Dennis Hermann Associates Bring the Best Labor Relations Training Available to Your Facility.

Off the Shelf and Customize-ready Courses:

Labor Relations for Supervisors and Managers (one to two days)
For operating managers needing to deal with employees and the union regularly. Addresses both the law and the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in a workshop approach. Gets managers ready to handle and avoid grievances; identify I&I bargaining requirements; administer the CBA as the Agency intends; recognize situations that require union involvement; and provide usable tools for the manager to use in day to day operations.

Federal Sector Negotiations Workshop (two to four days)
For those who will administer negotiations for an Agency; serve on or advise a bargaining team; be integrally involved in bargaining preparation; or, act as the Agency’s chief negotiator. Length determined by Agency needs and experience levels.

Decision Making in Labor Relations for Military and Civilian Executives (one day)
For any Agency official who will substantially influence or decide a grievance response above the lower levels; advise on or decide an unfair labor practice response above the initial levels; develop an overall Agency approach to union management relations; or, determine the objectives and decide the Agency’s approaches to a negotiation whether it involves I&I or CBA outcomes.

Basic Labor Relations for Practitioners (three to four days)
For those who are technical labor relations advisors to Agency management. Frequently these include human resources staff, Agency counsel new to labor relations and those in an Agency whose jobs require an in-depth understanding of Federal sector labor relations law and practice.

Advance Labor Relations Workshop (one to two days)
Agencies sometimes ask for an update training experience addressing the state of the case law and new approaches to labor relations for its senior advisors and managers involved in the program. A sample agenda for one of these is below.

DHA Customizes its Courses to Meet Agency Needs

We have proven courses to offer but be aware that our instructors want the training at your location(s) to be as relevant as possible. We will look at your CBA and discuss both it and your environment with your practitioners or operating managers before the training to ensure that course materials and workshops deal with your specific needs and objectives. We want to know:

  • Which union(s) you are dealing with?
  • What’s the current relationship like?
  • What occupations are in the bargaining unit?
  • What’s the history of disputes and outcomes at your location?
  • What are the Agency policies and approaches you want addressed?
  • What do you want the training to accomplish specifically?

When we go onsite, attendees are always pleasantly surprised at the degree to which our instructors are familiar with their issues and problems. Relevance of the training to the situation is a paramount DHA goal.
Our instructors are experienced trainers but beyond that, all have substantial experience working in and with a wide variety of Federal Agencies as advisors and negotiators.

Course Outlines

Please keep in mind as you read these, that your choices of specific times to be devoted to topics and depth of coverage are an integral part of our effort bring to you a successful training experience to those in attendance.

Labor Relations for Supervisors and Managers

Agenda for two day program
Course Objectives
Administrative Matters
Employee, Union and Management Rights under the Law

  • Permitted and Prohibited Talk
  • Investigative Meetings
  • Formal Discussions

Conditions of Employment and Working Conditions
Making and Managing Changes in Working Conditions in a Unionized Environment

  • Duty to and Scope of Bargaining
  • Bargaining Changes
  • “Covered By” and Its Effect
  • Developing a Managed Approach to Change Bargaining
  • Dealing with Delaying Tactics
  • Working within Management and with SMEs
  • Common Issues and Approaches
  • Change Bargaining Preparation
  • FLRA’s Take on I&I

Dealing with Data Requests
Dealing with Ground Rules
Dealing with Change Bargaining ULPs
Handling Negotiability and Related Issues

  • Working with Your Advisors

Dispute Resolution under the Law

  • Unfair Labor Practices – The Supervisor’s Role

Taking Disciplinary Action in a Unionized Environment

  • Identifying Problems
  • Giving Counseling, and Warnings
  • Prevention and Resolution of Discipline Problems

Dealing with the Collective Bargaining Agreement

  • Interpreting the Contract
  • Applying Contract Provisions

Dispute Resolution Under the Contract

  • What to Do with a Grievance
  • Preparing for and Running a Grievance Meeting
  • Making a Decision on a Grievance

Dealing with Union Officials

  • Regarding Official Time
  • Regarding Change
  • Regarding Their Day to Day Behavior
  • In Grievance Meetings

Protected Activity
Open Forum – Questions & Answers

Decision Making in Labor Relations for Military and Civilian Executives

Agenda for one day program
I&I Bargaining

  • Key Decision Points
  • Developing a Systematic Approach
  • Notice, Information and “Duty to Bargain” Issues
  • Risk Assessment in Decision Making

Dealing with Union Officials

  • Relationship Issues
  • Contractual Issues
  • Institutional Issues

Grievance and Unfair Labor Practice Cases

  • Screening Allegations
  • Using the Management Chain
  • Separating Theory from Fact: Realistic Assessment
  • Creating Practices and Precedents: Debunking Old Myths
  • Settlement Strategies
  • Arbitration and ULP Hearings: Compared and Contrasted


Federal Sector Negotiations Workshop

Basic Agenda for Two Day Program (See options below)

Course Overview
Federal Bargaining Basics:

  • Federal Sector Bargaining Overview
  • The Executive Order and Its Effect

Bargaining Management and Preparation:

  • Managing Bargaining
    • Creating Decision Systems
    • Typical Resources Required to Support Bargaining
    • Team Selection, Organization and Training
    • Using Subject Matter Experts
    • Involving Supervisors and Managers
  • Preparation Steps: 1. Research
    • Environment Analysis and Expectations
    • Agency Discretion
    • Union Institutional Issues
    • Comparability
  • Preparation Steps: 2. Bargaining Book
    • Proposal Development
    • Language Issues
    • Analyzing Union Proposals
  • Preparation Steps: 3. Organization and Logistics
    • Ground Rules
    • Record Keeping
    • Note Taking
    • Strategic and Tactical Issues:
    • Bargaining Strategy
    • Defining Management’s Interests
    • Identifying what is Essential, Helpful, Insignificant to Get, Keep or Avoid
    • Setting Priorities
    • Getting Real

Table Issues:

  • How is Bargaining Opened
    • Moving Forward
    • Order of Negotiation
  • Proposal and Counter-Proposal
  • Exploring Issues
  • Grouping issues
  • Packaging
  • Tabling
  • Caucus
  • Reaching Tentative Agreement
  • Dealing with Difficult People

More Legal Issues:

  • Negotiability
    • Negotiability Declaration and Appeal Process
    • Duty to Bargain & Scope of Bargaining
    • What’s on the Table
    • Who Decides
  • Unfair Labor Practices
    • Bad Faith
    • Data Requests

Dispute Resolution:

  • How FMCS Operates
  • Mediation Strategies and Techniques
  • The FSIP and its Trends

Bargaining Closure Issues:

  • Execution and Effective Date
  • Ratification & Agency Head Review



Impact and Implementation Bargaining Option (1/2 day)
Addresses the issues concerning notice, developing strategies, opening the bargaining, dealing with specific aspects of the process such as delay, data requests, unfair labor practice allegations, etc. This session is valuable to organizations that spend either a lot of time and/or effort to dealing with changes in working conditions with an active union.

Practical Negotiation Workshop Option (1 to 1 1/2 days)
Attendees are provided relevant scenarios to negotiate and are evaluated on their success reaching their predetermined goals for the process as well as what they might do differently after working through the experience. This session results in attendees’ stating that they now see the challenges they face in the process.

Advice on Moving Forward (Length determined by Agency requirements)
This involves an opportunity to discuss specific issues the Agency faces with the instructor. Our experience is that the training is usually conducted when the Agency is developing goals; involved in preparation of specific issues; is bargaining ground rules; or is at some other key point in the process. This session gives the attendees an opportunity to talk through with and get advice from someone who has been through the entire process a number of times. This session is always found useful.

Basic Labor Relations for Practitioners



  • Overview of Labor Relations History and Processes
  • Overview of General Labor Relations Statute
  • Introduction To Reference Material In Student Package
  • Discussion Of Major Players
  • Labor Relations Terms and Their Definitions
  • Elections and Certification
  • Bargaining Unit Determinations
  • Detailed Review and Discussion of the Rights and Obligations of the Parties
  • Scope of Bargaining and Basic Negotiability Principles
  • Negotiability Appeals
  • Change Bargaining (I&I)
  • Term (Collective Bargaining Agreement) Negotiations
  • Preparing for Negotiations
  • Mediation and Impasse Processes
  • Management Employee Communications (Meetings and Limits on Management Speech)
  • Protected Activity
  • Data Requests
  • Detailed Review of Contract Administration
  • Negotiated Grievance Procedure and Arbitration
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Advising Managers
  • Dealing with Union Representatives


Advanced Labor Relations Workshop (Example)

Target Audience

  • Agency Labor Relations Practitioners, Agency Counsel and Line Managers Requiring In-depth Federal Labor Relations Knowledge to be Effective


  • Examine the State of the Art in Federal Labor Relations
  • Preparing Management for Pre-Decisional involvement of the Union
  • Review latest FLRA and FSIP Decisions
  • Writing Better MOUs in I&I Bargaining
  • Making a More Effective Impasse Case
  • Getting Good and Timely Advice to Managers on Disputes
  • Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Grievance Handling
  • Sharpening Arbitration and ULP handling Skills


  • FLRA and FSIP Case Law Update – A look at what the Authority and the Panel are deciding and the impact on agency decision making
  • Pre-decisional Involvement with Local Committees – Preparing for and conducting pre-decisional meetings to satisfy Executive Order requirements while acting within the collective bargaining agreement
  • What the Court’s New “Covered By” Decision Means to You – A careful examination of the DC Circuit case and how it dramatically alters contract bargaining as well as I&I obligations
  • Developing MOUs – Soup to nuts on what a memorandum of understanding or agreement should include and why
  • Preparing for and Working an FSIP Case – Building an impasse case based on decisions of the Panel and making decisions on approaches to take
  • Dealing with Past Practice Claims – Demystifying the theory of past practice and how to respond if one is alleged
  • Managing the Grievance Process – With FLRA’s new rules and decisions on arbitration, a manager’s handling of a grievance has renewed importance. This session provides checklists and forms to help managers respond effectively
  • Improving Your Arbitration Capability – Developing an Agency approach to arbitration preparation and advocacy under the new rules and decisions
  • Unfair Labor Practice Charges and Responses – How to improve your response to ULP allegations and work to avoid complaints while developing a theory and presentation if needed