Ninth Annual Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

National Labor Office Labor Certification Program

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association National Labor Office held its 9th annual Labor Certification Program (LCP) at the National Labor College - George Meany Campus, June 16 – 20, 2008. The LCP is designed for Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans to improve their knowledge and working relationship with the labor community and to develop an understanding of how organized labor influences and impacts healthcare benefits for their union members and members’ families.

Every year the National Labor Office invites staff from Blue Plans around the country to attend the LCP. This year the program had 18 participants. The majority were Blue Plan account executives with organized labor accountability.

The curriculum included speakers from the AFL-CIO, international and local unions and affiliated organizations. This gave attendees an opportunity to learn and ask questions about labor’s issues in healthcare benefits bargaining. Speakers included:

  • Gerald Shea, Assistant to the President for External Affairs,President’s Office, AFL-CIO
  • Gordon Pavy, Director, Collective Bargaining Department, AFL-CIO
  • Brian W. Klopp, CEBS, Labor Economist, Department of Research and Collective Bargaining Services, AFSCME
  • Jim Lowthers, President, UFCW Local 400
  • Randy Defrehn, Executive Director, National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans

The attendees also participated in a mock collective bargaining session and learned about labor history. NLC faculty for the LCP included Professors Bonnie Ladin and Elise Bryant.


conference attendees


The LCP continues to be a success by the high attendance rates and high evaluation ratings. One participant commented, “Excellent program overall – I got a lot out of it and will certainly recommend others in our labor areas to attend.”