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Schulich Executive Learning Centre

Managing in a Unionized Work Environment

Nov 25—26, 2019
2 days
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
CAD 2650 ≈USD 2007
CAD 1325 per day
May 11—12, 2020
2 days
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
CAD 2650 ≈USD 2007
CAD 1325 per day

How it works


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Changes to collective agreements, labour laws, human rights codes, grievance and disciplinary procedures make it very challenging to maintain a cohesive, trusting and motivated workforce.

This popular program takes the guesswork out of managing unionized employee groups. The skills-laden course is team-taught by a top labour relations expert and a world-class authority on leadership. Gain both legal and leadership perspectives. The program covers leadership, employment-related laws and proven ways to achieve a progressive work environment. Hundreds of public- and private-sector organizational leaders have benefited from this program.

What You Will Learn

  • Create a strong management-union relationship that better understands the competing interests of the union and the employer
  • Discover how to deal professionally with disgruntled employees and union challenges
  • Master effective leadership skills to lead unionized staff
  • Manage legal issues by accurately interpreting the collective agreement
  • Motivate staff and manage poor performers using discipline appropriately
  • Set proper performance expectations that are supported with constructive feedback
  • Represent the interests of management professionally
  • Learn strategies to build a high-performance climate
  • Effectively respond to grievances
  • Maintaining respectful relationships with union representatives

Additional Course Materials

  • A pragmatic workbook with over a dozen forms you can use to set-up a formal performance improvement program with unionized staff
  • A bonus copy of Cy Charney’s bestselling book Just-in- Time Management


1. The Labour Relations Act

  • Process of certification/decertification
  • Differences between public sector and private sector organizations

2. The Collective Agreement

  • Articles of importance – hours of work, scheduling, union access to facilities,rules of conduct etc.
  • Collective bargaining
  • The grievance procedure
  • Disciplinary process and penalties
  • Suspension pending investigation
  • Proving just cause
  • Investigation of facts

3. Controlling Absenteeism

  • Culpable vs. non-culpable absenteeism
  • Attendance improvement programs

4. Managing Disciplinary Issues & Process

  • Ensuring problems are dealt with the first time
  • What to say in a disciplinary document
  • Effective disciplinary planning: place, time, preparation
  • Conducting the interview process: controlling the agenda, presentation of facts, invitation to respond, evaluation of evidence
  • Follow-up procedures

5. Linking your Industrial Relations to Your Business Plan

  • From vision, mission and values to practice
  • Creating an industrial relations strategy to assure achievement of business objectives

6. The Daily Challenges of Managing Unionized Staff

  • What managers expect from their employees
  • What employees expect from their boss
  • The “two-bucket” theory of effective relationships
  • How to represent management while meeting your staff’s needs
  • Relationship building with staff

7. Effective Leadership: Setting Expectations and Improvement Goals

  • Applying coaching skills to get staff to take ownership for performance
  • Creating a high-performance culture
  • Applying seven key strategies of successful coaches
  • The impact of expectations on performance
  • A system of goal setting to get buy-in to challenging goals
  • Using measurement to track performance and increase accountability
  • Promoting change through recognition and rewards
  • Making difficult conversations easy

8. Motivating and Coaching Your Staff

  • Your leadership profile and its impact on morale
  • Balancing humanistic and goal-oriented behaviour
  • When to instruct and when to listen
  • Listening and its impact on morale
  • Creating a new vision moving forward

Who should attend

  • Managers new to a unionized work environment
  • Front-line supervisors responsible for creating positive working relationships with unionized workers
  • Managers and Directors of public sector departments, municipalities, educational institutions, unionized agencies and healthcare organizations
  • HR supervisors and labour relations leaders overseeing skilled trades professionals


Biography Cy Charney is one of the Schulich School of Business, York University’s top instructors. As a leading Canadian thought leader in the area of organizational performance, Cy has developed a variety of unique interventions to help organizations in both the private and public sector become...


Detailed Description
Detailed Description

Next dates

Nov 25—26, 2019
2 days
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
CAD 2650 ≈USD 2007
CAD 1325 per day
May 11—12, 2020
2 days
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
CAD 2650 ≈USD 2007
CAD 1325 per day

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