We believe good labour relations begin with the employer’s relationship with its employees and having open relationships with employees and the union. It is important to create a culture that allows both employees and the union to know that success for them will only come from a successful organization. Consequently, keeping your right as an employer to communicate directly with your employees is essential to successful labour relations.
Achieving positive Labour Relations
Changing a negative labour management culture is a challenge for any employer. So, if the workplace is newly unionized, getting off on the right foot is key. This does not mean adopting a strategy of appeasement with the union leadership. It does mean sending a clear message that the employer desires the relationship to be professional and based on respect. It also means the recognition by all parties of the financial, economic and competitive forces that the organization and its employees must face together.
Responsible Collective Bargaining
Over time, the bargaining that occurs between the parties often settles into a pattern of continuing increases in costs. Except in the most robust economies, this cannot continue indefinitely. If you are facing such a situation, our experienced negotiators can help you break that pattern.
Sometimes, it is better to use an external resource to tackle a tough bargaining situation. This strategy is often used to diffuse difficult situations. It allows the parties to avoid prolonging situations due to high emotions. Often just the signal that is sent by changing the regular spokesperson to an external one is sufficient to get the parties discussing a different bargaining agenda. Our experts are extensively experienced in labour relations across both public and private sectors.
Labour dispute contingency plans may be necessary, if you anticipate that bargaining will be very tough in a particular year. Please see our contingency planning services.
Careful contract language
Few collective bargaining agreements ever get shorter over time. The parties keep adding language year after year. When a provision is not clear, more language is added to clarify the existing language. Contract language often gets carved in stone. We can insure that the language in your collective agreement is precise and means what it says. Our abilities have been developed by many years of formulating contract language to reflect the agreement of the parties.
Sometimes, you decide strategically not to use your regular HR staff to deal with a downsizing or an outsourcing. The risk of damaging a good relationship that has been built over many years is just not worth it. Hiring an outside specialist to handle a downsizing or outsourcing situation may be a better approach. The external negotiator does the job and takes all the negative baggage with them when the job is done. Our negotiators will handle these situations with great sensitivity and professionalism. Only the most experienced negotiators can accomplish this role and our negotiators have that experience.