Executive Education

An Introduction to Labour Relations

Maintain productive relationships in a union setting

In a unionized workplace, being able to lead effectively under the terms of a collective agreement is critical to meeting employee performance objectives and maximizing workforce productivity. 

Designed with a managerial and supervisory focus, this program provides practical guidance on how to lead appropriately and confidently within the union-management context. Develop the communication skills needed to address dysfunctional behaviours, performance issues, training needs and workplace dilemmas. Enhance your capacity for interpreting the collective agreement. Employ constructive ways to deal with conflict, grievances and disciplinary action. 

Managers and supervisors responsible for leading unionized workforces, including: 

  • New supervisors and managers new to a unionized workplace 
  • Experienced managers who want to gain fresh insights on how to enhance union/management relations and the work environment 
  • Enhance your capacity to interpret the collective agreement
  • Anticipate and minimize conflict with the union over leader actions 
  • Develop positive approaches to performance management 
  • Approach the grievance process constructively 
  • Uncover root causes of chronic problems and grievances 
  • Ensure a safe workplace environment 
  • The organizational landscape: emerging leadership imperatives, situational leadership 101  
  • The unionized workplace: the role of the union, key elements of the collective agreement, Labour Relations Code framework, union-management relations
  • The work: schedules and conditions, employee expectations and responsibilities, supervisory commitments 
  • Performance management: job descriptions and expectations, performance feedback, performance gaps and development  
  • The team environment: employee behaviours and group relationships, workplace communication and collaboration 
  • Grievances: the grievance process, grievance investigation and negotiation

Special features

This program includes case studies, group solution-seeking activities, leadership videos, guest speakers and personal assessment exercises. You will leave with tools and tactics to use in your workplace, along with a clear sense of your leadership capabilities under a collective agreement and a set of goals for improving your performance. 

Photo of Gordon McIntosh

Dr. Gordon McIntosh

Gordon has 40+ years of experience as a manager and executive, educator and consultant in the public sector. He has provided over 1,400 sessions throughout Canada and internationally involving over 140,000 elected, managerial and staff participants. Students affirm that his dynamic and practical sessions enable them to make an immediate leadership difference back at work.

Upcoming sessions

Course Offerings

calendar Program dates
price_tag Fees and Taxes
notebook Format
filled_point Location
Oct 26
$1095.00 + tax (5%)


UBC Robson Square

Participating organizations

Success stories

This course provided a great balance between hands-on, interactive discussion and conceptual learning. It is challenging to find a course that provides practical tools for improving communication between union representatives and management, and I think this course delivered.
This was a great course. It allows me to plan for an upcoming meeting with our union, to talk about our ‘traditional relationship’ and where we can go in the future.

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