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The Labour Union and the Supervisor

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1 The Labour Union and the Supervisor
Supervision: Concepts and Practices of Management, Second Canadian Edition Hilgert, Leonard, Shemko, and Docherty © 2005 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited

2 Learning Objectives Explain why and how labour unions continue to affect organizations and the supervisory position. Identify aspects of good management that are likely to deter a union organizer’s appeal. Outline procedures for supervisors to follow if confronted with a union-organizing effort.

3 Learning Objectives Discuss the importance of good union-management relationships and the supervisor’s key role in maintaining those relationships. Discuss the limited but important role of the supervisor in negotiating the labour agreement. Discuss the major role of the supervisor in the interpretation and application of the labour agreement at the departmental level.

4 Learning Objectives Describe the nature and importance of a good
relationship between a supervisor and the union shop steward.

5 Labour Unions Legally recognized organizations that exist for the purpose of representing a group or “bargaining unit” of employees and that negotiates and administers a labour agreement with an employer.

6 Labour Agreement The negotiated document between union and employer that covers terms and conditions of employment for represented employees.

7 The Canadian Labour Congress(CLC)
Is the dominant federation of unions federally and provincially Is an umbrella organization to which the majority of unions in Canada belong Plays a significant role in political, legislative, and other areas

8 Labour Unions “Labour unions don’t just happen; they’re caused. And it’s the management, not the unions, that cause them!”

9 Union Avoidance Good, comparable wages and benefits
Satisfactory personal facilities Stable employment pattern Good communication from supervisor Training and opportunities for advancement Participative approach to management Fair, formal complaint procedure

10 Why Unions? Higher wages Better benefits Security Control over job
Fairer settlement of disputes Sense of identity

11 Union Security Clause The part of the collective agreement that describes whether employees must belong to the union in order to maintain their employment

12 Union Shop A union shop provision in a labour agreement requires an employee to join the union as a condition of employment after a certain period, usually 30 days.

13 Closed Shop A labour agreement provision that specifies that only people who are already union members will be eligible for employment

14 Supervisory Responses to Union Organizing Efforts
Don’t question employees about union activities. Make no threats or promises. Respond neutrally when asked for an opinion. Don’t look at union-authorization cards. If organizing activities interfere with normal work, they may be prohibited in work areas during work hours.

15 The Supervisor’s Role Critical link between management and the union
Limited role in negotiating the labour agreement Major role in applying the terms of the agreement daily

16 Labour Agreement Negotiations
The process of discussion and compromise among representatives from labour and management leading to agreements governing wages, hours, and working conditions for union employees. Supervisors should be prepared to provide relevant input to negotiations.

17 Labour Agreements Wages Benefits Working conditions Hours of work
Overtime Holidays Vacations Leaves of absence Seniority Grievances

18 Complying with Labour Agreements
Know the provisions of the agreement. Follow the provisions of the agreement. Meet with higher-level managers or HR to review the contents of the agreement and ask questions. Perform managerial duties within the framework of the labour agreement.

19 Grievances Grievance—a complaint that has been formally presented by the union to management and alleges a violation of the labour agreement Arbitrator—person selected by the union and management to render a final and binding decision concerning a grievance

20 Grievances Arbitration board—three-piece board with a company nominee, a union nominee, and a mutually agreed-upon chairperson to render a final and binding decision concerning a grievance

21 Shop Steward Full-time employee who is elected or appointed to represent employees at the departmental level, particularly in processing grievances Supervisors will probably have most of their union contact with the union shop steward.

22 Shop Steward Remember the shop steward learns quickly what employees are thinking. Be ready to justify any actions or otherwise resolve grievances when decisions or actions are challenged. Develop a sound relationship. The shop steward can keep you alert and force you to be a better manager.

23 Union Business Representative
Paid official of the local or national union who may be involved in grievance processing

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