Public Safety Union Leadership Strategies, Tips & Insights 2019

February 6 to February 8, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Flamingo Las Vegas




    February 6, 2019

    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 – The Post-Janus World

    • What is the Janus decision, what did it hold, and why?
    • Janus as an ongoing political effort.
    • In the absence of legislative changes, what are the confines of a union’s duty of fair representation to non-members?
    • What isn’t flexible under Janus without statutory changes – the duty to represent non-members in negotiations.
    • Amending bargaining statutes to entirely except non-members from the duty of fair representation.
    • What is flexible under Janus, perhaps even without statutory changes?
    • Control of precedent if non-members have access to the grievance procedure.
    • Post-Janus union messaging to members.
    • The need to rewrite labor contracts and bylaws to accommodate Janus.

    Will Aitchison, Joseph Gamaldi and Marty Lancton.

    12:00 pm – Lunch (Included in registration)

    1:00 pm – 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.
    • Controlling the narrative of a story through the use of social and traditional media.
    • Basic tips on public speaking.
    • Composing effective written documents: Letters, memos, emails.

    Will Aitchison, Joseph Gamaldi and Marty Lancton.

    4:00 pm – Adjournment

    4:15 pm – Hosted Reception

    February 7, 2019

    9:00 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.

    Anil Karia, Will Milam and Ryan Reese.

    12:00 pm – Lunch (Included in registration)

    1:00 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?

    Anil Karia, Will Milam and Ryan Reese.

    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, Will Milam and Ryan Reese.

    4:00 pm – Adjournment

    February 8, 2019

    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, Barry Donelan and Sean Burrows.

    11:30 am – Adjournment


    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, visit https://aws.passkey.com/go/SFPUB9 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 SFPUB9. Room rates Tuesday through Thursday nights are $63 per night, plus a $30 per room, per night resort fee and 13.38% tax. Rates Friday and Saturday nights are $139 plus resort fee and tax. For the Linq, use Group Code SQPUB9. Room rates Tuesday through Thursday nights are $49 per night, plus a $30 per room, per night resort fee and 13.38% tax. Rates Friday and Saturday nights are $125 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 14, 2019. 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 14.


    Will Aitchison
    Mr. Aitchison is a Portland, OR 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).

    Sean Burrows
    Mr. Burrows has been the President of the Alameda County Firefighters, IAFF Local 55 since April 2014. He has over 15 years of union leadership experience including being part of the negotiation team and dealing with member investigations and discipline. He serves on the California Professional Firefighters EMS Committee and has a leadership role in the Political Action Committee of Local 55. Mr. Burrows currently serves as a Captain with the Alameda County Fire Department and has over 22 years of professional fire service experience.

    Barry Donelan
    Mr. Donelan is currently President of the Oakland Police Officers’ Association. He has served on his association’s board and bargaining team since 2006. He represents police associations throughout Northern California on the Peace Officer Research Association of California (PORAC) Board and Executive Committee. In addition, he serves as one of five PORAC Legal Defense Fund Trustees. He has represented Oakland Police Officers in disciplinary proceedings for over a decade. Mr. Donelan has been with the Oakland Police Department for 20 years.

    Joseph Gamaldi
    Mr. Gamaldi has been a police officer with the Houston Police Department since 2008. He was named Field Training Officer of the Year in 2011. He served as 2nd Vice president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union for 5 years before being elected President of the HPOU in 2017. Officer Gamaldi is the chair of the Education and the Ways and Means committees, and serves on the bargaining team for contract negotiations. He also coordinates the Safe Ride Home program, founded the Houston Officers Peer Assistance (HOPA), and runs all the social media platforms for the HPOU. 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.

    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 fourth 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 16-year law enforcement veteran, he has served on the Executive Board for two local lodges of the Fraternal Order of Police.”

    Ryan Reese
    Ryan D. Reese is a Captain/Paramedic with Clark County Fire District Six, located in Vancouver, WA. He has been a member of the IAFF Local 1805 for 22 years, serving as President for 16 of those years. Mr. Reese also holds the position of Washington State Representative for the IAFF, where he organizes new locals, negotiates initial contracts and provides assistance during the arbitration process. In June of 2018, he was elected to the position of Washington State Council of Firefighters, 5th District Representative where he represents 1000 members and 28 locals.

    Rob WexlerRob 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.


    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 Seminar Coordinator Claire Cowan at (503) 282-5440 or Claire@LRIS.com 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 contact Seminar Coordinator Claire Cowan at (503) 282-5440 or Claire@LRIS.com prior to the seminar.

    Registration fees are $795 per person; $645 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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