This week at the IAM’s Winpisinger Education and Technology Center (W3), a negotiations prep was conducted for the newly organized non-profit group Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE). The IAM recently was certified January 7, 2022 to represent these hardworking dedicated educators.

The five LEE negotiations members who travelled to the Winpisinger Center and met for the first time and each other were Alex Totten, German Cash, Art Phung, William Netherland and L Driskell. The team is working and being briefed on contract structure, language and legal ease to prepare them for bargaining.

LEE, which is nominally progressive, provides training to individuals seeking elected leadership positions in education. The bargaining unit is all non-supervisory employees who are a younger, diverse demographic and work all over the country.

“This group of stewards is an exquisite example of the younger generation smashing down archaic walls and crushing corporate norms to stand up and say enough is enough,” said IAM District 160 Business Representative Tommy Hunt, who also attended the negotiations prep. “They are all incredibly competent and even in the face of high stress and anxiety, they are all more than capable of turning that pressure into the proper leverage needed to secure a strong first contract. “

The LEE members were excited and engaged in the training.

“I have found the training sessions, as a brand new steward who is new to organizing, bargaining and all of it, to be so incredibly empowering,” said William Netherland, a negotiating committee member. “Not only in the sense of knowledge and information, but in terms of affirmation and encouragement. I will leave knowing that I can do this!”

“I’m very proud of the LEE negotiations team members and District 160. They’re a very focused and determined group,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “The Machinists Union is totally committed to backing them up with any and all resources to help them achieve their first collective bargaining agreement.”

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