AFL-CIO Bonnie Ladin Union Skills Training Program

Org I Graduation fall14

The AFL-CIO Bonnie Ladin Union Skills (BLUS) Training Program offers weeklong intensive courses for union leaders, staff and activists that combine in-class instruction with discussions of real-world experiences shared by a diverse group of participants. The main training areas include:

  • Union administration;
  • Collective bargaining (private and public sector);
  • Organizing (internal and external);
  • Arbitration and grievance handling;
  • Communications and media; and
  • Best financial practices.

BLUS courses are taught by a corps of experienced instructors, to help participants to better serve their union and community brothers and sisters. The BLUS experience brings rising union and community ally leaders together in a spirit of mutual development and camaraderie.

The program was named to honor Bonnie Ladin, who was known as an organizer’s organizer. Sadly, Bonnie passed away in August 2010 after a long battle with cancer. She was a union and social justice organizer for more than 25 years before she became a professor at the National Labor College. Bonnie touched tens of thousands of working people and organizers with the passion, focus and intelligence that she brought to her work.

Most courses are held at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute (CCMIT), a union facility and home of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, AFL-CIO, in Linthicum Heights, Md. CCMIT is conveniently located next to the Baltimore–Washington International Airport, Amtrak and Interstate 95.

2016 Courses


Feb. 2126   Presentation and Teaching Techniques I  
      Instructors, Yvette De La Cruz, Kate Shaughnessy  
March 13–18   Arbitration Preparation and Presentation I  
      Instructor, Katherine Sciacchitano  
March 14–17    Secretary-Treasurers Total Solutions  
      Instructor, Paul Delaine  
March 20–25   Writing and Negotiating Contract Language  
      Instructor, Michael Mauer  
April 17–22   Negotiating Contracts with State and Local Governments  
      Instructor, Joe Twarog  
April 24–29   Presentation and Teaching Techniques II  
      Instructors, Yvette De La Cruz, Kate Shaughnessy  
April 2529   Organizing I  
      Instructor, Yvonne Syphax  
May 15–20   Arbitration Preparation and Presentation II  
      Instructor, Katherine Sciacchitano  
June 6–8   New Young Staff  
      Instructor, Kate Shaughnessy  
July 1015   Contract Negotiations in the Private Sector  
      Instructor, Joe Twarog  
Aug. 2226   Organizing II  
      Instructor, Yvonne Syphax  
Sept. 2628   Secretary-Treasurers and Officers Fiduciary Responsibilities  
      Instructor, Paul Delaine  
Nov. 1416   QuickBooks Training for Secretary-Treasurers and Union Bookkeepers  
      Instructor, Paul Delaine  

For more information on the Bonnie Ladin Union Skills Training Program: