Society for Human Resource Management
Assignment ID Number AFFGEHU83939HD Type of Document Essay Writing Format APA/MLA/Harvard Academic Level Masters/University References/Sources 4 References
Society for Human Resource Management
This case promotes learning about the labor relations process in the United States. The case follows the actual efforts of undergraduate resident assistants (R As) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) who sought to be represented by the United Auto Workers union for collective bargaining purposes.
Throughout the case, you are given opportunities to analyze management actions and offer recommendations. Thus, the case reinforces understanding of core labor relations concepts and offers opportunities for analysis of decisions made by actual participants in the labor relations process.
U.S. employees have the right to form labor unions and engage in collective bargaining with their employers over wages and working conditions. These rights became institutionalized with passage of the Wagner Act in 1935 (now known as the National Labor Relations Act, or the NLR A). This law was developed, in part, by three key underlying assumptions (Holley, Jennings & Wolters, 2009):
- There is an inherent conflict of interest between employers and employees in a free-enterprise economic system because both want to advance their own self- interests. At the same time, employers and employees share a common interest in the success of the organization. Thus, the employment relationship is a mixed- motive relationship consisting of conflicting and common interests.
- Employees in a free and democratic society have a right to independently pursue their employment interests and may choose to pursue their interests on an individual basis or by joining together.
- Employees are at a bargaining-power disadvantage relative to their employers, and collective bargaining offers employees a way to create a greater balance of power in the employment relationship.
The NLR A is not applicable to public-sector workers, however, because public- sector workers at the federal, state and local levels are not considered “employees” under the act. Collective bargaining rights for federal government employees were granted in the early 1960s and then solidified with passage of the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act. Meanwhile, collective bargaining rights for state and local government employees are covered under state law.
2 © 2011 society for Human resource management. patrick p. mcHugh, ph.D.
There is wide variation among states regarding the collective bargaining rights of public-sector workers. In about half the states (e.g., Massachusetts and Ohio), nearly all public employees have the right to engage in collective bargaining. In about a dozen other states (including Maryland and Texas), collective bargaining rights are limited to certain occupational groups. Several states have no laws protecting public employees’ collective bargaining activities, while two states (North Carolina and Virginia) prohibit collective bargaining for state and local public employees (Budd, 2010).
In contrast to the private sector, public-sector employees engaging in collective bargaining are often limited in terms of the right to strike, constrained regarding permissible bargaining topics and encouraged to use some form of interest arbitration to settle disputes. While these differences are important, many state laws incorporate rules and processes that parallel those outlined in the NLR A. Indeed, the NLR A was often used as the model for state-level collective bargaining laws. Therefore, while this case is based on events involving public-sector workers in Massachusetts, many of the labor-management processes for Massachusetts public employees emulate those found in the private sector.
This case will help you better understand the three phases of the labor relations process:
n Phase one focuses on the rights, responsibilities and actions of union and management representatives regarding union selection, the representation campaign and the certification election.
n Phase two examines the bargaining activities associated with the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement.
n Phase three focuses on contract administration, which primarily deals with the interpretation and application of the collective bargaining agreement (Holley, Jennings & Wolters, 2009).
You will learn about the actual efforts of undergraduate student resident assistants (R As) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass Amherst), who wanted to be represented by a union for collective bargaining purposes. The R As tried to organize under Massachusetts law (modeled after the NLR A) governing public employees.
At the beginning of the case, you find Flynn Oberond, director of human resources at Sofie College (a fictitious college), keenly interested in the events at UMass Amherst because of concerns about similar actions occurring at Sofie College. After reading the events documented in this essay, Oberond (and readers) will be asked to offer recommendations to others interested in the labor relations implications of the case. You will have an advantage over Oberond because you will be given study questions to guide your reading and enhance your understanding. A list of abbreviations is included at the end of the case.
© 2011 society for Human resource management. patrick p. mcHugh, ph.D. 3
At the conclusion of this case, you should have a better understanding of:
n The factors that can lead to employee interest in unionization.
n The process of union organizing, union tactics and the various reactions of management when facing union activity.
n Labor law by comparing the similarities and differences of public- and private- sector collective bargaining regulations.
n The way various stakeholders (students, faculty, the media, other unions and other universities) can affect the labor relations process.
n The bargaining process and its outcomes.
required Learning materiaLs
This student workbook and assigned reading from the instructor.
The following materials may help you develop a deeper understanding of various aspects of the case and can be a resource for further investigation of the topics covered in the case.
Budd, J. W. (2008). Labor relations: Striking a balance (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin, pp. 135-142, 187-228.
Holley, W. H., Jennings, K. M., & Wolters, R. S. (2009). The labor relations process (9th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning, pp. 5-32, 117-237, 569- 618.
Katz, H. C., Kochan, T. A., & Colvin, A. J. S. (2008). An introduction to collective bargaining & industrial relations (4th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill, pp. 345-374.
The following videos are about the R A union activity at UMass Amherst:
n Brian Oelberg. (Poster). UMass arrests 35 in R A sit-in for union recognition [Video]. (2002, April 29) Retrieved from www.archive.org/details/ UMassR A Arrests.
n Brian Oelberg. (Poster). UMass R As rally and march for union recognition [Video]. (2002, May 2) Retrieved from www.archive.org/details/ UMassR Asprotest6May02.
n Papercityfilms. (Poster). UMass R A Union March in Boston [Video]. (2007, January 12). Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQO2TwuxF6k.
4 © 2011 society for Human resource management. patrick p. mcHugh, ph.D.
The outcome of the March 2002 election on the UMass Amherst campus was historic. Undergraduate students elected to form the first undergraduate student/ employee union in the country. To many union supporters the election was more than a means to advance the employment interests of undergraduate R As at UMass Amherst; it meant that a larger movement for union representation of undergraduate students/employees could launch at other colleges. While administrators at the university were anxious about the election outcome, administrators from colleges across the country were interested in the implications of the election for their own institutions.
Flynn Oberond, the director of human resources at Sofie College, was keenly interested in the events at UMass Amherst, as were other key administrative leaders at Sofie College. Given Oberond’s role as director of human resources, many in the administration looked to him as an expert in these matters. Could what happened at UMass Amherst occur at Sofie College? To answer this question, Oberond needed to understand the pivotal events that occurred on the campus. Based on those events, what information and recommendations could Oberond share with the administrative leaders at Sofie College?
Society for Human Resource Management
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. Grammar (worth maximum of 20% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 5 points out of 20: The paper does not communicate ideas/points clearly due to inappropriate use of terminology and vague language; thoughts and sentences are disjointed or incomprehensible; organization lacking; and/or numerous grammatical, spelling/punctuation errors 10 points out 20: The paper is often unclear and difficult to follow due to some inappropriate terminology and/or vague language; ideas may be fragmented, wandering and/or repetitive; poor organization; and/or some grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors 15 points out of 20: The paper is mostly clear as a result of appropriate use of terminology and minimal vagueness; no tangents and no repetition; fairly good organization; almost perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word usage. 20 points: The paper is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read as a result of appropriate and precise use of terminology; total coherence of thoughts and presentation and logical organization; and the essay is error free. Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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