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Trainings for all ATU members

Fighting the boss, contract campaigns; rumors of job layoffs; slashing wages and pension benefits; cuts to transit funding and service; threats of privatization; the disturbing increase in attacks on transit workers; dangerous, unsafe, and unhealthy workplace conditions; problems with bathroom breaks. These are just a few of the challenges and issues facing ATU Locals across both the U.S. and Canada.

How do we prepare for these fights?

It starts with training. And it’s not just training of Local leaders, executive board members, and stewards. It’s training you, the rank and file members, who are the real engine of the ATU.

Over the last eight years, the International has developed an innovative and comprehensive training program for Local officers, stewards, and member activists to prepare, anticipate, and fight for the interests of our members, riders and our communities.

More than 7,000 Local leaders, stewards, and member activists have taken part in these trainings using the skills learned to engage in campaigns and mobilizations, build alliances with riders and allies, win strong contracts, improve health and safety on the job, fight back against privatization, and more.

There are also International trainings for rank and file members so everyone in our Union is better prepared, better mobilized, and better trained for the fights we face.

Knowledge is Power

In the late sixteenth century, Francis Bacon, regarded by many as the father of scientific methods of inquiry, famously said, “Knowledge is power.” This proverb rings true today for the ATU training program for both Local leaders and our rank and file members.

ATU trainings have raised the standards for our Union, employing the best practices; using the most skilled and experienced trainers; and utilizing the most advanced research, information, and data available. The trainings cover a wide range of areas, including contract bargaining, arbitration, union administration, health and safety, member mobilization, public engagement, passenger organizing, and coalition building, to name a few.

The International regularly conducts trainings attended by numerous Locals leaders and activists at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center (TDCC).

The International also has trainings for rank and file members that can take place right near your Local.

You might ask, “how can I as a rank and file member take part in an ATU training session?”

It starts with attending your Local union meetings, and getting involved with your Local, and asking your Local to request an International training.

Then, your Local will contact International President Larry Hanley’s office to request a training. The International will work with your Local to identify the appropriate training or trainings that are needed to achieve the goals of your Local. Once the type of training is decided, the International will select trainers from the International staff or previously-screened and highly-qualified trainers.

The International in conjunction with your Local will work on logistics for the training that make the most sense geographically and financially. For instance, the location of the training may be held near your Local or the International may hold the training at the TDCC in Silver Spring, MD. 

The International covers travel, room and board, and the cost of the trainers. The International will also work with Local officers to reasonably cover the cost of meeting rooms and any meals required for the training. The Local pays for lost time for attendees to the training.