Managing People and Labour Relations in Municipal Government

Although there has been a lot of research on the links between human resource management and workplace performance, much of the work is focused on the private sector. Moreover, there is less research addressing labour relations practices in municipal government. In discussions with government officials and in presentations to individuals employed in government there has been a particularly strong interest in the management of human resources and labour relations. Among the questions that frequently arise are: (1) what are other municipal government workplaces doing to manage human resources? and (2) what is happening in terms of labour relations in local government workplaces? The current article is aimed at addressing these questions from a practitioner perspective.

The results of this study are based on questionnaire responses from more than 250 municipal government workplaces across Canada. The survey was conducted in 2009. Respondents varied somewhat in size; 45% of the workplaces had 25 or fewer employees, 33% had 26 to 100 employees, and 22% had more than 100 employees. About 57% of the workplaces were unionized and 58% reported that their overhead costs were lower when compared to similar municipalities.

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Labour Management Relations in Canada: A Survey of Union Officials

Although several recent articles have underscored the importance of human resource management (HRM), employee involvement (EI), and labour-management cooperation (LMC), there has been very little research addressing these topics from the perspective of organized labour. In my meetings with union officials and employees, questions that frequently arise include: What are other unions doing? To what extent are other unions adopting LMC? Can unions cooperate with employers yet still meet employee and union goals? What are the risks/rewards of moving toward greater cooperation with management?

The present study is aimed at providing some practical information about labour-management relations across the country.

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Employee Involvement, Strategic Management & Human Resources: Exploring the Linkages

Although a number of recent articles have underscored the importance of human resource management (HRM) and employee involvement (EI), there has been very little research addressing the relationship between human resource practices and organizational strategy and culture. Among the questions that frequently arise are: what practices have other organizations implemented?, what HRM practices and organizational strategies distinguish successful and unsuccessful organizations?, and what is the impact of strategy and culture on the success of HRM practices and organizational behaviour? The present study is aimed at addressing these questions.

In fall 1993 and winter 1994, major Canadian organizations were surveyed with respect to employee involvement practice and corporate strategy and culture, and human resource management. This report is designed to provide a summary of the research findings of the study. The results contained in this report represent initial findings from more than 1,465 organizations. Although the author is using multivariate statistics in examining the data, he has avoided using statistical jargon and procedures in this report. Rather, his focus is on presenting the major conclusions of the research.

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