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BLET to conduct Local Chairman Workshop in August

CLEVELAND, June 9 — The BLET Education and Training Department will conduct a workshop for Local Chairmen from August 17-23, 2014. The workshop is designed to help Local Chairmen develop and hone the skills necessary to provide better representation to their members.

The week-long course will begin with an orientation and overview session on Sunday evening, August 17, at 5 p.m. Full-day classes will run from Monday through Thursday, and the workshop will conclude with a banquet on Thursday evening, August 21. Hotel check-out and travel day is on Friday, August 22.

National Secretary-Treasurer William C. Walpert, who heads the BLET’s Education & Training Department, said the Brotherhood expanded the course after he and other workshop instructors reviewed commentary and feedback from past workshop attendees, who expressed a desire to meet for one more day.

The Education & Training Department asks that you bring your portable computer to class with you on the day of orientation. Ideally, you should bring whatever portable technology you typically use to perform your duties, whether it be a laptop, Mac, tablet, iPad, or whatever your machine of choice. Before your arrival, find out if your machine has Wi-Fi capabilities. If your machine is not Wi-Fi compatible, please let Jason Wright know in advance so he can make arrangements.

Class space is limited so don’t delay in registering for your spot. NST Walpert said the class is open to all Local Chairmen, but he particularly encouraged new Local Chairmen to attend — especially those elected during the previous triennial election cycle. The National Division also encourages Vice Local Chairmen to consider registering, if space allows.

Among other topics, the workshop will cover BLET organizational structure and functions, representation of members at disciplinary and decertification hearings, union leadership skills, claim and grievance handling, and writing and editing skills. Additional course topics include:

• Duties of the Local Chairman;
• By-law requirements;
• Claims and grievance handling;
• Duty of Fair Representation;
• Basic understanding of the Railway Labor Act;
• Appeal and letter writing;
• Interviewing witnesses;
• Developing a defense theory;
• Due Process; and
• Making your case.

A highlight of the workshop is when attendees participate in a simulated disciplinary hearing.

Those wishing to attend must register online through the BLET website: www.ble-t.org/lc.

Those who successfully complete the course will qualify for a $129 per day stipend from the North American Railway Foundation (www.narfoundation.org). The stipends will be paid directly to the Secretary-Treasurer of the respective divisions.

The North American Railway Foundation is a non-profit operating foundation formed by the Brotherhood’s Relief and Compensation Fund (BR&CF) to support rail history, education, safety and technology in the United States and Canada. With initial funding and continued Board of Directors stewardship coming from the BR&CF, NARF has supported many non-political projects throughout the United States and Canada over the past 18 years. The primary focus of these efforts has been in support of organized rail labor — giving back to all of the men and women of the railroad community across North America.

Workshop instructors will include: NST Walpert; BLET Vice President Marcus J. Ruef; Assistant Director of the BLET Arbitration Department Doug Davidson; and Special Representative and Coordinator of Education & Training Jason Wright.

The BLET National Division pays the costs of books, equipment, tuition and a graduation banquet. BLET members who attend are responsible for their transportation costs as well as their room and board. Guests will stay at the Hyatt Regency at The Arcade in Cleveland, Ohio. Members will be provided with instructions on how to make room reservations after registering for the workshop through the BLET website.

Again, registration for the Local Chairman workshop is on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited. For more information, please contact Jason Wright at (216) 296-4447 or wright@ble-t.org.

Monday, June 09, 2014

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