The Supervisor's Toolbox: Management Rights, Communication, Discipline and the Represented Workforce

Public sector employee supervision is complex and challenging.  Supervisors must exercise judgment and discretion, but must be aware of limitations on authority.  State and federal laws impose many of those limitations.  Rules, policies and ordinances adopted by the agency, and collective bargaining agreements, raise other limitations.  The duty to meet and confer over changes to conditions of employment also limits supervisors' discretion.

This workbook discusses supervisors' discretionary rights and legal obligations, with particular focus on the unionized workplace in which employees are represented by an employee organization in their relationship with the employer.  It is imperative that supervisors understand management rights – and the distinct limitations on that concept – as well as collective bargaining, effective communication methods, disciplinary due process applicable to public employees, and appropriate techniques for responding to grievances.  In our experience representing public agencies, these issues present the greatest challenges faced by supervisors in carrying out their job responsibilities.

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