Winter Bargaining Conference: January 6, 2018

Negotiating or renegotiating a contract in 2018? Join NEARI for our Winter Bargaining Conference on January 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.! A full day of engagement and training to assist you and your team in success at the bargaining table. Learn the fundamentals of writing proposals, conducting research, tackling legalities, building community, and more. 

Anticipated participants are those Local teams who are negotiating a contract for their unit in the coming year. This year, we are offering the conference at no additional cost to our members.

  •  Deadline for registration is December 15, 2017

Register Now!

Draft Conference Agenda

8:30 a.m. Check In 
9:00 a.m.  Welcome: NEARI President Larry Purtill 
  Objectives of the day
Agenda review
Big picture
9:15 a.m.  Opening Session: Organizing to Win at the Table
  Review of innovative organizing campaigns and tactics across the country 
  Facilitator: Sarah Markey, NEARI
9:45 a.m.  BREAKOUT SESSIONS (*Teams can split up)

Choose One:
  Beginner Nuts & Bolts of Bargaining
  Facilitator: Linda Laclair, NEARI

  Writing Proposals to Bargain for the Common Good
  Facilitator: Michelle Couture

  Research for Bargaining
  Facilitators: Mary Barden, NEARI
11:15 a.m.  Break
11:30 a.m.  Bargaining FAQs
  Large group session about legal facts, table behavior and FAQs we hear;
Questions from participants 
  Facilitator: Mary Barden, NEARI
12:15 p.m.  Lunch
12:45 p.m.  BREAKOUT SESSIONS (*Teams can split up)

Choose One:
  Building a Bargaining Support Team
  Facilitator: Sarah Markey, NEARI

  Writing Proposals to Bargain for the Common Good
  Facilitator: Michelle Couture

  Tactics for a Tough Bargain
  Facilitator: Patrick Crowley, NEARI
2:30 p.m.  Engaging the Community
  How to successfully bring the community stakeholders in our bargain 
4:00 p.m.  Closing


Facilitators and Speakers (*in formation)

Mary Barden


Michelle Couture

Michelle Couture

Michelle Couture taught high school English for 15 years before transitioning into full-time union work as a UniServ Director for NEA-New Hampshire in 2010. Michelle has served on the NH State Membership committee, the North-East Institute Planning committee and is currently a trainer for the Organizing Cadre at the Uniserv Academy. Michelle ran a write-in campaign for her local School Board in one week, campaigned in a blizzard, and was elected for a three-year term.  Michelle has four endearing children, an amazing husband, and an adorable English Bulldog, Diesel.

Patrick Crowley

Patrick Crowley

Referred to as “bright and blunt” by The Providence Phoenix, Pat Crowley is Assistant Executive Director/UNISERV for NEARI, the largest teachers’ union in Rhode Island. Pat once leafleted a church from the inside during a labor dispute and it was never proven in a court of law that he had anything to do with an anti-privatization strike at a school where that type of thing "might" be illegal. He once made headlines for exposing right wing Governor Don Carcieri’s failure to pay property tax on his luxury condominium in Florida and for chasing then Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee around the State during his 2006 re-election campaign in a George W. Bush mask and a flight suit. A mountain climber in off hours, Pat enjoys frequent trips to Vermont mostly because of its proximity to the Canadian border.

Linda Laclair


Sarah Markey

Sarah Markey

Sarah Markey has been with NEARI since August of 2016, after having been an organizer in the NEA national office for six years. Her work has included organizing early childhood teachers in Massachusetts, leading a national campaign on Time to Teach and the reduction of standardized testing in schools, and piloting Bargaining for the Common good projects where the broader community and labor come together around shared interests. She lives in Wakefield with her sons, Milo and Shane, and her partner Patrick.


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National Education Association Rhode Island (NEARI)

99 Bald Hill Road
Cranston, RI 02920-2631

P: 401-463-9630
F: 401-463-5337

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