Queen's University IRC

Queen's University

Elaine Newman, BA, LL.B., LL.M., was called to the bar in Ontario in 1979.

Elaine is a very experienced full-time arbitrator and mediator, specializing in labour relations, employment, and human rights matters. She is a teacher, an author, and frequent speaker on labour, employment and human rights issues.

Elaine served as Associate Director of the LL.M. program in Labour Relations and Employment Law at Osgoode Hall Law School 2002 to 2008.

She was lead instructor for the Advanced Dispute Resolution Course at Atkinson Faculty, York University for ten years, where she taught the Ethics of Mediation course, and the Advanced Practicum course. She is a frequent guest speaker at Queen’s University Industrial Relations Centre (IRC), and is lead instructor of the Queen’s IRC’s Strategic Grievance Handling program.

Elaine is the author of the online course, “Practical Ethics for Working Mediators”, offered by the ADR Institute of Ontario.  Her textbook, Preventing Violence in the Workplace, is published by Lancaster House, Toronto. 

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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

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.

Sep 23-28, 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.

Strategic Grievance Handling

ALR 401
4 Credits

Developing Techniques and Processes to Manage Grievances Efficiently

The number of outstanding grievances is one of the most telling indicators of the state of labour relations in a unionized environment. Considering legal costs and reduced productivity, it is also a very expensive indicator for both employers and unions. Like taxes, grievances are impossible to avoid. But strategic practitioners can reduce their frequency. There are measures you can take before grievances are launched. There are measures you can take during the grievance procedure, and during mediation and arbitration process to lessen the impact on employees, the union, and the organization. That’s where this program comes in.

Strategic grievance handling is a thoughtful approach to labour relations. It involves identifying workplace-wide issues and problems, then analyzing the way in which individual grievance management can address those issues. A long-term goal can then be developed for solving the systemic issues. You will come away from this program with the big-picture perspective, as well as the skills that you can use back at work to confidently handle all steps in the grievance process.

Tour of the Program

a) The Rules of the Road

Much of the grievance process is grounded in law, so that's where we start. In no time, you'll have an understanding of the basic legal foundation.

  • What is a grievance?
  • How is it linked to collective bargaining?
  • What are the typical boundaries and scope of a grievance?
  • Which sorts of outcomes are predictable?
  • When can a grievance be reviewed?

b) Conflict Escalation and Containment

There's both art and science to recognizing, assessing, and preventing conflict from escalating into a formal grievance. Learn to identify the stages in conflict escalation and acquire the techniques for controlling conflict. Come away with a practical five-stage conflict escalation model with immediate practical benefit for reducing workplace "temperature." Best of all, test your understanding of this tool in a scripted scenario and, in a safe workshop setting, discuss methods of intervention. And working in a small group, compare your judgment in real-life cases against actual decisions made by arbitrators.

c) Case Studies: Learning From Disasters

From a Safe Workplace Advocate at a hospital, hear the story about how an "ordinary" grievance process contributed to a workplace tragedy. From a Union Counsel, learn how the merger of two Canadian airlines generated hundreds of grievances relating to seniority, layoffs, pensions, and benefits.

  • What creative solutions were developed to work through these situations?
  • What was learned?
  • How can each of us translate these lessons into practical applications in our own workplaces?

d) How to be a Strong Advocate

The basis of effective grievance handling are thorough preparation and solid advocacy, communication, and negotiating skills. In this session, you learn:

  • How to conduct a preliminary complaint investigation
  • How to prepare for grievance meetings
  • How to apply strategic analysis of grievances for early resolution
  • How to negotiate at grievance meetings

Join the session leader in a discussion on key issues and questions that inevitably arise.

  • What information should or should not be revealed at early stages?
  • What should the grieving party or supervisor say and do in grievance meetings?
  • Which types of negotiating strategies can be employed during grievance meetings?
  • What is the best way to communicate for maximum impact?

e) Following the Mediation and Arbitration Routes

Grievance mediation and arbitration each demand a specific skill-set and understanding. Learn — and practice — the difference between the two in role plays. You are asked to take on a role and, guided by confidential information, play out a scenario that will be resolved through the mediation process. Then, the exact same scenario is played out through an arbitration process. Get on-the-spot coaching along the way.

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of grievance mediation and arbitration?
  • When would you choose either process?
  • When would you make a process shift, and move from one process to the other?
  • How should you make that shift?

f) Feeding the Collective Agreement

Strategic grievance handling inevitably translates into strategic labour relations. In this closing session, we make the connection to the allimportant bargaining relationship and review the processes that nurture that relationship.

  • What are the best practices in tracking grievances, planning the negotiating agenda, and achieving consensus in your grievance and bargaining committees?
  • Which processes work best in the private and public sectors?
  • What are the economic realities of grievance mediation or arbitration?

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this four-day program, you will be better positioned to:

  • Diagnose when and how conflict escalates
  • Understand the context and purpose of a grievance
  • Consider your options when a grievance is filed
  • Prepare for and take control of the grievance meeting
  • Deploy your skills most effectively during the grievance process
  • Strategically choose mediation or arbitration as an option for resolution
  • Conduct a grievance analysis before a round of collective bargaining

Benefits

Organizational and Union Benefits

  • Enhanced in-house capacity to handle grievances
  • Reduced time and legal costs spent on arbitration
  • Poised and well-grounded responses to changing labour laws and legal issues
  • Well-grounded positions going into collective bargaining

Takeaway Tools

  • Five-Stage Conflict Escalation Model
  • Grievance Preparation Checklist

Who Should Attend

Supervisors and managers who oversee unionized staff as well as union officials, shop stewards, and others who represent workers.

Facilitators and Speakers

*The roster of speakers is subject to change.

Venues and Accommodations

Apr 17-20, 2018 - Toronto

Queen's University IRC is proud to present this program at The Old Mill Inn, located at 21 Old Mill Road, Toronto. Please contact the Inn directly for rate information and to book your accommodation. Phone 1-866-653-6455 or visit the Inn's web site at http://oldmilltoronto.com/index.php.

Jul 17-20, 2018 - 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.

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?

Strategic Grievance Handling starts at 8:30 a.m. on the first day. (Registration runs from 8:00 - 8:30 a.m.)

The program finishes at 3 p.m. 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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