Union Summer School 2024
We look forward to seeing you!

Training Training Department

Union Summer School will be held June 24-June 28, 2024 at the Asilomar Hotel & Conference Grounds, Monterey, CA. 

The Union Summer School program is geared for emerging and veteran local leaders who want to take their skills to the next level. The week-long event is filled with rigorous workshops, motivated and skilled trainers, and applied learning. There is also the opportunity to share best practices with local leaders from across the state and to find inspiration in one another’s work.

Union Summer School equips local leaders with the powerful skills to organize successful campaigns to build high-quality public education, involve members in union activities, and establish excellent representation and collective bargaining programs.

Important Information

  • If you believe you will need childcare please email Crystal Drake with the number of children and ages. 
  • Monterey, California has a mild climate year-round with temperatures in the 50s to high 60s in the summer. However, the weather can fluctuate throughout the day, so it’s best to dress in layers. 
  • Asilomar Hotel doesn’t have TVs in the rooms so please plan accordingly and bring a laptop or device if you need it.
  • Meal information: tickets will be handed out at check-in and the meal times are set. If you need to purchase additional meal tickets for guests you can do that at the front desk; here is the pricing :

Meal Pricing Adults:
Breakfast $17.11 + SF & Tax =$22.47 Crocker Dining Hall  from 7:30am-9:00am
Lunch $22.13 + SF & Tax =$29.06 Crocker Dining Hall from 12:00pm-1:00pm
Dinner $34.43 + SF & Tax =$45.21 Crocker Dining Hall from 6:00pm-7:00pm

Meal Pricing Children (Ages 3-12):
Breakfast $16.54 with taxes, Lunch $19.41 with taxes and Dinner $28.93 with taxes.



Registration is closed. If you have any questions please contact, Crystal Drake at 805-485-5861 or by email.


  • Residential participants will be housed at the Asilomar Hotel.
  • You may choose between a double occupancy room ($750) or a single occupancy room ($1000).
  • If you would like to be housed with a specific participant, you will be asked to provide the person’s name. If you do not specify, CFT will assign rooming.

Fee Payment

pay online

  • The registration fee is $750 for a double occupancy room and $1000 for a single occupancy room. The fee covers lodging, meals, tuition, and course materials. Participants or local unions are responsible for transportation costs.
  • There is also a commuter rate of $500 that includes the cost of meals, tuition, and course materials. The commuter rate is only for individuals living in or around Monterey.
  • You or your local will be required to pay the registration fee. Local unions may pay for multiple attendees at once.
  • Check payments can be mailed here:
    2775 N Ventura Rd, Suite 204
    Oxnard, CA 93036
    Attn: Crystal Drake
  • Online payment: Please click here to pay your fees online.
  • Cancellation policy: Refund requests received after May 31 will not be granted.
  • Deadline: The deadline to pay registration fees is May 24.


Here is the Union Summer School Program for 2024!

Social media

  • Follow us and tag us at @CFTunion on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
  • Use the hashtags #cftsummerschool #IamCFT #CFTleaders

Schedule At-A-Glance

Monday, June 24

10 am  Registration opens
12:00 pm  Lunch at Crocker Dining Hall
1 pm  Opening Session at Merrill Hall
2 pm  Classes begin
6 pm  Dinner at Crocker Dining Hall
Come hang out by the bonfire after dinner and make S’mores!

Tuesday, June 25

9 am  Class
12 pm  Lunch at Crocker Dining Hall
1 pm  Class
6 pm  Dinner at Crocker Dining Hall

Wednesday, June 26

9 am  Class
12 pm  Lunch at Crocker Dining Hall
1 pm  Class
6:00 pm  Dinner and Social Event at Merrill Hall
* We will also have the bonfire available

Thursday, June 27

9 am  Class
12 pm  Lunch at Crocker Dining Hall
1 pm  Class
6 pm  Dinner at Crocker Dining Hall

Friday, June 28

9 am  Class
12 pm  Program concludes
12 pm Lunch at Crocker Dining Hall

Course Offerings

The CFT is offering five comprehensive courses to strengthen your union-building skills. This unique residential program includes evening group work. Participants are expected to participate for the full duration of the course.

Crash Course for New Presidents & Leaders


This course is designed for local presidents &/or leaders elected within the last two years, and those wanting a refresher course.  We will cover the basic knowledge you need as an AFT local president, provide participatory training on useful leadership skills, and allow you to share best practices and challenges leader-to-leader. 

Who should attend? Current local union presidents or new leaders who will be seated during 2024. This course is also open to new executive board members and new executive directors.

Topics covered include:

  • How AFT, CFT, and your local union function together, what resources are available to help in your work, and what opportunities exist to participate in union governance bodies and events
  • The legal requirements of running unions that every officer should know, including the Duty of Fair Representation, and best practices for addressing issues around membership and status changes
  • How to make the most of your right to participate in new employee orientations
  • How to plan and run effective meetings
  • Best practices in communicating with your members and the public
  • How to identify, recruit and develop other union leaders
  • Networking with other local presidents to share experience and build support

Note:  It is recommended that you bring a laptop or tablet, your local Constitution and Bylaws, and the most recent collective bargaining agreement with you to the course.

How to use DEI and Cultural Proficiency as an Asset in your Educational Community

globe in hands

This course is based on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) practices and the Cultural Proficiency Framework and will allow you to put the framework into practice at your worksite. Cultural Proficiency is the policies and practices in an organization, or the values and behavior of an individual, that enable the person or institution to engage effectively with people and groups who are different from them.  Cultural Proficiency is an inside out approach that influences how people relate to their colleagues, clients, and community. DEI and Cultural Proficiency is a lens for examining one’s work and one’s relationships in schools and worksites. At the end of the course, you will use the results from the project to prepare a final presentation describing how to apply your work to your organization.

Who should attend? Any members who would like to learn about DEI and cultural proficiency and how to implement the practices at their worksite.

Topics covered include:

  • Knowledgeable and competent in cultural competence practices
  • Able to recognize differences between people and acknowledge that these differences are valued as an asset in our school communities
  • Enhance organizational culture in your team and local
  • Recognize unconscious bias and how it affects the way that people perceive and react to others
  • Understand the dimensions of diversity that matter most in organizations and why
  • Assess stereotypes and prejudices that may influence behavior in work groups and learn methods to improve the psychological safety of all employees
  • Able to implement concepts into an actionable project at your worksite

Politics and Communications: Running Effective Campaigns

This course will focus on helping leaders and members strengthen the political and communications work of their local. It will feature segments that discuss COPE fundraising, identifying candidates for local office, running school board or board of trustee elections, keeping campaigns legal, effective communication for political campaigns, internal and external communication strategies, and lobbying tools for local and statewide advocacy. Participants could be local union officers, COPE chairs, and members who will be directly engaged in the local’s political and communications work.

Topics covered include:

  • Learn and  discuss COPE fundraising
  • Be able to identify candidates for local office
  • Learn how to run school board or board of trustee elections
  • How to  keep  campaigns legal, effective communication for political campaigns, internal and external communication strategies
  • Learn  lobbying tools for local and statewide advocacy

Building Local Union Power Through Organizing and Member Engagement

Internal organizing is the foundation of a strong union.  With a focus on having high membership and engaged members, the course will cover issue organizing and the work needed to build a powerful local union.  Participants discuss concrete ways to build an effective communication network at the worksite so that members are informed about and involved in union activities. We hope that participants will leave this session ready to inspire and motivate their colleagues to get involved in the union.  *This workshop is open to all but,  it’s also the track for participants receiving the organizing grant.

Topics covered include:  

  • Our Ability to Achieve Gains 
  • Who Is A Leader 
  • Establishing A Communication Network
  • One-One Conversations To Involve Members in The Union 
  • Welcoming New Employees & Asking Them To Join the Union
  • Checklist for a Well Organized Worksite 
  • Putting It Into Action

Winning the Best Contract — Collective Bargaining & Contract Campaigns

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Collective bargaining is at the heart of union organizing. When workers act together we have a better chance of achieving gains for our families and our students. This simulation-based course will focus on the basic strategies, best practices, and skills necessary to ensure that your local union is in a good position to negotiate the best contract possible.

Who should attend? New chief negotiators and new bargaining team members, or those with just a few years of experience. Veteran bargaining team members who want to refresh their basic skills and expand member involvement in their union’s effort to win a great contract are also welcome.

Topics covered include:

  • Explain the overall role of the union and the purpose of collective bargaining
  • Organize members and expand membership in the effort to win a great contract
  • Describe the role of worksite leaders in strengthening the union’s effort to win a great contract
  • Utilize surveys to generate bargaining proposals and engage your members
  • Describe the basic legal rights connected to collective bargaining
  • Work effectively as a bargaining team
  • Act strategically at the table in different stages of bargaining
  • Cost out basic proposals
  • Plan a campaign that builds member involvement and community support

Note: A laptop or tablet will be helpful for some work in this course. If you do not have access to one, the course will work in teams and computers will be shared.



  • The scholarship application period ended on May 1If you have any questions, please email Crystal Drake or phone the CFT Ventura County office at 805-485-5861.
  • Scholarships cover lodging (double occupancy), meals, and tuition, but do not include the cost of transportation.

Getting There

If you are arriving by car

  • Set your driving directions to 800 Asilomar Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950.
  • Parking is free at Asilomar Hotel & Conference Grounds and there is no park entrance fee.

If you are arriving by plane

  • Monterey Regional Airport is the closest airport to Asilomar Hotel & Conference Grounds. Taxis are available at the airport.
  • San Jose is another option and there is a shuttle that will bring you to Asilomar.

COVID Safety Protocols

CFT COVID safety protocols will be in place during Union Summer School

Rapid antigen COVID tests will be available on-site and attendees may voluntarily test if they choose to do so. Wearing of a mask is highly recommended but not required.