The topics for week five consisted of labor unions, collective bargaining, and internal employee relations. The information presented about labor unions and collective bargaining were a good overview of topics I had already learned during my undergraduate coursework. The topic of internal employee relations provided me with a lot of relevant information that can be applied to many organizations. Of these main topics, the most influential subtopics included the bargaining process and disciplinary action.
Collective bargaining is a process in which unions negotiate contracts with employers for the working people (AFL-CIO, 2013). The process begins with each side choosing which issues they want to bring to the table. Some issues are mandatory such as wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment. Permissive bargaining issues may be raised but neither side is allowed to force them. Prohibited issues are outlawed (Mondy & Noe, 2012). The employees jointly decide their priorities for bargaining (AFL-CIO, 2013). Both sides prepare for negotiations and then enter into the process of negotiating the contract. During this phase communication is essential and both sides are required to bargain in good faith. Despite both parties bargaining in good faith, standstills or negotiating breakdowns can occur. During these breakdowns the parties can choose to seek third party intervention. The union can also go on strike or boycott, while the employer can lockout employees or continue to work without the striking workers. All of these strategies have the goal of removing the breakdown in negotiations and getting back on track. Once the parties have moved past the breakdown and they are able to reach an agreement, the agreement will be ratified and then administrated (Mondy & Noe, 2012). A ratified contract legally binds both sides to the contract terms (AFL-CIO, 2013). Unions have been a popular and successful way for employees to deal with employers. Recently the number of unions member has declined (Mondy & Noe, 2012) but despite this, the remaining unions will still complete the collective bargaining process every time a new contract is needed.
Internal employee relations consist of how employees move throughout the organization. For an organization, it is important to have a disciplinary action plan in place to deal with the conduct of employees while they are employed. Disciplinary action is the penalty against an employee who fails to meet the conventional standards. Disciplinary action seeks to address the wrongful behavior and not the employee as a person. Disciplinary action is an ongoing process that consists of setting organizational goals, establishing rules, and then communicating these rules to the employees. Once the rules are set the employer then observes performance, compares the performance with the rules, and takes the appropriate disciplinary action (Mondy & Noe, 2012).
It is imperative that disciplinary actions are consistent....