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Immerse yourself: Study topics in-depth at summer school
June 18-21

The CFT Union Summer School equips local leaders with the powerful skills to organize successful campaigns to build high-quality public education, involve members in union activities, increase the political voice of educators and establish excellent representation and collective bargaining programs.

The program is geared for emerging and veteran local leaders who want to take their skills to the next level. The week is filled with rigorous workshops, motivated and skilled trainers, and applied learning. There is also the opportunity to share best practices with local leaders from across the state and to find inspiration in one another’s work. Join us for this exciting week-long, union leadership program!

Summer School will take place June 18-21 at the Luskin Conference Center, UCLA. This year we are offering four courses, including one new class. In addition, we are offering a new two-day course for union teams. There are also evening workshops.

Courses offerings at Union Summer School 2018

June 18-21 (Monday afternoon through Thursday evening)

WINNING THE BEST CONTRACT: Collective bargaining & contract campaigns
This simulation-based course focuses on the basic strategies, best practices, and skills necessary to ensure that your local union is in a good position to negotiate the best contract possible. This introductory-level course is designed for new chief negotiators, new bargaining team members, or those with just a few years of experience. Veteran bargaining team members who want to refresh their basic skills are also welcome to attend.

ACTIVATING A LEADERSHIP NETWORK: In Your Local Union & Train-the-Trainer
This course will prepare participants to build a strong worksite leadership structure. Participants will be able to identify department and site-level leaders and involve them in union activities so that there is a vibrant leadership structure at every site and in every department across the union. Participants will also complete a Train-the-Trainer program so that they are able to teach the CFT Worksite Leaders Training within their local union. The CFT Worksite Leaders Training covers legal rights, grievance handling, role of worksite leaders, member outreach, and tools to solve worksite issues and contract violations.

NEW! ELECTION BOOTCAMP: Winning at the ballot box for our members, students, & communities
This new course prepares participants to plan and run an effective electoral campaign. This course will dive deep into electoral strategy, managing campaign field operations, COPE, and member-to-member political organizing. This course is designed for local unions with open school board and board of trustee seats in 2018 and 2019, those in key congressional and state legislative districts, and others interested in strengthening their union’s ability to run election campaigns. It will be taught by GroundWorks Campaigns and the CFT Political Department.

TREASURER TRAINING: Financial stewardship for a strong local union
We have decided to postpone the Treasurer Training so that all relevant information on how Janus will affect the treasurer’s job is known. It’s possible the decision could come AFTER the currently scheduled training. Therefore we have decided to hold two condensed trainings, one in the north and one in the south.

New two-day course for local union teams

NEW! TEAM PLANNING: Get ready to launch a member-to-member outreach drive in
June 20-21 (Wednesday mid-morning through Thursday evening).
Does your local union have a high percentage of agency fee payers? Do you want to ask members to re-commit to the union? Are you looking to revitalize member support and participation in the union? Bring a team to this two-day intensive where you will learn about best practices for executing a successful member-to-member outreach drive, hear first-hand stories of effective outreach efforts, and make a real plan. Teams will have time to make an outreach drive plan, put together their specific calendar, and draft actual materials to leave ready to hit the ground running in the fall. A team of 3 people from your local union is required to participate in this course.

Key planning information for Union Summer School

Three-and-a-half day courses: June 18-21

  • Program begins Monday, June 18 at noon (with lunch available).
  • Program adjourns Thursday, June 21 at 5:00 pm.
  • Classes on other days will generally run from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm followed by an evening program of discussions, required team projects, homework, and social time. 

Two-day team course: June 20-21

  • Program begins Wednesday, June 21 at 11:00 am.
  • Program adjourns Thursday, June 21 at 5:00 pm.
  • There will be an evening program on Wednesday night with a team project requirement.
  • A team of three people is required to attend this class.


  • Registration opens on February 15, 2018.
  • The registration fee covers tuition, course materials, most meals, and lodging.
  • There is no commuter rate available; it is a residential program. There are required evening projects.

Three-and-a-half day courses

  • Single occupancy: private room, private bath - $750 per person.
  • Double occupancy: room with two beds & bath - $525 per person

Two-day team course

  • Single occupancy: private room, private bath - $250 per person
  • Double occupancy: room with two beds & bath - $175 per person 

  • The registration fee covers one night of lodging. Early arrival may be able to be arranged at an additional fee.


Scholarships are available for a shared, double occupancy room, most meals, and tuition, but do not include transportation or parking. Scholarship applications are due May 1. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more and to obtain an application.

Download the brochure containing course descriptions and general information.
(pdf, 5pp)

For program information, email Laura Kurre. For registration or logistical support, email Taylor Mohel. Telephone 510-523-5238.