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Collective Bargaining at West University

Essay by   •  April 14, 2013  •  Essay  •  967 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,309 Views

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In a democratic society people have the right to pursue their employment interests. That can be done individually or collectively. The West University RAs and CDAs were at great disadvantage on their own, and thus they sought to collectively bargain. As the LRC determined, the RAs and CDAs could legally organize and engage in collective bargaining. This decision determined that it is lawful in the state of Arizona to unionize as a RA or CDA. NLRA states the following; " employer may not interfere with or restrain employees who are exercising their rights to organize, bargain collectively, and engage in other concerted activities for their own protection" Repa, B. (n.d.). This decision of the LRC was a right interpretation of this law.

It is my personal opinion that teaching assistants should have been considered employees. These individuals were to follow HR policies in place that required them to be present on campus several days before the start of the semester in order to fulfill their pre-semester duties. In return for their work, they received a stipend of $1,820 for the academic year. DeCenzo, D. A., Robbins, S. P., & Verhulst, S. L. (2009). Arizona labor law also clarifies and defines this point in this way; ""Employee" means any individual who performs services for an employing unit and who is subject to the direction, rule or control of the employing unit as to both the method of performing or executing the services..." (2010 Arizona Revised Statutes Title 23 - Labor 23-613.01 Employee; definition; exempt employment)".

The teaching assistants were to be subject to performance reviews, disciplinary guidelines and progressive disciplinary procedures. Such policies are necessary in dealing with employees and stand as good testimony about how Western University saw its relationship with these individuals, which is very similar to an employer/ employee relationship. For this relationship to be in place, legally binding documents such as agreements between the parties regarding term of employment would have had to be signed, thus constituting a lawful work relationship.


I think that management's reaction to employee interest to unionize is always apprehensive, regardless of high union density in the work force. Unionizing by nature marks failure of sorts in seeing employees as an asset. This is generally the case when workers see that management has lost touch with work conditions and pay structure given their demand for more work. In the case study of West University, the reality is that the evidence of other union groups suggested that they were well aware of issues at hand. To conclude, I think the reaction is always the same from management, though there might be some insight regarding how things progress.


The RAs job related concerns were not overstated. There was a 55% turnover rate due to difficult work conditions. The RAs would get fired for things that other resident students would only get



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