Skip to content university of illinois at urbana-champaign

School of Labor and Employment Relations University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Certificate in Labor Studies

The Certificate in Labor Studies lays the foundation for educated union participation and future leadership.

This program is an introduction to the labor movement and builds toward a more intensive development of labor education. Classes are for current union leaders, new members, activists, union staff, people who want to meet people from other unions, worker centers, and working people who want to learn about the labor movement.

Below is a description of our 2020-2021 Certificate Program, including the dates and times in which each class meets.

Registration Link

Online Payment Portal Link

For more information, email Barbara Nelson or call 312-996-2127.

Certificate Program Course Offerings, Online


(Each class is held on two dates to complete all material for the class, there is only one charge)

CANCELED – Joining the Debate Over the Economy – Saturday, February 27 & Saturday, March 6, 2021 9AM – 1PM – CANCELED

As the Great Recession continues, the country is embroiled in debates over economic issues. This class gives you the information you need to effectively enter these debates. Some topics to be discussed include: What is the response to the argument that raising the minimum wage will hurt workers by increasing inflation? What is the answer to the argument that free trade raises all workers’ standard of living and lowers prices? What arguments do unionists use to rebut the argument that so-called “right to work” laws are needed to improve the business climate? Are corporate taxes too high, and would lowering them create more jobs? Do prevailing wage laws hurt or help workers? Should private sector workers welcome legislation to cut or eliminate public sector workers’ pensions? What are union proposals to improve the economy for all working people?

CANCELED -Collective Bargaining – Saturday, April 3 & 17, 2021 9AM – 1PM- CANCELED

This class introduces the student to the process and content of collective bargaining. It addresses among other items the legal obligations to bargain, mandatory and permissible subjects of bargaining, types of bargaining relationships, styles of bargaining and takes the student thorough multiple stages of labor negotiations. The class also examines the critical information necessary to bargain successfully. Students learn to analyze a contract, cost out a contract, develop a bargaining proposal, negotiating skills, how to use the caucus, and write appropriate contract language.