Labor-Management Relations

A Guide to Credit for Prior Learning

Typical Learning Experiences of Students Earning Lower-Level Credit:

  • Work in private, public or non-profit organizations, often in labor-management relations (LMR) roles.
  • Attend one or more training sessions in areas such as employee relations, performance appraisals, collective bargaining, grievance handling, arbitration, contract negotiations, human resource management, employee development and training, compensation and benefits, labor-management relations, strategic management and other topics in the area of labor-management relations.

Typical Learning Experiences of Students Earning Upper-Level Credit:

  • Work for more than two years in a labor-management capacity, often at the middle or upper-level management level.
  • Attend one or more training sessions in the areas listed above.
  • Play a role in the implementation of organizational efforts in some aspect of labor-management relations. (e.g., students may have presented ideas for contract negotiations or benefit packages.)
  • Applicants for upper-level credit in this area often seek credit in more narrowly defined areas. Common topics for which upper-level credit is awarded are benefits administration; performance appraisals; labor law; labor-management contract administration; arbitration; collective bargaining; or human resource management.

Discussion Topics:

If students are familiar with some (but not necessarily all) of the following topics, they may be eligible for lower-level credit in the area of labor-management relations. If students are familiar with advanced questions, they may be eligible for upper-level credit. If knowledge of some of the topics is substantial, the students may consider requesting additional credit in more narrowly defined areas.

Strategic Labor-Management Relations

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • List the components of the strategic management process.
  • Discuss the role of the LMR function in strategy formulation.
  • Describe the differences between strategy formulation and strategy implementation.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Describe the linkages between LMR and strategy formulation.
  • Discuss the more popular typologies of generic strategies and the various LMR practices associated with each.
  • Describe the different LMR issues and practices associated with various directional strategies.

Policy Development

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Identify the steps involved in developing a labor relations policy.
  • Describe how LMR policy is developed.
  • Discuss organizational precedents affecting LMR policy.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Describe how LMR policy is evaluated.
  • Discuss how agreements are reviewed for conformance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Discuss how technical guidance is given to operating officials.

Global Issues in LMR

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Identify the recent changes that have caused companies to expand into international markets.
  • Discuss the factors that most strongly influence LMR in international markets.
  • List the different categories of international employees.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Identify the four levels of global participation and the LMR issues faced within each level.
  • Discuss the way companies attempt to select, train, compensate and reintegrate expatriate managers.

The Legal Environment and Equal Opportunity

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • List the major federal laws that require equal employment opportunity and the protections provided by each of these laws.
  • Identify behavior that constitutes sexual harassment and list things that an organization can do to eliminate or minimize it.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Identify the three theories of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and apply these theories to different discrimination situations.
  • Discuss the legal issues involved with preferential treatment programs.

Employee Relations

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Discuss the type of policies and practices employers may develop regarding employee safety, health, and employee security and working conditions.
  • Identify the major provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (1970) and the rights of the employees that are guaranteed by this act.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Discuss safety awareness programs focused on either job-specific hazards or on specific injuries.
  • Specify the major components of employee assistance programs and employee wellness programs, as well as the steps involved in creating and maintaining such programs.
  • Describe the design of working conditions conducive to maintaining individuals’ economic and psychological well being.

Collective Bargaining

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Discuss the importance of an existing contract in preparing to negotiate a new one.
  • Identify and discuss the ways in which management develops proposals in the collective bargaining process.
  • Discuss the legal responsibilities of the parties for good faith bargaining.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Discuss interpretation and writing of contract language.
  • Discuss the stages involved in the negotiation process toward reaching an agreement.
  • Compare and contrast collective bargaining among different industries and in the private and public sectors.

Labor-Management Contract Administration

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Discuss the requirements for writing a grievance and the difference between grievances and complaints.
  • Discuss the ways in which grievances influence the process of personnel administration and the ongoing labor-management relationship.
  • Discuss the proper methods for dealing with grievance and union representatives in the early steps of the grievance process.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Discuss interpretation and application of contract language.
  • Discuss the stages involved in the contract administration up to and including arbitration.
  • Compare and contrast contract administration among different industries and in the private and public sectors.

Labor Law

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Discuss the legal requirements involved under federal law with regard to union organizing.
  • Discuss the criteria for good faith bargaining in reaching a labor-management agreement.
  • Discuss the legal considerations involved in picketing, strikes and lockouts.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Discuss the history and philosophy behind U.S. labor relations laws.
  • Discuss the procedures of the National Labor Relations Board and their relation to the courts.
  • Discuss federal labor law requirements as these relate to such issues as fair labor standards, pensions, civil rights and/or worker retraining.

Welfare and Benefit Fund Administration

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • Discuss the procedures and legal obligations involved in fund administration.
  • Discuss policies in the determination of claims and benefits.
  • Discuss the roles of consultants and relationships to health care providers.
  • Discuss procedures for amending and revising government regulations and laws.

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