Come build your skills and participate in shaping the future of our union! Our next Leadership Summit will be Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit.

This Summit will focus on Five Essential Union Capacities introduced in August. When you register, you will be prompted to choose a track (described below). We encourage members to select a track and stick with it through the year. Once you’ve mastered one track, we encourage you to try a different one next year.


Agenda Overview

8:30   Breakfast (Optional Sessions: Presidents’ Council; 1-on-1 Conversation Workshop)
10:00 Opening Session
10:30 Workshop 1
12:00 Lunch Discussions by Constituency Group
2:00   Workshop 2
3:45   Administrative Board Meeting (open to all members)
5:00  Reception

Locals in this year’s LEAD Program will return for a planning session on Sunday.


The five tracks can be thought of as “spokes” of the Union Power Wheel. Just like with a bicycle, a weak or missing spoke leads to a bumpy ride, while multiple missing spokes make the wheel extremely vulnerable to any external challenges. We encourage each local to send individuals to different tracks and build the strongest team possible.

  • Building Internal Structures: The skeletal, muscular, and nervous system of the union, made up of committees, communication systems, leadership and decision-making norms, etc.
    • October Workshops: Matching People with Leadership Roles; Managing Lists & Communicating Across the Union
  • Signing-up & Engaging Members: Without an active and dues-paying membership, unions die (more quickly in the open shop). We must constantly reach out to new employees, run campaigns, and take care of our data to remain healthy.
    • October Workshops: Workplace Leadership Networks; Reaching Out to New Employees
  • Developing Coalitions & Political Action: Our members live and work in a broader world, and one of the ways we make things better as unions are working together with allies to improve our communities and make our political systems more fair and equitable. This takes education, volunteers, and money.
    • October Workshops: Understanding Allies & Opponents; Coalition-Building & Local Campaigns
  • Negotiating & Problem-Solving: The bargaining table is only the most obvious example of this essential activity. The core reasons unions exist is to build power to confront problems that are too big for us to address as individuals. This happens through collective bargaining, but also many other venues–from policy changes at the municipal or state level to informal negotiations with building-level supervisors about how to deal with unexpected challenges.
    • October Workshops: Solving Worksite Level Problems; Running Contract & Issue Campaigns
  • Organizing New Bargaining Units: To survive and thrive in the long term, unions must organize the unorganized. Bringing more workers into the labor movement increases our collective power and reduces the chance that we get played against each other–we want a rising tide that lifts all boats, not a race to the bottom. We have a particular obligation to help workers within our core industry organize (just as other workers and unions helped our locals grow).
    • October Workshops: Organizing Through Negotiations; Supporting Workers Forming Unions

You’ll also be prompted to choose one of three activities during the breakfast session:

  • Presidents’ Council (Local Presidents only);
  • 1-on-1 Conversation Workshop (particularly for people unable to attend the August Summit); or
  • General breakfast

Remember, the goal is for a team from your local spread yourselves across the different tracks, so talk to each other about which topics are most relevant to each of you. If you’re not sure which track makes the most sense, please contact your staff rep or other AFT Michigan staff.

To register for the October Leadership Summit, click herehttp://aftmichigan.org/aft-michigan-upcoming-events-page/#event-registration-for-website/view-actions-details3/595e67c05115f94f789e5f7f/

Hotel & Mileage Reimbursement: AFT Michigan will help locals defray the cost of attendance in two ways:

  • Hotel: We will reimburse up to $90 per member for people who participate in both Saturday and Sunday (LEAD teams) OR come from more than 80 miles away (out-state locals).
    • There is a limited block of rooms reserved at Greektown (and of course many other hotels nearby). Please click here to make hotel reservations at Greektown and use the group code AFT0817.
  • Mileage for “out-state” locals: Recognizing the distance some locals need to travel, we will reimburse mileage at the IRS rate for members from locals located more than 80 miles from the event.

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