Institute links

Labor Relations Institute schedule

The preliminary schedule for the Institute is shown below. Check back frequently for agenda updates.

Wednesday, May 1

Noon – 6:30 pm


1 – 4 pm

Optional early start sessions – included in Institute registration.

Basics of bargaining
This half-day session offers a condensed overview of public sector collective bargaining in Washington, from the arrival of labor unions, to the bargaining process, to the administration of the contract. It is a must for those new to bargaining and a great refresher for seasoned professionals. Topics include mandatory and permissive subjects of bargaining, selecting comparables, roles for elected officials, unfair labor practices, and what happens when the parties can’t agree.

Leading a culture of trust and compassion
Rebuild relationships and infuse the workplace culture with trust, respect and compassion.

Lean insights for making work flow: On your desk, for your team, and throughout your organization
Appreciate Lean management as a framework for integrating various elements of organizational excellence.

4:15 – 5:45 pm

Optional early start plenary session – included in Institute registration.

All that’s new and fit to print
Last year’s hot topic mash-up Q&A session returns. Join the team from Summit Law Group as they discuss a range of current labor and employment topics of interest to public sector employers. Audience members are invited to ask panelists their toughest questions in a no-holds-barred Q&A session.

5:45 – 7:15 pm

Welcome reception
Enjoy catching up with friends over drinks and light appetizers.


Thursday, May 2

7:30 am – 5:30 pm


7:45 – 8:45 am
Breakfast provided

Networking breakfast (provided with registration)

9 – 10:15 am

Opening general session

CooperCoyte2018Earn the right: 4 core habits to achieve high purpose, passion and potential (HP3) in business and life
This one-of-a-kind high performance keynote is custom designed to help leaders and proactive professionals “Earn the Right” to achieve extraordinary outcomes in the key areas of their lives.

Coyte Cooper is a bestselling author, executive coach, and international motivational keynote speaker who specializes in high performance and empowering people to live to their highest potential. He specializes in creating transformational systems and strategies that are designed to help leaders, radically improve their balance, clarity, ENERGY, motivation and vision so they can cultivate MASSIVE results in their lives.

10:15 am – 7 pm

Exhibit open

10:15 – 10:30 am


10:30 am – Noon

Concurrent sessions

2019 PERC update
Regularly the fastest 90 minutes at LRI, this presentation tours all of the cases of note issued by the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) over the past year.

Drug and alcohol testing scenarios: Common mistakes, and how to fix them
Understand industry requirements and best practices related to employer oversight of drug & alcohol testing/collection site personnel, facilities, and equipment.

Vision blueprinting: Creating a powerful plan to drive productivity and potential in your life
This breakout session is custom designed to help leaders and proactive professionals create a Vision Blueprint that drives productivity and potential in the key areas of their lives.

Washington Paid Family & Medial Leave overview
Learn how local governments can prepare to implement this mandatory program in the presentation by the Washington State Employment Security Department.

Noon – 1:15 pm
Lunch provided

Networking lunch (provided with registration)

1:15 – 2:45 pm

Concurrent sessions

Preparing for, defending against, and (sometimes) filing ULPs
An overview of PERC unfair labor practices (ULPs), including the underlying legal theories, procedural steps for both filing and defending against ULPs, the format of the hearing, and potential remedies should you win or lose.

TOP SECRET: How to improve your chances in grievance arbitration – Introduction to grievance responses
Analyze and answer grievances, with an eye toward prevailing at labor arbitration. Special emphasis will be placed on what an employer must establish to “win” the grievance.

Trends in cannabis use
Understand the general trends in THC use and potency overtime. Identify the trends in medical marijuana laws versus recreational marijuana laws.

WWYFF goals: Building desirable outcomes that drive “Unreasonable” results in your business and life
This interactive session will guide attendees through a simple process so they are able to identify desirable outcomes with a powerful WHY that drives behavior on a consistent daily basis.

2:45 – 3 pm


3 – 4:30 pm

Concurrent sessions

Diversity playbook: Working together to create a respectful workplace
This informative program uses dynamic scenarios, humor and war stories to explore how and where to draw the line between appropriate and inappropriate behavior in our quest to create a sustainably respectful workplace.

The impact of past practice on collective bargaining with police and fire unions
Discover why past practice is a particularly important concept (and wildly overused term) in police and fire labor relations.

Negotiate mutual benefit labor agreements for a more sustainable personnel system
Learn from a veteran local government manager/negotiator and City of Sequim staff the fundamentals of negotiating mutual benefit to build partnerships with labor and improve services and the health of your organization.

The right to representation in workplace inquiries (repeated on Friday)
Know when and why Weingarten rights apply, and how to avoid related pitfalls of misapplication.

5 – 7 pm

Exhibit reception
Engage with colleagues and exhibit vendors over drinks and light appetizers.


Friday, May 3

7:30 am – Noon


7 – 8:45 am
Breakfast provided

Networking breakfast (provided with registration)

8 – 8:45 am

Optional early-riser roundtables

Legislative update

AWC Employee Benefit Trust update

AWC Workers' Comp Retro Program update

AWC Risk Management Service Agency update

AWC Drug & Alcohol Consortium update

8:45 – 9 am


9 – 10:15 am

Concurrent sessions

Costing contracts: A primer on practices
Work through the fundamentals and the details of costing a collective bargaining agreement to prepare for and conduct your contract negotiations.

Countdown to full Paid Family and Medical Leave implementation
Session will cover what is known to date and what open issues remain. In addition to receiving a summary of the basic elements of this new law.

Legal guidance for wellness program in 2019 – They changed the rules (again)
An overview of federal wellness program regulations, including critical changes to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s regulations under the ADA and GINA.

TOP SECRET: How to improve your chances in grievance arbitration – Advanced grievance responses
Take a deeper dive into more advanced issues involving grievance responses.

10:15 – 10:30 am


10:30 – 11:45 am

Concurrent sessions

Are you talking to me? Foster understanding through improved team communication
This engaging and interactive program is for all those who would like to improve their communication skills and whose success depends on their team’s ability to communicate and work well together.

How to build a solid (and defensible) workplace investigation
A step by step guide to performing investigations in-house and avoiding unnecessary legal fees.

Labor leader panel discussion
In this panel discussion attendees will hear from Washington’s public-sector labor leaders on working with unions, the future of labor, and the new (and old) challenges of public sector bargaining.

The right to representation in workplace inquiries (repeated from Thursday)
Know when and why Weingarten rights apply, and how to avoid related pitfalls of misapplication.



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