Labor-Management Relations

Course Number: BUSADMIN 4330
Course Name: Labor-Management Relations (Online)
Course Description:    Gives an overview of the process of labor relations, in which management deals with employees who are represented by a union. The history of major labor unions and primary labor laws and court cases are covered, along with the general structure and operational aspects of todays labor organizations. Union certification, collective bargaining, and dispute resolution are discussed in detail. Students also participate in a mock labor contract negotiation project and analyze sample grievances.
Prerequisites:    BUSADMIN 3030 Human Resource Management
Level: Undergraduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Course Outcomes

The knowledge that you will acquire in this course may be applied to a wide variety of situations encountered in any organization that is experiencing a union-organizing campaign, has employees represented by a union, or is attempting to maintain a union-free status. On completion of the course, you should have the knowledge base necessary to function successfully in environments where the labor-management issues and conflicts presented in the course may arise.

Course Rationale

Business Administration 4330, Labor-Management Relations, is an upper-division course intended to provide you with an understanding of the employment relationship between management and labor--specifically, in a union setting. The course presents a comprehensive overview of the labor relations process. To fully understand this process, it is important for you to have an understanding of the participants, historical and legal foundations, and organizational issues involved. This information is presented in Unit 1.

In Unit 2, you will examine the procedures involved in negotiating and administering labor agreements. The unit presents the various types of issues that may be negotiated as part of the collective bargaining process. The material focuses on the importance of these issues to stakeholders in the process and presents strategic concerns for negotiation of the issues. Unit 3 presents information on contract administration, including grievance processing and employee discipline. Unit 4 presents the opportunity for you to apply the course material to private sector and international organizations.

Throughout the course, you will be asked to acquire and then demonstrate a knowledge base in the discussed areas of study. To be successful in the course, you must have a basic knowledge of human resource management topics and wish to study labor relations in greater detail. You must first acquire and then apply a knowledge base consisting of these four units:

Unit 1: Recognizing the Rights and Responsibilities of Unions and Management
Unit 2: The Negotiation Process
Unit 3: Resolving Impasses and Administering the Labor Agreement
Unit 4: Labor Relations in the Public Sector and in International Settings

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1
OverviewThe first phase of the labor-management relations process is the recognition of the legitimate rights and responsibilities of unions and of management.

The goals and objectives of unions in the United States are changing, but have been fairly consistent for the last several decades. Unions exist primarily to: organize workers, negotiate favorable terms and conditions of employment for those they represent, and protect the rights of workers in the day-to-day administration of the negotiated contract.

Management, on the other hand, focuses on profit maximization, although worker satisfaction is a priority for many companies. The ability to balance a positive work environment and profits has become a stretch for many organizations in today's volatile economic and legislative environment.

Unit 1 provides an overview of the participants in the labor-management relations process, the evolution of labor-management relationships, the legal influences that impact the negotiation and administration of a mutually determined agreement, the organizational structure of unions, and the union organizing process.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Compare the four primary labor organizations in terms of the four success factors described in the text.
  • Use the internet to perform research on the current leaders of the AFL-CIO.
  • Prepare an illustration showing key judicial decisions and laws in labor relations history, and their effects on the balance of power between unions and management.
  • Use the internet to evaluate a recent union-organizing campaign's effectiveness.
  • Use the internet to perform research on the AFL-CIO's Organizing Institute.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of material presented in the unit references sections by providing correct responses to true/false, multiple-choice, and short-answer examination questions.

Assessment of Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • When provided with key background data on a labor union, evaluate the union's potential success or failure, based on the four factors presented in the text.
  • Using the Internet, locate the names and biographies of the current leaders of the AFL-CIO and prepare a written synopsis of this information.
  • Given information on judicial decisions and laws regarding labor relations, assess their effects on the balance of power between unions and management.
  • Locate information on a recent union-organizing campaign, prepare a written evaluation of the effectiveness of strategies used during the campaign, and identify unfair labor practices that occurred.
  • Using the Internet, review information on the AFL-CIO's Organizing Institute and assess the value of prospective labor relations managers' participation in the institute.
  • Given true/false, multiple-choice, and short-answer examination questions, use the information presented in the unit resources sections to identify and record correct responses.

Unit 2
Overview

A labor union's primary function is to represent bargaining unit members in collective bargaining. Since collective bargaining is a complex process, both management and the labor union representing its employees must perform extensive preparations for it. The bargaining process itself is dependent on the parties' philosophies, the negotiating strategies employed by each, and the bargaining structure in place. Unit 2 provides an overview of setting the stage for negotiation, the legal requirements of the parties involved, and possible outcomes if negotiations are not successful.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Analyze a sample labor agreement from a management or union perspective, determine issues that should be changed, and prepare bargaining range limits for these issues.
  • Perform a cost analysis of proposed labor agreement changes.
  • Use the internet to perform research on a recent negotiation impasse situation.
  • Interpret a labor agreement from a management or union perspective, determine issues for negotiation, prepare bargaining ranges for these issues, outline the bargaining strategies to be used during negotiations, and negotiate a final contract.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of material presented in the lesson reading activities by providing correct responses to true/false, multiple choice, and short answer essay questions.

Assessment of Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Review a labor agreement, identify issues that should be changed, and prepare bargaining ranges for these issues.
  • Review an organization's financial data and proposed bargaining ranges for issues to be negotiated, and calculate the additional annual costs or annual savings associated with the proposed changes.
  • Locate information on a recent impasse situation, prepare a written evaluation of the effectiveness of the management and union strategies used during the impasse, and identify any unfair labor practices that occurred.
  • Review a case study, identify issues to negotiate in a labor agreement, prepare bargaining ranges for those issues, and negotiate a final agreement.
  • Complete an examination consisting of true/false, multiple choice, and short answer essay questions, and utilize the information presented in the lesson reading activities to identify and record correct responses.

Unit 3
Overview

While the negotiation process receives the most publicity in labor-management relations, it is the outcome of this process with which both sides must live. Unit 3 explores the topics of impasse resolution and grievance processing. It also covers labor arbitration and employee discipline.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Explain the different types of impasse-resolution procedures and the situations in which each is used most successfully.
  • Analyze a situation involving a grievance on an employee disciplinary action and prepare an arbitrator's ruling for the situation.
  • Critique a sample grievance procedure and propose beneficial changes to it.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of material presented in the unit references sections by providing correct responses to true/false, multiple-choice, and short-answer examination questions.

Assessment of Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Discuss an actual impasse situation and evaluate the effectiveness of the union, and management strategies used throughout it.
  • Evaluate a situation involving employee disciplinary action, review the facts of the case, and formulate a decision as an arbitrator.
  • Review a grievance procedure, identify sections that could be improved upon and provide recommendations for improvement.
  • Complete an examination containing true/false, multiple-choice, and short-answer examination questions, use the information presented in the unit references sections to identify and record correct responses.

Unit 4
Overview

In the past, unions experienced significant successes in manufacturing industries. However, as our economy, businesses, political system, and social values have changed, so has the role unions play.  New areas of union involvement have continued to evolve.  Federal, state, and local government (public sector) employees have experienced many of the labor-management relations challenges that manufacturing industries dealt with decades ago. Also, the growth of the global economy has resulted in a renewed focus on labor relations activities in other countries.

This unit presents an overview of the key differences in labor-management relations in the public sector as compared to the private sector, and in international versus U.S. organizations.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Perform research on a public sector union.
  • Perform research on an international labor organization.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of material presented in the lesson references by providing correct responses to true/false, multiple-choice, and short-answer examination questions.

Assessment of Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Locate information on a public sector union and compare the basic differences between that union and private sector unions.
  • Locate information on an international labor organization, prepare a paper presenting an overview of the organization, and evaluate the organization's strategies and their effectiveness.
  • Given true/false, multiple-choice, and short-answer examination questions, use the information presented in the unit references sections to identify and record correct responses.

Lessons

Lesson 1.1
Introduction
Chapter 1 of the text discusses the three basic elements in the labor relations process--work rules, participants, and constraints/influences.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to

  • Identify the basic elements in the labor relations process.
  • Identify the phases of the labor relations process and describe how they interact.

Lesson 1.2
Introduction

Lesson 1.2 presents an overview of the historical evolution of labor unions in the United States. It also covers information on how various court cases, federal administrative agencies, and legislation have influenced the labor relations process in the United States.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to

  • Describe the major historical events in the evolution of labor-management relations in the United States.
  • Identify four labor unions in the evolution of labor-management relations in the United States and discuss why they succeeded or failed using the four success factors described in the text.
  • Use the internet to perform research on the current leaders of the AFL-CIO.
  • Identify and describe the four origins of labor relations law.
  • Discuss the following judicial decisions' impacts on the labor relations process: Cordwainers' case (1806); Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842); Lowe v. Lawlor (1908).
  • Explain the historical significance of the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) and the Clayton Act (1914) to the labor relations process in the United States.
  • Describe the components and the significance of the Norris-LaGuardia Act (1932), the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (1935), the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) (Taft-Hartley Act) (1947), and the Landrum-Griffin Act (1959) to the labor relations process in the United States.
  • Describe the federal administrative agencies that affect labor-management relations in the United States.
  • Identify unfair labor and management practices according to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA).
  • Prepare an illustration showing key judicial decisions and federal legislation in U.S. labor relations history and their effects on the balance of power between unions and management over time.

Lesson 1.3
Introduction

Lesson 1.3 presents information on the generic goals of unions and organizations, and the organizational structure of unions. Union organizing campaigns are also covered.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to

  • Discuss several compelling reasons why workers want unions and why they reject unions.
  • Compare and contrast craft and industrial local unions.
  • Describe the major organizational levels of a typical international labor union hierarchy.
  • Discuss considerations that management must examine when dealing with labor unions.
  • Discuss the components of a typical labor union's strategic plan.
  • Identify the steps of the union-organizing process in the United States.
  • Define regulations to follow during the union-organizing process, for both union and management.
  • Differentiate between the various types of union security provisions present in labor agreements.
  • Use the internet to evaluate a recent union-organizing campaign's effectiveness.
  • Use the internet to perform research on the AFL-CIO's Organizing Institute.

Lesson 2.1
Introduction

Lesson 2.1 covers the basic concepts and strategies involved in negotiating a labor agreement.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to

  • Discuss what takes place during contract negotiation and pre-negotiation.
  • Identify the interest groups management must consider when formulating its bargaining strategies.
  • Define bargaining power and explain its impact on the outcome of the bargaining process.
  • Discuss the different types of bargaining situations and which strategies/tactics may work best in each situation.
  • Recognize the ethical considerations in collective bargaining and know what it means to bargain in good faith.
  • Explain the concept of bargaining ranges as used in the negotiation process.
  • Discuss management rights clause options.
  • Analyze a sample labor agreement from a management or union perspective, determine issues which should be changed, and prepare bargaining range limits for these issues.
  • Perform a cost analysis of proposed labor agreement changes.

Lesson 2.2
Introduction

Lesson 2.2 discusses Economic and Administrative issues that are found in most labor agreements.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to

  • Explain the concept of economic bargaining issues.
  • Differentiate between economic and administrative bargaining issues.
  • Explain the strategies employed when negotiating economic issues.
  • Discuss the effects of federal laws on the negotiation of economic issues.
  • Given a case study, identify issues to negotiate in a labor agreement, prepare bargaining ranges for those issues, and negotiate a final agreement.

Lesson 3.1
Introduction

Lesson 3.1 discusses why labor contracts may be rejected and how impasses may be resolved.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to

  • Identify potential reasons for contract rejections.
  • Explain the different types of impasse-resolution procedures and when each may be used most successfully.
  • List and explain the roles and characteristics of mediators.
  • Discuss the importance of cooperation between management and labor, and methods to reduce conflict to avoid impasse situations.
  • Describe the purposes of strikes, picketing, boycotts, and lockouts.
  • Discuss the financial considerations for unions and management as they consider a strike or lockout.
  • Discuss the different types of strikes and lockouts.
  • Explain the legal rights and responsibilities of management and unions during strikes and lockouts.

Lesson 3.2
Introduction

Lesson 3.2 presents information on the reasons grievances are important, why they occur, and the concepts involved in their resolution.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to

  • Identify specific reasons for employee grievances.
  • Describe a typical grievance procedure and its individual components.
  • Explain how the handling of a grievance can impact future labor-management working relationships, both positively and negatively.
  • Discuss a union's "fair representation" obligation.
  • Explain how the Vaca v. Sipes and Bowen v. U.S. Postal Service court cases are significant to the interpretation of the "fair representation" obligation.
  • Critique a sample grievance procedure and propose beneficial changes.

Lesson 3.3
Introduction

Lesson 3.3 covers the arbitration process.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to

  • Discuss the elements of a typical arbitration proceeding.
  • Compare/contrast an arbitration hearing and a judicial proceeding.
  • Explain the pros and cons of using ad hoc or permanent arbitrators.
  • Identify the criteria used in making an arbitration decision.
  • Explain the significance of the Steelworkers Trilogy and the relationship of the decisions to the arbitration process.
  • Identify the steps in a typical arbitration procedure.
  • Analyze a situation involving a grievance on employee disciplinary action and provide an arbitrator's ruling for the situation.

Lesson 3.4
Introduction

Lesson 3.4 covers employee discipline and grievance procedures.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to

  • Describe the elements of the just cause principle for corrective employee discipline actions.
  • Explain the significance of employee discipline in labor relations.
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of a disciplinary price list versus a simpler management rights standard statement in a labor contract.
  • Discuss the steps in a typical progressive employee discipline process.
  • Explain the impact of the Supreme Court Weingarten Decision on due process in employee grievance processing.

Lesson 4.1
Introduction

Lesson 4.1 presents information on how labor relations activities in public sector organizations, multinational corporations (MNCs), and other countries differ from those presented on private sector organizations.

Outcomes
Upon completion of this lesson, you should be able to

  • Discuss current challenges to collective bargaining rights of public sector unions.
  • Discuss the differences and similarities between public and private sector bargaining.
  • Describe and critique the involvement of labor organizations in the public sector.
  • Explain the key differences between public sector and private sector unions.
  • Identify specific public sector unions.
  • Identify specific incidents that have shaped public labor-management relations.
  • Discuss the right-to-strike controversy in public sector labor-management relations.
  • Determine how multinational companies are affected by varying labor relations processes.
  • Describe recent changes in free trade agreements that have affected global labor-management relations processes.
  • Compare and contrast the differences and similarities in labor-management relations activities and organizations in the United States and other countries.
  • Discuss various labor practices in foreign countries.
  • Perform research on a public sector union.
  • Perform research on an international labor organization.
  • Discuss unique aspects of labor relations in the federal government.
  • Explain how impasse resolution in the public sector differs from the private sector.

Grading Information

Your final grade is based on total points accumulated from unit examinations and completed activities. These factors will be assigned the following values:

Undergraduate
Activities Points Possible
Unit Examinations
(2 @ 100 pts., 1 @ 75 pts. & 1 @ 50 pts.)
325 points
Individual Activities 145 points
Discussions 90 points
Team Activity 100 points
Total: 660 Points

Graduate
Actvities Possible Points
Unit Examinations
(2 @ 100 pts., 1 @ 75 pts. & 1 @ 50 pts.)
325 points
Graduate Project 70 points
Individual Activities 145 points
Discussions 90 points
Team Activity 100 points
Total: 730 points

Grading Scale

A 90% - 100%
B 80% - 89%
C 70% - 79%
D 60% - 69%
F 0 - 59%

Individual Assignments: Individual Assignment rubrics are provided for each assignment in this course.

Discussion Rubrics
Part 1

Response to Question Posed by Instructor [5 points]

0-1 Point 2-3 Points 4-5 Points
Posting does not address the question. Posting does not completely address the question. Posting is a direct response to the question.
Commentary lacks originality. Original commentary provided. Original commentary is provided.
Low level of logicial/insightful commentary is provided. Average level of logical/insightful commentary is provided. High level of logical/insightful commentary is provided.
Posting is submitted after requested time limit. Posting is not submitted in accordance with time limits. Posting is submitted in accordance with time limits.

Important Reminder: In all material that you post, be sure that you do not use any information (names, facts, etc.) that would identify any organizations or individuals. In addition, do not discuss people or events related to your current employment situation.

Part 2
Response to Peer Posting [5 points]

0-1 Point 2-3 Points 4-5 Points
Posting does not demonstrate a careful analysis of a fellow student's comments. Posting demonstrates a partial analysis of a fellow student's comments. Posting demonstrates a thorough analysis of a fellow student's comments.
Commentary lacks originality. Original commentary is provided. Original commentary is provided.
Low level of logical/insightful commentary is provided. Average level of logical/insightful commentary is provided. High level of logical/insightful commentary is provided.
Posting is submitted after requested time limit. Posting is submitted in accordance with time limits. Posting is submitted in accordance with time limits.

 

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