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Building Effective Unions: Motivating and Organizing Union Members


In this course students will examine the history of workers' efforts to form and join unions and the development of the legal framework within which contemporary organizing typically occurs. New methods of organizing that consider the political, social, and economic environments will be explored along with the various factors that influence workers' willingness to join unions. Of great interest will be discussions about how unions can "unionize" their members so that they become willing participants in the mobilization of other workers to recognize and support the values of the labor movement.

Key Topics

  • Legal Framework for Union Organizing
  • Traditional Methods of Organizing Workers into Unions
  • New Contemporary Methods of Organizing Workers
  • Learn Effective Methods When Engaging Non-Members (Fair Share Payers) in light of Threats from Freidrichs vs. California Teachers' Association for Public Sector Unions

Approaches and Features
This online course will use asynchronous group discussion, text readings, weekly course notes, and a mock organizing campaign to introduce and practice new concepts.  Students participate in a required live weekly webinar with the instructor is available to students to discuss the week's topics, obtain detailed information, and to ask questions ( the webinars are also recorded for student playback or in case of student absence).  Participants do not have to be online on a specific day or time, other than participation in the weekly webinars.  A mid-term and final exam, along with student participation throughout the course will determine the grade that a student receives.


Pat Domaratz is an experienced labor relations specialist (assigned to organizing) in the Rochester Regional Office, joining NYSUT in 1997. Pat graduated with a B.S. in industrial relations from LeMoyne College in 1985, with a minor in political science. After being awarded a Monsignor Healy Scholarship for Labor Studies in 1991, he completed graduate course work toward an M.A. in Labor and Policy Studies from Empire State College. He was a Labor Relations Specialist for the Civil Service Employees' Association (CSEA) from 1986-1997. Pat has been teaching as an adjunct faculty member for the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations since 1993 teaching credit and non-credit programs in collective bargaining, health care, grievance handling, contemporary labor issues and fighting privatization and subcontracting. Pat is a member and past president of the Cornell Adjunct Faculty Alliance, a NYSUT affiliate. He has served as a NYSUT staff trainer for courses in Civil Service Law and Organizing, and is a member of NYSUT's Health & Safety Committee. In his spare time Pat is a volunteer member of the Laurelton Fire Department, and enjoys New York's Finger Lakes Region.


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