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collective agreement interpretation


Collective Agreements are probably the most important documents in a unionized workplace. The CA is the
agreement between the union (representing the bargaining unit) and the employer and which the two sides
negotiated in good faith. It contains the rules and procedures that govern both workplace practices and the
relationship between the two parties. It is vital that an HR practitioner fully and clearly understand the CA
including how to interpret the intention and meaning of the terms and conditions. Many a grievance is
raised due to a misinterpretation of a clause in the collective agreement.

• Gain experience in reading and locating information in multiple and various collective agreements.

  • Gain experience in interpreting the clauses in the collective agreements.• Gain experience using HR knowledge learned at MRU, as well as interpreting provincial legislation wherenecessary• Enhance critical thinking, writing and influencing skills• Strengthen planning and time management skills.• Develop a better understanding of the complexity of language choices and the need for exactness inwriting clauses in a collective agreement.Overview1. This assignment should be completed individually. Assume you are an HR consultant and yourclient is about to embark on their first round of bargaining and drafting a collective agreement.Your client has asked to review some collective agreements to find both the most employer friendly and the most accurately phrased clauses (that will avoid misinterpretation) so they aremost prepared for this first round of bargaining2. Locate and scan the following, collective agreements:1) Sobeys West Inc. Retail Support Centre Rocky View & Teamsters Local Union 987 Of Alberta2 | Page2) Alberta Health Services Covenant Health Lamont Health Care Centre The Bethany Group(Camrose) & The United Nurses of Alberta (This Agreement Will Have Expired In 2020)3) The City of Calgary & Amalgamated Transit Union Local 5833. Review the questions on the attached sheet and locate the answers in the collective agreementand prepare your answers.4. This assignment is worth 15% of the student’s final course grade. I will be marking the correctnessof your answers and the applicability of the recommendations. Your writing and professionalismskills will also be assessed. See the attached marking rubric for more specific details.Deliverables:This assignment is best presented in a table format, where the column titles are the names of the 3unions you are comparing, and the row headings are the questions / scenarios presented. Or forthose who are comfortable using EXCEL, this is another good format in which to present yourinformationExample: This is a WORD table. Excel can be formatted similarly.Sobey’s andTeamsters Local 987AHS and UNA Calgary & ATULocal 5831. How manyclauses…2. When doesthiscollective…Etc.No external research is required.Section 1: Answer the following questions1. How many clauses in this agreement?2. When does this collective agreement expire?3. How are the union dues collected?4. If an employee is laid off, how long do recall rights last?5. How long is the probationary period for a new employee?6. Does the collective agreement provide for paid educational leave?7. How does the collective agreement define “full-time”? 3 | Page8. Does the collective agreement provide for a Health and Safety committee?9. How many employment classifications are mentioned in the collective agreement?10.What is the overtime rate? Is it different depending on the employment classification? If yes,please explain?11.How many named holidays does the collective agreement provide for?12.What are the management rights?Section 2: Interpreting the collective agreement(Shorten these scenarios into key words in the table you create to present your answers)1. Due to another employee’s illness, Bob has been called in to work a shift on Sunday from nonoon – 8pm. In addition to his basic rate of pay (hourly wage) what, if any additionalcompensation is Bob entitled to?2. Bob was hired on November 8, 2011. What is his current vacation entitlement?3. Bob’s wife’s aunt passed away in Manitoba, suddenly. Bob’s wife (Sue) is devastated as she neverknew her mom as she died during childbirth and Sue often referred to and considered her aunther “mom” as she lived just down the street growing up. How many paid days bereavementleave is Bob entitled to?4. Due to a retirement of the current incumbent, a supervisory position has come open and themanager wants to hire to replace. Briefly outline the recruitment process that must be followedto hire the replacement.5. A new hire is not working out and the manager has come to you for advice as he wants toterminate the individual. The individual was hired on September 1st, and today is November 28th.What do you advise?
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