Education & Training

Supervising Under a Collective Bargaining Agreement

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For more information about Supervising Under a Collective Bargaining Agreement contact IRI Consultants:
(313) 965-0350

Maintaining a clear focus on organizational performance is crucial for success. This is particularly true if a union represents your employees. Why? Because with a union comes collective bargaining, the threat of a strike, contract administration and the daily presence of union representatives. These are among just a few of the many challenges and distractions supervisors routinely face in a unionized work environment.

Today, unions routinely train stewards on their legal rights and how to effectively defend union members. If your supervisors aren’t properly prepared to manage with union oversight in place, are they prepared to maximize organizational performance, positive employee relationships, or management’s right to manage? For instance, can your supervisors correctly answer some very basic labor relation’s questions, like:

  • Do union stewards have a right to attend an employee meeting with a supervisor?
  • Does a “past practice” always create a precedence that the supervisor must follow?
  • Must an employee’s complaint always be heard in the grievance process?
  • When an employee believes work is not theirs, can he/she refuse to perform it?

Supervisors and managers who understand their rights and responsibilities under a contract are the most effective and efficient in directing the work force. Unions respect them and employees listen to them.

Maintaining Positive Relations

Normally, labor agreements should not normally prevent a supervisor from maintaining positive relationships with employees or getting the job done. While both management and the union must respect the contract, a supervisor usually has wide latitude assigning work, providing employees feedback, and creating a positive work setting.

This customized course provides a comprehensive framework within which a supervisor can learn to operate more effectively. Supervisors examine the four key parts of a labor agreement and then apply their learning to their own situation. They explore real life opportunities to manage more effectively and how they can make this a reality.

Around this approach, supervisors also learn their legal rights, the legal rights of the union, and how to practice effective contract administration.

This program can be delivered in either a four hour, or eight hour module, with particular emphasis on the interchange of ideas and experiences between participants. The seminar leader will direct the program in an informal manner with questions to be answered throughout.

The Program Results

Successful completion of this program will equip a supervisor or manager to:

  • Understand and effectively operate within the framework of a labor agreement
  • Communicate more effectively with employees and the union’s representative
  • Maintain and safeguard management’s right to operate the organization
  • Understand and enforce their rights as a supervisor
  • Recognize and manage the rights of the union’s steward
  • Manage the concept of “past practice”
  • Avoid unfair labor practice charges
  • Determine if an employee’s complaint is a contract issue

Overall, this program will reinforce the value of building strong employee relationships to achieve improved organizational performance.

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