Managing Unionized Environments (Halifax) - CPHR NL

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Managing Unionized Environments (Halifax)

July 26, 2022 - July 28, 2022

There are three events in the labour relations series, two in Halifax and the final one to be offered in St. John’s.

Session Topic

Collective bargaining may get all the attention of the outside world but smart, day-to-day relationship management determines the effectiveness of managers and unionized workers. It is the ongoing resolution of issues and problems that arise daily that will either create a culture of success or one of resistance and fear. In this skills-building program designed for both supervisors and union representatives, the use and application of the collective agreement is placed into an intensely practical context.


Learn both management and union best practices on challenging issues such as discipline, performance management, and job competition. Develop interest-based skills to help eliminate positional behaviour and engage difficult people, be they managers or workers. Reduce friction arising from the daily interpretation of the collective labour agreement. Start using the collective agreement as a platform for productivity and achievement.

a) Interests, Rights, and Power

We first distinguish three related yet distinct concepts in how all of us approach problem solving:

A focus on interests, which calls for engaging, motivating, and coaching 
A focus on rights, which involves setting boundaries, rights, and obligations 
A focus on power, which calls for discipline, accountability, and enforcement of boundaries
Understanding the distinctions, and knowing when and how to pull on each of these levers, is a crucial initial learning. How can managers and union representatives effectively use these processes? How can you get management’s attention on important issues?

We then do a deep dive into interests, using the Triangle of Satisfaction as a means to understand three types of interests. This will help you to better diagnose people’s behaviour in the workplace and resolve workplace issues. In many cases, union representatives are focused on one set of these interests, while managers are focused on a completely different area, often leading to frustration. Managers and union reps will learn how to engage on the full range of key interests.

b) Understanding Human Rights in the Workplace

With the help of a case study, we examine the law, rights, and obligations governing the workplace, with a focus on both human rights legislation as well as recent developments, such as Ontario’s Bill 168. We work through the following themes: 

How to recognize harassment and discrimination
The DNA of a poisoned work environment
How to manage issues that arise related to harassment
How managing performance is related to human rights in the workplace
What obligations that management and unions have in relation to human rights issues.
In this module, learn how to work effectively to build trust in the unionized environment, and how to apply power without causing long-term problems. Participate in a spirited discussion of the union’s role in building and maintaining a productive work environment.

c) Dissecting the Collective Agreement

You’ll learn all about the laws, rights, and obligations embedded in collective agreements that touch all parties. What are the key provisions and hot spots in the collective labour agreement that front-line managers need to know?

You’ll also be briefed on the grievance process. What is the front-line’s role in this process? What is the anatomy of a grievance? What are the best interventions from both a management and union perspective?

You’ll have an opportunity to identify the key areas for your own collective agreement, and develop strategies for starting to address those issues.

d) Managing Relations in the Unionized Environment

In this module, learn how to work effectively to build trust in the unionized environment, and how to apply power without causing long-term problems. Participate in a spirited discussion of the union’s role in building and maintaining a productive work environment.

e) Applying Key Interest-Based Skills – The Dynamics of Trust

Even when working with “rights” and “power”, you still need to engage people and build productive and sustainable workplace relationships. Trust is a key component of every relationship, workplaces included. What creates and builds trust, both on a personal and impersonal level? When trust is low or broken, what can help repair and rebuild it? How do we weave trust into everything we do, even when not everyone is getting what they want?

You’ll be given a clear and easy-to-implement template for building and managing trust in the workplace.

Build your skills in:

Eliminating positional behaviour
Effective listening in search of the “why”
Reality testing to engage difficult staff and effect change
Working effectively with difficult managers and members

f) Managing and Applying Discipline

When done properly, what does progressive discipline look like? How do you set boundaries that are respected? If you’re a front-line manager, how do you gather the facts and conduct a disciplinary meeting? When does the Human Resources department need to be brought in?

In addition, you’ll learn the best way to represent a member in the discipline process. What is best for the member, and the membership? How do you sell a result to the member that he or she may not like?

g) Performance Management that Works

Improving the performance of workers involves insight and a number of skills. Motivations need to be understood. Expectations need to be set collaboratively. In this module, learn how to: 

Set expectations
Give feedback that is heard
Execute on the maxim, “Gentle pressure, relentlessly applied”.

h) The View from the Union Hall

Hear the union perspective on discipline, performance management, and seniority. 

What does the union look for in “good” supervisors?
Union duty to represent – goals and limits

Questions? Contact [email protected].


 Members          $3,310.75 (15% OFF!)
 Non-Members                  $3,895

Please contact [email protected] for the exclusive member discount code.


July 26, 2022
July 28, 2022


The Prince George Hotel
1725 Market Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3N 3J9 Canada
+ Google Map

CPHRNL offers events through the year giving HR professions the opportunity to stay on top of current topics, offers CPHRs the opportunity to earn continuing professional development hours, and everyone the opportunity to network with other HR professionals. Through the calendar you can find out what events are being hosted by CPHRNL.

The calendar of events will list all CPHRNL events and events that the Association has partnered with other organizations.

All events require online registration and payment prior to the event. Please click on the event name for further details.