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1. Does the labor law encourage...
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1. Does the labor law encourage or discourage unionization?

2. Do you think teaching assistants should be considered employees?

3. Do you think management's reaction to employee interest in unionization differs if the employer already has a high union density among other employee groups?

4. What are the key factors that led some RAs to have interest in union representation? Do you think that RAs have legitimate job-related concerns, or are the RA complaints overstated?

5. Do the RAs opposed to unionization have legitimate concerns? How could unionization change the culture of Residence Life?

6. How does the law regarding union recognition for public employees in this state compare with the NLRA rules regarding union recognition for private-sector employees?

7. Why did the LRC determine that RAs and CDAs were employees? Do you agree with the LRC decision? Why? Why not?
Collective Bargaining at West University rev1.docx

Case Study: Collective Bargaining at West University
Overview
Universities are not known to have union activity. However, a case involving resident assistants
at the West University requested to be represented by UAW (United Auto Workers) union for
collective bargaining. The case reviews regulating labor relations, contract negotiations, labor
management, and union activity.
Here are several tips for successfully completing this case study:
You should incorporate information from the textbook, the lectures, and/or the discussions to
support your position. In other words, tell me more than just your opinion. Provide some relevant
facts from the course material to support your position.
Make sure to fully explore your thoughts with each question.
Your answer for EACH question must be within the range of 250 to 350 words (use MS
Words word count feature on the Review tab to ensure that your answer is not too brief or too
verbose). Be sure to answer each question fully, because you are subject to point deductions for
incomplete answers. Use 1.5 line spacing. Also, please remember you will be using information
supporting your position from sources such as our textbook, articles, and the Internet. You
MUST use proper APA citations and references. See the Syllabus for an APA tutorial. Also, do
not rely too heavily on borrowed material. It should NOT dominate your work. Point deductions
will occur if more than 15% of the answer is borrowed. I want to read YOUR thoughts on these
questions.
Case Study
Read the following case study and answer the questions found in the section below.
West University is a large college located in Phoenix, Arizona. Since its inception, the university
experienced tremendous growth. The campus is located on 1,200 acres with more than 20,000
students providing on-campus housing to more than 11,000 students. Residential Life, a
department within Housing Services, provides support for all aspects of the student's experience
in the residence halls. There were 30 residence halls supervised by area directors (ADs), 23
resident directors (RDs) supervising the staff and office operations, and 32 graduate student
assistant resident directors (ARDs) who reported to and assisted the RDs and co-supervised 300
RAs . Resident assistants (RAs) are undergraduate students who live on a floor in a residence
hall.
The major responsibilities and duties of RAs can be broken into eight areas:
University Community building.
Resource and referral agent.
Crisis intervention and management.
Administrative duties.
Staff meetings and schedule coverage.
Training.
Performance appraisals.

General 0olicy management.
RAs hired were required to sign a job description and a resident assistant Memo of
Understanding (MOU). The MOU outlined the terms and conditions of the position including
compensation, work hours, GPA standards and several other requirements. An RA who worked a
minimum of two semesters, was enrolled in the university with at least a 2.5 GPA, and not
received formal punishment from the university could be considered for a community
development assistant (CDA) position. The CDA was a mentor to RAs and assisted with
problems. CDA compensation and other work-related requirements were identical to those of
RAs.
Human Resource Policies for RAs and CDAs
RAs and CDAs had mandatory requirements to arrive on campus three days before each
semester begins for mandatory training and building preparation. There was a 20-hour-per-week
time commitment that included a stipend of $1,820 for the academic year with deductions for
federal and state income taxes. RDs are their direct supervisors, conducted their performance
reviews, and maintained their personnel files. RAs and CDAs who violated disciplinary
guidelines were subject to a progressive disciplinary procedure.
Collective Bargaining on the West University Campus
Public employees were granted the right to join unions, present proposals to public employers
but there were no obligations for these employers to engage in bargaining with these public
employee unions. A few unions were active at the West University. Collective bargaining rights
were granted to most of the public employees by passage of the state's general law allowing them
to form, join or participate in unions. The law also granted bargaining collectively over terms and
conditions of employment.
West University recognized the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO), an affiliate of the
United Auto Workers, as the collective bargaining representative for a variety of graduate student
positions including teaching assistants, research assistants and ARDs. The West University now
had a workforce that was predominantly unionized and a climate where unionization and
collective bargaining were common aspects of university life.
RA Challenges
The RAs are challenged with disciplining residents, dealing with the retaliation and disgruntled
residents. There was a 55 percent RA turnover rate. RAs were fired and some felt this was
questionable and unwarranted when a resident doing the same thing was given a written warning.
Grievance committees were formed and many meeting occurred but to no avail. There were also
concerns with compensation. Some RAs approached the GEO to discuss the opportunity to form
an RA union. The GEO agreed the concerns and complaints were similar to other workers. A
committee was organized to gather enough signatures to declare representation by the United
Auto Workers for collective bargaining. The majority of the RAs and CDAs signed and the
request was sent to the University for voluntary recognition and it was denied because

undergraduates are students. Those RAs/CDAs who opposed the union representation thought
the others were over reacting. During the last hiring, twice as many applicants applied than
positions available. As for firing, 12 out of 600 RAs were terminated over the last two years.
The University contacted the state labor relations commission (LRC) to dismiss the petition
because the law did not require collective bargaining for those who perform services as students.
The commission determined that the RAs and CDAs could legally organize and engage in
collective bargaining. A secret ballot election was to be held to determine the preference of the
employees.
Case Questions
Does the labor law encourage or discourage unionization?
Do you think teaching assistants should be considered employees?
Do you think management's reaction to employee interest in unionization differs if the
employer already has a high union density among other employee groups?
What are the key factors that led some RAs to have interest in union representation? Do you
think that RAs have legitimate job-related concerns, or are the RA complaints overstated?
Do the RAs opposed to unionization have legitimate concerns? How could unionization
change the culture of Residence Life?
How does the law regarding union recognition for public employees in this state compare with
the NLRA rules regarding union recognition for private-sector employees?
Why did the LRC determine that RAs and CDAs were employees? Do you agree with the
LRC decision? Why? Why not?
Statistical data retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm .
Learning Questions
After reviewing the case study, answer the following learning questions:
1. Does the labor law encourage or discourage unionization?
2. Do you think teaching assistants should be considered employees?
3. Do you think management's reaction to employee interest in unionization differs if the
employer already has a high union density among other employee groups?
4. What are the key factors that led some RAs to have interest in union representation? Do you
think that RAs have legitimate job-related concerns, or are the RA complaints overstated?
5. Do the RAs opposed to unionization have legitimate concerns? How could unionization
change the culture of Residence Life?
6. How does the law regarding union recognition for public employees in this state compare
with the NLRA rules regarding union recognition for private-sector employees?

7. Why did the LRC determine that RAs and CDAs were employees? Do you agree with the
LRC decision? Why? Why not?

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