The IATSE’s Labor Education Assistance Program provides reimbursement money to officers of local unions who enroll in qualifying Labor Studies Programs. The program covers all Officers, Officials, Trustees, and Executive Board Members of all local unions, who are eligible to be reimbursed for one (1) labor studies course each calendar year. Now every representative has access to a broad range of educational opportunities to help them better represent the workers in their jurisdiction.
Educational opportunities exist to fit every schedule and level of education, and cover a spectrum of topics. Thus far, IATSE-sponsored LEAP participants have participated in workshops sponsored by the AFL-CIO, Canadian Labour Congress, and the Labor Arbitration Institute, studied collective bargaining, organizing, and contract writing at skills-training seminars on college campuses, and completed online degree programs at the National Labor College (closed in spring 2014). Many people have also begun to take advantage of online learning classes, which allow freelance workers with unconventional schedules to learn on their own time in degree courses, short workshops, and one-time webinars. Local officers are encouraged to avail themselves of this latest tool in order to expand their labor knowledge and better represent their workers.
How to Apply for LEAP
All representatives from local unions may, with pre-approval, have tuition and reasonable housing expenses reimbursed for qualifying labor studies courses. The request must contain the name of the course and teaching establishment, along with the cost of instruction and any anticipated housing expenses, and be submitted to the International President, in writing, on the local’s letterhead. This pre-approval process is essential to guarantee reimbursement of educational expenses, which will be provided upon the receipt of proof of successful completion of the course. The International will pay for course tuition and for pre-approved housing expenses for short courses lasting less than one week. Transportation is not included, and will be the responsibility of the individual or the local union. LEAP funding is available for courses at any accredited institution with a bona fide Labor Studies program.