Queen's University IRC

Queen's University

Managing Unionized Environments

LR 100
3 Credits

Living the Collective Agreement

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.

Tour of the Program

a) Interests, Rights, and Power

We first distinguish three related yet distinct concepts in how all of us approach problem solving:

  • A focus on interests, which calls for engaging, motivating, and coaching
  • A focus on rights, which involves setting boundaries, rights, and obligations
  • A focus on power, which calls for discipline, accountability, and enforcement of boundaries

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 examine 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:

  • How to recognize harassment and discrimination
  • The DNA of a poisoned work environment
  • How to manage issues that arise related to harassment
  • How managing performance is related to human rights in the workplace
  • What obligations that management and unions have in relation to human rights issues

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 a management and union perspective?

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:

  • Eliminating positional behaviour
  • Effective listening in search of the "why"
  • Reality testing to engage difficult staff and effect change
  • Working effectively with difficult managers and members

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:

  • Set expectations
  • Give feedback that is heard
  • Execute on the maxim, "Gentle pressure, relentlessly applied"

h) The View from the Union Hall

Hear the union perspective on discipline, performance management, and seniority.

  • What does the union look for in "good" supervisors?
  • Union duty to represent – goals and limits

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Identify the hot spots of collective agreements and how to address them effectively
  • Employ the appropriate processes and approaches that will support the integrity of the collective labour agreement
  • Set expectations and give feedback that will build trust with management and motivate workers

Benefits

Organizational and Union Benefits

  • Stronger labour management relations to enhance competitive capabilities
  • Aligned labour relations systems that promote worker satisfaction and high performance
  • Poised and well-grounded responses to the changing face of labour law and legal issues
  • Reduced time and costs spent on grievance arbitration
  • Better understanding of how shop stewards and managers shape the union-management dynamic  

Takeaway Tools

  • Practical conflict management tools such as the Dynamics of Building Trust and the Triangle of Satisfaction

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

Lead Facilitator(s)

Gary Furlong

Gary Furlong has extensive experience in labour mediation, 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 a graduate of Stanford University in California, and 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.

Gary has worked with the School of Industrial Relations at Queen’s University conducting research...

Read the full bio for Gary Furlong

Guest Speaker(s)

Al Loyst

Al Loyst has been a member of the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) for over 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 coordinator” 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.

...

Read the full bio for Al Loyst

Leanne Gray

Leanne Gray 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...

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Mercedes Watson

Mercedes Watson is a co-founder and senior partner with a boutique-consulting firm that specializes in creating systems for sustainable innovation for a broad range of industries and clients.  Before her consulting company, 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...

Read the full bio for Mercedes Watson

*The roster of speakers is subject to change.

Venues and Accommodations

Feb 24-26, 2015 - 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.

May 12-14, 2015 - Fort McMurray

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/

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?

Managing Unionized Environments starts at 8:30 a.m. on the first day. (Registration runs from 8:00 - 8:30 a.m.)

The program finishes at 3:00 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.