Usually the only means of Labour Management communication during the life of a collective agreement is through the formalized grievance procedure, which is adversarial in nature. This “win-lose” atmosphere does not promote or contribute to resolving matters of mutual concern to the parties. Mutual respect, understanding, and trust combine to form the foundation for any successful relationship. To help solve problems, positive relationships must be forged in the workplace. Labour Management Committees (LMC) brings union and management representatives together in an attempt to improve the organization’s labour relations environment. Joint consultation between labour and management results in improved labour management relations.
The LMC is not a substitute for the grievance procedure. Issues such as work scheduling, absenteeism, employee health and welfare, morale, production, safety problems and training can be discussed. By opening two-way communications and promoting effective action issues can be dealt with quickly and effectively.
Establishing A LMC
Equal representation and a solid commitment from both labour and management are paramount when forming a LMC. A mediator from the Labour Relations Division will attend the first meeting to advise and assist the parties in its establishment. Once the LMC is established, the mediator will remain available for future assistance.
Understanding How it Works
Individuals may take concerns and/or problems to a designated representative of the LMC. In turn, the representative will table the issue with the committee. This gives the LMC the opportunity to jointly address problems before they escalate.
Understanding Why it Works
A LMC will work effectively when both parties are willing to communicate and cooperate for the benefit of everyone involved. When both parties approach problems on the level of “what is right” as opposed to “who is right”, problems get solved. Establishing an effective communication system helps ensure positive problem-solving.
Evaluation with Results
Constant feedback from management and union representatives involved in joint consultation committees assures us that Labour Management Committees are an effective way to get positive results.
Benefits of Labour Management Committees
For Management, the benefits include:
- an early discussion of operational challenges and other concerns helps solve potential problems.
- a timely response to these problems helps resolve potential grievances.
- a more positive relationship with the union committee and better employee communication through elected leaders.
For Union, the benefits include:
- an open communication channel to top management.
- an opportunity for input regarding many operational problems and management plans that affect the employees.
- a way to address problems before they escalate.
Joint consultation through a LMC benefits everyone involved in the overall process. Your organization can benefit as well, by opening up proper communications and cooperation channels in your working environment. A LMC truly promotes positive working relations.
Management has said….
“When our organization formed a Labour Management Committee we did not expect such a positive change in employee morale and overall productivity. We certainly encourage other organizations to take advantage of what a Labour Management Committee can offer.”
“Without a Labour Management Committee our organization would not be as successful as it is. We sincerely hope the department will continue to enlighten employers and employees in this province.”
Labour has said…
“Better overall working conditions for employees is a plus in our books. Open relations and problem solving strategies can only benefit everyone.”
“A Labour Management Committee sheds light on difficult working conditions and enables a sensible, alternative approach to problem solving. We strongly recommend this committee to all organizations.”
If your labour/management relationship encounters difficult circumstances that might benefit from neutral, third party assistance, consider participating in the Preventive Mediation Program.
For more information, contact us.