Spring 2015 - LBST 309 D100

Labour and Collective Bargaining (3)

Class Number: 4050

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 6 – Apr 13, 2015: Tue, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 16, 2015
    Thu, 12:00–3:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Strongly recommended: Labour Studies 101 and at least one other Labour Studies course.



An introduction to collective bargaining: it will cover the legal requirements of the Labour Code, the bargaining process and the organizational structure and components of collective agreements, including the grievance-arbitration process.


Labour and Collective Bargaining covers the basics of labour relations as it applies to union organization, collective bargaining, contract administration and dispute resolution. We will examine the historical, legal, social and economic frameworks of the unionized workplace, including aspects such as the labour code, certification of bargaining units, the Rand formula, contract costing, the negotiation process, strikes, mediation/conciliation/arbitration, equity bargaining, public sector unions, grievance procedures and union busting/avoidance.

In this course, we will pay special attention to two crucial distinctions. The first distinguishes between the industrial pluralism that prevailed in the immediate post-World War II period and the neo-liberal promotion of globalization and labour-market flexibility that emerged in the mid-1970s and after. The second issue distinguishes between the economic and "nonmarket" aspects of collective bargaining outcomes.


Students taking this course will develop an understanding of:

  • the adversary system of labour relations and its legal context;
  • why workers, employers and the broader society are in favor of or oppose unions;
  • historical evolution of union rights to organize, to bargain collectively and to strike;
  • the organizational structure of bargaining units;
  • the economic and nonmarket elements of collective agreements;
  • the principles and outcomes of organizing, bargaining and dispute resolution processes;
  • grievance/arbitration processes that enforce the agreement and
  • the role of the courts, government, and labour relations boards.


  • Seminar Participation: 10%
  • Collective Bargaining Simulation: 15%
  • Mid-term Exam, February 24: 20%
  • Research Essay (due in stages) February 3, March 10, April 7: 30%
  • Final Exam: 25%


There will be a midterm and a final exam in this course. Term research essays will total approximately 2500 to 3500 words (ten to twelve pages) and rely on a minimum of eight substantive sources (e.g. academic journal articles). Research papers will be completed in three stages – proposal, draft outline and final paper – with topics to be selected from those covered in the course syllabus and in the required or recommended readings. Seminar participation and participation in the collective bargaining simulation in weeks ten and eleven are integral to the course. All assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade to be assigned.


All students are expected to read SFU’s policies concerning academic honesty and student conduct [S 10.01 and S10.04]. The policies can be read at this website: www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html



Adams, Roy J. (2008) "From Statutory Right to Human Right: The Evolution and Current Status of Collective Bargaining," Just Labour: A Canadian Journal of Work and Society, Volume 12, pp. 48-67.

Cohen, Marjorie Griffin and Marcy Cohen, (2004) A Return to Wage Discrimination: Pay Equity Losses through the Privatization of Health Care. Vancouver: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Fowler, Tim. (2012) "Does fighting back still matter? The Canadian autoworkers, capitalist crisis and confrontation." Capital & Class 36(3) 493-513.

Freeman, Richard B. and James Medoff (1979) "The Two Faces of Unionism." NBER Working Paper No. 364.

Fudge, Judy (2006) "Equity Bargaining in the New Economy." Just Labour, Vol. 8, pp. 82-87.

Fudge, Judy and Eric Tucker (2000) "Pluralism or Fragmentation?: The Twentieth-Century Employment Law Regime in Canada." Labour / Le Travail, Vol. 46, Special Millennium Issue, pp. 251-306.

Gill, Lewis M. (1974) "Grievance Arbitration." Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 118, No. 5, pp.415-416.

Guide to the B.C. Labour Relations Code.

Panitch, Leo and Donald Swartz "Towards Permanent Exceptionalism: Coercion and Consent in Canadian Industrial Relations," Labour / Le Travail, Vol. 13, (Spring, 1984), pp. 133-157.

Rackham, Neil and John Carlisle (1978) "The Effective Negotiator – Parts I & II." Journal of European Industrial Training, 2:6. pp. 6-11 and 2:7, pp. 2-5.

Ross, Stephanie (2008) "Social Unionism and Membership Participation: What Role for Union Democracy?" Studies in Political Economy 81, pp. 129-157.

Shister, Joseph (1950) "Trade Union Policies and Nonmarket Values," The American Economic Review, Vol. 40, No. 2, pp. 292-305.

Walker, Tom (1997) "Contract Costing and the Campaign for Reduced Working Time."

Wells, Donald M. (1995) "Origins of Canada's Wagner Model of Industrial Relations." Canadian Journal of Sociology, 20, 2, pp. 193-225.


Adams, Roy J. (1994/1995) "A Pernicious Euphoria: 50 Years of Wagnerism in Canada" Canadian Lab. & Emp. L.J., pp. 321-356.

Freeman, Richard B. (2005) "Labour Market Institutions without Blinders: The Debate over Flexibility and Labour Market Performance." International Economic Journal. Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 129-145.

Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers' Union (n.d.) "How to Cost Out Your Contract: The Mathematics of Collective Bargaining."

Parkes, Debra (2010) "The Rand Formula Revisited: Union Security in the Charter Era." Manitoba Law Journal, Vol. 34 No. 1, pp. 223-242.

Slinn, Sara and Richard W. Hurd (2009) "Fairness and Opportunity for Choice: The Employee Free Choice Act & the Canadian Model." Just Labour: A Canadian Journal of Work and Society, Volume 15, Special Edition, pp. 104-115.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html