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    Public Employee Unions in a New Era

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    1. Refer to Chapter 8, (the attachment is the summary of Chapter 8) which points out that the New Era of public employee unions has nothing to do with who controls federal policy making in Washington, D.C. The chapter focuses on the issues that public employees face daily as a result of agency mandates, policies, and procedures that can, at any time, have an adverse impact on job performance as well as fiscal constraints and budgetary resources. Assume your agency (Department of Defense Inspector General Office) wants to discourage union involvement. Recommend at least two (2) strategies your agency could implement to discourage its employees from seeking union representation.

    2. From the eActivity, (http://www.nteu.org/) select one of the news events regarding NTEU and provide a brief critique of the issues.

    Note: The NTEU represents over 150,000 public employees in 31 federal departments and agencies).

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    Solution Preview

    In order for the Dept. of Defense IG Office to discourage their employees from seeking to unionize, there are some strategies that should be implemented to help promote union avoidance. In order to implement effective strategies, an understanding is required from leadership of the DOD IG employees of the concerns and complaints that are driving the employees toward potential third party representation via unions.

    One of the best methods for managers to use to capture their employees voices is through employee surveys. The first step in formulating a strategy for the IG Department will be to deploy surveys across the entire workforce that allows employees a chance to voice their major complaints and concerns. From this collected feedback, managers will be able to better align a strategy for union avoidance by addressing the leading issues found on the survey (Price, 2012).

    For the purposes of this discussion, we are going to assume that the two major complaints from the employees surveyed was a feeling of being unappreciated in their workplace and being underpaid for their performance. Pay and benefits and fair treatment of workers are traditionally the top reasons employees choose to seek unionization according to employee labor statistics (Price, 2012). Therefore, our two part strategy will be focused on resolving these issues which will eliminate the need for a union presence in the department.

    Part one of our Departments strategy will be communication.

    A key to preventing unionization is to get managers and supervisors actively engaged in talking with employees regularly. This is critical in addressing employees' concerns about being treated unfairly in the workplace. Employees feel more appreciated and understood when their bosses are regularly communicating with them (Hawks, 2011).

    In addition, we will communicate to our employees what it means to be unionized and discuss with them the advantages that are offered for remaining a non-union workforce such as fair and equal promotions based on performance, not seniority. Also, we will design recognition programs that give individuals credit for their hard work as opposed to making rewards mandatory for every worker regardless of performance as is common in union environments where everyone is "equal". We will update our ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution discusses public employee unions in a new era.