Employee is the part and parcel of an organization. They play the very significant roles in various activities in an organization. But every where there are no expected treatment to the employees form the organization. That is why from the very early in the history of business, trade and commerce area employee association or trade union concept is seen in the workplace. Trade union or employee association is developed normally at aiming the protection of employees’ right in terms of wages, salary, incentives, treatment with them etc from the organization. And from the trade union concept employee relation concept was developed since some decades ago. Employee relations mean thecommunication between management and employees in terms of decision making, problem solving, and grievances eta. Along with huge advantages for employees there some disadvantages also in trade union. For the overall benefits for both organization and employees employee relation concept is now a common buzzword in corporate world. This assignment paper is made on ins and outs of employee relation. In this assignment we will try to see the initiatives and influences of European Union over employee relation and how its instructions and guidelines are working in Unison.
1.1: Explanation of the unitary and pluralistic frames of reference by reviewing the perspectives stakeholders in employee relation.
We know that an organization is just an entity. Normally it has some stakeholders like owners, employees, suppliers, consumers, government etc. when we think about the employee relation two options are highly seen like employers and employees. And each stake holder may be benefited or loser by the employee relations as this relation determines the spirit and speed of the organizational performance, (Schifferes & Steve, 2004).
Unitary frame work: unitary frame work is considered as an integrated frame work. It is such a harmonious system under which management, staff and all other members of the organization share the uniform goals, objectives, interests and same purpose. And they work together for a shared mutual goal. Unitary frame work demands loyalty of employees.
According to G. D. H. (2010), to get the suitable knowledge about the unitary perspective we can think some common issues like source of authority that should come from management and question is that is authority perspective should be with the involvement of employees. Along with authority unitary frame concerns the sole involvement of employers in the area like responsibility of leaders, conflict negotiation action the other hand pluralistic frame considers the stake holders participation particularly employee participation in those area or organizational activities.
1.2 The way changes in trade unionism have affected employee relation in UK.
Origin of trade union and its roles: from the history of trade union it is known that trade union was established first in back to the 18th century in Britain. This union demanded to be appeared as there was rapid expansion in industrial growth and at the same time more and more women participation and child labor were the employees of production level. Long labor hours, risky working environment and labor rights were the main streams of the trade union. After establishing trade union, employees were begging to know their rights in organizations and employers were starting to come under the bargaining and negotiation with employees so that mutual benefits to be conformed.
How changes in trade unionism have affected employee relation in UK: based on the survey conducted based on the data from the year 1998 it is seen that the substantial changes in employee relation in United Kingdom. For the rapid globalization and the regular economic and business perspective the requirements and demand of trade union in UK is increasing day by day. And that is why UK is experiencing some common affect in employee relation in United Kingdom.
The collective bargaining power of trade union in United Kingdom is increasing day by day and that is why some changes in employee relation are seen clearly. To address the increased requirement of employees organizations have to think the alternative for conducting the business activities (Johnson, 2004). For most of the cases it is seen that unemployment problem, employee lay off etc are indirectly responsible for the intense collective bargaining of trade union.
1.3: The roles of main players (workers, managers, organizations, government agencies) in an employee relations situation.
By employee relation we mean the communication between the employees and management of any organization in terms of problem solution, grievance, decision making etc.
In case of employee relation the players like workers, managers, organization; government each of them has direct or indirect roles in employee relation. We will see the roles of each of them in the following, (Schifferes & Steve, 2004).
Roles of workers: workers are the major driving force of employee relation. They have direct influence over any decision or action taken for the organization. Worker are the major driving force and they plays the significant roles in making solution and the taking part of any type of management decision in an organization.
Roles of managers: managers are also the major party for employee relation in an organization. They have the supreme power to take any type of decision. Employees only can protest them by raising their voices in the forms of movement.
Roles of organization: employee relation greatly depends on the size and pattern of organization. For nonprofit organization there is no so much collective bargaining power for the trade union as have in profit organization.
Roles of government: government can play the major roles in employee relation by establishing the rules, regulation and guidance for employee relation.
M1: Recent Industrial actions taken by Unison.
Industrial action: industrial action means taking actions from balloting to picketing.
Unison is a union that is working for the best interest of both employers and employees. As per the principles of Unison, it has been taking remarkable industrial actions from balloting to picketing. However now it is trying to see the recent industrial actions taken by Unison.
- Unison votes to ballot members on industrial action: recently this union ballots it almost 460,000 members for the plan to take industrial action including “strike action”.
- Negotiation: Unison got involvement in negotiation for the favor of employees working in different organizations. The motive of this action is to create best possible working conditions for its members.
- Collective bargaining: recently Unison merged with some other unions to work together with a view to negotiate with management.
D1: Few other major trade unions and their role in UK.
United Kingdom is such a place where democracy is practiced at a larger scale by general people. And that is why many unions, in the form of union or association, are being developed since its liberty.
In the following we will go to mention some major and independent trade unions and their roles:
v British Air Line Pilots Association: this union was established in 1935. About 35000 members are in this trade union. This union is playing the significant role to protect the rights of employees. Besides that, by dint of this union no remarkable violence or unexpected attitudes appeared from employees or employers.
v Fire Brigades union: this union was established in 1918. It has near about 44,000 members. Fire brigades union plays the roles to keep employees protected from the available accidents.
v University and college union: this union was established in 2006. This union has 120,000 members. University and college union plays very significant role to protect the rights and due respect for teachers and student. Any decision of the university or college is highly influenced by this union.
v Association of Teachers and Lecturers: it is and independent union in UK. This union was established in 1978 which has 120,000 members.
v Unite-the Union: this is also an independent Union which was established in 2007. Members of this union are 1,500,000. This union is the result of merging of Amicus and TGWU.
2.1 The procedures an organization should follow when dealing with different conflict situations.
Firstly dealing conflicts in an organization has to major procedures like formal and informal procedure.
Formal procedure: formal procedure means taking help from third party out side of the organization. That means it requires “arbitration” procedure. Both employees and employers are, in this case, ethically bound to obey the decision taken by arbitration.
In formal procedure there is normally policy, operation and process based three steps to deal the conflicts.
Informal procedure: informal procedure means the mitigation of conflicts by the employee representatives and the employer’s representative without any third party. And in organization there is a working participation committee which is for performing such type of activities. Here is no policy, operation or process based solution.
Step by step process: According to Bamberg & Ulrich (2004), organizations intend to solve the conflicts situation in some proper procedures. The following steps are involved in procedure of resolving the conflicts among the stake holders in the organizations.
The steps of the procedures of solving the conflicts among stakeholders are:
Realizing the pattern of the problem: at first it is very urgent to understand and realize the actual problem in a proper manner to solve the problem
Recognizing the problem: then the authority must have to recognize that the problem is occurred and it is to solve as soon as possible so that the source and origin of the problem can be understood.
Understanding the source or origin of the problem: understanding the source and the origin of the problem is essential to solve the conflicts from root level.
Strategy to solve the conflicts: then authority of the organization should develop an effective strategy so that all stakeholders can be satisfied and the organization can be benefited by it.
2.2 Key features of employee relations in a selected conflict situation of Unison.
The main task of Unison in UK is protecting the rights and demand of employees working in private and public sector. Employee relations get different features in different types of conflicts in Unison. Here I would like to discuss some key features of a selected conflict situation in Unison in UK.
There is no discrimination when there is a conflict in Unison as there has some common interest among the employees. So employee relation is seen free from discrimination
Different unions from different industries are seen when there has been raised a conflict among the employees and management. These unions from different industries work together to meet the ultimate goals that means they collectively try to protect the interest both for the organization and the employee groups.
Negotiation is one of the key features to address the conflict situation between the employee group and management of an organization. Collective bargaining is one of the major features of employee relations in a particular conflict situation.
Poor communication is another reason of conflict in organization. For poor communication with employees there can have a gap of understanding between employees and employers. Unfair treatment: there is different level of employees of different ages, designation etc. so when equitable treatment is disappeared, conflicts may inevitable in the organization.
2.3 Evaluation of the effectiveness of procedures used in a selected conflict situation of Unison.
As we have known that Unison is the unified form of different trade unions from different industries in United Kingdom. As it is a collective effort for solving the conflict situation raised between employees or the unions and the employers of the organization so there may have some positive sides and negative sides of the procedures chosen by the Unison solving any particular problem in that organization(Ackers& Peter, 2002).
The procedures used in a selected conflict situation of Unison include the negotiation to solve the problems, finding out the origin of the conflict, costs of the conflicts for the perspective of organization and the employees. This system sometimes may be harmful as the unified steps taken to solve the conflicts always cannot meet the whole conflict for the entire employees group and this is why the employees may not be satisfied after a solution is reached. This procedure may also be harmful for the overall economy of a country. On the other hand the demand and requirement of the organization may not be satisfied by the procedures taken by the unified union like Unison. However there may have a misunderstanding between the two parties like the organization’s employers and the employee groups like Unison.
Effectiveness of formal and informal procedure: it the best procedure when the conflict issue is very sensitive. For example, minimum salary and salary range in organization. When any type of mistake can results huge costs for organization, formal procedure is very effective. Formal procedure is also very effective when very sensitive and very uncommon conflict issues come. And for other regular and less sensitive cases, informal procedures are very effective.
M3: Key conflict areas of a recent Unison action
It is beyond description matter that Unison is working for the best interest of employees who are working in private and public sectors companies or organizations. But it is an undeniable matter that there exists some scope of conflicts in the initiatives or actions that can results some conflicts.
Key conflicts area of recent Unison action:
For getting the answer a recent action taken by Unison can be can be considered. And the recent action taken by Unison is collective bargaining. Conflict areas are:
- Mutual interest: collective bargaining issue may not benefit unions or a particular group of members in a union. So gap in mutual interest of members may be an area of conflict.
- Contradictory rules or principles: principles of unions may not satisfy all the members of the unions.
- Approaches and procedures: another conflict area is the approaches and procedures. Different groups can intend to different approaches and procedures to the actions.
D2: Identification of the benefits received by a Unison member.
The union, most popular and largest trade union in UK, was established with a view to protecting the rights of employees and keeping them sound in working environment. The major objective of this union is to get the employees benefited from their workplace.
Benefits received by a Unison member are free legal support on work or non-work issues. Each and every member of unison is allowed to for any type of legal and advisory support from the organization. And for this there is no fee to be paid. Free cover for any work based injury is another benefit for the member of Unison. If any member gets injured instant favor goes to that member by Unison. Holiday insurance advice is provided to the member of Unison so that members can be aware and careful to their insurance right and benefits.
3.1Role of negotiation in a collective bargaining situation
Kaufman, Bruce E. (2004), negotiation is the better medium for collective bargaining. Collective bargaining occurs when the trade unions together deal with the management for the employees in terms of protecting employees’ rights like salary, compensation, wages, incentives, workplace conditions etc.
Collective bargaining, for most of the cases, can create such a bargaining situation that can result a dismissed situation rather than a good solution as both parties are involved in demanding their requirements. For this case there is a need for a negotiation in collective bargaining so that a final better solution can be possible that is beneficial for both of the parties. Negotiation body can be appeared from outside or inside the organization. So negotiation is the vital part of the collective bargaining in between the management and employees. Role of negotiation can be appeared as the great approach for the final solution of the conflict situation raised among the employees and organization. For the maximum cases the concept negotiation plays the positive role making the ultimate solution of conflict situation.
3.2The impact of negotiation strategy for a given situation of Unison
Negotiation strategy can affect for a given situation positively or negatively as negotiation strategy may not be favorable equally for the parties involved in a conflict situation. Here we are to discuss the impact of negotiation strategy of Unison for solving the conflicts in between the organization’s employees and employers(Ackers, Peter and Wilkinson, 2005).
Unison is a recognized and unified union established from different union groups in United Kingdom. The negotiation strategy helps the employers to control the whole conflicts among the unions and the employers of the organizations. Unison’s negotiation strategy is also very helpful as it can make the employees satisfied with the negotiation strategy and can bring a perfect solution for the employees. As we have known that Unison is established to protect the rights of employers and employees so that organization and the overall economy should advance in a smooth manner. Unison’s negotiation strategy is also very helpful for creating a perfect cooperation between the organization and employees. As the negotiation strategy of Unison is able to bring the proper solution it can enhance the speed of employee performance and increase the employee relations resulting a better working environment. Besides impacts mentioned above negotiation strategy of Unison tries to maintain the higher possibility that there will have occurred such types of conflicts in future and it is very effective and better side of the negotiation strategy of Unison. Win-win situation is seen between the employers and employees of the organization by dint of the strategy taken by the Unison.
M2: Appropriate negotiation techniques by discussing various negotiation strategies.
It is very well known that negotiation is a dialogue between two or more persons or parties aiming to reach resolve a point of differences.
- Negotiation strategies: two remarkable negotiation strategies are-
ü Distributive negotiation: this is also known as positional or brand-bargaining negotiation. Each party are in extreme position in this strategy.
ü Integrative negotiation: in this strategy each party in a liberal position.
- Appropriate technique: among the techniques the advisory or partner techniques for negotiation works well. So it is a better solution for both parties.
4.1 The influence of the EU on industrial democracy in the UK.
Philip, Adrian &Saunders (2003), the concept industrial democracy indicates the democracy practices by both the employers and employees of a particular organization. Industrial democracy confirms the participation of employers and employees to take the decision, sharing the power and responsibility among the employers and employees, possessing some authority in terms of governing the overall activities of the particular organization.
In European Union all countries are not following the industrial relationship as like as the industrial democracy. But European Union is contributing to enhance the industrial democracy situation in European Union countries.
Partner Based Relationship: due to the influence of European Union the new concept name partner based relationship is visible in much organization of the European courtiers. Partner Based Relationship is contributing to raise the voice of the employees in terms of decision making, sharing power and responsibly, authority etc.
Finally European Union in European countries is on the door to a perfect industrial democracy and industrial relation in the organizations. By dint of the influence of the European Union employees of the European countries thinking themselves as the important stakeholders for the organizations as the European Union is promoting the greater involvement of the workers in almost every phase of the activities of the organization.
4.2 Comparison of the methods (Consultation and employee participation) used to gain employee participation and involvement in the decision making process in organization.
Employee participation can the form of consultation and employee participation to gain the employee participation and involvement in the decision making process in organization. Consultation may be occurred in terms of delivering the opinion of employees when any decision to be taken but this is not mandatory to appreciate or receive the opinion of employees from the organization. It is considered just as the informal arrangement of employee participation to gain the employees in decision making and other organizational activities. Consultancy can be found when employees of an organization are encouraged to deliver their opinions in case of any type decision making, goal setting or strategy formulation. If the upper level supervisor finds any implementable idea or concept from the employees then it may be implemented in the particular area of that organization (Daphne, 2008).
On the other hand, employee participation means raising the voice of employee in terms of decision making, power and responsibility, authority etc. this also denotes the receiving, evaluation and implementation of the opinion or decision as the important stakeholders of an organization. Most of the cases employees are treated as the valuable persons in the concept of employee participation. Participation may be in the form of board level participation, participation in ownership, participation in collective bargaining, participation via control and participation through the job enrichment etc.
4.3 The impact of human resource management on employee relations.
Whalen &b Charles (2008), human Resource Management (HRM) is a vital part of any organization because people working in the organization can build and destroy that organization with their behavior, attitude and performances. That is why it is very essence for the management of an organization to manage its human resources properly.
When we keep a look to management on employee relation in an organization we can realize some impact of human resource management on employee relations. It cannot be thought employee relations without thinking human resource management and vice versa so these two impacts on each other. Now we will try to see the area or scope where human resource management affects employee relations.
Human resource division of the organization motivates and provides guide line so that organizational ultimate goal can be achieved. But the policies regarding wages, salary, working hours, working environment, working safety etc are some issues that cannot be set as the sweet will of the authority without taking part of the members where the trade unions are active. Another area or scope of impact is that the human resource management division members are may be the members of trade unions and that is why employee relation issue is the thinking line when organization needs to set as standard about the human resource management.
D2: List of the purpose of EWC (European work council.
European work council was established for a better working environment in different countries in Europe. There are several purposes of this council those are given as follows:
To get worker’s representatives from different organizations from different organization together with a view to increase collective bargaining with management on current strategy issues. To meet with management finding whether the decisions of management are harmful for employees or not. Collecting information form organization and to provide the opinions of representatives on those information. Ensuring worker participation in different tasks of organization is the purpose of Unison. Providing advice, guidelines, and suggestions for the members is another purpose of Unison.
Employee relation aims to create an effective and efficient working environment in an organization so that organizational goals can be attained in a smooth manner. Employee relation and human resource management affects each other in case of organizational performance. For the overall benefits for both organization and employees employee relation concept is now a common buzzword in corporate world. This assignment paper is made on ins and outs of employee relation. Worker are the major driving force and they plays the significant roles in making solution and the taking part of any type of management decision in an organization. United Kingdom expects to increase the level of proper governance in organizational cultures by ensuring the union in each of the organization particularly for the commercial and profit organization. This expectation is contributing to the changes in employee relation in terms of working times, labor, incentive, other rights of employees working in that organization. Different unions from different industries are seen when there has been raised a conflict among the employees and management. These unions from different industries work together to meet the ultimate goals that means they collectively try to protect the interest both for the organization and the employee groups. Finally European Union in European countries is on the door to a perfect industrial democracy and industrial relation in the organizations.
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