Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWED) members from several System Federations gathered once again in Hendersonville, Tenn. to participate in the BMWED two-week Advanced Officer Education Program this past July.
The educational courses take place at Volunteer State Community College, with curriculum focused on union-specific subjects ranging from claims and grievance writing, negotiation prep, safety protection review (“whistleblower” laws), labor law and history (the Railway Labor Act, right-to-work-for-less legislation), discipline representation, conducting local lodge meetings, and effective Union communication. An emphasis on the union’s newly-implemented Communication Action Team was also included in this session, and several Front Line Communicators were recruited to help unite and prosper the future of our union.
The two-week program began with the first class in the summer of 2011. Since that time, hundreds of BMWED members have successfully completed the rigorous coursework. Several BMWED system officers and national appointees are graduates of the class, proving the program can be a successful springboard to a more prominent Union role. Those graduates who remain in the BMWED rank-and-file find that the program enhances their understanding and participation in the Brotherhood, and many skills are reinforced or developed during the two-week training.
Those interested in attending a future Advanced Officer Education Program are encouraged to reach out to their respective General Chairperson or call BMWED Project Coordinator Katie Fruzynski at (202) 508-6446.