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Collective Bargaining Case Study

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Address the following:
- What was the relationship like between city management and the unions? Were there any problems with this relationship? Did this relationship differ from normal relationships between management and unions in the public sector?
- What was the collective bargaining process like? What was effective in this process? What should have been done differently? Was hard bargaining the best choice in this situation? Why? Were there any other options that could have been considered?
- What were some of the challenges faced to reaching an agreement? Are these challenges normal?
- What personal and public factors must be considered when determining which course of action to take?

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In contract negotiations, building relationships and trust are vital for a successful conclusion of the final agreement between all noted parties. By doing so, the parties involved are able to apply consensus of a forward thinking approach - to reaching a desired outcome that serves everyone proficiently. Let's take a look at several positions of strategy approaches within collective bargaining:

*What was the relationship like between city management and the unions? Were there any problems with this relationship? Did this relationship differ from normal relationships between management and unions in the public sector?

The initial relationship between city management and the unions demonstrated a delicate situation that revealed challenges in any future negotiations. In the case scenario, the prior incidents leading to the current salary and benefits platform outlined mistrust for fair labor relations. Thus, the reasoning for PBA to resist any new adjustments to their salary and benefits offers a clear insight to previous unfair practices. Unions and city management in any framework consistently will demonstrate tensions amongst a proposal ...

Solution Summary

The relationship between city management and the unions are examined for collective bargaining case studies.

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Human Resource/Labor Relations

7. Outsourcing

Facts:

The company allowed a nonbargaining unit employee to repair an electrical relay on the plant's security system, and the union filed a grievance. The union contended that the contract was violated because it prohibits supervisors from performing the work normally performed by members of the bargaining union except in emergencies, for training purposes, or to check equipment. The company's position was that maintenance of the plant's security system is work not normally performed by the union members but contracted out to an outside contractor. Therefore, the repair is not within the scope of the contract. The union acknowledged that the normal maintenance is done by an outside contractor but contended that those contracts were entered pursuant to provisions of the collective bargaining agreement that stated that prior to outside contracting, the company and union would agree on the scope of the contract. The scope of this contract did not allow supervisors to perform the work. It was the union's position that it agreed to have an outside contractor maintain the security system but not to allow supervisors to make repairs on the system. The union believed it has some control on the scope of outside contracts but none on work assigned to supervisors.

Decision:

The arbitrator decided this grievance on the past practice of the parties. Union members had never maintained the security system. Because it had not, it was not work normally done by the unit members; therefore, the section prohibiting supervisors from performing the work did not apply. The union's point on agreeing to the scope of an outside contract only was simply dismissed as irrelevant to this case.

Questions:

a. As the arbitrator in this case, would you rule for the union or the company? Why?
b. Give reasons why the union would prefer that outside contractors perform the work rather than supervisors.
c. Give reasons why the company would prefer using supervisors rather than an outside contractor to perform the work.

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