Labor Relations 101(AKA: Employee Relations) Presented by: Joe Morales, SPHR Director, Human Resources (Retired)
Employee Relations 101What is Employee Relations? • An ongoing relationship-building process • Employee and supervisor relations. • Ingredients involved in Employee Relations Communications Feelings Trust Beliefs Ethics Expectorations Morals Conflict Resolution Fairness Career Counseling Career Development Leadership
Employee Relations 101Employee Advocate • Employees believe that they do not have an advocate in management, thus Management vs. Employees • What is expected of an Advocate? • Someone who is interested in and works for fair treatment of employee • Someone who is interested in employee problems and attempts to resolve them • Someone who is interested in employee morale and tries to improve it • Someone who believes that employees should be treated with respect and dignity and works towards that end
Employee Relations 101Results of Poor or No Employee Relations • Unionization • Poor Performance • Employee Absenteeism • Employee Turnover • Litigation
Employee Relations 101 • Labor Relations • The goal of labor laws according to the • Cornell Legal Information Institute is to equalize the bargaining power between employers and employees. • Labor laws primarily deal with the relationship between • employers and unions. • Labor laws grant employees the right to unionize. • Depending on the circumstances, labor laws prohibit or allow employers and employees to engage in activities such as strikes, picketing, seeking injunctions, and lockouts in regards to having their demands met. • Labor laws are governed by both federal and state statutes, laws, and judicial decisions.
Employee Relations 101 • The National Labor Relations Act of the Wagner Act of 1935 • Created by Congress to protect workers' right to unionization • The National Labor Relations Board is an independent agency created by the Wagner Act of 1935 to oversee the laws, investigate and hold hearings on unfair labor practice complaints, take action against employers found guilty of unfair labor practices, and to determine the make-up of individual employee bargaining units, as well as to oversee union certifications • Both federal and state statutes, as well as law and judicial decisions govern labor law. Also regulations and decisions of administrative agencies • The Wagner Act marked the beginning of affirmative support for unionization and collective bargaining by the federal government
Employee Relations 101In a Union Environment • Minimal to No Change • The Union Members are first and foremost company employees • Continue to Treat employees as people rather than a resource • Respect and Treat Union Representatives as an official of the Union, not as your subordinate employee
Employee Relations 101In a Union Environment • Management Rights • The Employer shall retain all rights, powers, and authority it had prior to entering into this Agreement, including, but not limited to, the unrestricted right: to manage its operations and to direct and assign the work force; to determine and change the methods and manner in which services are provided; to introduce new methods or improved methods of operation; to determine the extent to which and the manner and means its business will be operated or shut down in whole or in part; to determine whether and to what extent any work shall be performed by employees and how it shall be performed; to select, hire, promote, permanently or temporarily transfer regardless of the location, demote, lay off, assign, train, suspend, terminate and discipline employees; to select and determine supervisory employees; to bid or not bid, or to rebid or to not rebid, the Contract with the Government; to determine starting times, quitting times, schedules and shifts; to reasonably determine and change methods and means by which operations are to be carried on; to establish, change and abolish its policies, work rules, regulations, practices and standards/codes of conduct, and to adopt new policies, work rules, regulations, practices and standards/codes of conduct; and to assign duties to employees in accordance with the needs or requirements of the Government and the Employer, as determined by the Employer or the Government, and any other rights not specifically restricted by this Agreement. The exercise of the foregoing powers and rights, together with the adoption of policies, rules and regulations in furtherance thereof, and the use of judgment and discretion in connection therewith, shall be limited only by the express and specific terms and conditions of this Agreement and the dictates of the Government. Moreover, the Employer expressly reserves the right to set all policies not otherwise set forth in this Agreement, and all prior practices between any of the employees and any other Employer are of no force and effect regarding, and are not binding upon, the Employer.
Employee Relations 101In a Union Environment • Employee Problems • Listen to employee concerns and make a sincere effort to resolve their problems • Always refer to the Corporate Policy Manual, Standards of Conduct and Post Orders as a guideline • Seek assistance from your Operations Chain of Command or Human Resources • There is no need for an employee problem to become a grievance
Employee Relations 101In a Union Environment • Grievances • Treat the grievance as an employee problem not a union complaint • Answer the grievance violation with a brief response • Always make reference to the Article and Section which the union claims that we have violated • If the grievance does not have an Article that was violated - ask the Union for clarification
Employee Relations 101In a Union Environment • Grievance – Example • Grievance: I was not asked if I could work 1st Relief and I was changed from 3rd to 1st Relief. • Response: • Subject: Step 1 Response Grievance -Violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article ????, Section XX • There is no violation to CBA Article ????, Section XX because you were never assigned nor did you work the 1st relief. The schedule was published in error and corrected immediately prior to the action date.
Employee Relations 101 • Follow established Company Values and Principals • Always maintain the corporate values and philosophy for treating employees • Read and study the CBA until you know and understand it fully • Don’t fear the CBA • Be fair and consistent
Employee Relations 101 • Mutual Respect • The principle of mutual respect is constructed on the fundamental premise that every individual is endowed with dignity and worthiness and will be treated accordingly REGARDLESS OF THE POSITION THEY HOLD WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION. Moreover, management should ensure that all actions taken by the corporation are always in alignment with the corporate values. • Respect is mutual because, while the company has an obligation to all is employees, the employees must in turn respect the corporation as an institution to which they are committed and loyal. • Finally, the pillar upon which the concept of mutual respect is founded is INTEGRITY – total adherence to the premise that we will treat each other with honesty and candor. • Note: Mutual Respect and Mutual Support are currently the Core Values of MVM, Inc.
Employee Relations 101 • Mutual Support • The second premise, mutual support, builds upon the foundation of mutual respect, and extends beyond the passive world of trust, integrity and reverence into the realm of championing the people and work around us. This concept requires that we come together WILLINGLY AND OF OUR OWN CHOOSING in support of: • the clients • All employees and • each other • The principle of mutual support rests on the premise that we are employed to work as a team. Our mission is to strengthen the corporation which in turn will enrich us all. • We do not have to work together, we choose to and we can also choose not to.
Employee Relations 101In a Union Environment If you consider employees as a “Resource” necessary to accomplish our operational and financial goals you will likely be desensitized to their feelings as a human being. Credits: By Charles Gibson, PHR May 1999
Employee Relations 101 Thank you!