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HR Pros: Labor Relations Specialists are on the Decline – here’s what that means for you

Human Resources professionals bring an array of skills to the table. Though you might concentrate in a particular area, successfully navigating day-to-day challenges requires a versatile body of knowledge. You may have the basics of labor relations knowledge, but chances are you’d prefer rely on Labor Relations Specialists to handle significant issues. However, as union membership drops, companies are shifting the bulk of labor relations responsibilities from experts to HR generalists. You can expect to be called upon for increasingly complex labor relations activities.

New Responsibilities for HR Professionals

In April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the number of positions available for Labor Relations Specialists will decline by 8% over the next few years. But cutting that median average salary of about $62,000 from their labor costs leaves employers in a bind. While it isn’t practical to hire a team of full-time experts to manage occasional organizing or labor issues, it is critical to be prepared when the threat of organizing comes up.

Many organizations are now relying on other HR staff to fill this gap, which means if you are an HR professional, you can be called upon to do the things companies once delegated to labor relations specialists. That includes keeping the company union-free by educating your workforce, addressing union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining, alternative dispute resolution, and so on.

This solution can be risky. Labor laws are complex, and it is easy for an otherwise experienced HR professional to make a mistake. In light of this, you may be considering going back to school for a labor relations degree, but there is an alternative to that time-consuming and expensive option. Comprehensive labor relations training in fast, easily accessible online modules is now available.

Creating a UnionProof Culture

UnionProof Certification is a mastery-level course in labor relations, designed for HR professionals. Learnings from decades of involvement in the labor relations field have been distilled into a 24-hour course to prepare HR staff for effectively managing common labor relations issues.

RELATED: Five Traits of a Union-Proof Culture

Developed by the UnionProof team at Projections, dedicated to improving the employer-employee relationship since 1979, UnionProof Certification provides an opportunity where there once was an expensive knowledge gap.  “The movement of labor relations duties has been shifting for several years now.  HR personnel are being tasked with picking up these responsibilities,” said Projections’ CEO Walter Orechwa. “Unfortunately for many of these HR professionals, through no fault of their own, their labor relations knowledge can’t stand up to an organizing campaign.”

Learning on the fly, during a union campaign is both risky and stressful – to say the least. The UnionProof team at Projections developed UnionProof Certification to help labor and HR professionals avoid that risk and while improving their own skillset and marketability. With UnionProof Certification, professionals can quick learning a complete set of labor skills in 24 modules via eLearning.

About the author

Jennifer Orechwa

In over 25 years of helping companies connect with their employees, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a UnionProof culture. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.