University of Arkansas

UALR College of Business


Union Education - Sample Workshops

Sample Workshops

The Labor Education Program offers classes during the day, evening, or weekends, at convenient facilities, such as the local union hall. Classes are tailored to meet the needs of the individual sponsoring unions. Advanced versions of the classes are available.

Arbitration: Making Your Best Case

Learn how to prepare and present an arbitration case, including: researching arbitration standards; understanding contract interpretation; developing a theory of the case; gathering evidence; selecting and preparing witnesses; handling direct and cross examination; and preparing opening and closing statements.

Collective Bargaining for Local Unions

Developing the goals of the negotiations; gathering information for bargaining and the union's rights to information; analyzing the employer's ability to pay; developing contract proposals; recent trends in collective bargaining and the bargaining climate; ground rules and table tactics. Two day classes include a mock bargaining session.

Common Sense Economics

Presents a vision of the economy from the worker’s perspective and connects economic issues and policies to the union’s goals.

Effective Union Leadership

Duties of the union officers; setting goals and objectives for the union; problem solving techniques; participative decision making; conflict resolution; identifying your leadership style and adapting your style to fit the situation.

Employment Laws Affecting Workers

A discussion of sexual harassment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and/or the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Family and Medical Leave Act

The union's role in enforcing the FMLA and an overview of the FMLA regulations, with emphasis on the definition of a serious health condition, medical certification and recertification, and notification requirements.

Health and Safety

The union's role in health and safety, including safety surveys and risk mapping; enforcing OSHA in the workplace; joint health and safety committees; handling grievances and bargaining health and safety language.

Labor Law for Local Unions

Introduction to the National Labor Relations Act; the special status of union representatives; protecting the grievance procedure; the union's rights to information; representational rights in disciplinary interviews; solicitation and distribution of literature; and the duty of fair representation.

Screening Grievances for Arbitration

Should this grievance go to arbitration?  Discuss duty of fair representation considerations, researching arbitration standards, rules of contract interpretation, deciding on a theory of the case, and analyzing evidence, proof, and witnesses.

Strengthening the Local Union

Assess the current strengths and weaknesses of the local; learn how to conduct an internal organizing drive, develop effective strategies for reaching and communicating with rank and file members, and increase member involvement and interest in the local.

Steward Training

The various roles of the steward; the special legal status of the steward; grounds for a grievance; past practice; just cause for discipline; grievance investigation and rights to information; fact sheets and grievance writing; and presenting a grievance.

Special Topics in Steward Training

Advanced grievance handling skills; investigating and interviewing techniques; building a theory of the case; contract interpretation; arbitration standards.  The class can focus on contract issues or discipline cases.

The Union's Response to Lean

A discussion of the key concepts and terminology used in Lean production and high performance work organizations and a development of strategies for responding to and strengthening the union faced with these programs.


For More Information

Labor Education Program
Diane Thomas-Holladay, Director
UALR Institute for Economic Advancement
2801 South University Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72204-1099
FAX: 501-569-8538