HR Certification Podcast Episode 7: Union Review for SHRM and HRCI Exams

Summary:In this episode of the HR Certification Podcast, we are reviewing unions and the collective bargaining process.

HR Certification Podcast Episode 7: Union Review for SHRM and HRCI Exams

Summary:In this episode of the HR Certification Podcast, we are reviewing unions and the collective bargaining process.

Table of Contents

Welcome to the HR Certification Podcast: a podcast for HR leaders working towards their human resources certification with HRCI and SHRM. Join host Jessica Miller-Merrell, founder of Workology.com and HR certification prep program, Ace The HR Exam, as she shares study tips, exam insights, and topical review for HR exams, including the aPHR, PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, and SHRM-SCP. Now, here’s Jessica with this episode of the HR Certification Podcast.

HR Certification Podcast Episode 7: Union Review for SHRM and HRCI Exams

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:00:38.24] Hi there and welcome to the HR Certification Podcast. I’m Jessica Miller-Merrell, your host, and I am so excited to have you here. My mission, purpose, and passion is elevating the human resources industry. And in the HR Certification Podcast, I help HR leaders in their personal and professional development solely focused on HR certification for SHRM and HRCI. Now, this podcast is powered by Workology’s HR Certification prep courses. You can learn more about the courses and our prep resources by visiting www.HRCertificationPodcast.com. Now, before I dive into the podcast today, I want to hear from you. Please text “HR CERTIFICATION” to 512-548-3005. Make comments, leave suggestions. Let me know what topics you want for future podcast episodes. This is my community text number and I want to hear from you now. In every single episode we share information and resources to help you with your HR certification exams. That’s what this podcast is all about. It is short and to the point I want you to review and move on. We do this podcast in different segments. In each episode we’re going to address a common question or HR topical area, and in our review then we will walk you through a review of a glossary term. That’s part two. And lastly, we’re going to go through an HR test question, an actual HR test question for your exam. Again, these are designed for SHRM or HRCI, and they include the aPHR, the PHR, the SPHR, the SHRM-CP and the SHRM-SCP. In every single episode. I’m going to share recommended resources and information to assist you in your HR certification prep. You can go to www.HRCertificationPodcast.com.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:02:36.63] Now, in this episode we are talking about unions. Conversations about unions seem to be everywhere in the news. If you’re talking about the aPHR, the PHR, the SPHR, the SHRM-CP or the SHRM-SCP, I guarantee you will be answering test questions about unions. Now the union membership rate, which is the percentage of wage and salary workers who were members of unions, was 10.1% in 2022. This is actually down from 10.3, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. They reported this recently. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to a union is at 14.3 million in 2022. This is increased by 273,000 or 1.9% from 2021. However, the total number of wage and salary workers grew by 5.3 million, mostly among non-union workers. That’s the 3% increase, 3.9% increase. This is a disproportionately large increase. So when we see on the news that everybody is joining unions, that’s not actually true. There has been a decrease compared to the number of jobs added of people who were union members. The 2022 unionization rate of 10.1% is the lowest on record. In 1983, the first year where comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was actually 20.1% and there were 17.7 million union workers. If you have not worked as an HR leader in a union and in a union environment, I know that some of these topics are going to be a challenge. So that’s why we’re covering this today. I don’t want it to be foreign to you. I do have some resources and information that’s going to help put the topics of union into perspective. I’d also suggest that you get a copy of a union contract to take a look for yourself. It’s important to be informed, to understand the process of collective bargaining and what a union does. I do have a copy of a contract inside of our Ace The HR Exam program. All our members get access to that. It is so important for you to have an understanding of the bargaining process, not to mention strikes and the role and history of the National Labor Relations Board or the NLRB.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:11.69] One area that is important for you to understand when it comes to unions is the collective bargaining process. Your union contract is only a small but important part of this. In this audio excerpt, you’re going to hear, I dive into the collective bargaining process, how it works, and what you need to do, know as you prepare for your aPHR, your PHR, your SPHR, your SHRM-CP and your SHRM-SCP exams. Let’s take a listen. So important and I try to break it down for you in a way that you will fully understand.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:52.30] Collective bargaining. It’s a process where employees work with a union to negotiate their terms of employment, things like pay, scheduling, hours, employee benefits, family, balance, and more. Today we’re diving into the subject of the collective bargaining process. My name is Jessica Miller-Merrell. I’m the founder of Workology and the creator of the Ace The HR Exam. Today we’re talking about the collective bargaining process, what HR leaders need to know when it comes to collective bargaining and working with unions for their HRCI and SHRM certification exams. Are you ready? Let’s get started. The process of collective bargaining is really to come to a mutual decision and conclusion that benefits the business and the employee group or employees that are represented by a union. Normally you have two different groups of people who are involved in the collective bargaining process to come to an agreement which is called a collective bargaining agreement or CBA. Those are members of management, which is normally executive leaders, oftentimes human resources is involved in these conversations. I know I have, when I’ve been involved in collective bargaining agreements. And then you normally have the second group, which is members of the union, and these are not necessarily the union rep, but executive leaders of the union who are part of the mediation and negotiation process.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:07:42.04] Collective bargaining is a lot like buying a car or maybe purchasing your home. There are three different steps, but it involves, again, two different parties. So let’s think about buying a car. It is you or your family member. And then the second group, which is your salesperson. Same thing when it comes to collective bargaining. You have the organization and then the individual, but they are represented. It’s many individuals who are represented by a member or representative of the union. So the three different stages that you have is identification. So that’s stage one and that is both groups identifying what they need, what’s most important in terms of compensation, time off benefits, working conditions, whatever it might be, that is the identification. And then through identification, you also set a timeline. When are we going to come to an agreement or not and be able to walk away? So you do this when you buy a car, right? You think about what perks and benefits of that car do you need most? Do you need two rows or three? Hatchback or a trunk? These are all things similar to the identification process when we’re thinking about collective bargaining. Step two is negotiation, right? So you’re wheeling and dealing. You’ve test-drove the car. You know that you like it. Now comes the negotiation.

Clip – Buyer: [00:09:15.11] We sat right here in this room and went over this and over this.

Clip – Salesperson: [00:09:18.44] Yeah, but that true quote.

Clip – Buyer: [00:09:19.61] I sat right here and said I didn’t want any true quote.

Clip – Salesperson: [00:09:22.40] Yeah, but I’m saying that true quote, You don’t get it. You get oxidation problems. It’ll cost you a heck of a lot more than $500.

Clip – Buyer: [00:09:28.49] You’re sitting there, you’re talking in circles. You’re talking like we didn’t go over this already.

Clip – Salesperson: [00:09:32.51] Yeah, but this true quote.

Clip – Buyer: [00:09:33.89] We had a deal here for 19.5. You sat there and darn if you didn’t tell me you’d get me this car. These options without the sealant for 19.5.

Clip – Salesperson: [00:09:41.75] All right. I’m not saying I didn’t.

Clip – Buyer: [00:09:43.01] You call me 20 minutes ago and said you had it ready to make delivery. It says, come on down, get it. And here you are and you’re wasting my time and my wife’s time. And. And I’m paying 19.5 for this vehicle here.

Clip – Salesperson: [00:09:56.04] All right. I’ll talk to my boss.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:10:00.51] You have a price in mind. You have floor mats or not? Maybe you need cruise control added to the car, whatever it is. These are things that are incredibly important. And you go back and forth between the salesperson and you. And so these are the things that happen in the collective bargaining process. You go back and forth, there’s some heated discussions. You leave the room, come back at a later date to continue the negotiation. Step three is contract administration. You have came to an agreement. You’re getting your floor mats and your cruise control on your new three-seat, three-row, sorry, SUV, just the same as the union and the employer have come into the agreement. Now the paperwork begins. We have to actually sign the contract and that is step three. It’s the administration piece. You have to go to the finance guy to get the finance or you’re writing a check. So you sign on the dotted line. This is a binding agreement which becomes a collective bargaining agreement or CBA. So the CBA, the collective bargaining agreement has been signed and that’s a binding contract for a period of time. There’s a beginning and an ending to that contract. So the collective bargaining process is one that happens quite often. If you would like to see an example of a collective bargaining agreement, you can go to the HR Certification Study Group on Facebook or HRCertificationStudyGroup.com, under the file section, we have a sample collective bargaining agreement for you. This is a guideline that you’re going to use when you are referencing potential situations or challenges that come up. This is your guidepost. It is your contract that both union and you as the organization have agreed to for the duration of that particular agreement.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:11:56.11] There are three different parts to a collective bargaining agreement. There are mandatory, permissive, and illegal sections. So let’s start with the mandatory. These are topics that are required to be in your CBA, as outlined by the NLRB, the National Labor Relations Board. These are grievance procedures, benefits, perks, schedules, things that you need to know. What happens if someone has attendance issues. There’s a process for grievances and such, and all these things are included in the mandatory section of your collective bargaining agreement. Now, the permissive, permissive section, that is subjective, right? These don’t have to be included and they’re additional items. And this could be things like outlining your employee board of directors for the union or really some general things about how the union communicates with employees. Again, not mandatory, but really permissive areas. And then, of course, there’s the illegal section of the CBA. And these are things that are not allowed and these are things like closed shops. This is not allowed and not allowed to be included in your CBA, and that is when the union only allows the company to hire people or members of that union into their organization or some form of illegal discrimination. So your CBA has three different sections. Really mandatory and permissive are the most common and included. Those are legal thing, that’s what’s going to get the union and you in some hot water with the National Labor Relations Board.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:13:22.23] Once the terms of the collective bargaining agreement have been reached, it is a binding contract. Prior to actually signing, you normally have your in-house or outside counsel for you as the employer and also for the union review that contract just to make sure everything’s copacetic. It’s good to get more eyeballs, particularly legal experts on these things. One is, once it is signed, it is binding for a period of time from the beginning to the end, which is outlined in that CBA. If you’re looking for a copy of a CBA, you can join our HR certification study group on Facebook. Under the file section, you can access that. Just go to HRCertificationStudyGroup.com. Join, access the file section, and get your sample CBA. My name is Jessica Miller-Merrell and I’m the founder of Workology and the creator of the Ace The HR Certification Exam. I am so excited that you took time to watch this video on the collective bargaining process. Let me know if you have any other thoughts, ideas or suggestions on future topics.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:14:44.39] I will link to the full video on this topic that is on the Workology YouTube channel. In the episode transcript of this podcast episode, it might be helpful for you to review this information again for yourself and or share it with friends, managers, colleagues, people who need to understand maybe how this works. This is a foundational level topic and I feel like sometimes it gets brushed over these videos and these audios that you hear on this podcast are just a taste of what’s in store for you when you purchase our Ace The HR Exam course, which is specifically for SHRM or HRCI. I offer training for each certifying body. The Ace The HR Exam course has over 140 lessons of review that are organized by topic, and they are on a variety of audio, video, short, long-form, all the things. We have a new monthly subscription that I would love for you to check out. It includes access to our over 1200 test questions, hours of audio, video, both short and long-form, as well as digital downloads and other content that you can access. And the monthly subscription, the monthly membership for this is $49.99. You can grab this deal at www.AceTheHRExam.com.

Break: [00:16:06.78] Now I know that this has all been a very fast review, but it’s time to take a reset before we move into our next segment here at the HR Certification Podcast, which is powered by Workology. I’m your host, Jessica Miller-Merrell. I’m so excited to have you here. Just so you know, Workology offers HR certification prep courses and resources. If you want to learn more about what we do for our prep courses and prep resources, visit www.HRCertificationPodcast.com or Workology.com. We offer a variety of prep resources, including physical products like flashcards. I also have a whole host of downloadables and study guides available for you. We also have in our courses those things as well, but we also offer training and support for different kinds of learners. I want you to be able to access things when you need, and most importantly, for it to be accessible for you wherever and whenever you are. Our digital courses are available on demand and they are also accessible via our very own Workology app, which you can access on Android or iOS. I want to hear from you. Text your suggestions and comments, put the words “HR CERTIFICATION” in your text to 512-548-3005 and make suggestions. Let me know what topics you want to hear on the next episode of the HR Certification Podcast.

HR Glossary Term(s) – Jurisdictional Strike & Lechmere, Inc. v. NLRB

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:17:36.69] We are now moving into a special segment on the HR Certification Podcast where we are going to review an HR glossary term and, in this case, terms. And we do this for every single episode. These are all human resources terms and definitions that cover the knowledge base for SHRM and HRCI exams. This is inclusive to both. When it comes to becoming familiar with HR terms that are part of SHRM and HRCI’s knowledge base, whether it’s the Body of Applied Skills and Knowledge or the Body of Knowledge, it’s important for you to review them repeatedly, and in order for it to really stick, you need to use different learning styles. This is one of the reasons in our Ace HR exam course we offer audio lessons, short videos, encouraging you to take notes, flashcards, digital and physical, and then the longer form lecture content. I encourage you to focus on a single subject or topical area of interest that you can just focus on and become a master of. I want you to be able to review this information, this content, become competent, become comfortable, and then move on to the next area. That is a weakness for you, that is most likely to be on the exam. This is really the most important part of our structure for the Ace The HR Exam course. This is how we have such a high pass rate of 95% by focusing on weak areas, topical areas, not just trying to review everything.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:19:09.11] All right. So I mentioned the review. Let’s get into the glossary. We’re talking about two different terms today as part of our union review. I’m going to repeat each term twice for you. That’s two different times. So let’s start with our term today. Jurisdictional Strike. A Jurisdictional Strike is a strike that is a concerted refusal to work undertaken by a union. This strike asserts union members’ rights to protest the assignment of union or unorganized workers to specific work or job responsibilities. Jurisdictional Strike. A Jurisdictional Strike is a strike that is a concerted refusal to work undertaken by a union. This strike asserts union members’ right to protest the assignment of a union or of union work to unorganized workers to a specific work or job responsibilities. That’s a jurisdictional strike.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:20:16.59] Next is Lechmere, Inc. v. NLRB. Lechmere, Inc. v. NLRB. This is a labor law case of the Supreme Court of the United States that forbids nonemployee union organizers from soliciting support on private property unless no reasonable alternatives exist. That’s Lechmere, Inc. v. NLRB. Lechmere, Inc. v. NLRB. This is the labor law case of the Supreme Court of the United States that forbids nonemployee union organizers from soliciting support on private property unless no reasonable alternatives exist. I really hope that review was helpful for you. I like the audio terms a lot. They are so helpful for me.

HR Test Question Review for SHRM and HRCI Certification Exams

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:21:10.66] We’re going to move into the next segment on the HR Certification Podcast where we review an HR test question and we do this for every single episode. These are all test questions that cover the knowledge base for SHRM and HRCI. I love both of my HR certifications and certifying bodies. Before I share the question today, I’m going to give you a quick review of my HR test question framework. So you kind of have an understanding. More information about this is on our Workology YouTube channel. We’ll link to that in the show notes to the video so that you can take a listen or watch a second or a third time. And we’ll do that in the transcript of this podcast episode. Okay. As a review, there are five steps to the HR test question framework. Step one is to read each question slowly and concisely. Step two is to identify the HR competency that the question is asking about. Step three is to eliminate wrong answers from your options. And step four is WWSD or WWHD. And that’s What Would SHRM Do or What Would HRCI Do. When we think about test questions, we want to think of the point of view of SHRM or HRCI writing that test question. So answer it as if SHRM or HRCI. And then step five is to go with your gut. Above all, answer the question, go with your gut.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:22:34.97] Let’s get started on this test question for the HR Certification Podcast episode. Here we go. If a company says that it is financially unable to meet a union request to increase wages during collective bargaining, the company may do which of the following: A) Void its contract with the union. B) Refuse to continue bargaining until the union lowers its wage increase demands. Is it, C) Be required to substantiate its claim by showing the union its financial records. Or D) Request a contract extension. All right. I’m going to read the task question for you again.

If a company says that it is financially unable to meet a union request to increase wages during collective bargaining, the company may do the following:

A) Void its contract with the union.

B) Refuse to continue bargaining until the union lowers its wage increase demands.

C) Be required to substantiate its claim by showing the union its financial records?

D) Request a contract extension.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:24:05.83] What answer do you think it is? Drum roll, please. The answer is C) Be required to substantiate its claim by showing the union its financial records. If it can’t meet the salary demands as got, as directed by the collective bargaining agreement, we have to show the financial records. Now, if you got this question wrong, it is a okay, just make a note for yourself that you need to review more. I suggest adding this topic to your daily review, which I encourage at least 30 minutes of review a day. I do have more test questions that you can access in our test question bank, including 25 free test questions. And if you’re looking for that, you can head on over to www.HRTestQuestion.com.

Closing: [00:24:53.05] HR certification is such an important step in your career, whether you are looking to increase your air knowledge base, maybe you’re trying to gain credibility at the office or possibly looking to increase your income potential. And finally, maybe you want to get certified because you want to prove to yourself that you deserve to be here because you do. You deserve all of that and more. Together, let’s elevate the HR profession. Thank you for joining me in this episode of the HR Certification Podcast. My name is Jessica Miller-Merrell and I help HR leaders ace their HR certification exams with HRCI and SHRM. I’d love to do the same for you. Workology offers a host of courses and resources designed to help you ace your HR certification exams. You can learn more by visiting www.HRCertificationPodcast.com and you can learn more about how we help with HR certification prep. And we do this for the aPHR, the PHR, the SPHR, the SHRM-CP, and the SHRM-SCP exams. If you have a suggestion for another podcast topic here on the HR Certification Podcast, maybe it’s also an area of review, just let me know. Send me a text. I love text messaging. I love to hear from you. Send me a text with the words “HR CERTIFICATION” to 512-548-3005. This is my community text number and I want to hear from you. Thank you so much for joining me today. This was a fantastic episode. I hope that you got a nice quick review on the subject of unions. I’ll see you soon.

– HR Certification Quiz 

– HR Certification: SHRM and HRCI 

– Workology on Youtube | HR Test Question Framework

– Workology on Youtube | What is a Passing Score on the SHRM and HRCI Exams 

– HR Certification Podcast Episode 3: Answering HRCI And SHRM Test Questions

– HR Certification Podcast Episode 4: Risk Review for SHRM and HRCI

– HR Certification Podcast Episode 5: Your Questions About HR Certification for SHRM and HRCI

– HR Certification Podcast Episode 6: Employment Law Review for SHRM and HRCI

– Workology Podcast | Ep 161 – The Value of HR Certification: #HRCI or #SHRM?

– Workology Podcast | Episode 262: Test-Taking Strategies for HRCI and SHRM Certification

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