Public Safety Union Leadership 2023

January 25-27, 2023
The Flamingo
Las Vegas, Nevada




    Wednesday, January 25-27, 2023

    9:00 Introduction And Recent Developments

    Recent developments from around the country in the area of public safety labor relations, including topics such as mandatory vaccination programs, FLSA issues, cell phone and other privacy concerns, and the state of police reform. Basic principles regarding the law and public safety unions, including the source of union rights and responsibilities.
    Will Aitchison, Attorney at Law, Public Safety Labor Group and Executive Director, LRIS; and Richard Poulson, Attorney at Law, Partner, Willig, Williams & Davidson.

    11:00 A Union’s Constitution And Bylaws

    A public safety union’s bylaws amount to a contract with its membership:

    • 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. Online balloting – does it work?
    • The different forms of membership in a union, including full 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; Richard Poulson; Will Milam, President, Prince George’s Co. (MD) FOP Lodge 112; and Bob Brooks, President, Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association.

    12:00 Lunch (Included in registration)

    1:00 Constitutions And Bylaws (continued)

    2:00 Finances And Fundraising

    A wide-ranging 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; Richard Poulson; Will Milam; and Bob Brooks.

    4:00 Adjournment

    4:15 Hosted Reception
    Drinks and appetizers included

    Thursday, January 26, 2023

    9:00 Collective Bargaining

    A top-level view of key bargaining issues facing public safety employees.

    • National trends on wage and benefit settlement for public safety employees.
    • The evolution and future of police/fire parity.
    • Bargaining in the sunshine: how does it work?
    • The impact of public participation in the ratification process.
    • What’s negotiable and what’s not. Trends in scope of bargaining issues.

    Anil Karia, Attorney at Law, Public Safety Labor Group; Derek Hsieh, Executive Director for the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS); and Mike Bellamy, District Vice President, Florida Professional Firefighters.

    11:00 Communication Skills And Political Activity

    Developing a communications plan.

    • Social media 101. What every union needs to do and avoid.
    • Press releases and newspaper editorials.
    • Media interviews.
    • How to use press conferences to get your message out.
    • Controlling the narrative of a story using social and traditional media.
    • Public outreach programs, including day-in-the-life training and videos.
    • Crisis communication.
    • A critique of video and other messaging by public safety unions.
    • How to design and implement a program to educate politicians, advocacy groups, the media, and citizens in the work challenges faced by public safety employees.
    • The increasing need for public safety unions to have an effective and positive political presence.
    • Mobilizing the membership on political issues.

    Anil Karia; Derek Hsieh; Mike Bellamy; and Barry Donelan, President,
    Oakland Police Officers Association.

    12:00 Lunch (Included in registration)

    1:00 Communication Skills And Political Activity (continued)

    4:00 Adjournment

    5:00 ALADS’ Reception at the Brooklyn Bowl
    (between the Linq and Flamingo hotels)
    Drinks and appetizers included

    Friday, January 27, 2023

    8:30 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.

    Anil Karia; Barry Donelan; and Sean Burrows, President, Alameda County (CA) Firefighters, IAFF Local 55.

    11:30 Adjournment


    Hotel Information

    To make arrangements, visit the hotel website or call the hotel directly with the group code SFPUB3 (Flamingo) or SQPUB3 (The LINQ). Reservations must be made by December 24, 2022. Reservations received after this date will be on a space-available basis only and at the prevailing rate.

    The Flamingo
    3555 Las Vegas Blvd. South
    Las Vegas, NV 89109
    (888)373-9855 Group Code: SFPUB3
    Room rates Tuesday through Thursday nights are $49 per night, plus taxes and fees. A limited
    number of rooms are available on Friday and Saturday night for $99, so book early if you plan to
    stay over the weekend.

    The LINQ
    3535 Las Vegas Blvd. South
    Las Vegas, NV 89109
    (866)523-2781 Group Code: SQPUB3
    Room rates Tuesday through Thursday nights are $29 per night, plus taxes and fees. A limited
    number of rooms are available on Friday and Saturday night for $79, so book early if you plan to
    stay over the weekend.


    Will AitchisonWill Aitchison
    Mr. Aitchison is a founding member of the Public Safety Labor Group. Over the course of his legal career, Will has represented over 100 law enforcement labor organizations in five western states. He is a veteran of hundreds of public sector labor negotiations. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from 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 (8th Edition), and The FLSA, A User’s Manual. Will is also the founder and director of Labor Relations Information System. Since its inception in 1981, LRIS has been a valuable resource for public safety labor relations. LRIS conducts labor seminars, publishes a monthly newsletter, publishes mobile apps, and currently has six books in print.

    Mike BellemyMike Bellamy
    Mr. Bellamy is a Jacksonville native now living and working in Tallahassee, FL as a Fire Captain where he’s spent the last 20 years. Mike currently serves over 1,000 firefighters in the Florida Panhandle as a District Vice President for the Florida Professional Firefighters. He also works for the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) working with labor unions throughout the Southeast. He’s a graduate of the IAFF Communications Training Academy and works with local unions almost daily to help improve their communications strategies. Mike has vast experience working in politics, labor relations, and organizing but his passion is communications. His experience in communications includes television, social and traditional media, strategic campaigns, and podcasting. Mike’s work has influenced firefighter legislation, improved public safety and strengthened working conditions for firefighters.

    Robert BrooksRobert Brooks
    Prior to being elected President, Bob served the Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association as the Eastern Vice President and Northeast District Field Service Representative. He has been a firefighter with the City of Bethlehem, where he has worn many hats since February of 2005. A proud member of Local 735 where he has held the positions of President, Secretary, Vice President, Trustee and Roster Duty Chairman. Bob has considerable experience in dealing with contract negotiations, arbitrations/mediations, safety concerns, healthcare, Heart & Lung panels, disciplinary hearings, political and legislative aspects.

    Sean Burrows Sean Burrows
    Mr. Burrows has been the President of the Alameda County Firefighters, IAFF Local 55 since April 2014. He has over 16 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 23 years of professional fire service experience.

    Barry DonelanBarry 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 over 20 years.

    Derek Hsieh
    Mr. Hsieh is currently the Executive Director for the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS). ALADS represents approximately 8,000 sworn Deputy Sheriff’s and District Attorney Investigators.  Through 25 employees and a network of contracted professionals, ALADS provides union representation, charity support, legal defense, and other services for its membership. Before joining ALADS, Derek served with the Anchorage Police Department (APD).  Derek was a patrol sergeant with the Anchorage Police Department with over 20 years’ experience.

    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.


    Richard PoulsonRichard G. Poulson
    Mr. Poulson has been representing labor unions for his entire career, representing union clients in collective bargaining, interest and grievance arbitration and employment-related litigation. He is a partner with the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania firm of Willig, Williams & Davidson, where he focuses on advising and representing police, fire, paramedic and other uniformed employees regarding municipal affairs and public employment. He earned his B.A. from La Salle University (1992) and his J.D. from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law (1997).

    William Milam

    Mr. Milam is currently an Assistant Sheriff in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Prior to assuming that role in 2022, he served nine years as President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 112 (Prince George’s County, Maryland Sheriff), where he oversaw all union business, served as the chief labor negotiator, and was the chairman of the legislative committee. A 20-year law enforcement veteran, he also serves as First Vice President of the Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police.


    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 prior to the seminar.

    CLE 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 prior to the seminar.

    Registration fees are $850 per person; $725 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.

    Cancellation Policy
    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.

    Seminar Materials
    Each attendee will receive a handbook containing extensive written materials pertaining to each of the subjects addressed.

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