MG420 Labor Relations

for F1OO 2005

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NAME OF FACULTY MEMBER:  Matthew A. Richards

TITLE OF FACULTY MEMBER:  Adjunct Faculty Member

FACULTY OFFICE HOURS:  Monday thru Sunday:  7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

FACULTY OFFICE TELEPHONE NUMBER:Office: (573) 596-0131 x36327 Home: (573) 759-2938





CLASS SESSION TIME:  5:00pm-10:20pm





The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.



Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Consideration of the development, legal environment, and current problems of the industrial relations system.  Emphasis is placed upon historical evolution of both the union movement and the legislative system that shapes its activities.


FACULTY’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY:  The instructor’s educational philosophy is one of tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I’ll remember, involve me and I’ll understand.  The instructor will engage each student in classroom discussion via lecture, individual and group case study work, and practical exercises.  This will require students to prepare written responses and brief the entire class on their findings.  These requirements will provide the student with real world experience in problem solving, decision-making, public speaking, and written communications all of which are major challenges in the business arena.


LEARNING OBJECTIVES:  At the completion of this course, students should have a basic understanding of the processes used by unions and employers to achieve their goals and accommodate each other in the area of labor relations.  Specifically, students should be able to:

  1. Explain various perspectives of collective bargaining theories.
  2. Discuss the historical and future trends toward labor and management conflict resolution.
  3. Explain how labor relations theories can be applied to workplace practices including the students own work environment.
  4. Explain the history and evolution of unions.
  5. Explain labor laws and be familiar with the applicable federal agencies.
  6. Explain the structure of unions and how they are organized.
  7. Explain the bargaining process.
  8. Explain impasses and the process of resolution.
  9. Explain the process of grievance arbitration.

COURSE TEXTBOOK(S): Fossum, J. (2006). Labor Relations (9th ed.). New York, NY: Irwin/McGraw-Hill Publishers. ISBN: 0-07-248349-0.


ACADEMIC HONESTY:  “Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community.  Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.”


PLAGIARISM:  Plagiarism—the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work—sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.”


ATTENDANCE POLICY:  The student is expected to be at each class meeting and on time.  Classes missed for legitimate reasons (TDY, illness) will be excused but the student is responsible to make up the work.  The student must contact the instructor or the Park University – FTLW office prior to missing a class.  If the office is closed, please leave a detailed message on the answering machine or call the instructor at his office or home.  Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences.  The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”.  An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.  Reports of F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency. 


COURSE ASSESSMENT:  The course will consist of the following assessment tools.  Maximum student participation is required. 


A.     Mid-Term Examination.  (Due Week 5)

B.     Participation (classroom discussion, mock negotiating exercise)

C.     Research paper. (Due Week 8).

D.     Individual presentation of research paper.  (Due Week 8).

E.      Final Examination.  (Due Week 8)


CLASSROOM RULES OF CONDUCT:  Although healthy debate is encouraged, students must respect others opinions by allowing everyone to speak without interruption.  Students are encouraged to ask questions and expected to participate in discussions and group exercises.  Class breaks will be taken as directed by the instructor, however, students may excuse themselves at anytime between for legitimate purposes such as using the restroom. 


LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS:  Students are expected to read weekly text assignments (prior to class), participate in class activities/discussions, prepare and present a research paper, and turn-in a mid-term and final examination.  Research papers, exams, and presentations turned in or presented late will have 2 points deducted from the total score for each late submission.  These deductions are established to motivate students to turn-in coursework on time and in fairness to those students who do turn-in all coursework on time and attend every class.


DISABILITY GUIDELINES:  Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance.  These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal.  It is Park University’s policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply.  Additional information concerning Park University’s policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page:




WEEK DATE                            SUBJECT                                                         ASSIGNMENT


Week 1/18 Aug                         Introduction                                                       Chapter 1

                                                The Evolution of American Labor                       Chapter 2

                                                Labor Law and Federal Agencies                       Chapter 3


Week 2/25 Aug                         Union Structure and Government                        Chapter 4

                                                Unions: Member and Leader Attitudes

                                                Behaviors and Political Activities                         Chapter 5


Week 3/1 Sep                           Union Organizing Campaigns                              Chapter 6

Union Avoidance: Rationale, Strategies               Chapter 7

                                                and Practices                                                 


Week 4/8 Sep                           The Environment Per Bargaining                        Chapter  8           

                                                Wage and Benefit Issues in Bargaining               Chapter 9

                                                Mid-Term Examination- Take Home            Chapters 1-8


Week 5/15 Sep                          Non-Wage Issues in Bargaining                         Chapter 10

Contract Negotiations                                        Chapter 11

                                                Mid-Term Due                          


Week 6/22 Sep                          Impasses and their Resolution                           Chapter 12

                                                Grievance Arbitration                                        Chapter 15       


Week 7/29 Sep                          Negotiation Exercise

                                                Final Examination- Take Home                     Chapters 9-12,15


Week 8/6 Oct                           Final Examination Due

                                                Research Papers Due

                                                Presentations Due




Grades will be based on the following:


Participation/Discussion                    5% or 5 points

Research Paper                        10% or 10 points

Oral Presentation                                 5% or 5 points

Mid Term Examination                        40% or 40 points

Final Examination                               40% or 40 points

TOTAL                                                  100% or 100  points



A         90%-100%

B         80%-89%

C         70%-79%

D         60%-69%

F          Below 60%