Institutes focus on labor education
MORE THAN THREE dozen Boilermakers interested in expanding their knowledge of labor and union leadership attended sessions at the School for Workers on the University of Wisconsin campus last August. Commonly referred to as the Boilermaker Summer Institutes, the sessions include one week-long block for basic studies, another for advanced studies. After completing the basic session, participants typically return the following year to complete the advanced course.
The Boilermakers union has been participating in the institutes for more than 50 years. The late President Emeritus C.W. Jones, who recognized the value of a well-rounded labor education, was among the first to attend the School for Workers while serving as the Brotherhood’s Research Director.
This year’s basic institute, held Aug. 14-19, included the following topics: labor’s place in society, administering the labor agreement, labor history, collective bargaining, membership mobilization, workers and the global economy, political action, safety and health, FMLA, and communication skills.
The advanced institute, held Aug. 21-26, covered Internet research, new media, problem-solving and grievance-handling, grievance arbitration, common sense economics, the global economy, health care bargaining, labor history, building the union, safety and health issues, communication skills, and LEAP.
Courses were taught by the School for Workers faculty as well as International staff. While attending the institutes, participants had the opportunity to walk to the Wisconsin state capitol building and join in the rallies against Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP legislators, who made news headlines for rolling back the union rights of state government employees.
Members attending the basic institute in 2011 were Edward Wondolowski and Kerry Hooten, L-S7 (Belleville, Ill.); Vernon Jackson and Loretta Eggleston, L-S50 (Baltimore); Ronald Carlburg and Jerry Marple, L-D93 (Humboldt, Kan.); Phillip Mortashed, L-106 (Cincinnati); William Boger, L-D191 (S. Norfolk, Va.); Brad Robinson and John Wilkinson, L-D239 (Three Forks, Mont.); Mark Williams, Jacob Furst, John Hoggatt, and Lacy Spencer, L-344 (Ridgecrest, Calif.); Billy Thomas, Michael Householder, and Timothy Burgess, L-374 (Hammond, Ind.); Joseph Vreeke, L-443 (Manitowoc, Wis.); William Dermates, L-502 (Tacoma, Wash.); William Polchow, L-647 (Minneapolis); Tim Rakestraw, William Smith, Ray Cooper, and Mark Stevens, L-656 (Chattanooga, Tenn.); Neil Fisher and Peter Jackson Sr., L-661 (Florence, N.Y.); Jim Johnson, Anthony Guarisco, and Rich Robinson, L-696 (Marinette, Wis.); and Robert Niesing, Local 1509 (Cudahy, Wis.).
Members attending the advanced institute in 2011 were Jeremy Wright and Brian Haight, L-84 (Paola, Kan.); Jon’e Lahaye, Allen Ford, and James Chaney, L-D93; Dave Spencer, L-344; Jim Shine, L-502; Wendlin Piatz, L-647; John Semrau, L-696; and Sean Momberg, L-1509.
International staff members attending the basic and advanced institutes included Research-Education & Training Coordinator Tyler Brown and Communication Department Writer Lara Goulding.