The Labour-Management Relations Certificate


Program Overview

The Labour-Management Relations Certificate is an intensive 5-day program intended for union representatives, human resource and labour relations managers, consultants, neutrals, and people who operate in unionized environments. 

The program covers collective bargaining, grievance arbitration, mediation, legislation, financial literacy and emerging workplace issues. It offers a rare opportunity for union, management, and neutrals to trade perspectives and share ideas under the leadership of experts in the field. 

The Labour-Management Relations Certificate program encompasses seven core areas – fundamentals of labour relations, changing employment relationships, collective agreement arbitration, mediation, collective bargaining, legal framework and financial literacy for labour relations. Each module incorporates active learning through group discussions or role-playing and includes a collective bargaining simulation.


Fundamentals of Labour Relations

  • Roles of the different parties (union, management, government, third parties)
  • Brief history of the Canadian labour movement
  • Best practices for good labour-management relationships

Changing Employment Relationship

  • Shifting from full-time permanent positions to part-time, contingent and contract work
  • Changing attitudes toward work
  • Shifting modes of employee representation and voice

Collective Agreement Arbitration

  • Understanding the arbitration process
  • Building a strong case
  • How to think like an arbitrator
  • Landmark arbitration decisions


  • When is mediation appropriate or necessary?
  • Dealing with workplace conflict
  • Understanding conflict and communication styles

Collective Bargaining

  • Understanding the bargaining context
  • Developing negotiation strategy
  • Building strong and effective bargaining teams
  • Leveraging conflict to get results
  • Finding common ground
  • Maintaining good relationships
  • Enhancing integrity and professionalism

Legal Framework

  • Interpreting labour law
  • Understanding labour legislation
  • Human rights/contracts/employment standards
  • Duty to accommodate
  • Privacy rights
  • Progressive Discipline
  • Drug Testing

Financial Literacy for Labour Relations

  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Understanding Financial Reports
  • Utilizing Financial Reports in Bargaining

  • Key Learning Objectives
    • Address major issues surrounding collective bargaining, grievance arbitration, mediation, legislation and labour board remedies.
    • Provide bargaining simulation experience and practical tools.
    • Cover topics from broad political and economic contexts.
    • Allow an opportunity for union, management, and neutrals to collaborate and generate solutions that add value for all parties in a safe learning environment.
  • Who Should Attend

    The Labour-Management Relations Certificate Program is ideal for union leaders, human resource managers, labour relations managers, neutrals, consultants, and lawyers with an interest in labour relations.

    The program is suited to highly capable and motivated individuals. The diversity in the classroom adds significantly to the richness of the learning experience. Throughout the entire program you will form a strong professional network with your fellow participants.

  • How Will This Program Benefit Me
    • Improve labour-management relationships
    • Effectively prepare for collective bargaining
    • Understand labour law and emerging legal issues
    • Navigate investigations, mediation and arbitration
    • Gain access to experts and leaders in the labour relations field
    • Utilize newly-built professional relationships to strengthen your network
  • What Is Included
    • All learning materials provided digitally through Canvas
    • Certificate of Completion
    • Credential to add to your CV and LinkedIn Profile 
    • 35 PMI Professional Development Units (PDU's)

Funding Available

Check out the funding opportunities available through the Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant

COMING SOON - Fall 2023

Fees: $4,500 plus Taxes

Registration Deadline: To Be Announced

Location: TBD

Course Planner

For more information, contact

Rebecca Schweighardt
Learning and Development Specialist
Email Me

"It was hard work, but enjoyable and rewarding. I was very impressed in the quality of the people we had teaching us. I’m leaving feeling that I have gained a lot of understanding in labour relations and have new tools to use in the workplace." 

Rebecca Fitleaum

Prairie Sky Co-operative Association Ltd.

Program Faculty

Our program instructors are top academics from the University of Saskatchewan in the areas of Industrial Relations and Human Resources including the former Dean of the Edwards School of Business. We also have one of Canada's most respected arbitrators joining us, Allen Ponak.  In addition to our well-qualified instructors, we will be joined by industry expert guest lecturers who will discuss special topics and contribute a balanced perspective.

  • Instructor Profiles

    Allen Ponak, BA, MILR, Ph.D.

    Allen Ponak has arbitrated since 1985 and is a listed arbitrator in a number of national and regional collective agreements. He has been a faculty member at UBC, McGill, University of Calgary, and the University of Saskatchewan. His film, “Beyond Collision: High Integrity Labour Relations”, won a Silver Screen Award at the 2005 Los Angeles International Video and Film Festival. In 2015, Allen was named the winner of the prestigious Bora Laskin award for his contributions to Canadian labour law. In 2015/2016 he was president of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the fourth Canadian president in the Academy’s 70-year history.


    Daphne Taras, Ph.D., LLM, MBA, MA, BA

    Daphne Taras is the Dean of the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto.  She is Dean Emerita of the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan, where she served from 2010 to 2016. She was a professor and Associate Dean (Research) and Director of the Ph.D. program at the Haskayne School of Business, U of C. She has experience in mediating labour disputes, facilitating union-management committees and training in conflict resolution. Daphne was an expert advisor to the federal Labour Standards Commission and received the US-based Labour and Employment Relations Association’s Excellence in Education Award. She is a Top 100 Woman in Canada, a Top 10 Woman in Saskatchewan, and a recipient of the Saskatoon YMCA Award in Education.

    Scott Scott Walsworth, Ph.D., MIRHR, BA | Academic Program Director | CIRA President

    Scott Walsworth is an Associate professor of industrial relations at the Edwards School of Business. His research examines the effect of unions on various management decisions and firm outcomes, such as innovation, employment, and profits. In his role as the Hanlon Scholar in International Business, he also researches the international workplace, more specifically the immigration experiences of skilled workers from India. Currently, Scott is the President of the National Canadian Industrial Relations Association and Chapter Director of CIRA Saskatoon.

    Beth Bilson, Ph.D., LLB, MA, BA

    Beth Bilson is the University Secretary at the University of Saskatchewan. Beth joined the College of Law as a Professor in 1979. As well, she was an Associate Professor at the Johnson Shoyama School of Public Policy. Beth has served as Assistant Dean of Law, Assistant Vice-President (Administration) for the University, Dean of Law from 1999 to 2002, and acting dean in 2010-11 and 2014-16 at the Univeristy of Saskatchewan. Beth was the first female chair on the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board. With a degree in law and history from the University of Saskatchewan, she teaches and writes in the areas of torts, labour and administrative law and legal history. Beth has extensive experience in grievance, collective bargaining and labour arbitration, having received numerous regional and national awards for her work. She is a member of the Law Society of Saskatchewan and has received designation of Queen’s Counsel.


    Gary Entwistle, Ph.D., CPA, CA

    Gary Entwistle joined the University of Saskatchewan after practicing public accounting with KPMG in both Canada and New Zealand. In 1997, he received his Ph.D. from the Richard Ivey School of Business. His research is primarily in the areas of financial accounting and reporting and accounting standard setting and has attracted external funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Academic Accounting Association, public accounting firms and provincial accounting organizations. During 2009-2010, Gary was the President of the Canadian Academic Accounting Association.


    Dionne Pohler, Ph.D., B.Comm, Co-operative Education, CPHR

    Dionne Pohler is an assistant professor at the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto. Her research in employment relations and human resource management has included comparing the processes of HR professionalization in Canada and the USA, and exploring the impact of relationships between strategy, HR, unions and employee voice and involvement on individuals and organizations. More recent research includes projects on compensation/HR systems and inequality, and organizational implementation of and compliance with labour and employment policy.


    Perry Sirota, Ph.D., MBA

    Perry Sirota is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, and organizational consultant, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Queen's University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He divides his time equally between a thriving clinical and consulting practice, that includes; psychological assessments and consultations relating to litigation, accommodation, disability management, threats, and violence; workplace investigations and workplace conflict; and organizational consulting, coaching, training and conducting workshops. Training and workshops cover a range of topics, including workplace mental health, bullying and harassment, respectful workplaces, leadership, and substance abuse. Dr. Sirota has a special interest and extensive experience in the unionized workplace setting. Dr. Sirota also prepares psychological evaluations for courts and administrative tribunals and has testified over 400 times as an expert witness in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, Provincial Court, Family and Youth Court, and at labour arbitrations.


  • Message from the Program Director



    "This program is for people who do labour relations. Come join us and learn new skills and perspectives from academic and industry leaders while strengthening your connection to the professional community across Western Canada. This is an intense week with an ambitious agenda. Come prepared to work hard."


    Scott Walsworth, Academic Program Director

  • Past Guest Speakers
    • Bertha Greenstein, Negotiations and Labour Relations, Alberta Health Services
    • Pete Suderman, Labour Relations and Mediation, Labour Relations and Workplace Safety
    • Aaron Fornwald, Human Resources, Nutrien
    • Andy Sims, Andrew C L Sims Prof. Corp, previously Alberta Labour Relations Board
    • Dr. Richard Hurd, IRL School, Cornell University
    • Kevin Wilson, MLT Aikens LLP
    • Hanah Gasper, SGEU
    • Robert Gibbings, Sharfsten Gibbings Walen Fisher LLP
    • Hon. Don Morgan, Government of Saskatchewan
    • Hugh Wagner, Grain and General Services Union
    • Glen Billingsley, SGEU
    • Leah Schatz, Q.C., MLT Aikens LLP
    • Jordan Jakubowski, Nutrien
    • Tom Hesse, United Food and Commerical Workers

Partnership Program


Together with our partners, we continue to add value and enhance our educational experiences to our community through professional development and training in a supportive and welcoming environment.

This Edwards Executive Education program is proudly presented in partnership with The Canadian Industrial Relations Association - CIRA Saskatoon Chapter.

Offer This Program In-House

Interested in bringing this program to your organization or team within your organization? Fill out our Online Needs Assessment form and show your interest in bringing this program in-house or customized based on your needs.


University of Saskatchewan's liability is limited to reimbursement of paid tuition fees.

Cancellations received at least fifteen (15) business days in advance of the program commencement date will receive a full refund. Cancellations received less than fifteen (15) business days prior to the program commencement date will be subject to a $1000 administration fee. Cancellations received less than five (5) business days prior to the program commencement date will be subject to full program tuition cost.

Non-attendance will incur full program tuition cost.

Fees subject to change without notice.

Program Transfers

One program transfer will be permitted without penalty if the cancellation request is received more than fiftnee (15) business days prior to the program start date. Program transfers within fifteen (15) business days of the program start date will be subject to a $300 administration fee.

Alternate program transfers may be approved dependent on program availability. Transfer requests must be scheduled within six (6) months of the initial purchase.

Applicants will be responsible for any price difference in program fees at the time of the request. Each subsequent transfer request will be subject to $300 administration fee.

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