Managing employee relations

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  • Created by: A92
  • Created on: 15-04-13 21:50

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Rules in employment relations:

Procedural rules -

These are rules which establish how the actors in the system will respond and behave in given situations (i.e. - third party intervention). These rules can avoid either party taking arbitrary action.

Substantive rules -

These are rules that are generated by rule-making processes, such as joint determination and unilateral decision making. These rules regulate how much people are getting paid, their hours of work etc.

* Unilateral regulations, is when managers, unions or employees create rules that regulate a particular part of the employment relationship.

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Perspectives on employement relations:

The unitary perspective -

  • Those who work together, in whatever role and funtion, are essentially integrated and are working towards shared objectives.
  • The different groups within each organisation share the same interests and have a common set of values.

Pluralism -

  • The existance of different groups/interests, which reflect differences in occupation, role and social ideology.
  • The acceptance of conflict as an inevitable outcome of this plurality and that it has a degree of legitimacy.
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The Marxist perspective -

  • The workplace, just like society, is based on a hierarchy within which class, wealth and power determine a person's social status and importance.
  • Trade unions are as much an expression of the political interests of workers as of their industrial or employment interests.

What is a trade union? :

This is a body that both collectively and individually represents the interests of its members, mainly in employment. They aim to offer their members protection and defence from arbitrary action of management and the economic system.

Trade unions thrive in situations where..

- Employees enjoy limited, or no protection from state or other judicial authorities.

- Management show little concern for the interests or well being of their employees.

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Union recognition -

  • No obligation for employers to negotiate with a union.
  • If no voluntary agreement is reached, a union can appluy for recognition to the 'CAC'.
  • Needs to show at least 10% membership among the group it wishes to represent and if it can secutre a vote in favour of recognition of atleast 40% of workers in that group.
  • The current governement in power determines the subject of unions, as well as their rights and immunities.

Rights obligations & immunities of trade unions, members and representatives -

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Union recognition -

  • No obligation for employers to negotiate with a union.
  • If no voluntary agreement is reached, a union can appluy for recognition to the 'CAC'.
  • Needs to show at least 10% membership among the group it wishes to represent and if it can secutre a vote in favour of recognition of atleast 40% of workers in that group.
  • The current governement in power determines the subject of unions, as well as their rights and immunities.

Rights obligations & immunities of trade unions, members and representatives -

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Why do employees join a trade union? -

Reasons why employeees join trade unions, from the perspectibe of managers who are developing their strategy towards trade unions..

Positive reasons - Legal support, representation in meetings, cheap insurance deals etc

Negative reasons - Peer pressure, political persuasion, industrial action participation

Collecting bargaining -

This has 4 dimensions over which each party has an interest in influencing..

- Scope (i.e. - the range of issues)

- Form (i.e. - formal or informal bargaining)

- Level (i.e. - company or national level)

- Unit (i.e. - the bargaining unit which identifies the group of employees)

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Industrial action -

  • This can have a damaging effect on employers and their customers.
  • Employees can also be effected, through loss of earnings, conflicts between employers and even a loss of jobs.
  • If trade unions did not have immunity, they could be sued for the economic loss that results from these actions.

Types of industrial action..

- Strike action (i.e. - temporary withdrawl and 'picketing')

- Action short of a strike (i.e. - 'go slow' or 'blacking')

- Unofficial industrial action (i.e. - must be disowned within 24 hours)

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Strategies for improving poor industrial relations:

  • Be clear on the rules and distinction between normal working duties and union duties.
  • Train, coach and support the union representatives and line managers.
  • Communicate directly with employees/union representatives to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Listen to and rectify employee concerns, before the union gets involved.
  • Invite union representatives and managers to participare in joint training.

The Psychological Contract -

This refers to the relationship between an employer and its employees, and specifically concerns mutual expectations of inputs and outcomes.This contract is usually seen from the standpoint or feelings of employees, although a full appreciation requires it to be understood from both sides.

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Managing employee relations

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