Queen's University IRC

Queen's University

Al Orth is an accomplished human resources professional with an extensive background managing in complex union and non-union environments, within both private and public sectors. During his senior HR management career, Al has held executive responsibility for the strategic and operational direction of all human resource and labour relations functions. As a seasoned negotiator who has conducted over 100 contract negotiations involving over 2 dozen different unions in 6 provinces, he has established a reputation as a skilled and innovative interest based problem-solver, who develops and builds relationships along with creative solutions.

Prior to joining Queen’s University in February of 2011 as Associate Vice-Principal Human Resources, Al maintained a management consulting practice specializing in team building, labour negotiations and conflict resolution. His earlier background includes senior human resources and labour relations roles with Electrohome Ltd., J.M. Schneider Inc., Southam News Inc. and Torstar. In February 2016 he was appointed Special Advisor to the Vice-Principal Finance and Administration.

Al holds a BA (English) from the University of Waterloo, has attended the Harvard Negotiation School 'Getting to Yes' Program, The Advanced Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program through the University of Windsor Law School (SFH), and Queen's University Strategic HR Leadership Program. He has served on the Board of Directors and as the Volunteer Campaign Chair for the Kitchener-Waterloo and Area United Way, and as a Board Member of Waterloo Region Community Legal Services, Kitchener-Waterloo Counseling Services and the Lutherwood Child and Family Foundation.  He is a former part-time faculty member of the School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, where he designed and taught an MBA level course in negotiations and conflict management.  He is an ardent lacrosse fan and founder of the Cobourg Kodiaks lacrosse club, which competes in Ontario’s premier major league.

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Labour Relations Foundations

LR 200
5 Credits

Laying the Groundwork for Excellence in Union-Management Relations

Our flagship program for some 75 years, Labour Relations Foundations is widely acknowledged as Canada’s number one learning experience of its kind. There is no better place to develop foundational skills in collective bargaining, grievance mediation, and arbitration in just five days. Make the most of this rare opportunity to see how the other side lives; managers will understand the union perspective while union representatives will view issues through management eyes.

Tour of the Program

a) Grievance Mediation From the Ground Up

Our leaders take you through the nuts and bolts of the grievance mediation process. You will learn the advantages of this process and the issues most appropriate to resolve via mediation. And you will be taught the key factors that ensure success.

b) Walking the Grievance Arbitration Beat

Follow your leader through the grievance arbitration process and progressive discipline essentials. He or she will review the legal framework and key procedural aspects and principles. What are the perennial problem areas? What are the emerging issues and directions?

Participants break into small workshop groups to discuss and prepare selected cases illustrating the basic principles of the arbitration process. This experiential component of the week features:

  • Case presentations
  • Chairman's critique and commentary
  • General forum discussion

c) The View Beyond The Barricade: The Union Perspective

This is a program highlight: hear from one of Canada's leading labour advocates about the most significant trends facing organized labour and the resulting challenges and opportunities for Canadian unions. Prepare to be challenged.

d) Canadian Labour Law at the Crossroads

Change is the rule rather than the exception in the arena of labour law. One of Canada's preeminent experts in the field discusses important trends such as:

  • The direct and indirect application of the Charter to the workplace
  • The growing influence of human rights requirements
  • The duty to accommodate
  • The crucial role of arbitrators

e) Two Tough Ds: Discipline and Discharge

What are the grounds for discipline? What factors influence disciplinary action? Learn the answers to these vexing questions and how to determine appropriate penalties and the most effective procedures for dealing with innocent absenteeism, insubordination, sexual harassment, and termination.

f) Investigation Techniques

In preparing for an arbitration case, you may have to do some fact-finding on the complainant's allegations. We give you a step-by-step process for building your plan and winning techniques for interviewing the right people and identifying the key records to be examined. Learn how to interview all parties in an objective manner and assess the investigation results.

g) The Collective Bargaining Process

It is a mystery to some, intimidating to others. You are in good hands as your leader takes you through the negotiation process.

Learn to:

  • Prepare for negotiations
  • Negotiate pre-agreements
  • Negotiate the issues
  • Conclude agreements

h) Simulated Collective Bargaining Game

We call it a game but you will quickly learn to take this simulation seriously. Your team will meet in the evening to develop a bargaining strategy, assess priorities and interests and develop an opening statement. Then the team will meet again to negotiate all outstanding issues. Experienced coaches are on the sidelines to observe and offer feedback on the effectiveness of bargaining strategy, skills, and style.

i) LR's Role: Creating a Higher Performance Culture

Before we send you on your way, we invite you to look at the big picture, and where you fit in that picture. Gain insight into LR's role in cultural change and learn lessons from past change efforts at CP.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the week, you will be better positioned to:

  • Respond to the changing face of labour law and legal issues
  • Design effective approaches to conflict resolution
  • Ensure successful grievance mediation
  • Research and prepare for an arbitration hearing
  • Carry out a successful investigation process
  • Prepare for collective bargaining and negotiate an agreement

Benefits

Organizational Benefits

  • Stronger labour management relations to enhance competitive capabilities
  • Aligned labour relations systems that promote high performance
  • Reduced grievance arbitration costs
  • Better understanding of how labour relations practitioners shape the union-management dynamic
  • Better use of the many dispute resolution processes available

Takeaway Tools

  • Negotiating Template
  • Interest-based resolution exercises
  • Establishing Credibility Checklist
  • Mini-casebook on grievance arbitration

Who Should Attend

Managers, supervisors, union officials, and Labour Relations and Human Resources professionals responsible for employee relations.  

Facilitators and Speakers

*The roster of speakers is subject to change.

Venues and Accommodations

Jun 5-9, 2017 - Halifax

The program venue has not been finalized. Queen's IRC programs are usually held at a hotel. Please check back at a later date or contact Queen's IRC at 1-888-858-7838 for additional information.

Sep 24-29, 2017 - Kingston

Queen's University IRC is proud to hold this session at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, located at 285 King Street East, in historic downtown Kingston. Hotel rooms are available to participants at a special rate until one month prior to the program. Following your registration for the program, we will provide you with a unique link for hotel reservations. For more information on the hotel visit http://www.fourpointskingston.com/.

Dec 4-8, 2017 - Victoria

The program venue has not been finalized. Queen's IRC programs are usually held at a hotel. Please check back at a later date or contact Queen's IRC at 1-888-858-7838 for additional information.

Mar 18-23, 2018 - Kingston

Queen's University IRC is proud to hold this session at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, located at 285 King Street East, in historic downtown Kingston. Hotel rooms are available to participants at a special rate until one month prior to the program. Following your registration for the program, we will provide you with a unique link for hotel reservations. For more information on the hotel visit http://www.fourpointskingston.com/.

May 28-June 1, 2018 - Victoria

The program venue has not been finalized. Queen's IRC programs are usually held at a hotel. Please check back at a later date or contact Queen's IRC at 1-888-858-7838 for additional information.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for a program?

You can register online, call us toll-free at 1-888-858-7838, or email us at irc@queensu.ca. Once you register, we will send you a confirmation by email. Information about the program location, check-in time, and the agenda will follow.

How do I pay for the program?

If you are registering online, you may pay by Visa or MasterCard.  You may also choose to be invoiced first, and pay by cheque (payable to Queen's IRC) or credit card. You may also wish to call us with your credit card number to make the payment.

If your organization is tax exempt, we will require a copy of your tax exemption certificate.

Do you offer discounts?

Yes. We offer an Early-Bird discount.  If you register 60 days before the start of a program, you will save $300 on the tuition of four- and five-day programs, and $150 on two- and three-day programs.

If you register three people from the same organization in the same program at the same time, you will receive a 10% discount on program fees. If you register five or more people in the same program at the same time, you will receive a 20% discount.

If you know you will be pursuing a Queen's Certificate and would like to remit tuition in one payment before your first program, we offer a special fee with a considerable saving. Contact us at irc@queensu.ca for more information.

Please note that only one discount may be applied.

What is included in the registration fee?

Program fees include tuition, workbook materials, lunches, and some dinners. You are responsible for transportation, accommodation, and some meals.

Once I enroll in a program, may I cancel without penalty?

Substitutions are permitted with no penalty 8 days or more from the program start date.
Substitutions 7 days or less before the program start date will be subject to a $500 charge.
Transfers and cancellations are permitted with no penalty up to 15 days prior to the program start date.
Transfers and cancellations 14 days or less from the program start date will be subject to a 100% charge of the program fee.

Where does the program take place?

Our programs typically take place at a hotel. This information can be found in the tab above, called Venue and Accommodations.

I would like to make my travel plans. What are the start and end times for the program?

Programs in Kingston - Registration and reception begins at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. The in-class program starts 5:00 p.m. The program finishes at noon on Friday.

Programs outside Kingston - Registration for these programs runs from 8:00 AM - 8:30 a.m. on the first day. The program starts at 8:30 a.m. and finishes at noon on the last day.

If I am working towards a Queen's IRC Certificate, which course should I take first?

You may take the programs in any order that reflects your learning needs at the time. Our certificates feature a core program or programs that introduce you to what we consider the core competencies of the field. The remaining programs offer a deeper exploration of each area. For this reason, we find that participants in the certificate stream benefit most by taking the foundational program first.

My level of expertise is above the foundational program for the certificate I am working on. Do I still need to take that program to earn a certificate?

Queen's IRC offers participants maximum flexibility to customize their individual training needs. Upon request, participants with advanced expertise may skip the foundational program, and choose another program from our entire program lineup, for credit towards a certificate. Participants must earn 12 credits to earn a certificate.

How long do I have to complete a certificate?

We attach no timeline for achieving your certificate. Once you have earned a credit, you have earned the credit. We do recommend, however, that participants complete their certificate within one to six years. Most people earn their certificates within three years.

What if I want to take one of your programs but do not want to pursue a certificate?

That's fine. All of our programs may be taken individually, and you can mix and match the courses in labour relations, human resources and organization development, depending on your learning needs. At the conclusion of each program, you are given a certificate of completion.

I have taken a custom program with the IRC.  Will this count towards a certificate?

Yes. Participants who take an IRC custom program may also use their training days as credits towards a certificate.

If I have other questions, who may I speak with personally?

For a program registration query, please feel free to call us at 1-888-858-7838 or 613-533-6628. To reach the Director and staff members, consult our online directory. To reach one of our facilitators, please contact Stephanie Noel at 613-533-6000 ext. 77088 or stephanie.noel@queensu.ca.

Negotiation Skills

ALR 301
5 Credits

Developing Negotiating Styles and Tactics to Master the Dynamics of Collective Bargaining

If you are involved in collective bargaining, you know the complex and multi-layered dynamics at play. Whether you represent a business unit, government department, or union, you know that the organization's strategic interests and priorities are tied to how well you do at the bargaining table. But can you implement more effective collective bargaining strategies that are true to your own style and the organization's best interests? These and other important issues are explored in our intensive five-day Negotiation Skills program, which features expert instruction and on-the-spot coaching.

Tour of the Program

a) Understanding the Negotiation Process

The opening component of our program establishes the foundation on which new skills can be based. We draw the big picture in collective bargaining: what must the organization accomplish in the negotiation round, and what are the dynamics at play. We set the stage by:

  • Defining strategic negotiations
  • Teasing out the dynamics of power/rights/interests approaches
  • Identifying individual team and organizational capabilities

b) Building and Prepping the Negotiating

In preparation for your extended bargaining simulation later in the week, we explore how to create roles and responsibilities for effective team dynamics. We analyze bargaining dynamics as well, including intra-team, inter-team, and team-constituent bargaining.

c) Developing a Collective Bargaining Strategy

There are many crucial elements to consider in crafting a strategy for your bargaining round.

Here are several that are discussed:

  • Gathering and analyzing data
  • Determining the real issues and interests (yours and theirs)
  • Framing issues for productive dialogue
  • Gaining team agreement on priorities,strategies, tactics, and processes
  • Communicating with stakeholder groups
  • Formulating a bargaining mandate

d) Negotiation Simulation: Part 1

Here is your chance to practice what you have learned so far this week. The first part of the simulation gives your team an opportunity to identify bargaining priorities, formulate interests, and anticipate the other team’s interests to develop a foundation for moving forward. Begin to manage team dynamics by establishing roles and responsibilities, and gaining team agreement on strategies.

e) Introduction to Costing the Collective Agreement

This workshop is devoted to the art and science of costing the collective agreement. You get a template for costing the monetary and nonmonetary issues of your collective agreement, and apply the information to your ongoing simulation.

f) Negotiation Simulation: Part 2

After forming your opening statements, your team meets to negotiate effective pre-agreements on ground rules and process issues. Watch for possible turbulence in team dynamics.

g) The Union View of Bargaining

We ensure that our roster of coaches includes strong and experienced representatives of unions. In this spirited session they offer the union perspective, fielding your candid questions and satisfying your curiosity.

h) Negotiating to Agreement

There are a number of techniques to employ in order to reach a satisfactory bargaining conclusion.

Here are several that are explored:

  • Questioning skills for distinguishing interests from positions, exploring assumptions, and obtaining important information
  • Creating joint problem-solving statements
  • Negotiating without locking onto positions
  • Controlling destructive dynamics
  • Dealing with sources of resistance
  • Linking issues and solutions for effective resolution
  • Packaging and re-packaging offers

i) Negotiation Simulation: Parts 3 to 5

The negotiation simulation comes to a climax during this full day of bargaining. Do team members perform as advertised? Have you considered all the possible counter-proposals? Prepare to be surprised by the results.

j) Pre-Bargaining Rituals

The bargaining process is a bit like going to a dance: there are rituals, strategies, and tactics that play out beneath the surface.

In this section you will learn:

  • How to set the tone for productive bargaining
  • How to prepare and deliver an opening statement
  • How to negotiate pre-agreements on ground rules and meeting schedules
  • How to develop a joint bargaining process/agenda

k) Concluding the Agreement

Learn how to go from agreement in principle to agreement on specifics by:

  • Drafting contract language and checking for mutual understanding
  • Communicating with stakeholder groups to achieve agreement and ratification.
  • Reaching agreement on the entire package

Success is close at hand, but pay attention to details.

l) Large Group Debrief

With the intensity of the simulation melted away, it is time to take stock of the lessons learned and gather feedback from coaches. Begin to contemplate your role in future negotiations and how you will enhance the competitive position of your organization.  

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the week, you will be better positioned to:

  • Prepare effectively for negotiations by identifying interests and developing strategic mandates
  • Open negotiations constructively and negotiate pre-agreements
  • Build skills in formulating and delivering proposals and managing impasses
  • Develop the skills of an effective negotiator including listening, probing, identifying interests, and mutually solving problems
  • Develop skills in costing both your present collective agreement and proposed new clauses

Benefits

Organizational Benefits

  • Better outcomes from collective bargaining sessions
  • Faster and more effective preparation of negotiating team members
  • Improved labour management relations
  • Creation of competitive advantage through strategic negotiations

Takeaway Tools

  • Planning for Bargaining Workbook
  • Issues Analysis/Preparation/Framing Templates
  • Negotiations Checklist  

Who Should Attend

Labour Relations and Human Resources professionals, union representatives, and managers who prepare for negotiations  

Facilitators and Speakers

*The roster of speakers is subject to change.

Venues and Accommodations

Apr 2-7, 2017 - Kingston

Queen's University IRC is proud to hold this session at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, located at 285 King Street East, in historic downtown Kingston. Hotel rooms are available to participants at a special rate until one month prior to the program. Following your registration for the program, we will provide you with a unique link for hotel reservations. For more information on the hotel visit http://www.fourpointskingston.com/.

Jul 17-21, 2017 - Halifax

The program venue has not been finalized. Queen's IRC programs are usually held at a hotel. Please check back at a later date or contact Queen's IRC at 1-888-858-7838 for additional information.

Oct 22-27, 2017 - Kingston

Queen's University IRC is proud to hold this session at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, located at 285 King Street East, in historic downtown Kingston. Hotel rooms are available to participants at a special rate until one month prior to the program. Following your registration for the program, we will provide you with a unique link for hotel reservations. For more information on the hotel visit http://www.fourpointskingston.com/.

Apr 8-13, 2018 - Kingston

Queen's University IRC is proud to hold this session at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, located at 285 King Street East, in historic downtown Kingston. Hotel rooms are available to participants at a special rate until one month prior to the program. Following your registration for the program, we will provide you with a unique link for hotel reservations. For more information on the hotel visit http://www.fourpointskingston.com/.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for a program?

You can register online, call us toll-free at 1-888-858-7838, or email us at irc@queensu.ca. Once you register, we will send you a confirmation by email. Information about the program location, check-in time, and the agenda will follow.

How do I pay for the program?

If you are registering online, you may pay by Visa or MasterCard.  You may also choose to be invoiced first, and pay by cheque (payable to Queen's IRC) or credit card. You may also wish to call us with your credit card number to make the payment.

If your organization is tax exempt, we will require a copy of your tax exemption certificate.

Do you offer discounts?

Yes. We offer an Early-Bird discount.  If you register 60 days before the start of a program, you will save $300 on the tuition of four- and five-day programs, and $150 on two- and three-day programs.

If you register three people from the same organization in the same program at the same time, you will receive a 10% discount on program fees. If you register five or more people in the same program at the same time, you will receive a 20% discount.

If you know you will be pursuing a Queen's Certificate and would like to remit tuition in one payment before your first program, we offer a special fee with a considerable saving. Contact us at irc@queensu.ca for more information.

Please note that only one discount may be applied.

What is included in the registration fee?

Program fees include tuition, workbook materials, lunches, and some dinners. You are responsible for transportation, accommodation, and some meals.

Once I enroll in a program, may I cancel without penalty?

Substitutions are permitted with no penalty 8 days or more from the program start date.
Substitutions 7 days or less before the program start date will be subject to a $500 charge.
Transfers and cancellations are permitted with no penalty up to 15 days prior to the program start date.
Transfers and cancellations 14 days or less from the program start date will be subject to a 100% charge of the program fee.

Where does the program take place?

Our programs typically take place at a hotel. This information can be found in the tab above, called Venue and Accommodations.

I would like to make my travel plans. What are the start and end times for the program?

Programs in Kingston - Registration and reception begins at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. The in-class program starts 5:00 p.m. The program finishes at noon on Friday.

Programs outside Kingston - Registration for these programs runs from 8:00 AM - 8:30 a.m. on the first day. The program starts at 8:30 a.m. and finishes at noon on the last day.

If I am working towards a Queen's IRC Certificate, which course should I take first?

You may take the programs in any order that reflects your learning needs at the time. Our certificates feature a core program or programs that introduce you to what we consider the core competencies of the field. The remaining programs offer a deeper exploration of each area. For this reason, we find that participants in the certificate stream benefit most by taking the foundational program first.

My level of expertise is above the foundational program for the certificate I am working on. Do I still need to take that program to earn a certificate?

Queen's IRC offers participants maximum flexibility to customize their individual training needs. Upon request, participants with advanced expertise may skip the foundational program, and choose another program from our entire program lineup, for credit towards a certificate. Participants must earn 12 credits to earn a certificate.

How long do I have to complete a certificate?

We attach no timeline for achieving your certificate. Once you have earned a credit, you have earned the credit. We do recommend, however, that participants complete their certificate within one to six years. Most people earn their certificates within three years.

What if I want to take one of your programs but do not want to pursue a certificate?

That's fine. All of our programs may be taken individually, and you can mix and match the courses in labour relations, human resources and organization development, depending on your learning needs. At the conclusion of each program, you are given a certificate of completion.

I have taken a custom program with the IRC.  Will this count towards a certificate?

Yes. Participants who take an IRC custom program may also use their training days as credits towards a certificate.

If I have other questions, who may I speak with personally?

For a program registration query, please feel free to call us at 1-888-858-7838 or 613-533-6628. To reach the Director and staff members, consult our online directory. To reach one of our facilitators, please contact Stephanie Noel at 613-533-6000 ext. 77088 or stephanie.noel@queensu.ca.

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