Labour Relations Training 

The BCMEA Labour Relations department currently offers the following Labour Relations training programs. In addition, we can customize and develop training programs according to your specific needs.

Labour Relations 101 

This updated version of the program consists of four modules and will assist Superintendents and other management employees in understanding their rights in the day to day management of the workforce. This is a full day session and consists of the following:

Module 1 - Introduction to Labour Relations

Participants will be provided with a brief overview of Canadian labour relations history. They will then gain an understanding of the legal framework that defines the relationships between Employer/Union/Employee, and will be able to identify the various documents that fit within that legal framework. Finally, they will understand the role of the BCMEA in labour relations matters, and how to draw upon that expertise.

Module 2

Section 1 - Interpreting the Collective Agreement

This session builds on the information provided in “Employer Rights: The Legal Framework”. Focusing on the language in the Collective Agreement, attendees will learn how to analyze/understand and apply collective agreement language. The session includes a review of case law to help with understanding how a third party interprets collective agreement language.

Section 2 - Discipline and the Grievance Procedure

Participants will learn the principles of progressive discipline and how it applies to the management of unionized employees. This session will review the BCMEA and ILWU discipline and grievance procedures, highlighting the different roles of the Employer/Union/BCMEA in the process as well as the differences in the discipline process in the different ILWU locals.  

Module 3 - Work Slowdowns and Work Refusals 

Attendees will learn how to identify the difference between an illegal work stoppage and a legitimate refusal to work for safety reasons.  They will be provided with a step by step process for dealing effectively with a safety refusal. Finally, they will learn how to quickly identify whether or not the slowdown or refusal should be determined by HRSDC, Transport Canada or the Job Arbitrator.

Module 4 - Developing Your LR Skills: Practical Application

The central component in this module is for participants to simulate an arbitration assuming the roles of union counsel, employer counsel, and witnesses. This simulation will require participants to draw on and utilize the concepts taught in modules 1 to 3, and will include a de-brief to reinforce key concepts.

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