Relationship Enhancement Program
A Program Designed to Assist Employers and
Unions in Establishing and Maintaining a Productive and Positive Relationship.
Enhancement Program (REP) is intended for employers and unions who are experiencing
difficulties in their ongoing relationship and who are interested in establishing and
maintaining a more productive and positive relationship.
The program focuses on the specific issues and concerns associated with the
parties current relationship and on establishing mutually agreeable and achievable
steps for improvement.
At the joint
written request of an employer and a union, a mediator will be appointed to meet with
the parties to design a program that is specifically tailored to the parties
needs. The mediator (or a team of mediators)
will facilitate a one to three day working session of representatives of the employer and
the working session normally range from executive management to first line supervisors on
the employer side and from senior full-time officials to shop stewards on the union side.
The program will
only succeed if both the employer and the union acknowledge that their relationship needs
improvement. In addition, they both must be
prepared to commit the time and resources required. It
must be strongly emphasized that support for the program by the key personnel from both
the employer and the union is essential.
working session is normally conducted away from the workplace, so that the participants
are better able to give their full attention to the task at hand.
Generally the REP proceeds as follows:
sessions include skill development in communication and interest based problem solving. The union and employer representatives then meet
separately with the mediator(s) to discuss specific suggestions on how to improve the
relationship. Each party is asked what it
could do to improve the relationship and what the other party
should do to improve the relationship.
union and employer representatives meet together to review the suggestions for
improvement. Common objectives are
established based on the should and could lists developed in Step
The final step in
the process involves the development of mutually agreed specific action steps to be taken
to achieve each objective. Each action step
includes a description of the required action, identification of the individuals
responsible for implementing the action step, and a time frame for the commencement and/or
completion of the action step.
working session, a summary document is drafted by the Mediation Division containing all of
the information generated during the process. This
summary is issued jointly by the parties to all those who will either be involved in, or
will be affected by, the action steps.
The product of the
working session is an agreed upon list of common objectives and action plans. The action plans reflect the parties
commitment to work diligently to achieve their mutual objective to improve their
The REP working
session provides the employer and the union with a clear plan of action and creates the
momentum to drive the change in their ongoing relationship.
But it is crucial that the REP participants continue that momentum by ensuring that
the various action steps are moved along to completion.
In the months
following the REP working session, the Mediation Division will periodically schedule
follow-up meetings with representatives of the employer and the union to monitor progress
and to assist them in resolving any issues arising in implementing the various action
unions who are interested in learning more about the REP program should contact:
Grant McArthur, Director - Mediation
Labour Relations Board
Suite 600 Oceanic Plaza
1066 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 3X1
Tel: (604) 623-6575
Fax: (604) 660-1892
(Collective Agreement Arbitration Bureau)