Skip to content university of illinois at urbana-champaign

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

Advanced Certificate in Labor Studies

The advanced certificate classes build on the foundation for educated union participation and future leadership.

The sequence has four classes that meet six times, once a week. These are designed as a more intensive advanced sequence that builds on the basic sequence, an introduction to the labor movement. They are for current union leaders, new members, activists, union staff, people who want to meet people from other unions, and working people who want to learn about the labor movement. Because the kind of knowledge necessary for effective union membership and leadership is broad rather than narrow, we encourage people to take all four classes in each sequence. Enrollment in the advanced sequence is for graduates of the basic sequence or by permission of the instructor. Students who complete the sequence of four classes will receive an Advanced Certificate in Labor Studies from the University of Illinois Chicago Labor Education Program.

Labor Studies Certificate Courses

Advanced Collective Bargaining: Recent Case Studies
This class will closely examine several recent negotiations as case studies. Cases will include examples of corporate campaigns, community alliances, strikes and other direction actions, and a variety of negotiation strategies. Guest speakers from the case studies will help present and lead discussion.

Advanced Labor Law: Dealing with the Board(s)
This class will examine the most common issues that bring unions before the various public and private sector labor boards in the areas of representation, bargaining, organizing and decertification, and duty of fair representation. Class will also discuss methods for avoiding the board(s) in these situations.

Advanced Steward Training
This class will examine grievance handling including preparing a case to hand over to an arbitration advocate. We will also evaluate the many other methods for resolving problems and building the union’s power. Especially for experienced stewards, chief stewards, grievance chairs, and others with contract enforcement and workplace leadership responsibilities.

Current Issues in the Labor Movement
This class examines and debates some of the major issues within the labor movement, as well as some of the external challenges we face. Focusing upon the need to develop strategies for the 21st century, the class will discuss labor internationalism and globalization, union democracy, internal and external organizing, minority unionism, and legal and political challenges among others.