Category Archives: Seminars

Labor Relations

Robbie Kunreuther has helped clients form labor-management partnerships/forums that have endured for more than a decade. His clients know that the adversarial systems are available, yet choose to invest in communication and cooperation rather than grievances and unfair labor practice charges. Robbie has also facilitated collective bargaining agreement negotiations which allowed the parties to move through issues faster and with greater clarity.

Once a Labor Relations Specialist who negotiated with and litigated against unions, Robbie has come to appreciate the fact that labor-management cooperation saves money. Understanding Federal Labor Relations covers labor law as supervisors, managers, union officials actually use it. From the statutory rights of management, union and employees to topics like changing conditions of employment, formal discussions, scope of bargaining, and unfair labor practices this seminar seeks to be more pragmatic than legalistic.

Most clients have Robbie present Understanding Federal Labor Relations to audiences from both sides of the table – something he’s been doing since the late 1980s. GPS also has off-the-shelf seminars that cover the particulars of labor management partnerships/forums and interest-based bargaining. Robbie ensures that folks have fun while learning how labor law looks from ground level. If it’s your agency invested in training that brings union and management closer together, consider GPS.

For agencies located in North America, Understanding Federal Labor Relations costs $9,000 (inclusive of materials and expenses) for a group of up to 30 participants.  Seminars presented within 50 miles of Seattle cost $8,000.  Classes outside of the continental United States are priced individually.  Call or e-mail Robbie for a course agenda and other details.

Difficult Employees

Dealing with Performance and Conduct Issues is a two-day seminar which focuses on just 5-10% of a Federal agency’s workforce.  It offers supervisors, managers and union officials a look behind the HR curtain – showing how such problems can be successfully addressed.  This class moves from the traditional approaches involving reprimands, suspensions, and performance improvement plans to more modern methods like mediation, written requirements, and durable agreements.

Robbie Kunreuther had the unpleasant task of firing civil service employees whose performance or behavior couldn’t be corrected.  He understands why managers would rather avoid such traumatic decisions and how employees should be accountable for their own employment success or failure.  Dealing with Performance and Conduct Issues focuses on correcting the problem in the most practical time frame with the least amount of documentation.

Because these cases are so likely to result in litigation, the class covers how cases are won and lost when challenged.  Robbie represented the government before the Merit Systems Protection Board, labor arbitrators and the EEOC.  He explodes common myths while focusing on the possible.  This seminar turns participants’ attention toward the competent, hard-working majority that needs to be relieved of workplace distractions.  This seminar results in huge cost savings if just 1-2 people attending leave with a plan they had never believed possible before coming.  Call or e-mail Robbie for a course agenda and other details.

For agencies located in North America, Dealing with Performance and Conduct Issues costs $9,000 (inclusive of materials and expenses) for a group of up to 30 participants.  Seminars presented within 50 miles of Seattle cost $8,000.  Classes outside of the continental United States are priced individually.  Call or e-mail Robbie for a course agenda and other details.

Performance Appraisals

Performance Appraisal is the subject most supervisors, managers, and HR Specialists avoid like root canals.  Training commonly focuses on forms, time frames, and limiting high ratings.  Meanwhile, supervisors are tasked with judging people’s value and talent.  Government Personnel Services’ seminar Making Sense of Federal Performance Appraisals takes an approach agencies won’t find elsewhere.  Robbie uses “critical elements” and “performance standards” as a vehicle for communicating expectations of excellence and improvement — without resorting to phony metrics and/or vague “weasel words”.

Typically, performance expectations are couched in terms that mean little and influence no one.  GPS shows supervisors and managers how they can tailor elements and standards to individuals in ways that encourage them to perfect new and better work habits.  Robbie believes that mediocre employees need to see and understand what they must do to become better, better to become best, and best to be challenged for years ahead.  In this way, appraisals are considered from the perspective of benefits rather than requirements and costs.

The Code of Federal Regulations tells agencies that, “…performance standard may include, but is not limited to, quality, quantity, timeliness, and manner of performance.”  GPS has found over decades that developing appraisal criteria using “manner of performance” standards can result in clearer communication, expectations that mean something, and (most of all) better individual performance in the coming year.

This seminar is taught in a 2 or 3-day format.  The two-day version costs $9,000 for a group of up to 30 and the 3-day class runs $11,000 for agencies within the continental United States.  Seminars presented within 50 miles of Seattle cost $8,000.  Classes outside of the continental United States are priced individually.  Call or e-mail Robbie for a course agenda and other details.