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

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers School (District 6)

The Arbitration Institute has been taking place every year in early December at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for over 40 years.

It is attended by IBEW business agents, business managers, international staff representatives and chief stewards. It is a very intensive course taught by University of Illinois professors and IBEW international representatives. Participants learn how to prepare and present arbitration cases.


  • Arbitration Preliminaries
  • Discipline and Just Cause
  • Arbitration Hearings
  • Researching for Arbitration
  • Evaluating Cases
  • Principles of Contract Interpretation
  • Arbitrability
  • Presenting Evidence
  • Direct and Cross Examination
  • Preparing Opening Statements, Objections and Closing Statements

Time is also spent in the university computer lab engaging in online arbitration research. The four day-long course ends in an exciting presentation of a mock arbitration case, where each participant is assigned to either the labor or management team and has an opportunity to utilize and practice skills learned during the class. It is an extremely intense and fun learning experience that allows for a lot of interaction between participants and instructors.