42nd International Convention   ·   July 18-22, 2016


Workshops will occur on Monday afternoon from 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. and on Thursday morning from 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.


#WereWithHer – AFSCME Faces and Voices for Hillary

Workers are under threat like never before, and some candidates are using divisive politics to distract working women and men from the real issues at stake. This is the most important election of a generation. Come develop your voice to deliver powerful stories that help mobilize our communities to vote for Secretary Hillary Clinton this fall.

AFSCME Financial Standards Code

This workshop will provide an overview of the essential components of AFSCME’s Financial Standards Code. Topics to be covered include expense authorization and documentation, record-keeping and financial reporting. This workshop is highly recommended for all officers, Executive Board members and trustees. Come get your financial questions answered!

Beyond Bias: How We Think, Talk and Act on Race and Difference

Did you know that 80 to 90 percent of human decision-making happens at the subconscious level? This provocative and highly interactive workshop will introduce the ground-breaking science of implicit bias. Learn new and rarely used strategies for addressing racial bias and other forms of bias at the individual and organizational level.

Bring It on Home: Winning Back Outsourced Work

Despite our best efforts, sometimes public resources and services still get outsourced. Come learn how to grow membership and improve wages, working conditions and job security by bringing privatized work back in-house. This workshop will present case studies of AFSCME affiliates and locals who have won back outsourced work.

Courageous Conversations

Are you putting off important or difficult conversations? Sometimes it takes courage to broach tough topics or deal with conflict. In this workshop, participants will learn tips and skills for handling difficult conversations more effectively in our workplaces and local unions.

Effective Grassroots Advocacy: Making our Political Voices Heard

This workshop will explore how to organize grassroots actions that influence policymakers at every level of government. You will learn about press strategies that can complement grassroots activities, including digital and new media; how to partner with allies to broaden influence; and how to organize a grassroots event step-by-step.

Getting Started with Next Wave

You already know the importance of mobilizing the next generation of members and leaders. Hear ideas and suggestions from young AFSCME members on how to reach across the generation gap and start a Next Wave program in your local or council. Discover what’s worked in other local unions and develop a plan of your own.

I Just Got Elected – Now What? (also offered in Spanish)

As a new local officer what do you do first? Second? Join a room full of other newly elected leaders to brainstorm and discuss best practices when it comes to acting in elected union positions. You will leave this workshop with a personalized list of tasks and a plan to hit the ground running when you return home.

Immigration Reform is a Labor Rights Issue

Our broken immigration system allows employers to drive down wages and working conditions in our country. Come discuss the impact of several court rulings on immigration reform, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, issued shortly before this Convention. We’ll be discussing all angles of this issue, from the effect on immigrant families and labor rights to the November elections and the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform.

It Takes a Village: Building Labor-Community Solidarity

As union members, we share our communities’ commitment to good jobs and quality public services. If we want to win better lives for working people, we need to collaborate with the broader community. Come participate in an interactive discussion on building and maintaining strong relationships with allies beyond the labor movement, and learn how to win victories with a common agenda.

Knowing Who's Who: Workplace Mapping

When we know who’s who in the workplace, we can learn where our support lies, where our opposition is, what areas need additional support, and an array of other information that will put us in the best possible position to win workplace victories. In this workshop we will practice charting and mapping our workplaces – a key aspect to owning the workplace and being AFSCME Strong.

Labor History: A Path to Victory

Have you ever wondered what historical events have brought us to this present point in time? Labor victories do not happen in isolation. Come hear about the events that have shaped our movement’s history. By understanding the past, we will learn how to seize the opportunities we have ahead of us in order to shape our future.

Let’s Grow our Union (also offered in Spanish)

Are there people in your workplace who are not represented by our union? Would you like to increase membership? Come learn how to develop an organizing committee in order to bring unrepresented workers into our union through accretions. We’ll cover all the steps you need to take to run a successful organizing campaign!

Lifting the Curtain on “Dark Money”

Secretive political and research operations, funded by so-called “dark money,” are playing an increasingly destructive role in our communities and statehouses. Want to know who’s funding the attacks on workers and the middle class in your state? Come learn about the organizations that are attempting to strip away voting rights, workers’ rights and our union power. We’ll be unveiling the opposition and discussing how we can fight back.

Making Your Case: Persuasive Public Speaking

Do you get tongue-tied when trying to make an important point? You can improve your ability to speak briefly, effectively and extemporaneously with some simple tools. Come learn how to make your case, whether you’re talking during a meeting, in a public hearing, or to your coworkers. Seize the day to be persuasive!

Member to Member: Turning Issues into Political Action

Are you tired of the divisive one-liners and catch-phrases that dominate modern political campaigns? Regardless of our personal partisan identity, all union members share the same basic labor values: our lunchbox issues. Come learn how to tap into the long-term strength and true political power of AFSCME members through detailed and meaningful conversations about the issues they care about.

My Student Debt is too D@%& High!

Are you struggling to keep up with your student loan payments? Or helping a family member get out from under their debt? Student debt affects more than 40 million individuals. Come learn about the programs that can lower your monthly payments and potentially get your debt forgiven! We will look at innovative organizing strategies that can assist you and your coworkers by building a stronger local union that can take on issues we care about.

Organizing AFSCME Retirees

AFSCME Retirees is nearly 250,000 members strong and growing. Retirees helped build our union and are an important voice as we fight against attacks against both working and retired public employees. This workshop discusses ways to build our union power by organizing retirees and engaging them in political action and other programs.

Retirement Security for All

Are you worried about how you’re going to retire someday? Some Americans have lost all hope of retiring with a pension, a right AFSCME members have fought to protect over the years! Come learn about the three-legged stool of retirement security, AFSCME's State Supplemental Social Security initiative, and how AFSCME members and the National Public Pension Coalition are working to preserve and expand access to defined benefit plans.

Showing Member Power at the Bargaining Table (also offered in Spanish)

Being on a bargaining team is no easy task. You have to meet the expectations of the membership and overcome bargaining challenges. Come brainstorm and learn effective ways to engage members and potential members in the bargaining process. You’ll leave the workshop having designed your own bargaining campaign to help you win what matters to you and your coworkers.

So You Want to Run for Office…

Are you interested in running for elected office someday? This session will give you the tools you need to take that next big step in your activism. You’ll learn how to put together a basic campaign, who should be on your campaign team, what a campaign plan, budget, and field plan should look like, and how to turn all this into victory on Election Day.

Social Media Savvy

Whether you’re new to social media or you already have established Facebook and Twitter accounts, there’s always something new to learn in this ever-changing world. At this workshop, we’ll go over best practices and answer your specific questions about social media, including how to convert a group or a personal profile into a page and how to optimize your posts to reach a broader audience.

Speaking Up When Oppression Happens

As our union becomes more diverse, we must make sure that our words, actions, and values are inclusive for all people. Come discuss how to recognize and interrupt oppressive behavior when it occurs around us. Learn leadership and activist tactics for changing the environment in our workplaces, unions and communities.

Stopping Privatization

Privatization is a constant threat to the vital public services we deliver. Learn how to assess the threat level where you work and what you and your co-workers should do to minimize the risk of losing work to outsourcing. Hear from affiliate leaders who have achieved victories against privatization by mobilizing members, marshaling facts and applying strategic political pressure.

Talkin’ Union to New Employees: Orientations that Build Power

Our future depends on connecting every new employee to what it means to be union. That’s why reaching new workers at the start of their employment and establishing a firm relationship with them, by demonstrating the value of our union and the role(s) they can play in it, is so important. Come learn how to reach these new workers through New Employee Orientations and deliberate one-on-one communication.

We Never Quit: Communicating the AFSCME Brand

Like the sound of “Never Quit”? Get in on the cutting edge polling and research that led to this year’s Convention theme – and the full Never Quit campaign to get more members more engaged. With help from some of the top firms in the country, AFSCME has created a look, feel and story that even your most disengaged co-workers will find hard to ignore. Plus, learn about attitudes of AFSCME members and how best to convince them to Never Quit on each other.

Wow, What a Great Meeting!

Many of us struggle to get members to union meetings. Let’s change the paradigm and take the meetings to the members! Come to this workshop and learn how to plan and conduct workplace meetings and events that inspire, educate and move members to action on issues they care about.

Your Rights, Employer Responsibilities & OSHA

We all want to safely return home after a day’s work. Protecting that right is a great way to empower workers and improve workplace conditions. Come learn about your individual rights, and your employer’s responsibilities, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. This is all about using practical ideas to transform our workplaces into safer environments by organizing around safety and health.