Canadian Professional
Management Services

Winning Labour Relations
Winning Labour Relations

More so than ever, Unions and Employers must apply strategy to their labour relations. Labour relations is the prime driver of organizational culture that feeds either the Union’s and Employer’s success or failure. Both organizations must find ways to reinvent themselves to adapt rapidly to changing conditions that threaten their continued survival.

In labour relations, the pretenders are many! Many of the so-called human resource practitioners, bargaining agents or shop stewards can't tell you the difference between technical and tactical skills required to deliver on their promises. Most are not trained or educated on even the most basic rules or concepts of labour relations. Most don’t even know the difference between the Employment Standards legislation and the Labour Code. Imagine turning loose those that don't know to give advice to those that are unsuspecting... or even worse having those that don't know negotiate your Collective Agreement. Imagine the legacy that they will leave! Some of you have inherited the legacy of those who have negotiated before you... the results are obvious!

Ask those that are supposed to know these few questions...

  1. What is the difference between a Letter/Memorandum of Understanding and a Letter/Memorandum of Agreement?
  2. What are the rules of construction for collective agreement language?
  3. When should you use a final offer vote?
  4. What are the mandatory clauses?
  5. What are the differences between residual rights and bargained rights?
  6. How do you devise a labour strategy?

Both parties to a Collective Agreement must develop a level of cooperation for mutual gain. But, if cooperation is not on the table, both sides must then resort to their rights, or risk eroding the respect needed from the other side. This program is a must for every Employer and Union. Positive labour relations must be based on balance, knowledge and sound judgement. This investment is critical to your organization's success. Can you afford not to attend?

Three Day Program Content

Understanding the law – The rules of the game
  • What are the roles and rights of the parties?
  • Understanding the responsibilities by law
  • Duty of fair representation – The Union’s achilles heel
  • Using the legislation as both a sword and a shield
  • Realizing the importance of labour terms and definitions
  • Relying on the powers of the Labour Relations Board
  • Unfair labour practice applications
Union certification – The beginning
  • Why do employees want to certify?
  • Developing the Union’s certification strategy
  • Defining the bargaining unit – Is bigger better?
  • Planning the Employer’s defence strategy
  • How to develop the Employer’s conditioning strategy
  • How to develop the Union’s conditioning strategy
  • Unfair labour practices – What are they?
  • Certification vote – The end game
  • Objecting to a voters' list
  • Presenting at labour board hearings
Collective bargaining – The contract
  • What are the mandatory clauses?
  • Rules of construction of collective agreement language
  • Understanding positioning strategy – Your road map
  • The do's and don'ts of collective bargaining
  • Developing your bargaining strategy
  • Economic welfare vs. affordability – The push and pull of the collective agreement
  • Developing your proposals
  • Pattern bargaining – What it is and how to use it
  • Settlement point – The balance point between the positions of both sides
  • Final offer votes – The silver bullet
Dispute resolution – Resolving the problem
  • Grievances and complaints – Getting the most out of them
  • Mediation – Why and when
  • Binding mediation – The wave of the future
  • Troubleshooters – The happy medium
  • Interest arbitration – Settling your contract by arbitration
  • Rights arbitration – The how-to's
  • The politics of dispute resolution
  • Dealing with the relationship fallout
  • Rebuilding trust
The tools of the trade – Picketing
  • Picketing – Why and when
  • Conditioning the membership
  • Developing your information package
  • Application of pressure – Your weak point
  • Discussions with employers – Talking business
  • Setting your expectations
  • Using the Union’s leverage
  • Using the Employer’s leverage
  • Preparing for discussions during the dispute
  • Utilizing the Labour Code
  • Building your team
The tools of the trade – Strike
  • Strikes – Why and when
  • Getting the strike mandate
  • Preparing your membership
  • Conditioning the Employer
  • Communicating and applying pressure
  • Rotating strike – The ultimate weapon
  • Applying pressure at the right time
  • Exit strategy – Don't strike without one!
The tools of the trade – Lockout
  • Lockout – Why and when
  • Determining the impact
  • Developing your resource strategy
  • Making the political decision
  • Developing your communication strategy
  • Preparing for the application of pressure
  • Exit strategy – Don't lockout without one!
Case studies
  • Breach of trust
  • Poor performance
  • Poor attitude – Culpable and non-cupable
  • Attendance
  • Accommodation
  • Insubordination
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Safety issues
  • Theft
  • Insolent behaviour

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding labour strategy and learning how to effectively use it
  • How to use the Labour Code as both a sword and a shield
  • Understanding the importance and meaning of labour terminology
  • How to create a positive labour culture
  • The do’s and don’ts of collective bargaining
  • How to use the tools in the Labour Code to resolve disputes
  • How to apply gradual pressure on the other side to get them to agree
  • Setting and defending your position at the table
  • How to develop a labour strategy for your organization or bargaining unit
  • How to use the tools of the trade – Mediation, arbitration, strikes or lockouts

General Information

Why should you attend?
  • Learn how to do it right the first time
  • Negotiation mistakes are costly
  • Keep your organization viable
  • Ensure that you have the tools to succeed
Who Should Attend?
  • Negotiators – for management and unions
  • Negotiations team
  • Owner operators
  • Financial managers
  • Union Shop Stewards, Business Agents and Presidents
  • Board members
General Program Information
  • Lunch and light refreshments are included daily
  • Program materials will be provided
  • Please bring your laptops for the simulation
  • Certificates will be presented upon completion of the program
  • Program is in session from 9am to 4 pm
  • Teams may choose to continue preparing their case into the early evening of Day Two