Seminar Information


Public Safety Union Leadership: Strategies, Tips & Insights

February 7 to February 9, 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Flamingo Las Vegas



February 7, 2018

9:00 am – Introduction And Recent Developments

Recent developments from around the country in the area of public safety labor relations. Basic principles regarding the law and public safety unions, including the source of union rights and responsibilities. 

Will Aitchison

10:00 am – Constitutions And Bylaws

A public safety union’s bylaws amount to a contract with its membership. The panel consists of an experienced police union president and fire union president, who will discuss topics such as:

  • Running an effective union meeting. How often, how long, and what should be on the agenda.
  • The types of union elections, and how to avoid problems. The special consideration needed for contract ratification votes. On-line balloting – does it work?
  • The different forms of membership in a union – including full members, fair share members, and associate members – and what the union’s obligations are to each.
  • The duties of union officers.
  • When and how committees should be formed, and who should be appointed to the committees.

Will Aitchison, Gabe DeBay and Will Milam.

12:00 pm – Lunch (Included in registration)

1:00 pm – Constitutions And Bylaws

Continued from the morning session.

2:00 pm – Finances And Fundraisers

A discussion of the finances of a labor organization:

  • Sound financial protocols – what procedures does a union need to have in place in order to safeguard the union’s funds?
  • The options for dues structures, including membership assessments and initiation fees.
  • Should a public safety union have outside fundraisers? If so, how to research and monitor the activities of a fundraiser.
  • Basic financial reporting to the membership – how to construct budgets and financial statements.
  • When are audits necessary?

Will Aitchison, Gabe DeBay and Will Milam.

4:00 pm – Adjournment

4:15 pm – Hosted Reception

February 8, 2018

9:00 am – Basic Communication Skills Every Union Leader Needs To Master

  • Developing a communications plan.
  • Press releases and newspaper editorials.
  • Media Interviews – What to say and what to avoid.
  • How to use press conferences to get your message out.
  • Basic tips on public speaking.
  • Composing effective written documents (letters, memos, emails, etc.).

Anil Karia, Joseph Gamaldi and Marty Lancton.

12:00 pm – Lunch (Included in registration)

1:00 pm – Effective Communications With Members

Maintaining two-way communications with members of your union is essential. Public safety union leaders need to know their members’ concerns and how to address them.

  • Maintaining a membership database, and how the database can be used to mobilize the membership on political and other issues.
  • Surveying the membership, by mail and online.
  • Print Newsletters – Are They Still Effective?
  • Use of the employer’s communications systems – Pitfalls to avoid.
  • On-line chat communications.
  • Online voting systems.

Anil Karia, Joseph Gamaldi and Marty Lancton.

3:00 pm – Political Activity By Public Safety Unions

  • The use of social media in political efforts.
  • Mobilizing the membership on political issues.
  • The use of social media in political efforts.
  • Media campaigns – what works and what doesn’t work

Anil Karia, Joseph Gamaldi and Marty Lancton.

4:00 pm – Adjournment

February 9, 2018

8:30 am – Representing A Member In A Disciplinary Interview

A review of how to prepare a member for a disciplinary interview:

  • Obtaining information about the employer’s ongoing investigation.
  • The basic rules to follow to be an effective witness.
  • Counseling the member during the interview.
  • Follow-up work after the interview.
  • The tests for just cause for discipline, including progressive discipline, mitigating circumstances, and disparate treatment.
  • The Garrity and Weingarten rules and how they apply in disciplinary investigations and critical incidents.

Rob Wexler and Harry Stern.

11:30 am – Adjournment

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Hotel And Travel

The Flamingo Las Vegas

3555 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
702-733-3111 • 800-732-2111


LINQ Hotel

(adjacent to The Flamingo)
3535 Las Vegas Blvd South
(702) 733-3111(888) 373-9855

To make arrangements, go to or call the hotel directly and request the group rate for this seminar. (There is a $15 fee for telephone reservations). For the Flamingo, use Group Code SFPUB8. Room rates Tuesday through Thursday nights are $60 per night, plus a $29 per room, per night resort fee and 13.38% tax. Rates Friday and Saturday nights are $145 plus resort fee and tax. For the Linq, use Group Code SQPSU8. Room rates Tuesday through Thursday nights are $45 per night, plus a $32 per room, per night resort fee and 13.38% tax. Rates Friday and Saturday nights are $120 plus resort fee and tax.

A limited number of rooms are available at these rates on Friday and Saturday nights, so book early if you plan to stay over. Reservations must be made by January 15, 2018. Reservations received after this date will be on a space-available basis only and at the prevailing rate. Because of the heavy tourist activity in Las Vegas any time of the year, be sure to make your reservations before January 15.

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Will Aitchison

Mr. Aitchison is a Portland, Oregon attorney who has, over the course of his career, represented over 100 law enforcement and firefighter labor organizations in five western states. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. and is the author of several books on public sector labor matters, including The Rights of Law Enforcement Officers (7th Edition), and The Rights of Firefighters (4th Edition).

Gabriel DeBay

Mr. DeBay is currently the president of the Shoreline, Washington Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 1760, serving in that position since 2009. He began his career at the King County Fire District in 2003. In 2015, he completed the University of Washington School of Medicine Paramedic Training Program. He holds numerous certifications, including Fire Service Instructor I and II; Wildland Firefighter II; FEMA Planning Section Chief; Nationally Registered Paramedic; Basic Public Information Officer; and Hazardous Materials Operations.

Joseph Gamaldi

Mr. Gamaldi has been a police officer with the Houston, Texas Police Department since 2008. He was named Field Training Officer of the Year in 2011. In 2013, he was elected as 2nd Vice President of the Houston Police Officers’ Union. His duties include managing union funds, running all social media pages, the HPOU mobile app, and handling all media inquiries and releases. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Hartford and a Master’s Degree in Homeland Security Management from Long Island University.

Harry Stern

Mr. Stern is the managing partner of the California law firm Rains Lucia Stern. His practice is focused on civil litigation and criminal defense. He has successfully defended peace officers in a number of high-profile trials. He regularly represents peace officers in internal investigations, administrative hearings, coroner’s inquests, grand jury proceedings and related court actions. He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco.

Anil Karia

Mr. Karia is a lawyer with the Public Safety Labor Group in Portland, Oregon. He specializes in representing public safety labor organizations, including the Portland Police Association, in all aspects of their labor relations. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law.

Patrick “Marty” Lancton

Mr. Lancton is President of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF-Local 341. Local 341 has a membership of over 4,000 and is the third largest municipal firefighter union in the nation. He has held numerous positions within the Union, including President of the HPFFA Charitable Foundation, Communications Director, Bylaw Chairman, Public Relations Chairman, Legislative Committee Member and Grievance Committee Member.

William Milam

Mr. Milam is currently in his third term as President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 112 (Prince George’s County, Maryland Sheriff.) In his capacity as President, Will oversees all union business, serves as the chief labor negotiator, and is the chairman of the legislative committee. A 15-year law enforcement veteran, he has served on the Executive Board for two local lodges of the Fraternal Order of Police.”

Rob Wexler

Mr. Wexler is a partner in the California law firm Rains Lucia Stern. For over 20 years he has represented labor associations and their members on all matters relating to contract negotiations, grievances, disciplinary investigations, wage and hour claims, disability rights, and retirement matters. He is a graduate of Southwestern University School of Law.

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CLE And POST Certification

P.O.S.T. Certification
Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) credits may be available on a state-by-state basis. If you would like information on your state, please contact P.O.S.T. Coordinator Tanja Olson at (503) 282-5440 or prior to the seminar.

Continuing Legal Education certification
LRIS has been approved as a CLE provider by the State Bar of California. This program will qualify for 12.5 hours of MCLE credit by the State Bar of California. If you require certification from any other state, please call CLE Coordinator Tanja Olson at (503) 282-5440 prior to the seminar.

Fees And Other Information


Registration fees are $695 per person; $595 per person if three or more attend from the same organization. Registration fees include attendance, lunch on the first two days of the seminar, all seminar materials, and a hospitality reception on the first evening.


Each attendee will receive  a copy of Running A Public Safety Union, by Rob Heun, and a notebook containing extensive written materials pertaining to each of the subjects addressed.


Reservations may be canceled up to ten days prior to the seminar with a full refund. Cancellations made within ten days are subject to a $150 fee. Substitutions may be made at any time.

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