Dealing with the Union – with Confidence!

Focus on the most essential issues and practices facing professionals who work directly with unions and union contracts. Arm yourself with easy-to-apply tools for confidently handling unions at the bargaining table, in grievance meetings and in arbitration. Never again be at a disadvantage.

This class has been approved for 23.75 general credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification.

This class has been pre-approved by the Society for Human Resource Management for 28 Professional Development Credits (PDCs) towards the SHRM-SCP or SHRM-CP.

This course can be applied to the Labor Relations Certificate.

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the legal, tactical and strategic elements of the collective bargaining process
  • Examine successful techniques for dealing with union situations
  • Analyze important contract clauses

Course Outline/Topics

Program Agenda

Day One: 8:30am-12pm
Collective Bargaining: What You Need to Know About the Law

  • An introduction to the statutory duty to bargain
  • Mandatory, permissive and illegal subjects of bargaining
  • Elements of good or bad faith
  • Impasse and why it is important
  • The duty to furnish information
  • Strikes and lockouts
    – Illegal strikes
    – Replacement workers
    – Violence
  • Enforcement of contracts

Day One: 12:30-4pm
Collective Bargaining: How Do You Begin?

  • Selecting the bargaining team and defining the roles to be performed
  • Assessing the union’s team
  • Developing language proposals
    – Identifying the real problem
    – How to convert a manager’s need into a contract demand
  • Developing an economic negotiating position
    – Costing a contract
    – Market, industry and community considerations
  • How to structure the initial proposal
    – The use of straw men
  • Employee communications

Day Two: 8:30am-12pm
Collective Bargaining: The Content of a Contract

  • Important contract clauses – Management rights
    – Union security
    – No strike clause
    – Seniority provisions
    – Grievance/arbitration
  • Dissecting contractual language
    – Terms of art in contracts
    – Pro-company vs. pro-union language
    – How arbitrators find intent

Day Two: 12:30-4pm

  • The first meeting goals and objectives
  • How to say no
  • Value of caucuses
  • The art of signaling
  • When and how to show movement
  • Keeping your powder dry
  • Understanding timing
  • The psychology of bargaining
    – The importance of process
    – The importance of risk evaluation
    – The importance of need identification
    – The importance of crisis
    – The importance of resolution
  • Summary and mock negotiation exercise

Day Three: 8:30-11:30am
Contract Administration

  • Post-negotiation matters – Drafting the new agreement
    – Preserving your bargaining history
    – Communicating the new agreement to employees
    – Assessing how well the organization accomplished its goals
    – Supervisory training on the new agreement
    – Preventing supervisors from giving back what you fought to obtain
    – Monitoring new or changed provisions
    – Record keeping – the first step toward preparing for the next negotiations
  • The union steward
    – The proper role
    – Controlling the runaway steward
    – Weingarten Rights – What they are and what they are not

Day Three: 12-4pm
Effective Contract Administration and Enforcement

  • The anatomy of a collective bargaining agreement – What is it and how does it work?
  • Practical suggestions for getting the most out of the agreement
  • Designing an employer friendly grievance procedure
  • Keeping employee complaints from becoming grievances

Day Four: 8:30-11:30am
Contract Administration

  • Contract interpretation grievances – How your contract can and should be applied.
  • Discipline and discharge grievances
    – Due process, progressive discipline, to settle, to fight, to win
  • Breaches of the no strike clause
  • The duty of fair representation-Its impact on employer grievance resolution

Day Four: 12-4pm

  • The legal setting – Can the dispute be arbitrated? Is the decision really final and binding?
  • Arbitration strategy and tactics
  • Pre-hearing preparation – Winning your case before the hearing starts
  • The arbitration hearing – Witness presentation, burdens of proof, rules of evidence
  • Post-hearing persuasion, the closing argument, post-hearing briefs
  • How arbitrators really decide who wins

Mon.-Thu., Mar. 14-17, 2016


Location: UWM School of Continuing Education

Jason Kim
Gary Marsack


$1,545 if you register by Mon., Feb. 29, 2016.
$1,595 if you register after Mon., Feb. 29, 2016.

CEUs: 2.5

Enrollment Limit: 30

Program Number: 5045-8727

Registration Deadline: Mon., Mar. 14, 2016

Register Now