUS experience brings rising union and community ally leaders together in a spirit of mutual development and camaraderie.

The program was named to honor Bonnie Ladin, who was known as an organizer’s organizer. Sadly, Bonnie passed away in August 2010 after a long battle with cancer. She was a union and social justice organizer for more than 25 years before she became a professor at the National Labor College. Bonnie touched tens of thousands of working people and organizers with the passion, focus and intelligence that she brought to her work.

Most courses are held at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute (CCMIT), a union facility and home of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, AFL-CIO, in Linthicum Heights, Md. CCMIT is conveniently located next to the Baltimore–Washington International Airport, Amtrak and Interstate 95.

The 2015 course schedule will be posted soon. Check back for updates and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

2014 Courses

Sept. 7–12 Contract Negotiations in the Private Sector
  Instructor, Joe Twarog
Sept. 1419 Organizing I
  Instructor, Yvonne Syphax
Sept. 1517 Secretary-Treasurers and Officers Fiduciary Responsibility
  Instructor, Paul Delaine
Oct. 510 Arbitration Preparation and Presentation, Level I
  Instructor, Katherine Sciacchitano
Nov. 1012 QuickBooks Training for Secretary-Treasurers and Union Bookkeepers
  Instructor, Paul Delaine


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