Conferences

The Labor Education and Research Center offers a variety of programs that are open to Oregon union members and members of related organizations. From one-day workshops to week-long intensive trainings, we can help you gain skills and enhance your capacity as a leader.

Leadership Schools
Offered throughout the year, statewide
We offer Saturday trainings that touch on topical and core skills building such as communications, equity awareness, grievance handling, and running effective contract campaigns. These regionally located, 8-hour trainings are geared toward union leaders and members. The Portland Metro area leadership school is generally held in February or March of each year.

Collective Bargaining Institute
Offered in early December
This 5-day intensive bargaining training is geared towards union team that bargain contracts in both the public and private sectors. The training includes sessions on conducting internal and external contract campaigns, how to find relevant information for negotiations, at-the-table practices and protocols, and an opportunity to participate in mock bargaining sessions.

LERC/AFL-CIO Summer School
Offered every August on the University of Oregon Campus
This three-day conference is a popular program for both new union members and senior union leaders. Throughout the Summer School weekend, participants meet to share insights & ideas while engaging in educational workshops and small group discussions.
• In-Depth, Current Labor Topical Core Classes & Workshops
• Networking and socializing with other Oregon union members
• Solidarity Picnic, Entertainment, Door Prizes


Union and Community Labor Leadership Academy
This new LERC program is designed to help unions and other workers’ organizations develop a skilled cadre of leaders and activists who can do the business of their union or organization with minimal professional support. The Leadership Academy will also enhance workers’ ability to articulate a vision for economic justice that can inspire others to action. With almost 40 hours of classroom instruction and an online supplement, along with a cohort model, peer coaching, and an applied project that participants will work on during the 6 months Academy, your organization will reap the benefits of engaged, skilled, and active rank-and-file leaders.

Public Employment Relations Conference (PERC)
Offered every even-numbered year in Spring
Since 1979, LERC has hosted the Public Employment Relations Conference (PERC), a gathering of public sector labor professionals from across Oregon.  Attendees include attorneys, neutrals, and representatives from both unions and management. Participants learn from public sector specialists on topics ranging from bargaining strategies, investigatory meeting best practices, ethics issues, and topical policy issues.

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