Table of Contents
Good employer-employee relationships do not happen by accident. There are various strategies and activities that organizations put in place to ensure that there is improved communication between these two groups, employees are motivated and they have an improved attitude towards their jobs (DeNisi, Griffin & Thomson South-Western, 2014). When employees are positively motivated, they feel good about their work environment, and they tend to give their best to ensure great results (DeNisi, Griffin & Thomson South-Western, 2014). Most managers are scared of the idea of unions organizing affairs of their businesses. However, studies have shown that organizations managed by labor unions enjoy several benefits (Casademunt, 2016). When management of an organization embraces labor work, the results are a profitable business offering a high quality product. This paper examines the labor practices of an organization (Milwaukee Public Schools).
There are different seniority groups at Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). The district keeps a record of each employee’s work history. These records then determine the seniority systems at Milwaukee Public School. The work history records include when an employee was hired, how long he has served in a position, the amount of leave he has taken and so on (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). At MPS, the Board of City Service Commissioners makes the rules that determine seniority (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). For the case of certified staff, how long an employee has worked defines his or her seniority. The District is in charge of making decisions on the seniority of certificated workers of MPS (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). However, it doesn’t have power in areas like assignment, reassignment and laying off of employees. When an employee of Milwaukee Public Schools gets laid or if they are on authorized leave, their initial seniority date remains.
Quality of Work Life
Milwaukee Public Schools cares about the quality of work of their employees. That is why they have put in place an employee assistance program to help their workers who may be facing difficulties in various areas of their lives. Happy employees are more productive (DeNisi, Griffin & Thomson South-Western, 2014). The organization of MPS knows this, and that is why they have free and confidential counseling services for their workers under the employee assistance program (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). The various areas in which these services are offered include mediation, adoption, stress management, drug and alcohol abuse and planning for school and college (Darienne & Parikh, 2017).
Sick Leave Administration
Employees of Milwaukee Public Schools are entitled to sick leave. The personnel is allowed 0.067 hours of sick leave for every hour that is paid (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). This does not include extra hours or overtime. Employees working on a twelve-month basis can accumulate up to 1200 hours, and they are entitled to full pay too (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). After the 1200 hours, an employee gets half-pay for any sick leave that accumulates after that (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). Employees working on a ten-month basis can have up to 100 hours of sick leave per year (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). These employees are not allowed to accumulate their sick leave for over 1160 hours when they are getting full pay from the District (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). After these hours, the accrued leave comes with half-pay. There is a group or employees who are entitled to sick leave, and these are substitute teachers and part-time recreation workers.
Employees of Milwaukee Public Schools are required to provide written notice of their resignation. The organization considers retirement to be a type of resignation because an individual will stop working for the district when they are 60 years old (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). Therefore, employees who want to retire have to give written notice to the Human Resources Office (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). Milwaukee Public Schools have departments that deal with retirement and these are the Benefits and Retirement Services Department and the Office of Human Resources. When an employee submits his written notice of retirement, these two departments verify whether that person is eligible to retire (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). From there, the Benefits and Retirement Services Department gives the employee the retirement benefits he is entitled to.
Sexual Harassment Policies
Milwaukee Public School does not accommodate employee fraternization (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). The management of the institution encourages its employees to apply professional and ethical behavior to foster collaborative and mentoring. This behavior should be the ones that do not attract disciplinary actions. For example, a supervisor and a subordinate employee are not allowed to have a personal relationship. This kind of relationship threatens the integrity of the people in the positions of power, and it can make the working environment uncomfortable for other people, mainly if they feel that someone else is receiving favors because of his or her relationship with a superior (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). In the same breath, sexual relationships are discouraged between supervisors and their subordinates. This is especially if that relationship leads to a hostile work environment for other employees or the employees involved in the relationship. If the ties also interfere with the work of other employees or with the operations of the organization or if it makes the rest of the employees not believe in the concerned parties’ ability to make a sound judgment then that is not acceptable. The supervisors who violate the sexual harassment policy may face disciplinary action, which may even lead to termination (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). Most institutions do not entertain sexual harassment, which is the reason Milwaukee Public Schools created sexual harassment policies to help clients and employees. These policies prevent employees from harassing each other sexually. On the other hand, clients cannot be harassed sexually for example; parents are allowed to report sexual harassment episodes to the school management. Clients are also not allowed to sexually harass employees because it is an offense that creates negative image for the institutions.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
Milwaukee Public Schools provide equal employment opportunity and equal pay for equal work (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). The organization hires qualified employees no matter their ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, marital status and sexual orientation among others (Darienne & Parikh, 2017). The Board policy of MPS encourages a non-discriminatory work environment. Employees are hired based on their qualifications. Qualifications determine the amount of salary that employees receive. A corrupt free institution requires people to work up their ranks. The institution offers gender based sensitive services because it has employed people from different backgrounds comprising of both male and female.
It is important for any organization to have employee and labour relation programs. These relations are a binding factor to the terms and conditions upon which employees must act. Labour programs are created to protect employees against bad working conditions. Some organizations offer better working conditions compared to others because of the difference in labour relations. Employees are encouraged to join a labour organization that advocates for their needs and protects them against mistreatment and poor working conditions from employers. There are different labour relation programs based on the profession. The labour relation offers a platform where employees can peacefully advocate for better working terms through strikes without being fired by employees. It encourages people to act as a group and in case of threats from employers; the labour programs will represent employees in court.
Various organizations have different practices. However, they are all aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere for the employees to feel secure and good about their job to enhance their performance. A great employer-employee relationship is an excellent combination for success, and that is what labor unions come in to help achieve. The most successful organizations have better working relations between employees and employers. It is important for an institution to respect their employees for them to better results and create a positive image that will attract more clients in future. Milwaukee Public Schools have created different policies to help prevent malpractice and ensure both employees and clients have a comfortable working environment.
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- Casademunt, A. M. L. (Ed.). (2016). Strategic Labor Relations Management in Modern Organizations. IGI Global.
- Darienne B. Driver, Ed.D., Himanshu Parikh., (2017) Employee Handbook: Milwaukee Public Schools.
- DeNisi, A. S., Griffin, R. W., & Thomson South-Western. (2014). HR. Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.