Join together with leaders from AFT Michigan locals across the state at the third installment of AFT Michigan’s 2017-18 Leadership Summit series! The January Leadership Summit is on Saturday, January, 13 at the Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit. Conference registration begins at 8:30 a.m.


This Summit will focus on Five Essential Union Capacities introduced in August. When you register, you will be prompted to choose a track. We encourage you to select the track that is the most relevant for your current role within the union and stick with it through the year. Once you’ve mastered one track, we encourage you to try a different one. We encourage each local to send individuals to different tracks and build the strongest team possible. The tracks include:

· Building Internal Structures

· Signing-up & Engaging Members

· Developing Coalitions & Political Action

· Negotiating & Problem-Solving

· Organizing New Bargaining Units

Please click this link to register

Agenda Overview

  • 8:30 Breakfast (Optional Sessions: Presidents’ Council; Leadership Development & Team Building Workshop)
  • 10:00 Opening Session
  • 10:30 Workshop 1
    • Building Internal Structures Track: Managing Dues & Union Finances
    • Signing Up & Engaging Members Track: Running Membership & Issue Drive
    • Developing Coalitions & Political Action Track: Educating Members & Community
    • Negotiating & Problem-Solving Track: Reaching Agreements & Ratifying
    • Organizing New Bargaining Units Track: Partnering with AFT Michigan to Organize
  • 12:00 Lunch Discussions by Constituency Group
  • 2:00 Workshop 2
    • Building Internal Structures Track: Making Decisions as a Union
    • Signing Up & Engaging Members Track: Coordinating Committees & Interest Groups
    • Developing Coalitions & Political Action Track: Recruiting Volunteers & Raising Money
    • Negotiating & Problem-Solving Track: Solving Problems Outside the Contract
    • Organizing New Bargaining Units Track: Hands-On Organizing Workshop
  • 3:45 Administrative Board Meeting (open to all members)
  • 5:00 Reception (Tentative)

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

Hotel & Mileage Reimbursement

AFT Michigan will help locals defray the cost of attendance in two ways:

  • Hotel: Members who participate in both the Saturday and Sunday (LEAD Local) sessions will be eligible for a hotel subsidy. Those who drive from more than 80 miles away will also be eligible. We will reimburse up to $90 per member
    • ** There are 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 AFOTLS3. Reservations must be made by December 29th.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).

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.

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