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HRM 899 - Labour Relations C01 (Blended)

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Blended (in-class & online)
Hours of Study:
39 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Kevin Bhalla
Course Dates:
01/13/2020 - 04/05/2020

Required Course Materials:
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:
This course provides the student with an overall understanding of the importance of partnership between employers and unions in labour relations. This course explores: the historical challenges and foundational interests of labour unions within the Canadian context; the social and economic impact unions have had in workplaces and in our society; current trends and contextual factors impacting labour relations; the legal framework governing labour and employment in Ontario, including an overview of the Ontario Labour Relations Act, the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Human Rights Code, and other relevant legislation; the processes for establishing a union and engaging in collective bargaining; the critical importance of effective workplace investigations; and the practical application of effective partnership between the employer and union in administering the collective agreement, handling grievances, negotiating agreements, and resolving disputes.
Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Discuss the historical challenges, foundational interests, and overall impact of labour unions within the Canadian context.
  • Discuss current trends and contextual factors impacting labour relations in Ontario.
  • Describe the legal framework governing labour and employment in Ontario, how unions are established, collective bargaining, and grievance arbitration.
  • Understand employer and union responsibilities regarding human rights issues, and the impact of such responsibilities on labour relations.
  • Identify the aspects of an effective workplace investigation and understand its importance and how it supports processes associated with discipline and discharge.
  • Apply an interest-based approach to enable effective partnership between the employer and union in administering the collective agreement, handling grievances, negotiating agreements, and resolving disputes.
Course Evaluation
The final grade is calculated based on the following components:

Quizzes: 25%
Discussions: 25%
Assignment 1 – Conflict Resolution: 25%
Assignment 2 – Avenues for Resolution: 25%
Course Format:

This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in labour relations and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.).

This is a blended course. Students will work through the content online and meet 3 times in-person Wednesdays from 7:00pm to 9:00pm: February 5th, February 19th and March 25th. The instructor will also hold virtual office hours to support your learning.

Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:
Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied. Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due date (see Academic Regulations below), and will be granted for illness or emergencies only. Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request.  

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance with McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified.  Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager/Program Associate to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hours of the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy.  Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager/Program Associate, in the case of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48 hour window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted. 

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).
Academic Integrity
(Please note that CCE will adhere to a zero tolerance application of the policy)

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.  Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that result or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained, including copying solution sets.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:
Students who require academic accommodation should contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS).  Staff at SAS will evaluate your learning needs and, if required, will provide a letter for the course instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor and Program Manager of any accommodation requirements at the start of the course.  For more information, contact SAS at ext. 28652 or visit
On-line Elements:
In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn, WebEX, and external web sites.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
In this course, we will be using a web-based service ( to reveal plagiarism. Students will be expected to submit their work electronically to and in hard copy so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty. Students who do not wish to submit their work to must still submit a copy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.). To see the Policy, please go to McMaster Academic Integrity Policy.
Course Changes:
The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.
Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (Finance Section) 
Storm Closure Policy:
In the event of inclement weather, the Centre for Continuing Education will abide by the University’s Storm Closure Policy:, and will only close if the University is closed. All in-class courses, exams and room bookings by internal and external clients will be cancelled if the Centre for Continuing Education is closed. On-line courses will take place as scheduled.
Grading Scale:
A+  = 90  -  100 %
A  = 85  -   89 %
A-  = 80  -   84 %
B+  = 77  -   79 %
B  = 73  -   76 %
B-  = 70  -   72 %
C+  = 67  -   69 %
C  = 63  -   66 %
C-  = 60  -   62 %
D+  = 57  -   59 %
D = 53  -   56 %
D-  = 50  -   52 % 
F  = 0    -   49 %
Course Schedule:
Module 1: The History of the Canadian Labour Movement
Module 2: The Labour Relations Framework
Module 3: Human Rights in the Workplace
Module 4: Workplace Harassment and Sexual Violence
Module 5: Workplace Investigations
Module 6: Performance Management, Progressive Discipline, and Discharge
Module 7: Collective Bargaining
Module 8: The Collective Agreement
Module 9: Negotiation Skills and Strategies
Module 10: The Grievance and Arbitration Procedure
Module 11: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Module 12: The Future of Labour Relations