Pocket Guide to the Basics of Labor Relations (6th ed., 2019)


By Rhonda Albey
6th edition, 2019

289 in stock


It takes time and experience to understand the nuances of labor relations, but here’s a start.

If you are a manager who has just been given an assignment that includes labor relations responsibility, or if you are a newly appointed union representative, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. It’s easy to make mistakes, and there’s pressure from both sides! This Pocket Guide will help you get your bearings and survive the initial stages of what can be a difficult, but rewarding, line of work. This book will tell you:

  • Why we have public employee unions
  • State laws that regulate labor relations
  • The language of labor relations
  • What is in the typical contract
  • How to negotiate and administer labor agreements
  • How to handle grievances
  • What to do in arbitration and unfair practice hearings
  • How to handle agency shop arrangements
  • How to cope with extraordinary situations (including downsizing and/or restructuring, work actions, and organizing drives).

Offering advice and resources, Pocket Guide to the Basics of Labor Relations includes a section on managing your bargaining team and how best to work with different types of personalities.

Author Rhonda Albey is a principal analyst in the Employee Relations Division of the California Accounting Office, where she has working since 1990, following other budget/administrative positions in her 24-year career. She holds a Ph.D. From UCLA in Education and Management, and has been an instructor in the Undergraduate Management Program at the University of Phoenix since 1996.

Table of Contents


I. Introduction 1
II. The Need for Public Employee Unions 3
    A. History of Public Sector Labor Relations in California 3
    B. What Unions Do That Civil Service Does Not 5
III. State Laws Governing Public Employee Relations 8
    A. Employer Rights and Responsibilities 11
    B. Union Rights and Responsibilities 12
    C. Employee Rights and Responsibilities 12
IV. The Language of Labor Relations 14
V. What Labor Relations Representatives Do All Day 20
VI. What is the Contract? 24
    A. Articles and Provisions 26
    B.Past Practice 26
VII. Contract Negotiations 28
    A. Preparing for Bargaining 28
    B. Roles of Bargaining Team Members 31
    C. Managing Your Team 34
    D. Dealing With Difficult Team Members 35
    E. Conducting Negotiations 38
        1. The Cardinal Rule of Negotiations 41
        2. Bargaining Tactics 47
        3. Bargaining Dynamics 48
        4. Communication Strategies 49
        5. Alternatives to Positional Bargaining 50
VIII. Enforcing Labor Contracts 51
IX. Managing Conflict and Handling Grievances 53
    A. The Grievance Process 55
X. Arbitration and Unfair Practice Hearings 56
    Preparing for Hearings 57
XI. Certification Elections 61
XII. Other Challenges 64
    A. Strikes 64
    B. Workforce Reductions 66
    C. Restructuring 67
    D. Workforce Diversity 68
    E. Public Relations 71
XIII. Additional Resources 74
XIV. Index of Terms 79

Additional information

Weight 0.625 lbs
Dimensions 10 × 6 × 0.5 in