WER 401 - Collective Bargaining

Cliff Donn

Fall 2008

Reilly Hall 416, 445-4484




ESSAY OPTIONS: Students must write one essay and have the option of writing a second. Students writing only one essay may choose any of the first three assigned topics. Those doing two essays may choose any two of the assigned topics. (That is, the fourth essay topic may be done only by students doing more than one essay.) Each essay will count 15% of your grade.

SOURCES: No outside research is either necessary or recommended to write the essays. However, in order to write the essays, you MUST do all of the required and MOST of the optional readings corresponding to the essay topics and your essays must reflect familiarity with the concepts in those readings; i.e. they must be cited. Essays should not be based on the course text (Katz, Kochan and Colvin) although specific bits of information from that book can be cited. You will be told in class of any optional readings not relevant to the topics. Check with the instructor if you intend to leave out any of the relevant readings.

STYLE: Essays must be typed, double-spaced, with a 1-1/2 inch margin on the left side and must contain a blank page at the back. Seven-to-nine pages, including citations, is the prescribed length. Essays MUST include citations. Quotations require citations as do facts which are not common knowledge and ideas which are not your own. Thus if you paraphrase an article instead of quoting it, you must still cite it. Citations MUST indicate the relevant page numbers. Citations may be placed in the text, at the bottom of the page, or at the end of the paper but the first time any particular source is cited full bibliographic information must be provided. Articles appearing in books should be cited by the author of the article as well as the editor of the book. Please do NOT include a bibliography which lists sources you have not cited.  Essays with improper citations will be returned for correction with a 20% reduction in the grade. Check the style and format section of the course home page for detailed instructions on appropriate citations and on avoiding plagiarism. Please consult that description carefully during the preparation of your essay.  Citations must conform to that description.

SUBMISSION: All essays must be submitted as a hard copy and must also be e-mailed to the instructor in Microsoft Word format from your Le Moyne student e-mail account.  All essays will be submitted to the "Turn-it-in" program as a check against plagiarism.

EVALUATION: Essays are evaluated on the basis of their use of sources, their style, their coverage of the topic, and their use of logic and creativity. Creativity is particularly important. The essay questions do not have "right" or "wrong" answers. They only have answers which show (or fail to show) familiarity with the sources, answers which are more (or less) logical and answers which are more (or less) original. The questions are not "answered" in the lectures or the readings. Use the concepts and facts from the lectures and readings to fashion an original answer. The "rubric" link on the course home page specifies the standards by which essays will be evaluated for each of the five criteria listed above.

DUE DATES: Essays are due AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS on the due dates indicated below the essays and the electronic version is do at 9:00A.M. THAT SAME DAY. LATE ESSAYS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.  You may hand in a complete draft of your essay one week early.  If you do that, the instructor will read that draft and make suggestions for improvements.

ESSAY QUESTIONS: The four questions below are suggested. If you would rather write an essay on some other topic related to the course, this can be arranged by meeting with the instructor during the first three weeks of the semester. Essays on alternative topics will be accepted only with the prior approval of the instructor. Remember the fourth topic can only be done by students who have already done a previous essay.

1. Some have argued that the efforts to reform the NLRA would upset the "carefully crafted balance" between labor and management that has existed for sixty years and that such changes are inappropriate in the new more global economy. Analyze this issue indicating in what ways the NLRA is still appropriate and in what ways reform would improve it.
Corresponds to Syllabus Topics: IIA,IIB
Due Date: September 15

2. Describe some of the ways in which the pattern of industrial conflict (strikes, lockouts, etc.) has changed since 1980. What changes in bargaining power and what legal changes have helped to cause these changes in the pattern of industrial conflict? Explain.
Corresponds to Syllabus Topics: IIIA,IIIB
Due Date: October 8

3. One aspect of the growth of contingent employment has been a reduction in job security in the years since 1990. Some reduction in job security has been seen in the unionized sector as well. Discuss some of the problems this creates in the negotiation of the collective bargaining agreement (i.e. how the two sides might want to address this issue in the agreement) and suggest new issues and problems that might then arise under the contractual grievance procedure related to this issue.
Corresponds to Syllabus Topics: IIIC,IIID
Due Date: November 7

4. What would be the impact of replacing the current dispute resolution techniques under the Railway Labor Act with Goldberg's arbitration proposal?  Would this be a good idea?  Would Goldberg's arbitration work better for railroad workers or for public school teachers? Why? Explain.
Corresponds to Syllabus Topics: IVA,IVB
Due Date: December 1