Labor Relations Basic Survival Skills

Duration 90 Mins
Level Basic & Advanced
Webinar ID IQW23L1252

Participants will have an increased understanding of and be better able to assist in the areas of

  • Labor Relations survival principles
  • Role of the Union and its Representatives (Weingarten)
  • Wages, hours and working conditions (Mandatory, permissive and forbidden)
  • Reading/interpreting the Collective bargaining Agreement (CBA)
  • Reserved rights
  • Past Practice and Precedent: what they are and how they can be changed.
  • Work now, grieve later and self-help remedy.
  • Jurisdictional questions
  • Contracting out
  • Seniority
  • Just Cause
  • Due process
  • Loudermill Rights for Public Sector
  • The Art of Questions
  • The Ancient Art of Listening
  • Standards of proof
  • Grievance processing
  • The DFR (Duty to Fairly Represent) question

Overview of the webinar

Do you know the difference between past practice and precedent? Or what a management rights clause in a contract really means? How about the obligation of the employer to bargain with employees even if a union is not representing them? Are you aware of what a self-help remedy is and its relation to the “work now, grieve later” approach? What about mandatory, permissive, and forbidden subjects of bargaining and their relation to wages, hours and working conditions to avoid committing a ULP (Unfair Labor Practice)? And what role does the Union Steward have and what are the best practices to establish and maintain an effective/productive relationship with a Steward? Do you know what the 7 tests of just cause are and the criteria for due process in disciplinary matters? What about an employee’s privacy rights during an investigation? Why do Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) contain seniority clauses, what are the different types of seniority and their exceptions. Are you sure you are being as effective as possible in processing employee complaints/grievances? 

The answers to all these questions and more will be brought to light in this webinar so if you want to know all you can and need to about the basics of Labor Relations then this webinar is for you!

Labour Relations means working with a Union and knowing about HR does not always prepare one for success in a unionized environment. This is because Labor Relations has a unique culture as well as laws requiring a different and even more specialized skill set which will be introduced in this webinar. So, regardless of if you are on either side of the table, new to Labor Relations, considering it for a future career move or already in the area and want to learn as much as you can then this webinar is for you!


Who should attend?

All level managers, supervisors, and executives. All Levels of both in-house and outside counsel. All levels of Union representation and officers (stewards, Business Representatives, Business Managers, Presidents, and all officers/ board members). All levels of Human Resources.

Why should you attend?

"Luck favours the prepared" so if you are going to be involved in Labor Relations it’s important to know all you can. 

For example, even if there is no union to represent employees, or even if there is a union presence but it does not represent a group of non-supervisory employees, if 2 or more from that group tell the employer they want to negotiate over their wages, hours and working conditions does the employer have to? Answer: Yes, and if the employer refuses, they need to be prepared to deal with an Unfair Labor Practice charge from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). 

Or if an employer unilaterally decides to change a past practice, can they do so? Again (and depending upon the circumstances), not without exposing themselves to a ULP!

So, when it comes to Labor Relations, ignorance is neither bliss nor management! It is simply high-risk behaviour and this webinar will be invaluable in helping you fill that knowledge gap so you can safely navigate the Labor Relations waters.

Faculty - Mr.Bob Oberstein

Bob Oberstein has over 51 years of Labor/Employee Relations experience on all sides of the labor-management table including as a neutral (arbitrator, mediator) in both the public and private sectors. He has served as a Commissioner, Maricopa County's Judicial Merit System Review Commission; Member, City of Phoenix Fire and Police Pension Boards; and Member/Chairman, City of Phoenix Civil Service Board. He is also the recipient of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Director's Certificate of Recognition for Achievement in Promoting Positive Labor-Management Relations. Bob has served as Director, of the Labor Management Relations Program at Ottawa University, Phoenix (OU), Arizona where he taught conflict resolution, grievance processing, arbitration, and negotiation among other courses. He also served OU as Ombudsman for all student, faculty, and support disputes as well as the Disabled Student Liaison and received recognition in "Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

 Bob currently mediates in the Family, Civil and Small Claims courts in the State of Washington and serves on the permanent panels/rosters for the FMCS Arbitration Roster (Regions 1, 2, 4, and 7); Oregon Employment Relations Board (OERB); Washington Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC); State of California Mediation and Conciliation Service (SCMCS) Public Employment Relations Panel; American Arbitration Association (AAA) Workplace Investigation Panel; Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Hearing Officer Panel; Eglin Air Force Base & American Federation of Government Employees Local No. 214 Arbitration Panel. In the past, Bob served as mediator and arbitrator on the employment, labor, commercial, and construction panels for the American Arbitration Association and for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). He was also the initial trainer and advisor for the U.S. EEOC’s Phoenix Regional Office’s mediation program where additionally, he served as a mediator. Bob has also served as facilitator/mediator for the Interest-based bargaining process for several labor negotiations as well as being a Special Master (Arb-Med) in labor-management grievance resolution.

 Bob holds a BA in English/Education from St. John's University, a Master of Science in Social Science and Graduate Certificate of Labor Studies from Long Island University, and a Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law from Tulane University Law School.  


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