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|The AUD Union Democracy Worker Education Project: workshops, classes, conferences, and resources.|
up an AUD workshop
Set up an AUD workshop, conference or class...
The Association for Union Democracy's Education Project helps union members become better activists and organizers by providing education in legal rights and organizing methods and techniques -- all with a focus on building democracy and power, on the job and in the union. AUD offers workshops, conferences, classes, and educational materials for rank-and-file union members, representatives, and officers who want to practice strong and democratic unionism. We are also available to speak or give workshops at union meetings, conferences, and events. We can provide education in English, Spanish and French, and we can travel to your area. Contact Matt Noyes at AUD for information, 718-564-1114 ; email@example.com. Click here to print out the information on this page.
If you are a
unionist looking to learn about her rights, a small group of troublemakers
looking for practical training and advice, or union officers wanting to
do things differently, AUD provides workshops that will help you
and your coworkers learn the skills and strategies required for democratic
reform. We provide education for activists at all levels, and will tailor
the education to fit your needs. Because we are an independent organization,
we provide a space for free, democratic discussion.
If you are interested in one or more of these topics, or have one that is not on the list, give us a call or drop us an e-mail: 718-564-1114 , firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent AUD-sponsored conferences include:
AUD has provided workshops and educational consultation for these and other unions and organizations:
If you are interested in working with us to run a conference, or having AUD participate in your event, please give us a call or drop us an e-mail: 718-564-1114 , email@example.com.
A recent class series covered these topics:
If you are interested in attending classes in the New York City area, please give us a call or drop us an e-mail: 718-564-1114 , firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help AUD spread the word and build the movement! We are looking for union members to help us organize workshops or conferences in cities across the country.
Our goals are to promote awareness of AUD and its mission, to help activists network with other union democracy supporters in their area, to support and strengthen local and national union democracy efforts, and to provide an event that union caucuses and committees can use to build participation and educate activists. Cities recently visited: Denver CO; Los Angeles, CA; Madison, WI.
If you are a union member and want to help organize an event in your city or town, contact Matt Noyes at AUD, email@example.com, 718-564-1114 .
Our education project travels. Since 1998, we have organized conferences and workshops for workers in New York, Boston, Seattle, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Detroit, and other cities and towns. We have met some great people along the way, including Paul McCafferty, a Boston-area union activist. Paul wrote up the following piece on how to bring AUD to your town for an educational event.
Gunslingers and This Aint Dodge:
By Paul McCafferty, Put Workers First/Trabajadores Unidos, SEIU 254
A lot of us trying to reform our unions need to know more -- about our rights, about strategies and techniques that work, about other peoples experiences -- and would love to have an AUD workshop occur in our area. It would be tailored to our particular needs, organized around our schedules, and would be held at a location accessible to our members.
Its natural to call up AUD and put in such a request. Its also natural to hope that, somehow, AUD will ride into town, organize all the details of the workshop and leave us with a wealth of legal information and organizational insight as they ride off into the sunset.
Unfortunately, it doesnt work that way. Besides the fact that AUD operates with a chronic shortage of money, theres no way AUD staff can know our specific problems or how to get our members to a meeting. It can be daunting to realize that if we want an AUD workshop we have to organize it ourselves. The good news is its not only doable but can be fun. The trick is to break it down into easy to handle parts and spread the work out among a small group of workers. In our case, the important parts were:
1. Who and What. Define what we want to learn and who we want to have attend. For us the who was a core group of Local 254 members but we also sent leaflets to interested local workers on the AUD mailing list. Many of these were wonderful people we never would have met otherwise.
To attract 254 rank and filers we designed the workshop for a Saturday morning and set a core four -hour program. There was also an afternoon session for those who didnt have to take off for kids, yard work, and groceries. Through discussions among those of us who were organizing the event, and conversations with AUD staff, we figured out what the workshop should be about and what would work best for this group.
2. Where to do it. We asked around and found that churches and community centers offer safe, accessible, inexpensive meeting space. Schools are another possibility. We reviewed several options before choosing a Baptists church near public transportation. (Note: union halls are often a risky choice. Experience has shown that unless they are really firm supporters of union democracy, with a proven track record, there is a strong chance that they will back out at the last minute, leaving you high and dry.)
3. Paying for it. In our case the costs were: paying for AUD staff transportation, food, lodging and material, and the church rental. AUD gave us a basic price to cover their costs and we agreed that any extra money would be a donation to AUD. We covered the expenses by charging $15 a person for the workshop and having the AUD staff stay in our homes and eat with us. This was also a great way to get to know the AUD staff personally. As with the other workers who we met through the event, theyre great folks.
4. Party! Besides the formal workshop, we had a party at a members house on Saturday night. We invited everyone who attended the workshop and other AUD supporters in the area and raised a little more money for AUD. The costs -- a cold cut platter, beer, etc. -- were also covered by what we took in at the workshop.
As it turned out, the workshop was not only doable but it also helped our organizing by getting workers to take charge of different tasks. Rather than a hassle, it was educational and a hell of a lot of fun. The connections we made, as organizers and as people, have continued since the workshop.
Ofrecemos educación y materiales sobre los derechos de los/las trabajadores en el lugar de trabajo y en la unión. LláÎenos al 718-564-1114 o por e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We were very impressed; the workshops added a new dimension to our meetings making us better equipped to do the work of reforming this union." -- Leonard Riley, Longshore Workers Coalition, ILA 1422
" [the AUD workshop] was excellent and the scenarios thought-provoking. Many of the Board members complained that they had too little time with you and recommended that we bring you in for a much longer session next time thanks again, not only for your time and energy putting together this program but for advancing Union Democracy for all members in all unions." -- Joan Bruce, President PSSU Local 668 SEIU
"I vividly remember the session organized at this past spring's conference by the AUD women's project, of women working in the non-traditional trades, and nothing, absolutely nothing I have seen or heard since has moved me so much . [It was] a real educational opportunity. ...These savvy and outspoken women are what education for democracy is about ." -- Flavia Alaya, AFT
"AUD has been an indispensable resource to the New Directions caucus in TWU and a tireless champion of our efforts to make the TWU more democratic and more effective for our members. AUD has provided teachers and literature for our stewards' classes, advice for our activists, and moral support at every turn." -- Naomi Allen, Executive Board Member, TWU Local 100
"The staff at AUD was instrumental in helping us achieve the success we've had. Your support, help and encouragement kept us going when we felt overwhelmed. We were able to build a network of reformers, and learned how to play the game. AUD was always available, an open forum for ideas, and a wellspring of technical assistance." -- Linda Cannon, Laborers Local #294
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