Respond & Disagree ! Try to choose a post that you respectfully disagree with. Respond from the perspective of either a union member or the manager of an organization. If your peer provided a real-world example, respond from the opposing perspective referred to in your peer’s post.

How does the role and purpose of the modern union need to be redefined to effectively serve its membership?

“Unions must work to maximize solidarity by empowering unit members, and prioritizing issues based on worker perspectives, unit composition, and geography” (Herbert, 2019). With the option to opt out of the union along with the dues (in the public sector), the employee needs to see the value of remaining in the bargaining unit.  This means that the union must be responsive to members concerns at the local level. 

  • How does the presence of a union influence the job of the HR professional?

In my current position as an HR professional, I work with 8 different unions as well as a group that is unrepresented.  Each group has its own pay scales and benefits package that they have negotiated.  I have to make sure that they are implemented and maintained correctly.  This can be complicated with each group having different rules for overtime, step increases, longevity, paid time off, and special pay for certain duties.  We have policies but the collective bargaining agreements (CBA) supersede some of them. When an issue arises, I look at the appropriate CBA and relevant policies to determine the correct course of action.  When supervisors meet with employees and the meeting could lead to corrective action, the employee has the right to have a representative from the union at the meeting.  This requires that meetings be planned and scheduled.  When a contract comes up for bargaining, HR is at the table and it requires significant work in preparing data and negotiating.  We also have to make sure that our non-represented group has fair and equitable treatment even though they are not represented.