Collective Bargaining Institute 2017

University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center
Collective Bargaining Institute

Sunday  – Friday December 3 – 8, 2017

Held at the Menucha Retreat Center, Corbett, OR

LERC’s Collective Bargaining Institute is a 5-day intensive training for union staff and others leading union negotiations held at the beautiful Menucha Retreat and Conference Center on the Columbia River Gorge in Corbett, OR. This is a residential institute and staying on-site is highly recommended, but commuters may also participate. The CBI is designed to serve both public and private sector unions. It is based on a philosophy of building power from the base of the membership to win significant improvements in collective bargaining agreements while simultaneously building the leadership and mobilization capacity of local unions.

At the CBI you will learn about and practice ::

  • Today’s context for union negotiations including anticipating the loss of fair share
  • Equity and inclusion issues in bargaining
  • Contract campaigns and mobilizing members
  • Developing bargaining teams
  • Legal considerations in bargaining
  • Developing proposals
  • Best practices at the table
  • Strategic research
  • Financial analysis
  • Costing contract proposals using Excel
  • Bargaining over health care

The CBI is taught by an experienced group of instructors including 3 LERC faculty: Gordon Lafer, Sarah Laslett, and Sherman Henry. Additional core faculty include Ron Teninty (retired from the Teamsters union), Susan Crumpton (Oregon Education Association), and Debra Kidney (AFSCME). Other subject-matter experts will teach on specific topics.

In addition to full days of interactive instruction and exercises, participants will complete a half-day bargaining simulation which is videotaped. Those tapes are then reviewed by instructors and presented back to participants in an intensive de-brief.

LERC’s CBI has run annually for more than ten years. It has graduated hundreds of union staff and negotiators. Space is extremely limited and registrants will be accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis, although we will also seek a good balance between public and private sector unions. All food and lodging, and instruction and materials are included in the registration fee including a copy of the Don Spatz book Contract Costing for Union Negotiators.

Registration fees are below. NOTE THAT THERE ARE A LIMITED NUMBER OF SINGLE ROOMS. Once those rooms are filled, only double rooms will be available. The Menucha facility is comfortable but rustic. It is not like staying in a hotel. Meals are shared and CBI participants help with serving and clean up. Evening hospitality is also offered.

Registration Fees

Single room with private bath: $1,200 **No longer available**
Single room with shared bath: $1,100 **No longer available**
Double room with private bath: $1,000
Double room with shared bath: $900
Commuters (no breakfast or lodging provided but lunches, dinners, and snacks are included): $850

On-line registration is now closed.  To be added to a wait list, please contact Sarah Laslett at

Registration will open on Oct 2nd, 2017 and close on Nov 3rd, 2017. After registration closes there will be no refunds for cancellations, although unions may substitute participants at any point up until the opening of the Institute.

Check-in begins at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 3rd and the Institute will finish by noon on Friday, December 8th.

For questions, contact Sarah Laslett at 541-346-2789 or

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