Relationship Management in a Union Environment How OSSTF Used Custom Training to Improve their Workplace Relationships Cathy Sheldrick, Queen’s IRC Sales and Marketing Coordinator, 2019
Building relationships in the workplace is hard – and it takes work. It’s even more difficult when you work in a unionized organization which has traditionally adversarial relationships. But these days, organizations like the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) are stepping away from the attitude that, as a union, you have to be in ‘fight mode’ all the time. They are working towards accomplishing more for their members by trying to have better relationships with management.
This is where the Queen’s IRC Relationship Management in a Union Environment program comes in. In January 2019, OSSTF asked Queen’s IRC Director, Stephanie Noel, to run a one-day custom training program for its new Protective Services Committee (PSC). The training focused on working towards common interests, better communication, and handling conflict in workplace relationships.
Bob Fisher, OSSTF Director of Member Protection, says that the vision for the new Protective Services Committee is that it's a committee of experts. Committee members will give advice for central negotiating issues, but also be a resource to Local bargaining units in their day-to-day labour relations issues. The 34-member committee is made up of Local union leaders from across the province, assisted by 8 staff members.
“We used to have a provincial collective bargaining committee that just wasn't meeting the needs of the organization,” said Kerri Ferguson, OSSTF Director of Negotiations Contract Maintenance. “It tended to be populated with grassroots members who didn't necessarily have all of the skills and experience.”
The Rising Importance of a National Brand for Organizations Part 2: Brand Canada Françoise Morissette, Queen’s IRC Facilitator, 2018
In 2004, my colleague Amal Henein and I, undertook a pan-Canadian research project seeking answers to the following questions:
How is Canadian Leadership different from that of other countries?
How effective is the Canadian Leadership brand and how can we expand our capacity to lead?
How can we ensure Canada has an abundant supply of capable leaders?
How can we strengthen our leadership presence and impact, particularly in the international arena?
To discover a wide variety of perspectives and paint a complete picture, we set out to interview two key groups likely to have expertise on these topics:
Successful leaders in all sectors of the economy and regions of the country (295 interviewees)
Leadership development professionals in variety of settings and sectors (66 interviewees)
Throughout the research, we ensured regional, linguistic and diverse representation: gender, age, ethnic background, people with disabilities etc. The research resulted in Made in Canada Leadership, published in 2007 in both official languages.
Here’s a few images that we shared online from our programs in the past month.
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Spotlight: Change Management Program
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