Course Descriptions

Degree Program
See the Associate in Arts Degree & Certificate of Completion for more information about the program.

 1 U.S. Labor History (3)
CSU Lecture, 3 hours

The often untold story of workers’ struggles to improve their lives through union organizing and collective bargaining.  From early craft unions, the bloody battles to form factory unions, and the rise of labor federations and public sector unions.

2 Collective Bargaining (3)
CSU Lecture, 3 hours

Effective bargaining techniques and strategies: preparation of demands, costing out,   offers and counter-offers, settlement techniques, contract campaigns and mobilizing members; includes mock bargaining.

Class Lecture

3 Labor Relations Law (3)
RPT 1 CSU Lecture, 3 hours

A comprehensive overview of labor relations laws (primarily private sector), covering employee, employer and union rights and obligations, unfair labor practices, union representation elections and other Labor Board procedures.

4 Labor in America (3)
CSU Lecture, 3 hours.

The role of unions in creating and maintaining the middle class standard of living for all workers.  Labor’s impact on issues such as wages, benefits and job security, and economic justice issues such as public education and social security.

5 Grievance and Arbitration (3)
RPT 1 CSU Lecture, 3 hours

How to identify, investigate, write and present grievances, and handle arbitrations.  Emphasis on participants’ own contracts, grievance procedures and experiences.

6 Labor Community Services (3)
RPT 2 CSU Lecture, 3 hours

Learn to aid members in need or facing lockouts or strikes.  How to access financial assistance, debt counseling, unemployment or disability insurance, health and mental health services, child care and other important community support.

7 Labor and Political Action (3)
CSU Lecture, 3 hours

Politics is critical to labor’s survival.  Skills needed to tackle political issues affecting your members, including lobbying, electioneering, member mobilization, monitoring legislation and campaign laws.

8 Labor in the Global Economy (3)
CSU Lecture, 3 hours

How globalization impacts workers, their unions and the economy.  Learn to “follow the money.”  What really happens in the economy and how it favors the rich at the expense of working families.

Protest March9 Union Organizing Strategies (3)
CSU Lecture, 3 hours

Basic skills and techniques to organize new workers, and mobilize members to build and strengthen your union; includes relevant laws and winning strategies.

10 Workplace Gender and Race Issues (3)
CSU Lecture, 3 hours

Unions stand for tolerance and respect in the workplace.  How to promote diversity and equal opportunity and combat discrimination in the workplace.

11 Labor in the Public Sector (3)
CSU Lecture, 3 hours

Public sector unions, workers and services are under attack.  How to protect and defend your members, your union and collective bargaining now and for the future.

12 Building Strong Unions (3)
CSU Lecture 3 hours

How to manage and build a strong union: including strategic planning and goal setting; effective communications; time management; team building; increasing member participation and leading organizational change.

13 Union Leadership (3)
RPT 1 CSU Lecture, 3 hours

What does it take to lead a union?  Topics include: internal organizing, mobilizing and educating members, forming coalitions, supervising staff, and interfacing with employers and others.

16 Leadership for Change (3)
CSU Lecture, 3 hours

Lead and manage change in unions, including strategic planning, building organizational capacity and bargaining leverage.  Team building – identify, motivate and train member leaders/staff.

20 Labor Law (3)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 3 hours

Basic legal rights for workers, including: wage and hour laws, overtime, leaves, workplace privacy including e-mail and computers, accommodating disabilities, including pregnancy, and combating employment discrimination.

21 The Working Class in Movies (3)
RPT 1 CSU Lecture, 3 hours

Examines feature film portrayals of the working class and labor unions. Students learn to evaluate popular culture dramatization of workers rights struggles, and analyze how the movies have shaped public perception and values.

101 Introduction to Unions (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

The impact that unions have on wages, benefits, working conditions and public policies.  Surveys basic union structures, operation and governance by industry.

102 Contract Negotiations Skills (1)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

The basics of union contract negotiations, including preparation of demands, negotiations strategies and tactics, contract language, and contract campaigns.

103 Labor Law Update (1)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Federal and state laws covering workers and unions are always evolving.  Top labor lawyers will cover recent changes in labor laws and current issues and trends.

104 Current Issues for Labor (1)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Explores how the labor movement can grow and protect the middle class standard of living in the face of an all out, frontal assault on workers and their unions.

105 Grievance Handling Skills (1)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

A step-by-step approach to handling grievances including: investigating facts, documenting evidence, writing grievances, evaluating cases, settlement techniques, and duty of fair representation.

106 Labor and Disaster Relief (1)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Training labor representatives to respond to disasters, emergencies, acts of terrorism or union/employer economic actions through utilizing community, public and private resources and agencies.

107 Political Action Skills (1)
RPT 2 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Survey of grassroots political organizing strategies, including: phone banks, precinct walks, get out the vote (GOTV), vote-by-mail, and campaign financing laws, issues development, and communications.

108 Labor and Globalization (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Globalization affects everyone – your job, your union, our local economy. Explore how economic forces impact your future, and labor strategies to protect the middle class by fighting for fair trade and labor standards.

109 Union Building Strategies (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Skills and techniques to build a strong union through strategic planning, leadership development, communication techniques, including 1-on-1 and member mobilization.

110 Workplace Diversity (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Explore workplace diversity from the union point-of-view.  How unions can build diversity in their leadership, and use diversity in organizing and bargaining campaigns.

112 Strategic Planning for Unions (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Strategic planning can help unions build a strong organizational base to reach their goals.  How successful unions set goals and priorities, implement plans, structure staff and use time effectively.

113 Union Leadership Skills (1)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Basic leadership skills for building influence and advancing in your union. Includes public speaking, parliamentary procedure, running meetings, effective communications and mobilizing your members.

114 Workers’ Legal Rights (1)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Know your rights at work.  Basic legal rights that protect workers covering such areas as meal breaks, overtime, anti-discrimination, family leave, disability benefits, health and safety regulations.

115 Workplace Health and Safety (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Help keep your members healthy and safe on the job.  Covers: stress, understaffing, workload, chemical hazards, and ergonomics.  How to use CAL/OSHA and organize and bargain around health and safety issues.

116 New Strategies for Labor (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Labor is fighting back against the assault on workers with political, contract and organizing campaigns.  Learn strategies such as social media, community coalitions, and corporate research.

118 Employee Benefit Plans (1)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Explores employee health and retirement benefits: how they work and how they are funded; how workers can protect and improve their benefits; labor’s role in bargaining and preserving benefits, and the issues and political forces driving the debate.

119 Union Organizing CSU (1)
RPT 1 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Nothing is tougher and more critical to the survival of unions than union organizing. Includes 1-on-1 communications, committee building, leadership development, and  examine Labor’s most successful campaigns.

120 Union Issues for Women Workers (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Leadership and union building among women, workplace issues on sexism, racism, wage inequalities, workplace violence, sexual harassment, stereotyping, temporary work, and meeting family needs.

121 Labor Communications (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Survey of methods and techniques that modern labor organizations use in e-communications, including web sites, fax blasts, text messaging, Twitter and Facebook, and other social media.

122 Framing Labor’s Message (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Labor must rethink and reshape how it communicates. As the institution in America best able to reach across ideological boundaries, the Labor Movement must express that broad range of values which unite us. Apply this insight to organizing, bargaining and political action.

123 Steward Training (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Students will survey the role of union stewards and practice skills and procedures for communicating with members, processing grievances, solving problems, organizing and mobilizing members.

125 Labor Arbitration (1)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Survey of the arbitration process, covering: selection and authority of arbitrators, preparation of cases, how arbitrators decide cases, settlement techniques, tips for effective use of arbitration, and review of typical cases.

126 Issues in Labor Arbitration (1)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

An overview of the two major issues in arbitration: discipline and discharge, covering just cause, absenteeism, insubordination, substance abuse, theft/dishonesty; and standards for interpreting contract language in contract interpretation cases.

127 Workers’ Compensation (1)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

A basic understanding of Workers Comp. Includes: a) types of injuries and disabilities – temporary, permanent;  b) benefits – medical care, rehabilitation and financial support; and c) procedures for filing a claim and appeals. 

128 Sexual Harassment and Job Discrimination (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Learn the laws and how to combat sexual harassment and job discrimination, including the criteria for claims, agencies, policies and procedures for prevention.

Students in Class

132 Strategic Bargaining Techniques (1)
CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Beyond good proposals and table techniques, successful negotiations need a strong contract campaign, research effective strategies, and member involvement to prevail in a tough environment.

134 California Workers’ Rights (1)
RPT 3 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Federal and California Labor Code covering: minimum wage, timely pay, overtime, meal and rest periods, privacy, parental and other leaves, and enforcement procedures.

136 When the Paycheck Stops (1)
RPT 2 CSU Lecture, 1 hour

Learn to counsel members when the paycheck stops due to strikes, layoff, or plant closure.  Overviews such services as retraining, food banks, unemployment, and negotiating with landlords, mortgage companies, utility companies and other creditors.

Cooperative Work Experience Education CSU

Labor Studies is approved for Cooperative Work Experience Education credit. See Cooperative Education courses for prerequisites, course description and credit limits. A maximum of 3 units of work-experience may be used to meet the Labor Studies Certificate requirement, and 6 units to meet the Labor Studies AA Degree requirement .