Managing Unionized Environments
Living the Collective Agreement
This is a 100 series program in the Labour Relations stream, worth 3 credits.
Collective bargaining may get all the attention of the outside world but smart, day-to-day relationship management determines the effectiveness of managers and unionized workers. It is the ongoing resolution of issues and problems that arise daily that will either create a culture of success or one of resistance and fear. In this skills-building program designed for both supervisors and union representatives, the use and application of the collective agreement is placed into an intensely practical context.
Learn both management and union best practices on challenging issues such as discipline, performance management, and job competition. Develop interest-based skills to help eliminate positional behaviour and engage difficult people, be they managers or workers. Reduce friction arising from the daily interpretation of the collective labour agreement. Start using the collective agreement as a platform for productivity and achievement.
By the end of the week, you will be better positioned to:
a) Interests, Rights, and Power
We first distinguish three related yet distinct concepts in how all of us approach problem solving:
Understanding the distinctions, and knowing when and how to pull on each of these levers, is a crucial initial learning. How can managers and union representatives effectively use these processes? How can you get management's attention on important issues?
We then do a deep dive into interests, using the Triangle of Satisfaction as a means to understand three types of interests. This will help you to better diagnose people's behaviour in the workplace and resolve workplace issues. In many cases, union representatives are focused on one set of these interests, while managers are focused on a completely different area, often leading to frustration. Managers and union reps will learn how to engage on the full range of key interests.
b) Understanding Human Rights in the Workplace
With the help of a case study, we tease apart the law, rights, and obligations governing the workplace, with a focus on both human rights legislation as well as recent developments, such as Ontario's Bill 168. We work through the following themes:
c) Dissecting the Collective Agreement
You'll learn all about the laws, rights, and obligations embedded in collective agreements that touch all parties. What are the key provisions and hot spots in the collective labour agreement that front-line managers need to know?
You'll also be briefed on the grievance process. What is the front-line's role in this process? What is the anatomy of a grievance? What are the best interventions from both management and a union perspectives?
You'll have an opportunity to identify the key areas for your own collective agreement, and develop strategies for starting to address those issues.
d) Managing Relations in the Unionized Environment
In this module, learn how to work effectively to build trust in the unionized environment, and how to apply power without causing long-term problems. Participate in a spirited discussion of the union's role in building and maintaining a productive work environment.
e) Applying Key Interest-Based Skills – The Dynamics of Trust
Even when working with "rights" and "power", you still need to engage people and build productive and sustainable workplace relationships. Trust is a key component of every relationship, workplaces included. What creates and builds trust, both on a personal and impersonal level? When trust is low or broken, what can help repair and rebuild it? How do we weave trust into everything we do, even when not everyone is getting what they want?
You'll be given a clear and easy-to-implement template for building and managing trust in the workplace.
Build your skills in:
f) Managing and Applying Discipline
When done properly, what does progressive discipline look like? How do you set boundaries that are respected? If you're a front-line manager, how do you gather the facts and conduct a disciplinary meeting? When does the Human Resources department need to be brought in?
In addition, you'll learn the best way to represent a member in the discipline process. What is best for the member, and the membership? How do you sell a result to the member that he or she may not like?
g) Performance Management that Works
Improving the performance of workers involves insight and a number of skills. Motivations need to be understood. Expectations need to be set collaboratively. In this module, learn how to:
You will participate in case study simulations that will offer hands-on experience navigating tricky discipline and performance management episodes, all in a safe learning environment. Best of all, receive on-the-spot coaching to improve your tactics.
You will receive practical conflict management tools such as the Dynamics of Building Trust and the Triangle of Satisfaction. These tools and approaches are easy to take back to the workplace and implement at both the team and organizational levels.
Organizational and Union Benefits
Supervisors and managers who oversee unionized staff as well as union officials, shop stewards, and others who represent workers.
Gary Furlong has extensive experience in mediation, mediation training, alternative dispute resolution, organizational facilitation, negotiation, and conflict resolution. Gary is past president of the ADR Institute of Ontario, is a Chartered Mediator (C. Med.) and holds his Master of Laws (ADR) from Osgoode Hall Law School. Gary is the author of The Conflict Resolution Toolbox, (John Wiley and Sons, 2005), and the co-author of The Construction Dispute Resolution Handbook, (Butterworths, 2004). Gary was awarded the McGowan Award of Excellence in ADR in 2005.
As a mediator, Gary has worked in the areas of commercial, personal injury, estates, construction, shareholder, insurance, wrongful dismissal, real estate, and workplace conflicts, and specializes in intervening in difficult organizational and workplace disputes. Gary was regularly called in to the court-annexed ADR Centre in Toronto for the first three years, and is now appointed a roster mediator, Ontario Mandatory Mediation Program, Toronto. Gary has mediated personal injury, insurance and long-term disability claims ranging from $30,000 to over $1 million dollars. Estates files include multi-party claims ranging in size from $200,000 to well over a million dollars. Contract and tort claim files have ranged from $10,000 to $2 million dollars. Gary was a regular mediator and fact-finder with the Education Relations Commission, and was also appointed a provincial facilitator and mediator with the Education Improvement Commission, assisting with the financial reorganization and amalgamation of school boards in Ontario. Gary has also been on the Law Society of Upper Canada's complaint mediation panel, and the Teachers College of Ontario mediation panel. Gary has conducted fact-finding and investigations for the past 6 years. more...
Allen Loyst has been a member of the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) for 40 years. During this time, he has had many opportunities to develop skills needed to assist the membership in obtaining good contracts and fair employment. He began his career with General Motors Canada in 1972 in the truck plant as a line worker. Since that time, he has held numerous positions in the CAW. In 1989, as "wellness co-ordinator" with the transition of the truck plant, he was instrumental in bargaining for a fitness centre. Eventually the truck plant was rebuilt to house not only state-of-the-art automated guided vehicles (AGVs) but also a fitness centre. He later became human-rights investigator and human-rights facilitator.
In the 1990s, Allen held an elected position and worked at the CAW hall as a service representative for the membership. While in this position, he dealt with employee benefits, sick and accident E.I. compensation and pensions. In 1992, he went to the north plant of GM. As strike coordinator in 1997, he was instrumental in organizing a plant occupation, which led to a settlement and the sale of the plant to Peregrine Inc. As a member of the bargaining committee, a transition agreement was negotiated with GM and Peregrine. In 1998, he was elected district committee person. He was part of the negotiating committee and the transition work group that negotiated the first collective agreement in 2000. more...
Mercedes Watson is a founder and senior partner with the Thought Department Inc., a boutique-consulting firm that specializes in creating systems for sustainable innovation for a broad range of industries and clients. Before her work with the Thought Dept., Mercedes was the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Negotiator for the Union of B.C. Performers/ACTRA, during which time she successfully negotiated a number of international collective agreements and contracts for the film and television industry with the American Studios, as well as unionized staff collective agreements with the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW).
Prior to her work with the UBCP/ACTRA, Mercedes' efforts focused on the development of ACTRA Performers' Rights Society where as the director, she substantially grew operations and was responsible for enforcing and administering the Use Fee, royalties and residual payment rights enshrined in more than thirty-five collective agreements. As director, Mercedes negotiated numerous national and international agreements with collecting societies to enforce performers' neighbouring rights in sound recordings around the world. She was part of the team that established the first trust in Canada for child performers. more...
Leanne Parsons graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto specializing in Psychology and Human Behaviour. She later pursued a post-graduate certificate in Human Resources and received her Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation in 2002. Leanne has been trained and certified in Advanced Dispute Resolution and is a qualified mediator.
Leanne is the Senior Manager of Human Resources (HR) for the Town of Milton. Prior to that, Leanne was employed with the Region of Peel (public sector municipal government of approximately 5000 employees) for over 9 years in the specialty of labour relations and as a supervisor in HR. Prior to joining the Region, Leanne's experience in HR specialized in unionized environments, primarily in the private sector in manufacturing and health care environments. more...
Fort McMurray: Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre (Oct 28-30, 2013)
Queen’s University IRC is pleased to present this program at the Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre, located at 530 MacKenzie Boulevard. The Inn is conveniently located in the heart of the world’s largest oil sands development, and close to Fort McMurray’s regional airport. Onsite facilities include indoor pool and Jacuzzi, fitness centre, business centre and an open concept lounge offering an array of Canadian specialities. http://sawridgefortmcmurray.com/