Cornell University

Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution

456 ILR Research Building, 607-255-9298

Contract Language and Interpretation LR205

$ 995.00

Select the session you'd like to attend

A collective bargaining agreement is a living document referred to by the parties involved on a daily basis. Whether they are administering contract language or proposing language at the bargaining table, this workshop is designed to provide labor relations practitioners with a solid, practical understanding of what contract language means and how it will likely be interpreted by an arbitrator in the event of a contract language dispute. This one-day workshop covers:

  • A methodology for analyzing contract language disputes
  • Standards used by arbitrators in contract interpretation cases
  • Key contract clauses in collective bargaining agreements

Key Topics

  • Principles of contract interpretation
    • Determining how language is construed
    • Arbitrators' views on contract language
  • The role and impact of past practice
    • Standards for defining/proving a binding past practice
    • The impact of past practice on the meaning of contract language
    • Termination of a past practice
  • Preserving management's rights
    • Understanding the source of management's rights
    • How management's rights can be affected by contract language or past practices
    • How arbitrators view the doctrine of reserved rights
  • Drafting contract language
    • How to write contract language that means what you intended
    • Common drafting mistakes

Special Features

Case study practice in contract interpretation and drafting and the opportunity to hear an arbitrator's view

Who Will Benefit

Labor relations/human resource professionals involved in the administration or negotiation of collective bargaining agreements

Open enrollment workshops can be taken individually or as part of a certificate in Contract Administration Studies or Collective Bargaining Studies. They are also available as Labor Relations Customized Programs for your organization.


Jacquelin F. Drucker, Esq., Arbitrator and Attorney at Law, Jacqueline F. Drucker, Esq., has years of experience in labor relations and employment law, having served as a management-side attorney, a union lobbyist, and in various positions at the Ohio Employment Relations Board. She authored the treatise Collective Bargaining Law in Ohio, is editor-in-chief of ADR in Employment Law, and is chair of the NYSBA Labor and Employment Law Section.

Dan McCray, Esq., Director of Labor Relations Programs and Deputy Director, Cornell University's Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, develops and administers Conflict Resolution, Labor Relations and Municipal Recovery programs at Cornell ILR School and the Scheinman Institute in New York City. Mr. McCray practiced Labor, Education and Municipal Law for 15 years in New York City, Nassau County and the District of Columbia, and served as Director of Labor Relations for DC Public Schools, Nassau County, and the New York City Department of Education.