Advanced Labor Relations

eCornell

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eCornell

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Who should attend

  • Union leaders
  • HR and labor relations professionals
  • Attorneys
  • Managers and executives working in a union environment
  • Union officials involved in collective bargaining

About the course

The Advanced Labor Relations Certificate Program provides you with critical skills to succeed in a unionized environment through a series of two core courses and two sets of elective courses that gives you the flexibility to customize the program to your specific goals. Led by seasoned professionals with decades of experience on both the management and union sides, these programs will provide you with the practical skills required to navigate this complex environment.

Whether you manage staff and operations, work in HR, or represent employees, this interactive series provides you with the ability to develop a strategy, prepare for collective bargaining, learn at-the-table skills, understand the legal requirements of a unionized environment, analyze contract language, deal with employee conflict and discipline, handle grievances, and be successful in arbitration.

You will have ample opportunity to practice your skills using case-based scenarios in a small group setting. Class sizes are limited to ensure full participation and mentoring in small group activities and simulations. Courses in this program consist of multiple synchronous sessions per week with assignments in between sessions. Please review the details of the courses below for specific meeting dates and times.

This program assumes you have had previous exposure to basic concepts in labor relations.

Elective tracks to choose between:

  • Working in a Union Environment (four courses): This track provides you with the key knowledge and skills for operating in a union environment. The focus includes: grasping the critical components of labor law that govern employer, employee, and union rights and obligations; interpreting and writing contract language; dealing with employee conflict and discipline issues, including the elements of just cause and progressive discipline; investigating workplace disputes; and managing the grievance process. Participants will study how to assist in the arbitration process by participating in a mock arbitration hearing.
  • Negotiating a Collective Bargaining Agreement (four courses): If you’re preparing to lead or participate in labor negotiations, this track will provide you with the confidence and specialized skills you need to be ready to bargain. Relevant to both union leaders and management, the program focuses on: how to develop a bargaining strategy aligned with organizational goals; the step-by-step preparation process; developing, costing, and prioritizing objectives; writing and presenting proposals and counterproposals; managing the bargaining team; at-the-table practices and protocols; and resolving stalemates and reaching agreement. Participants will practice both competitive and collaborative negotiation skills in a full-day collective bargaining simulation.

Courses

Labor Relations Law

In this course, you will learn how to identify the key legal principles and considerations involved in managing in a union environment. This includes assessing unfair labor practices and the rules regarding union organizing, collective bargaining, and day-to-day operations. You will take a deep dive into key concepts such as the basic concepts of the NLRA, differences with other labor statutes, negotiation obligations and parameters, the representation election process, and a legal framework for developing practical and effective solutions for handling labor problems.

By the end of this course, you will be able to identify possible unfair labor practices before they arise; discern the elements of good- and bad-faith bargaining; recognize when you have to negotiate with the union on mid-term bargaining changes; understand the appropriate behavior of supervisors and managers during an organizing drive; and know when employees can strike or engage in other work actions.

Contract Language and Interpretation

This course is designed to instruct labor relations practitioners on how contract language and past practice may be interpreted by an arbitrator. You will review a methodology for analyzing contract language disputes and identifying key contract clauses in collective bargaining agreements. You will work on a case-study practice session in contract drafting and interpretation.

Whether administering contract language or proposing language at the bargaining table, this course is designed to provide you with a solid, practical understanding of what contract language means and how it will likely be interpreted by an arbitrator in the event of a contract language dispute. Throughout the course, you will develop a methodology for analyzing contract language disputes, understand the standards used by arbitrators in contract interpretation cases, and become familiar with key contract clauses in collective bargaining agreements. By the end of this course, you will be able to interpret and write contract language.

Working in a Union Environment Elective Track (4 Courses)

Effective Employee Discipline

Disciplinary decisions are subject to rigorous scrutiny. If you're involved in formulating, implementing, or challenging disciplinary decisions, you must have command of the principles of progressive discipline as well as a solid understanding of the best practices for administering discipline.

Throughout this course, you will have the opportunity to interact with experienced arbitrators and labor relations professionals who will provide you with practical knowledge and insight about the employee discipline process. In between sessions, you will engage in exercises and thought-provoking discussions.

Investigation Tools and Techniques

A full and fair investigation of alleged employee misconduct is a critical component of due process. It is therefore essential that you use the available tools and techniques when conducting an investigation.

In this course, you will cover the analysis and investigation of major disciplinary offenses, develop practical techniques for conducting investigatory interviews, and discover how an arbitrator scrutinizes your investigation. By the end of this course, you will have the ability to conduct an investigation of major workplace offenses that may result in immediate termination and that are the likely subject of arbitration.

Strategic Grievance Handling

Strategic grievance handling approaches the grievance and arbitration process as an opportunity to advance organizational strategy, goals, and objectives, while at the same time improving relationships within the organization.

This course teaches you the different purposes and scopes of competitive and collaborative dispute resolution systems and how they can be applied to the grievance process. It approaches grievance handling as involving three sometimes contradictory skills and activities: investigating, advocating, and resolving. Key emphasis is placed on developing participants' communication skills within the grievance process through role play and feedback.

Effectiveness in Arbitration

Contractual or disciplinary disputes that cannot be resolved by the parties are ultimately tried and resolved in arbitration. Led by experienced arbitrators and advocates, this course teaches you how to develop a theory of the case, understand and apply the rules of evidence, and build a case for arbitration. This course is geared toward HR professionals and others who will be testifying at, presenting, or assisting the lead advocate in the case.

Negotiating a Collective Bargaining Agreement Elective Track (4 Courses)

Negotiation Skills for the Workplace

Negotiation is a fundamental method for resolving conflicts and reaching agreements to solve an array of workplace problems, including negotiating collective bargaining agreements

In this course, you'll study and practice negotiation skills through a series of role plays and experiential learning. Starting with simple, one-on-one negotiations of everyday situations, you'll progress to more complex group negotiations, including informal and formal workplace negotiation situations. You'll gain insight into your own negotiation biases, weaknesses, and strengths, and build negotiation confidence and competency. Participants examine how to plan a negotiation strategy and practice the communication skills necessary to surface the underlying needs and interests driving the negotiation in order to craft agreements. Both competitive and collaborative negotiation skills are explored.

This course features pre-session access to an individual conflict-style diagnostic tool to help you understand how your tendencies in dealing with conflict can help or hinder you in successful negotiations. The course requires two dedicated days of synchronous negotiation practice, as well as individual reflection and activity offline.

Preparation for Collective Bargaining

Discover the practical steps to prepare for collective bargaining. Participants will analyze the key factors that go into crafting a labor strategy and developing ambitious but realistic goals and objectives. At the end of this course, you will have a step-by-step plan on how to develop your own organization's bargaining goals and objectives.

Effective Collective Bargaining Skills and Techniques

NOTE: This course is part one of a two-part series - you must simultaneously enroll in LR31A: Collective Bargaining Simulation to be eligible to start this course.

In this virtual course, you will explore how to implement your goals and objectives at the bargaining table. This includes understanding the differences between competitive and collaborative bargaining as well as at-the-table protocols, customs, and techniques unique to collective bargaining.

The virtual course consists of four 3-hour synchronous sessions. In between sessions, participants will work in small group teams to prepare for bargaining.

Collective Bargaining Simulation

NOTE: This course is part two of a two-part series - you must simultaneously enroll in LR313: Effective Collective Bargaining Skills and Techniques to be eligible to start this course.

Continuing your learning journey from Effective Collective Bargaining Skills and Techniques, in this virtual course, you will practice how to implement your goals and objectives at the bargaining table. You will engage in a full-day collective bargaining simulation in which you will negotiate in a small group setting against experienced labor relations professionals with ample opportunity for ongoing, real-time feedback and discussion. By the time you complete this course, you will be able to engage in collective bargaining as a chief negotiator.

The virtual course consists of one 3-hour synchronous session and one 6-hour synchronous virtual collective bargaining simulation. In between sessions, participants will work in small group teams to prepare for bargaining.

Key course takeaways

  • Determine what constitutes unfair labor practices
  • Prepare for collective bargaining
  • Analyze contract language
  • Explore the principles of just cause and progressive discipline
  • Manage the grievance process
  • Write and present proposals and counterproposals
  • Practice negotiation skills to bargain competitively and collaboratively

Experts

Arthur Matthews

Mr. Arthur Matthews, J.D is on the consulting faculty at Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He is also a mediator and an arbitrator. Mr. Matthews holds a Juris Doctor from the Howard University School of Law. He teaches within NYU Wagner''s Capstone program as well as co...

Sally Klingel

Sally Klingel is the director of labor-management relations programming for the Scheinman Institute, where she teaches, trains and provides organizational change consulting services to labor and management groups nation-wide. She specializes in the design and implementation of conflict and negoti...

Debra Osofsky

have worked many years as a labor-relations lawyer and I am a negotiator, administrator, problem-solver and teacher with a diverse portfolio. With a Harvard Law degree and more than 25 years experience, I can provide the highest quality negotiation, contract and workplace advice and assistance, a...

Ellen Gallin Procida

Ellen Gallin Procida has been teaching the art of arbitration advocacy for nearly 20 years. During her career as a NYC public school teacher, she first developed the skills necessary for effective advocacy by representing UFT members as the school based union representative in her school. Ellen w...

Donald Savelson

Don Savelson is an optional service partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department. Don handles a wide variety of labor and employment matters including WARN, NLRA wage/hour, unemployment, ADA, FMLA, workers compensation, and occupational safety and health matters. He has represented clien...

Bruce Millman

Bruce R. Millman has more than 40 years of experience counseling private and public sector employers on business and personnel strategies. He works with employers on: Specialties: Labor/Employment issues in business restructuring Wage & Hour Law Union Negotiations, Arbitration and Labor R...

Martin Scheinman

Martin Scheinman, Esq., has served as a full-time Arbitrator and Mediator since 1979. During his career, Scheinman has decided or helped resolve over 20,000 disputes. Scheinman is widely viewed as one of the busiest and most acceptable neutrals in the United States. Initially serving only on labo...

Dan McCray

Dan is an expert in workplace negotiation, mediation, arbitration, facilitation, teaching, organizational conflict, team building, leadership and change management. As Practice Leader and Director of the Labor Relations Programs, Dan is responsible for developing and teaching professional educati...

Lawrence Becker

Lawrence E. Becker (Larry) attended Albany State University and Brooklyn Law school. He has worked for the New York City Department of Education since 1979 where he started as an attorney in the Department's Office of Legal Services, handling numerous discipline arbitrations and other matters. I...

Julie Torrey

Present Occupation: Full-time Arbitrator, Mediator and Fact Finder focusing on resolution of workplace disputes in the private and public sectors. Areas of Expertise: Discipline and discharge, including performance, competency and attendance/absenteeism; discrimination claims based upon gender, s...

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Advanced Labor Relations at eCornell

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

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