Construction Organizing Membership Education Training (COMET)
The COMET helps members understand why we must organize to renew bargaining strength. It generates membership support for and participation in organizing. The course highlights the economic impact unrepresented electrical workers have on our members' livelihoods. It stresses the underlying philosophy and mission of the union - to raise the conditions of life of all electrical workers - and reject the distorted view that the union's goal is only to protect the entitlement of current members.
The COMET is taught by International Representatives, business managers, organizers, business representatives, and other local leaders who have attended a COMET Train-the-Trainer Course. Already, tens of thousands of members have attended the COMET.
COMET Train-the-Trainer Course
This highly interactive three-and-a-half day course prepares International Representatives and local union representatives to teach the COMET. Another important purpose is to convert reluctant local union leaders to the cause of organizing.
A key component of this course is a full day of practise teaching. During this session each participant presents a section of the COMET to a small group and instructor. The primary objective of practise teaching is to help participants improve their teaching skills.
Construction Steward Training Course
This course addresses specific need of the construction steward. It enables stewards to better assist their business managers in the representation of members and helps the stewards cope with the many challenges of their position. Information on this course is obtained through the International Vice President's office. Some of the subjects covered are Duties and Responsibilies of Construction Stewards, the Steward's Legal Rights and Obligations, and assessment on the Jobsite.
Membership Education and Mobilization for Organizing (MEMO) Course
The MEMO is a five-part program designed for use in all out branchers. It generates membership support for and participation in organizing. The course helps members answer each of the following questions, respectively: (1) Why Collective Bargaining? (2) What Is the Connection Between Collective Bargaining and Organizing? (3) What Is the Connection Between the Fortunes of the Labor Movement and the Fate of America's Working People? (4) How Will Successful Organizing Strengthen Our Local and Improve the Lives of Newly Organized Workers? (5) What Is the IBEW's Organizing Program, and How Can We Participate?
MEMO Train-the-Trainer Course
This three-and-half-day course teaches International Representatives and local union representatives to teach the MEMO. A key component of this course is the demonstration of the entire MEMO class. Another essential feature is a full day of practice teaching. Each participant prepares and delivers a section of the MEMO to a small group and instructor. The instructor and class members reinforce the positive aspects of each presentation and suggest ideas for improvement.
The One-on-One is a basic membership education system and union-building tool. It helps solve one of labor's most pressing problems: lack of communication among union leaders and rank-and-file members. This system can be useful to local unions for membership education, recruiting new members, improving communication, getting information to members during negotiatioins, and building solidarity and pride in the union. Information on this program is obtained through the International Vice President's office. It reaches everyone, including those who may be less active in the union, who don't attend meetings, or don't read their local's newsletter.
Additional Educational Opportunities for IBEW Members
Canadian Federation of Labour Courses
For information on courses offered by the Canadian Federation of Labour, contact the National Coordinator of Education, William Woodrow, or Rachel Grondin, the Administrative Assistant to the Education Program. They can both be reached at 613/234-4141.
IBEW Education Update Bulletin
Twice a year an IBEW Education Update bulletin is mailed to all IBEW local unions. The bulletin contains a list of upcoming IBEW Educaiton Department courses, Meany Center courses, AFL-CIO Western Semester courses, courses offered by the School for Workers of the University of Wisconsin-Extension and a list of other labor studies centers.
The George Meany Center for Labor Studies
The George Meany Center for Labor Studies is the trade union movement's leadership development institute. The courses and workships offered at the Center are designed to provide trade union leaders with practical, tested leadership methods. In addition to learning from specialists drawn from the whole spectrum of academic disciplines, particpants are encouraged to contribute their own knowledge and experience classroom discussion. Every IBEW local union receives a Meany Center catalogue every year. For more information on courses contact the Center at (301) 431-6400.