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Contract Language and Interpretation

Course Number
LR205

Designed to instruct labor relations practitioners on how contract language and past practice may be interpreted by an arbitrator. Participants review a methodology for analyzing contract language disputes and identifying key contract clauses in CB agreements. There is a case study practice session in contract drafting and interpretation.

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Effective March 16, 2020, the educational programs scheduled to be delivered at our New York City facility will be moved to virtual delivery, where possible, or rescheduled. For those programs that do not lend themselves to a distance-education format, we will postpone them until we receive guidance from the University and public health officials that it is safe to hold those programs in-person. Please contact ilrcustomerservice@cornell.edu with any questions. We will provide updates as they become available from the University.

Schedule & Details

Course

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 the Contract Administration Studies certificate or the Collective Bargaining Studies certificate. They are also available as Labor Relations Customized Programs for your organization. 

Instructors

Instructor Icon
Ellen Gallin Procida

Customized Delivery

Schedule this program for your organization.

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Participants learn  how to develop a negotiating strategy and at-the-table best practices.  Program includes a full-day collective bargaining simulation in which participants negotiate in a small group setting against experienced labor relations professionals with ample opportunity for ongoing, real-time feedback and discussion.


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