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BLET to host Local Chairman class in April 2016

CLEVELAND, February 11 — The BLET Education and Training Department will conduct a class for Local Chairmen from April 17-22, 2016, at the new BLET National Division headquarters and Training Center in Independence, Ohio. This class is designed to help Local Chairmen develop and hone the skills necessary to provide the best representation possible to our members.

The week-long course will begin with an orientation and overview session at 4 p.m. on Sunday evening, April 17. Full-day classes will run from Monday through Friday and the class will conclude with a casual banquet on Friday evening, April 22, 2016. Hotel check-out and travel day is on Saturday, April 23. Registrations to attend must be submitted by March 11, 2016. Those wishing to attend must register online through the BLET website: www.ble-t.org/lc.

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, then please contact Jason Wright, Coordinator of the BLET Education and Training Department, to let him know in advance so he can make arrangements.

Class space is limited so don’t delay in registering for your spot. The class is open to all Local Chairmen, but new Local Chairmen are particularly encouraged to attend. The National Division also encourages Vice Local Chairmen to consider registering. The training will take place in the new Training Center at BLET National Division headquarters (7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131).

Among other topics, this class 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 LC Class is when attendees participate in a simulated disciplinary hearing.

Those who successfully complete the course will qualify for a $140 per day stipend from the North American Railway Foundation (www.narfoundation.org). Depending on the class, the stipends will be paid directly to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Division, Division President, General Committee of Adjustment, or State Legislative Board.

The North American Railway Foundation (NARF) 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 20 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.

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

Attendees must register for this LC Class no later than March 11, 2016 through the BLET website at: www.ble-t.org/lc.

The BLET National Division pays the costs of equipment, tuition and a graduation banquet. BLET members who attend are responsible for their transportation costs as well as their room and board. Participants will be provided with instructions on how to make room reservations after registering for the class through the BLET website. When planning out the cost of your trip, please contact Jason Wright at email wright@ble-t.org to get an idea of what additional items are covered such as meals, etc.

Again, registration for the Local Chairman class is on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited. For more information, please contact Jason Wright, Special Representative and Director of the BLET Education and Training Department: office, (216) 241-2630 ext. 247; cell, (216) 296-4447; or email wright@ble-t.org.

The National Division will periodically release new class dates so don’t forget to check the BLET website on the Education and Training Departments webpage for future dates for the following subjects:

• Legislative Representative Class, Washington, D.C.
• Local Chairman Class, Independence, Ohio
• Advanced Local Chairman Class, Independence, Ohio
• General Chairman Class, Independence, Ohio
• Secretary-Treasurer Class, Independence, Ohio

Thursday, February 11, 2016
bentley@ble-t.org

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