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Labor Relations Institute schedule

The preliminary schedule for the Institute is shown below. Check back frequently for agenda updates.

Wednesday, May 2

Noon – 6:30 pm

Registration

1 – 4 pm

Optional early start sessions – included in Institute registration.

Basics of bargaining
This half-day session offers a condensed overview of public sector collective bargaining in Washington, from the arrival of labor unions, to the bargaining process, to the administration of the contract. It is a must for those new to bargaining and a great refresher for seasoned professionals. Topics include mandatory and permissive subjects of bargaining, selecting comparables, rolls for elected officials, unfair labor practices, and what happens when the parties can’t agree.

Progressive discipline best practices
An overview of the steps of progressive discipline and due process. The goal is to demonstrate how to effectively discipline employees and avoid grievance actions. In using both corrective actions and formal disciplines, the employer must be aware not only of agency rules and the collective bargaining requirements, but also the general principals of just cause and due process.

The affinity model: Reaching agreement on economic issues efficiently and effectively
Have you heard about some of the amazing results parties have achieved using the affinity model? Are you curious to learn more? In this interactive session, you will have the opportunity to learn and try the affinity model. The affinity model is a tool for working collaboratively and efficiently to brainstorm (using sticky notes), discuss, and resolve economic and other inter-related issues.

4:15 – 5:45 pm

Optional early start plenary session – included in Institute registration.

All that’s new and fit to print
Last year’s smorgasbord Q&A session returns. Join the team from Summit Law Group as they discuss a range of current labor and employment topics of interest to public sector employers. Audience members are invited to ask panelists their toughest questions in a no-holds-barred Q&A session.

6 – 7:30 pm

Welcome reception

 

Thursday, May 3

7:30 am – 5:30 pm

Registration
The registration desk will remain open throughout the day.

7:45 – 8:45 am
Breakfast provided

Networking breakfast

9 – 10:15 am

Opening general session

Sustain yourself
Using neuroscience and biology, a sense of humor, while making it thoroughly understandable and immediately empowering, in this keynote, Robin will share the three necessary components required simultaneously by your brain to sustain accurate discernment, vibrant energy and focused resilience, essential to sustain ourselves in current workplace pace and cultures.

Learn what you can do to have a remarkably better day. Not only to maintain career satisfaction, be exceptional professionals, but also to enhance your health and sense of humor, on the job and at home. Come away with ah-has, skills and insights that you will repeatedly use and want to pass on to others.

RoseRobin2016Robin Rose
Nationally renowned trainer, keynote speaker, consultant, and author, Robin Rose is known for delivering powerful conference sessions that educate, entertain, and motivate. Her expertise is in teaching people how to stay calm, professional, and effective – especially during high-stress, high-pressure situations. Reaching beyond the common model of “anger management”, Robin’s approach helps people understand exactly what happens, chemically and physiologically, when they get stressed. She teaches people how to override the fight or flight response, how to shift from reactive impulses into more effective responses, and how to stay respectful, productive and most importantly – professional. Robin’s work is based upon an in-depth understanding of brain-based research, with a particular focus on high-function brain states. Robin works with leaders and teams to enhance skills, integrate new behaviors, and improve performance. She makes it safe to learn new ways of working together.

10:15 am – 7 pm

Exhibit open

10:15 – 10:30 am

Break

10:30 am – Noon

Concurrent sessions

2018 PERC update (repeated on Friday)
Regularly the fastest 90 minutes at LRI, this presentation tours all of the cases of note issued by the Public Employment Relations Commission in the past year. If you are new to labor relations, or are an experienced practitioner trying to keep current on developments and trends in Washington public labor law, this is the session to attend. Veteran attendees recommend that you bring the written materials in either print or digital form to aid in your note-taking.

Key to changing the trajectory of discrimination and harassment: Modeling diversity
Workshop attendees will meet leaders that have changed the work environment and the trajectory of discrimination and harassment in the workplace by modeling diversity and mentoring future leaders reflective of today’s modern-day workplace. In this interactive panel discussion, participants will explore innovative ways to promote diversity and eliminate harassment using modeling and mentoring.

Managing stress & preventing burnout (repeat session)
Learn to stop a stress reaction in seconds, regardless of what is going on around you. Gain skills to release accumulated stress that is negatively impacting your attitude and your health. Learn how self-care benefits you at all levels (mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually). Learn how to leave work at work, home at home, and how to debrief, change your ‘state’ and more.

Social media and the limits of employee protected speech
Public employers often struggle with how to address employees who vent their grievances on social media or other public forums. Employers continue to face large jury awards for violations of employee protected speech rights. This program will include a discussion of the laws that protect public employee speech, with particular emphasis on the First Amendment Right to Free speech and Washington public employee Whistleblower protection laws. It will also provide real life examples showing how these rights play out in court.

Noon – 1:15 pm
Lunch provided

Lunch

1:15 – 2:45 pm

Concurrent sessions

Drug & alcohol testing: A regulatory update for U.S. DOT & drug-free workplace procedures
Employers of safety-sensitive transportation employees play a vital role in ensuring the safety of their employees and the traveling public. Employers are responsible for developing and implementing successful workplace drug and alcohol programs. The United States Department of Transportation's (USDOT) drug and alcohol testing regulation, 49 CFR Part 40, has been revised and the new regulation became effective on January 1, 2018. In this session, we will describe the context of the revisions, the impact at the employer level, and what actions employers should be taking. In light of the high prevalence of prescription and non-prescription use of these opioids, one likely effect of the expanded opioid testing panel is that employers may be more likely to be contacted by their Medical Review Officer (MRO) following a drug test stating that one of their employees is taking a prescribed medication which makes them a "significant safety risk."

Getting to #NotHere: Preventing and responding to sexual harassment in the age of #MeToo
Amid a deluge of sexual harassment allegations and reports of workplace misconduct on the national stage, it is time to revisit approaches to preventing and responding to sexual harassment. This session discusses best practices in preventing claims of sexual harassment, including developing policies, changing workplace culture, and tips for avoiding legal claims.

Managing stress & preventing burnout (repeat session)
Learn to stop a stress reaction in seconds, regardless of what is going on around you. Gain skills to release accumulated stress that is negatively impacting your attitude and your health. Learn how self-care benefits you at all levels (mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually). Learn how to leave work at work, home at home, and how to debrief, change your ‘state’ and more.

Talking the talk: Mastering communications at the bargaining table
Labor negotiations in the public sector test a range of communications skills, often in high-stakes settings. Discussions with elected officials about parameters for bargaining and progress at the table require an understanding and mastery of local politics; communications at the bargaining table or in bargaining sidebars require preparation, poise and an appreciation/understanding of table dynamics, bargaining strategy and the psychology of deal making; and communications with managers and employees both in anticipation of bargaining and during the bargaining process test listening skills, patience and judgment about when to speak and when to listen. This session will cover the full range of bargaining-related communications and give attendees a play book to plan their communications strategy for upcoming negotiations.

2:45 – 3 pm

Break

3 – 4:30 pm

Concurrent sessions

Employment law update
A review of lessons from recent court cases applicable to Washington employers . . . to help ensure that you don’t end up in next year’s review! We will discuss key cases decided by the Washington appellate courts and the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Washington) that have implications for Washington employers. This session also will cover recent employment legislation enacted during the 2018 legislative session that imposes new obligations and creates new potential liability risks for unwary employers.

Investigating discrimination and harassment allegations in the workplace
Discrimination, harassment and retaliation – when an employee discloses that they believe they have been treated unfairly because of their protected class membership, or that they feel unsafe at work, the employer must be prepared to identify conduct amounting to discrimination or harassment in the workplace and to promptly investigate and put a stop to such conduct. Through an example fact pattern, we will explore the lifespan of a workplace claim involving discrimination and harassment from start to finish, including an in-depth primer on anti-discrimination law and the steps necessary to ensure employees are not subject to retaliation.

Labor law at the corner of transparency and the thin blue line: Understanding and bargaining civilian oversight over law enforcement
This presentation will cover civilian oversight systems in place in Washington and explain bargaining obligations regarding law enforcement discipline and oversight. Topics will include police body cameras, “bill of rights” clauses in collective bargaining agreements, and other law enforcement discipline and oversight issues.

The psychology of workplace safety (repeated on Friday)
What causes accidents and injuries in the workplace? Defective equipment? Hazardous weather or other environmental conditions? External distractions? While the above factors sometimes play a role, research suggests that the primary cause of workplace accidents is actually human behavior. By understanding the psychological principles that influence human behavior, individuals and organizations can go a long way toward creating a workplace that is as safe as possible.

5 – 7 pm

Exhibit reception

 

Friday, May 4

7:30 am – Noon

Registration

7 – 8:45 am
Breakfast provided

Networking breakfast

7:30 – 8 am

Janus v. AFSCME: Preparing for a fundamental shift in labor relations
This U.S. Supreme Court decision is likely to disrupt the basic business model for public sector unions. By summer, the Court will decide whether agency fees, a significant source of revenue for unions, violate the U.S. Constitution. This session will cover the arguments presented in Court, and the anticipated impacts of the decision on unions and employers.

8 – 8:30 am

Optional early-riser roundtables

2018 Legislative update
Democrats were in charge of both legislative chambers and the executive branch during the 2018 session. What did those changes mean for personnel and labor issues in the Legislature this year? Get an overview of the challenges, a shot of political reality, and insight into what we can expect in 2019.

AWC Employee Benefit Trust update 2018
Learn what the Trust is doing in plan design to contain costs, as well as how the Trust provides members meaningful choice in their wellness endeavors. Hear about where the Trust is headed with their enrollment and billing system, and have an opportunity to provide feedback regarding programs and benefits to staff.

AWC Salary & Benefit Survey: Maximizing potential
AWC undertakes a comprehensive annual survey to assist its member jurisdictions in developing and defending salary and benefits packages for labor negotiations, as well as for establishing salary and benefits provided to employees who are not represented.

HR’s role in harassment complaints
RMSA provides its members with exceptional HR resources through its partnership with Enquiron. Whether an RMSA member or not, this session will give attendees an overview of Enquiron services, as well as provide HR professionals with key take-aways for averting and responding to harassment claims in the workplace through a quick question and answer session with one of Enquiron’s seasoned employment risk attorneys. Key issues to be addressed are: What are the implications for employers as more harassment victims step forward? And how have the expectations of employers changed during this dramatic cultural shift of attitudes around harassment? Get answers to these questions and more during this fast paced session packed with practical guidance for minimizing the risk of liability in your workplace.

8:30 – 8:45 am

Break

8:45– 10:15 am

Concurrent sessions

Essential to organizational health: A cohesive leadership team
Essential to the success of an organization is its health. Organizational Health is defined as an organization in which management, operations, strategy, and culture fit together in a way that makes sense. Attendees will learn more about the characteristics of a healthy organization, the importance of developing a cohesive leadership team, and techniques for making both a reality.

Lasting impressions: How to build an uncommon leadership approach
This session is designed to outline a simple process that professionals can use to build a unique personal brand that radically enhances their leadership ability. It will show attendees how to create a core set of values that will build authenticity with others while driving uncommon results in key areas of their life.

“Leave” it to Washington: A crash course on the State’s new paid sick leave and paid family leave laws
Just as employers are getting their arms around the new paid sick leave requirements that took effect in January 2018, they also need to look ahead to the new state requirements regarding paid family leave that will begin taking effect in 2019 and 2020. Join Kristin Anger and Sofia Mabee from Summit Law Group as they review the requirements of each of these new laws and discuss strategies for compliance and bargaining over these new entitlements. Ask your hardest questions about state sick leave implementation and more.

When worlds collide: Navigating the intersection of employment law and the collective bargaining relationship
This presentation will address the impact of the most common federal and state employment laws on the unionized workplace. Participants will learn the labor arbitrator’s role in enforcing statutory rights and how labor laws (NLRA, PECBA, PSRA, etc.) and union contract (CBA) provisions and attendance policies supersede, yield to, or integrate with the following laws:

  • Title VII and the Washington law against discrimination
  • Americans with Disability Act
  • Overtime and minimum wage laws
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Washington State paid sick leave law
  • Washington paid family leave law
  • USERRA

10:15 – 10:30 am

Break

10:30 am – Noon

Concurrent sessions

2018 PERC update (repeat session)
Regularly the fastest 90 minutes at LRI, this presentation tours all of the cases of note issued by the Public Employment Relations Commission in the past year. If you are new to labor relations, or are an experienced practitioner trying to keep current on developments and trends in Washington public labor law, this is the session to attend. Veteran attendees recommend that you bring the written materials in either print or digital form to aid in your note-taking.

Flip the script: Four habits to radically increase productivity and potential
This session is designed to outline 4 simple, impactful steps that any professional can take to radically increase their productivity levels and potential. It will teach them how to “flip the script” on counterproductive habits so they can be more balanced, motivated, and intentional on a daily basis.

Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em: Interest arbitration trends & guidance
This 90 minute session dives into the mechanics, trends, and strategies of statutory interest arbitration. It is recommended for those who deal with public safety or transit bargaining units. Topics include an overview of the statutory process, case studies, recent trends, bargaining table strategies, and preparing for the arbitration hearing itself.

The psychology of workplace safety (repeat session)
What causes accidents and injuries in the workplace? Defective equipment? Hazardous weather or other environmental conditions? External distractions? While the above factors sometimes play a role, research suggests that the primary cause of workplace accidents is actually human behavior. By understanding the psychological principles that influence human behavior, individuals and organizations can go a long way toward creating a workplace that is as safe as possible.

Noon

Adjournment

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