Human Resource Case Study Assignment Help

Human Resource Case Study Assignment:

1. Does the labor law encourage or discourage unionization?

2. Do you think teaching assistants should be considered employees?

3. Do you think management’s reaction to employee interest in unionization differs if the employer already has a high union density among other employee groups?

4. What are the key factors that led some RAs to have interest in union representation? Do you think that RAs have legitimate job-related concerns, or are the RA complaints overstated?

5. Do the RAs opposed to unionization have legitimate concerns? How could unionization change the culture of Residence Life?

6. How does the law regarding union recognition for public employees in this state compare with the NLRA rules regarding union recognition for private-sector employees?

7. Why did the LRC determine that RAs and CDAs were employees? Do you agree with the LRC decision? Why? Why not?


West University is a large college located in Phoenix, Arizona. Since its inception, the university experienced tremendous growth. The campus is located on 1,200 acres with more than 20,000 students providing on-campus housing to more than 11,000 students. Residential Life, a department within Housing Services, provides support for all aspects of the student’s experience in the residence halls. There were 30 residence halls supervised by area directors (ADs), 23 resident directors (RDs) supervising the staff and office operations, and 32 graduate student assistant resident directors (ARDs) who reported to and assisted the RDs and co-supervised 300 RAs . Resident assistants (RAs) are undergraduate students who live on a floor in a residence hall. The major responsibilities and duties of RAs can be broken into eight areas:


  1. University Community building.
  2. Resource and referral agent.
  3. Crisis intervention and management.
  4. Administrative duties.
  5. Staff meetings and schedule coverage.
  6. Training.
  7. Performance appraisals.
  8. General 0olicy management.

RAs hired were required to sign a job description and a resident assistant Memo of Understanding (MOU). The MOU outlined the terms and conditions of the position including compensation, work hours, GPA standards and several other requirements. An RA who worked a minimum of two semesters was enrolled in the university with at least a 2.5 GPA, and not received formal punishment from the university could be considered for a community development assistant (CDA) position. The CDA was a mentor to RAs and assisted with problems. CDA compensation and other work-related requirements were identical to those of RAs.


Human Resource Policies for RAs and CDAs: RAs and CDAs had mandatory requirements to arrive on campus three days before each semester begins for mandatory training and building preparation. There was a 20-hour-per-week time commitment that included a stipend of $1,820 for the academic year with deductions for federal and state income taxes. RDs are their direct supervisors, conducted their performance reviews, and maintained their personnel files. RAs and CDAs who violated disciplinary guidelines were subject to a progressive disciplinary procedure.


Collective Bargaining on the West University Campus: Public employees were granted the right to join unions, present proposals to public employers but there were no obligations for these employers to engage in bargaining with these public employee unions. A few unions were active at the West University. Collective bargaining rights were granted to most of the public employees by passage of the state’s general law allowing them to form, join or participate in unions. The law also granted bargaining collectively over terms and conditions of employment. West University recognized the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO), an affiliate of the United Auto Workers, as the collective bargaining representative for a variety of graduate student positions including teaching assistants, research assistants and ARDs. The West University now had a workforce that was predominantly unionized and a climate where unionization and collective bargaining were common aspects of university life.


RA Challenges: The RAs are challenged with disciplining residents, dealing with the retaliation and disgruntled residents. There was a 55 percent RA turnover rate. RAs were fired and some felt this was questionable and unwarranted when a resident doing the same thing was given a written warning. Grievance committees were formed and many meeting occurred but to no avail. There were also concerns with compensation. Some RAs approached the GEO to discuss the opportunity to form an RA union. The GEO agreed the concerns and complaints were similar to other workers. A committee was organized to gather enough signatures to declare representation by the United Auto Workers for collective bargaining. The majority of the RAs and CDAs signed and the request was sent to the University for voluntary recognition and it was denied because undergraduates are students. Those RAs/CDAs who opposed the union representation thought the others were over reacting. During the last hiring, twice as many applicants applied than positions available. As for firing, 12 out of 600 RAs were terminated over the last two years. The University contacted the state labor relations commission (LRC) to dismiss the petition because the law did not require collective bargaining for those who perform services as students. The commission determined that the RAs and CDAs could legally organize and engage in collective bargaining. A secret ballot election was to be held to determine the preference of the employees.


Human Resource Case Study Assignment Help Paper


Answer 1: National Labor Relations Act under the section 8(a) (3) has made unlawful for an employer to encourage or discourage the union activity in the companies by discrimination in regards to terms and conditions to the employment. In some cases it can be agreed such as enforcement by the labor union security agreements. In this case employer has to prove that action of employer was taken for the purpose of encouraging or discouraging. Government prohibits the use of state funds in the circumstances that encourage or discourage union organization. Moreover, it also encourages or discourages employees from participating in organizing campaign. The legislatures declare that use of state funds and property to encourage or discourage employees from union organization will lead to the misuse of public funds and misapplication of scarce resources of public (Mchugh, 2011). It has been analyzed that money is not granted to the employers in order to train managers, supervisors or administrative personnel in order to encourage or discourage employees from union organization. Further, scarce resources of the public should be used solely for the public purpose. Thus, it has been analyzed that organization should use the public money in the productive purpose.


Answer 2: According to the National Labor Relations Board, teaching assistants are considered as the students not the employees. It has been analyzed that many graduate teaching assistants are spoiling to unionize. At the same time, United Auto Workers and graduate students wanted that West University graduate students and teaching assistants should be considered as the employees and should also get the right to unionize. It has been analyzed that teaching assistants are expected to grow by 15 percent in the coming future. Therefore, it has been analyzed that teaching assistant should get the equal right to take decisions in universities. Teaching assistant provide instructions to the graduate students and include various responsibilities such as teaching classes, grading student assignments, developing academic instructional materials and tutoring students (National Labor Relations Board, 2012). Teaching assistants and graduate assistants are covered by collective bargaining agreement with Graduate Employees Organization (GEO). It has been analyzed that West University had a workforce that include the teaching assistants, research assistants and assistant resident directors. All these members are not treated as the employees rather they are treated as the students. Therefore, it has been analyzed that treating the teaching assistants as the employees will be helpful in motivating them for better performance and providing effective guidance to the students.


Answer 3: Management reaction to employee interest in union representation changes because union pursue the interest of the employers on the other hand, employer pursue the interest of the universities. If the employer has high density of unions among other employee group then employer will not focus towards the needs of the union representation. Employer will not support the employee interest in unionization (Compa, 2002). Further, conflict of interest will be occurred between the employee and employers in the free market economic system. It has been analyzed that both employer and employee wanted to achieve their own interest. Employees have the right to form the labor unions and make collective bargaining with employers for compensation and working conditions. Therefore, employers will not be able to fulfill the interest of union representative effectively, if they are involved other employee groups. Employees have to face the disadvantage of bargaining power due to high involvement of employers in the other groups. It has been analyzed that West University has the predominantly unionized workforce in which collective bargaining and unionization are the common aspect. According to the change in conditions of university, employer interest will also get affected.


Answer 4: There are several key factors that develop the interest of RA in union representation. These RA’s have to face the problem with disciplining residents. These disciplining residents deal with retaliation and disgruntled residents. It has been analyzed that RA has approached to GEO in order to discuss the opportunity to form the RA union. It has been analyzed that RA has faced various job related concerns. RA in the universities is not getting the appropriate compensation according to their work. These RA are fired due to any illegal activities that they performed (Tarasevich & McGill, 2008). It has been analyzed that during the last hiring, 12 out of 600 RA’s terminated due to poor performance. Further, salaries of RA also get backstop, when the university will not be able to earn the funds from the public. Moreover, they have other financial concerns such as they have to pay a large amount of housing cost. For example, they are getting $150 for the services, out of which $90 was paid for the house cost. After that only $60 is left with the RA’s and CDA’s. It has been analyzed that RA and CDA provide different services to the students due to which they should receive appropriate compensation.


Answer 5: Resident Assistant who worked for at least two semesters can be enrolled in degree-granting program. Further, they are also allowed to have university judicial sanctions. Residential Assistant maintains a link between housing and food services and students, who live in residence hall. Opposition to unionization has legitimate concerns because students will not develop the trust in the RA’s. It is a legitimate concern because the opposition will create problem in improving their compensation. It has been analyzed that appointments of the RA will be renewed in each semester based on the availability of the funds (Deckop, 2006). It is also identified that salary inequity in the Resident Assistant is the legitimate concerns. RA’s are unionized and they believe that Communication Workers of America can make improvement in their compensation. They are also able to get extra benefits and security through collective bargaining. Unionization can change the culture of residential life of the students. Through the unionization, students can be able to have various benefits from the university. Higher salaries will be helpful in improving the living standards of the people, which in turn is helpful in improving the residential life. Thus, it has been analyzed that opposition to unionization by the RA’s is the legitimate concerns.


Answer 6: Laws regarding union recognition for public employees are different from NLRA rules regarding union recognition for private sector employees. It has been analyzed that in public sector, all the employees, who wanted to be represented by the union, should file the petition with Main Labor Relations Board (MLRB). Law provides the secret ballot election through which each employee may vote privately. Further, in order to be elected as the bargaining agents, it is necessary that more than 50 percent of the voting employees in the unit must vote to unionize. On the other hand, NLRA rules regarding union recognition for private sector employees are different in terms (Summerlin, 2008). In this case, the employer and union are obligated by the law to bargain in good faith with each other according to the terms and conditions of employment. Employees in the private company has right to form the union or they can also dissolve the union, if they are not getting any support from the employees. They also have the right to join union without informing to their employer. Private employees also have right to be fairly represented by unions. Therefore, in public sector, employees have to follow certain rules, whereas private sector employees can join any unions.


Answer 7: Labor Relation Commission treated RA’s and CDA’s as employees because they are authorized to direct a secret-ballot election to determine the exclusive representative for the company, whenever 30 percent consent is received from the affected employees. It has been analyzed that around 30 percent of RA’s and CDA’s are required to sign the authorization card representing their intention to be represented by Union Auto Worker before the election will be scheduled by MLRC. Therefore, according to the LRC, RA’s and CDA’s will be treated as the employees after the elections (Lundstrom, 2007). It has been analyzed that RA’s are responsible for different areas such as crises intervention and management, administrative duties, training, performance appraisals. Decision of LRC was correct because both RA and CDA are responsible for various activities. It has been analyzed that majority of RA and CDA has signed the agreement and request was sent to University for voluntary recognition. This request was denied because RA and CDA are the undergraduate students, who will not be treated as employees. Commission was determined that RA’s and CDA’s should be legally organized and engaged in collective bargaining. Further, RA and CDA play an important role in maintaining the life of thousands of students in a university.


References: Compa, L. (2002). Retrieved from Deckop, J.R. (2006). Human Resource Management Ethics. USA: IAP. Lundstrom, J.T. (2007). A New Use of Frame-of-reference Training: Improving Reviewers’ Inferences from Biodata Information. USA: ProQuest. Mchugh, P.P. (2011). Retrieved from National Labor Relations Board (2012). Retrieved from Summerlin, C.A. (2008). Residence Life Staffing: A Qualitative Study to Determine the Reasons College Students Become Resident Assistants at Small Private Institutions. USA: ProQuest. Tarasevich, M. & McGill, L.D. (2008). Retrieved from


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