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New Officers Learn the Ropes at Innovative Training

The challenges faced by ATU officers can vary widely, ranging from negotiating with management to handling internal conflicts, Local finances or addressing the needs and concerns of members. These challenges often require a diverse set of skills, including effective communication, negotiation, problem-solving, and decision-making. New officers come to Washington, D.C., for a week-long training to learn these critical skills to build the necessary foundation to best serve their Locals, their members, and our Union.

ATU International leadership with President/Business Agents after receiving their certificates.

The ATU’s New Officer Training kicked off in February with more than 60 President/Business Agents and Financial Secretaries from Locals across North America coming together to learn the skills necessary to effectively run their Locals. The day started with members hearing from International President John Costa, who spoke to the class about his experience as a new officer and how the International is there to support them.


I’ve Been in Your Shoes

“As officers, you are responsible for the livelihood of our members and their families. That’s a big job, and I’ve been in your shoes at my Local 819-Newark, NJ. You can’t do this job behind a desk; you need to get out to talk to your members and educate them. You need them involved in contract negotiations, strikes, and other actions. We will see that in action today when we visit our Local 689 Fairfax Connector workers on the 5th day of their strike,” Costa told the Local officers. “You will be here for a week to learn the skills and tactics needed to best represent our members. We will give assistance when you need it. Enjoy the week, and we know you will leave a better leader for your members.”

ATU International leadership with Financial Secretary’s after receiving their certificates.

After the introductory session, attendees boarded two buses to join our Local 689 Fairfax Connector workers on strike at a rally outside contract negotiations with Transdev. With a crowd of hundreds of ATU members, our Union sent a strong message of solidarity that we will not back down until our Fairfax members get the contract they deserve, which they did after a successful 15-day strike (see page 27). 

Over the week, the Local leaders heard from experts and staff on a wide variety of topics, including new strategies to strengthen their Locals and empower their members to get involved and prepare for the battles ahead. Secretary-Treasurer Ken Kirk and International Executive Vice President Yvette Trujillo were also there to guide members at this innovative training. Thank you to our new officers for taking on this challenge on behalf of our members!