Navigating the Realities of a Broken Labour Management System

The current public inquiry regarding catastrophic events in the LTC sector has accentuated major systemic problems relative to labour-management and governance issues and accountabilities. The well-being and safety of residents has seemingly been compromised in the face of organizational self-interest.

In an ideal world, unions, management and governing bodies work together in good faith to address and solve problems. However, what happens when a union member is engaged in professional misconduct? Does the union stand with management and advise against their member in the case of abuse or negligence, or do they see it as their duty to protect their employee regardless of the circumstances, superseding all other interests, including those of residents?

“Right to manage” means managers have the right to exercise their own judgment when it comes to making decisions relative to increasing employee performance, patient safety and quality of care. In the current labour climate this right often comes under fire, from all directions, when managers attempt to manage performance and discipline employees for poor performance and misconduct.

The process typically becomes very adversarial, with management feeling they are at the mercy of a labour management system which appears to favour the employee, even in extreme cases. Internal HR specialists, who are removed from the front lines of residents and families, often push for timely and seemingly less costly settlements. The result can be seen as rewarding bad behavior in the form of financial compensation to the employee, and even transferring the problem to other LTC Homes.  At the end of the day, the consequences of any unfavourable decision falls solely upon the manager, and not with the human resources department.

The Right To Manage is presented from a leadership perspective, designed to help leaders deal with the stressors associated with doing the right thing in the face of systemic challenges. This includes the provision of specific proactive and responsive strategies to enhance success, on all fronts, when doing what is right.

Learning objectives:

In this presentation participants will gain the following:

  1. Recognize the elements of positive labour relations, and how to build them.
  2. Insights on how to work through ethical dilemmas which cause moral distress for leadership.
  3. Application of the ACT Model of Leadership© through leading by example and changing workplace culture for the better.
  4. The critical strategies that every manager must know to navigate their way around the labour management process including: grievances; complaints; investigations; mediations and arbitrations.

The session is also suitable for supervisors and managers working in a non-unionized environment, who want to take proactive action to mitigate the likelihood of staff electing to become unionized.