Human Resources – Labour Relations – Prepare for Collective Bargaining

Final Assignment – Prepare for Collective Bargaining (35%)

This assignment relates to the following Course Learning Requirements:

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CLR#3 – Demonstrate knowledge of a collective agreement

 

Objective of this Assignment: To effectively prepare the employer for negotiating a collective agreement.

Instructions:

Step 1: Background

You work as the lead HR Manager for BWA Enterprises, a company that builds parts for one major car manufacturer. On the organization chart, management, and administrative tasks are represented by rectangles, the union is represented by the ovals.

 

You are preparing for negotiations for the next CBA. The current, 3-year CBA is set to expire in 12 months.

 

At present, there is a new union president that you have found very difficult to deal with; the union is considered antagonistic towards management ideas, proposals and policies. The grievance rate has increased significantly since the last round of negotiations; primarily around issues of safety, overtime requirements (due to not enough workers to cover all of the shifts), non-fulfillment of benefits, and inadequate training when a new product line is introduced.

 

On the other hand, management is sympathetic towards creating a better working environment around the areas of grievance. The key will be to find a mutual way to address the concerns. However, stakeholders have also drawn a hard line along areas of pay-raises, more benefits, retirement options and years of service increases (such as extra vacation days, salary grids, holidays for birthdays, etc.).

40% of our annual gross profit of $10 million dollars go to employees within the union (80 members) for salary, benefits, and retired employee benefits. 20% goes to administrative and management, 25% goes to inventory, taxes, equipment, and facilities, and other supporting costs. The remainder is stockholders equity.

 

Financially, BWA enterprises is in the black, but because of recent tariff and trades restrictions across the border, our main customers have already given notice that they will be looking to domestic sources for the parts we produce. Also, our research department has reported that several of the jobs currently being filled by humans has the potential to be automated by AI within a 2 – 5 year timeframe based on new inventions and research. The union is aware of this development.

 

Step 2: The Assignment

You are being asked to lead the negotiations for the CBA on the management’s behalf. You want to come up with a bargaining position that takes into account the stakeholders requirements, and the financial and future possibilities.

a. You will develop all of the material required to prepare the employer for collective bargaining.

b. Your collective bargaining case file will contain (at a minimum) 3 case scenarios that can be presented to management for approval so that they can be brought forward to the bargaining table.

c. You are provided with suggested content for each component.

 

Step 2: Questions you should be able to answer in your case file

1. After reviewing the organizational chart above, how would you comprise a negotiating team? Specifically, decide upon the number of negotiators for management and the departments to be represented. Provide a rationale for each position you choose (their role, responsibility, and expertise supplied).

2. Research – On the internet, search for a current CBA from a manufacturing closed shop. Use it as your guide to create high-level background chart for the current CBA. At a high level, you do not need to go over all of the sections and subsections, but do include material such as length of CBA, current vacation days, overview of benefits, salary grid, grievance procedures, and anything else appropriate to the background information on the previous page. This may be similar to:

· 2-year agreement

· 0.5% increase in each year (grid for at least 6 positions such as machinist, warehouseperson, tool and die maker, etc. – each of these positions can be found in most manufacturing company job descriptions.)

· No increases to vacation entitlement

· 2% increases to allocations for safety gear

· Creating conditions for contracting out work if necessary

· Benefit coverage to cease at age 65 for all new employees – existing employees will be grandfathered

 

 

 

 

3. Management’s objectives –

· Using the CBA you have found, identify issues that could have arisen with BWA enterprises on the basis of a loss of business or higher automation (for instance, if the CBA you researched says there are to be no layoffs for the current CBA, how would that be affected by lower sales when losing customers?)

· Organizational information on current or anticipates changes to business conditions, policies, processes, etc.

· Review and summarize grievance issues, and how they can be fixed

· Cost containment/productivity targets

 

4. Union objectives –

· Create and summarize what you believe the union’s initial stand will be based upon the current economic, external and internal environments.

· Research recent union demands from negotiations in manufacturing companies, describe how successful they were at getting all of their demands.

· Create a chart that assumes their demands will always be higher than what your stakeholders are willing to offer. As an example from your chart above:

o 5-year agreement

o 4% increase in each year

o Increases to vacation entitlement

o Increases to allocations for safety gear

o Specific language around contracting out union jobs

o Benefit coverage to continue at age 65 for all employees

 

5. Strategies to improve union-management relations –

· Describe areas of bargaining that compromise can be achieved.

· Determine strategies that can be used to make negotiations and grievances run more smoothly.

· Review and comment on at least 6 of the following data to support the objectives:

· Compensation per employee including overtime worked

· Paid holidays

· Vacation pay

· Leaves

· Allowances (meal allowance, education allowance, meal allowance, clothing allowance, etc.)

· Accident/incident rates

· Group benefits costs

· Demographics on workforce

· Training spending

6. A strike/lockout plan –

· Create a lockout plan in case bargaining does not work. You can use research to describe the elements you would need to consider and how you, as a manager would prepare for this.

o Composition of strike/lockout committee;

o Draft action plan outlining roles and responsibilities of committee members and other management personnel;

o Consider the use of replacement workers;

o Prepare notices and identify who the notices should be sent to;

7. Dispute resolution opportunities/procedures

· Identify what can be done to resolve issues informally;

8. A draft bargaining notice and schedule

· Prepare a formal notice to the union

9. Reflection –

· Comment on the differences between both sides in the bargaining process given the external environmental factors you have already been given.

o Why would management want a 2-year CBA while the union would want a 5 year CBA

o What compromises do you see as being easy for both sides, which will be more difficult?

o With each negotiation away from the initial offers, there will be compromise; who loses out with each compromise that is given?

o Describe the scenario above in terms of what would make it win-win, lose-lose and win-lose (for both sides).

· Describe how the proposed changes will affect the bottom line of company profits.

 

Step 3: What to turn in

 

1. You will capture all of these assignment details in a report that is no more than 15 pages in length (not including the cover and reference pages – see below).

2. Your assignment is to be submitted in MS WORD format. It should be submitted with the following guidelines:

a. Include a cover page with the course code and course name, the assignment number, the title of your assignment, your student ID, your name, the instructor’s name, and the date the assignment is created.

b. Ensure the first page of your assignment has the title at the top of the page and the sections of your report have headings and subheadings to chunk your paper into sections for each of the topics you are writing about.

c. Font should be either Calibri or Arial, 11pt. Text must be double spaced but table may be single spaced.

d. You must cite all your sources of information using APA formatting.

e. Create a separate reference page that lists all of your sources that you have cited in text. Sources include software used. Also, personal communications from a professional in the field count as a reference source. For citation and referencing examples, see https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

 

Assignment Grading Rubric (35%)

 

Criteria

 

Excellent

80-100%

 

Good

50-79%

 

Requires Improvement

<50%

 

Points

 

 

Assignment Quality

 

The assignment content demonstrates an exceptional understanding of how to effectively prepare the employer for negotiating a collective agreement

 

All ideas are clearly developed, organized logically, and connected with effective transitions

 

Explores ideas, supports points fully using a balance of evidence, uses effective reasoning to make useful distinctions

 

All relevant course and topic links are made

 

The assignment content demonstrates a good understanding of how to effectively prepare the employer for negotiating a collective agreement

 

Some unified and coherent ideas are developed with effective transitions

 

Supports most ideas with effective examples, and/or references, and details, makes key distinctions

 

Most relevant course and topic links are made

 

The assignment content demonstrates some understanding of how to effectively prepare the employer for negotiating a collective agreement

 

Develops and organizes ideas that are not necessarily connected. Some ideas seem illogical and/or unrelated

 

Presents ideas in general terms, most ideas are inconsistent/unsupported, and reasoning is flawed or unclear

 

Some or no relevant course and topic links are made

 

/15

 

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment Knowledge and Skills Demonstration

 

 

 

 

Clear, concise synthesis of course content to demonstrate understanding of topic

 

 

All ideas are clearly developed, organized logically, and connected with effective transitions

 

 

Explores ideas, supports points fully using a balance of evidence, Uses effective reasoning to make useful distinctions

 

All relevant course and topic links are made

 

Evidence of some synthesis of course content to demonstrate understanding of topic

 

Some unified and coherent ideas are developed with effective transitions

 

 

Supports most ideas with effective examples, and/or references, and details, makes key distinctions

 

Most relevant course and topic links are made

 

Lack of evidence or weakness in the synthesis of course content to demonstrate understanding of topic

 

Develops and organizes ideas that are not necessarily connected. Some ideas seem illogical and/or unrelated

 

Presents ideas in general terms, Most ideas are inconsistent/unsupported, and reasoning is flawed or unclear

 

Some or no relevant course and topic links are made

 

/15

 

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment Structure

 

Formatted as per assignment details

Structure and format enhances delivery of the information

 

 

Clear language is used which leads to easy readability

 

Correct grammar and spelling is consistently used

 

No issues with APA using citations or references.

 

Formatted as per assignment details in most components

 

Structure and format fits well with the delivery of the information

 

Mostly clear language is used with minor readability issues

 

Few or no spelling and/or grammatical errors

 

Minor issues with APA citations or references

 

Formatting has not been followed

 

Structure and format is unclear and impedes delivery of the information

 

Language used is often unclear which impedes readability

 

Many spelling and grammatical errors

 

Incorrect use of APA formatting for citations and references[1]

 

/5

 

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Points

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/35

 

[1] If there is evidence of missing citations or references, this could constitute plagiarism and will receive a grade of ‘0’. The regulations of academic dishonesty will apply.

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