Labor Education & Research Center (LERC), University of Oregon
Sherman Henry serves in Portland Center for the University of Oregon’s Labor Education and Research Center (LERC). He facilitates learning activities and assists in program development and training with unions and community-based organizations. Henry helps identify new opportunities to advance workers education and strategic planning. Formerly a custodian and rank-and-file union
activist at Miami-Dade Public Schools, he became president of AFSCME Local 1184 in 1995.
He led an internal organizing campaign that doubled the membership from 1600 to its highest of 4600 and chaired the unions state political “P.E.O.P.L.E” program in a right to work state.Local 1184 represents 9,000 school district support workers, including bus drivers,
Local 1184 represents 9,000 school district support workers, including bus drivers, maintenance, and food service, at the nation’s fourth-largest school system. Henry led the union for 21 years as full-time executive director, negotiating and administering contracts. Florida is a right-to-work state, but unlike most other Southern states, public employees there have the right to bargain
collectively, though not to strike. Henry was also treasurer and later co-chair of South Florida Jobs with Justice and served on several community boards like NAACP, Central Labor Council, and Union Vice President for Florida AFL-CIO.
Additionally, he managed and taught a health and safety, Train the Trainer program that trained over 3000 union members, stewards, and union officers. He has a bachelor’s degree from the AFL-CIO affiliated National Labor College, and a master’s in adult education from Florida International University, where he also taught in the Center for Labor Research and Studies from 2011 to 2015. He is currently pursuing a doctorate from Grand Canyon University.