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Workshop 'a must' for BLE Local Chairmen

CLEVELAND, Nov. 17 -- The BLE Education & Training Dept. received more rousing reviews of its Local Chairman Workshop following a week of training at the George Meany Center in Silver Spring, Md.

The five day course was praised by the attendees as "very educational," "very informative," and "a must for every local chairman."

Members were given in-depth training into the duties of local chairmen, structure of the BLE, claim and grievance handling, the Railway Labor Act, computer skills, writing skills, and all participated in a simulated discipline hearing.

"The class was very well received and we've had some very positive feedback from the local chairmen who attended," said BLE Vice-President Bill Walpert.

Local chairmen attending the workshop arrive on Sunday and attend classes daily through Friday. Different instructors give presentations in their field of expertise, and the local chairmen are given hands-on assignments in class and are expected to complete homework assignments each night.

"The course met and exceeded my expectations," a Local Chairman wrote in his evaluation of the class. "This knowledge is very important to properly performing my duties."

Larry James, Coordinator of the BLE Education & Training Dept., said the workshop is helpful for both new and seasoned local chairmen.

"In the first two classes, we've had a very diverse group of attendees, from second and third term local chairmen, some first term local chairmen, and even a general chairman," James said. "It's not just for the new guy."

The next workshop is scheduled for St. Louis the week of Jan. 31-Feb. 5 (see article at right for further details).

"We will strive to continue bringing these important educational opportunities to our membership," said BLE President Clarence Monin.

From left: Phil Hoskins of BLE Division 542 and David Norman of BLE Division 304.

Larry James, Coordinator of the Education & Training Dept. (standing, left) introduces BLE President Clarence Monin.

Tim Braden of Division 271, right, receives his diploma from BLE Vice-President Bill Walpert.

From left: Rodney Cutlip (Div. 385) and Al Cain (Div. 831).

Front row, from left: Larry James, Coordinator of the Education & Training Dept.; Mike Thiellen, Div. 622; Tom Danner, Div. 934E; Bruce Cushing, Div. 112; Stan Shadriz, Div. 598; Diana Linton, George Meany Center; and Bill Walpert, Vice-President.

Second row: Rick Radek, Vice-President; Tim Braden, Div. 271; Phil Henry, Div. 190; Bob Biehl, Div. 607; and Rodney Cutlip, Div. 385.

Third row: Campbell Smith, Div. 483 Local Committee of Adjustment; Kevin Christians, Div. 6; Walt Burgess, Div. 526; Al Cain, Div. 831; and W.L. "Sonny" Hamm, BLE Special Representative.

Back row: Phil Hoskins, Div. 542; David Norman, Div. 304; and Ray Wagner, Div. 286.

Back by popular demand

CLEVELAND, Nov. 17 -- Due to overwhelming demand for the highly-successful Local Chairman Workshops, the BLE Education & Training Department is taking the class on the road in 1999.

BLE Vice-President Bill Walpert announced the first stop next year will be St. Louis, Mo., from January 31 to February 5.

The class will be at the St. Louis Airport Hilton Hotel and room rates are $69 per night for a single or double room. The hotel will provide a continental breakfast to members each morning for an additional $6 per day.

Instructors from the George Meany Center will travel to St. Louis for the class. They will join Vice President Walpert, Vice-President Rick Radek, and Coordinator of the Education & Training Dept. Larry James in teaching courses on the Railway Labor Act, grievance handling, duties of local chairmen, union leadership skills, and will conduct a mock discipline hearing.

The workshop has received rave reviews from local chairmen, but a consistent complaint was the location of the school where the course was taught. The George Meany Center for Labor Studies is located in Silver Spring, Md., which made travel difficult for members in the Western half of the U.S.

"We wanted to provide easier access to all members," Walpert said. "Other locations are still under consideration for next year and will be announced at a later date."

For additional details on the Jan. 31-Feb. 5 workshop in St. Louis, contact:

BLE Education & Training Dept.

(216) 241-2630, extension 253.

Space for the class is limited, so please make reservations early.



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