7.1 million employees in the public sector belonged to a union in 2016. Their supervisors and managers aren’t protected by the National Labor Relations Act and aren’t allowed in the union. Marion County, Oregon found that managing employees in a union environment can be challenging—with regulations and amendments to laws, it can feel like walking a tightrope. Supervisors want to manage their employees effectively – to ensure the success of Marion County and the success of their employees; they need to know the role union representation plays and how to supervise within their collective bargaining framework.
Marion County asked for a solution that would:
- Differentiate between management in the private sector versus management in the public sector.
- Describe manager rights and responsibilities when supervising union employees, according to the collective bargaining agreement and County policies and procedures.
We learned everything we could about Marion County’s union environment governed by their Employee Relations Board – employees in confidential, supervisory, and managerial roles are excluded from any bargaining unit. We spent about 8 weeks creating a 30-minute eLearning with interactive, branching scenarios so learners could do things like describe when to use progressive discipline and follow the steps in the process, describe the importance of employee documentation and document employee discipline discussions, and describe the purpose of a union grievance and then follow the grievance procedures. The course was integrated into the County’s LMS so learners could take the entire course at one time and then navigate the course to review specific topics just when they need it.