Collective Agreement Management Rights
A clear and detailed management rights clause is the only way to ensure understanding and avoid permanent quarrels over small things. What on the one hand looks like a small thing can be huge on the other. Clarity in advance saves money and effort in the long run. There are some restrictions on employers negotiating terms and conditions of employment. While there is no basis in the law itself or in the debate in Congress created by the NRA, the Supreme Court has imposed certain restrictions on our rights. As might be expected, the restrictions favor the bosses. The Court decided that there should be mandatory subjects of negotiation and subjects of voluntary negotiation. The importance of the recognition clause in complaints about the award of subcontracts was highlighted in an arbitration procedure won by EU Local 715. The company had announced that it would subcontract road transport work to subcontractors and refused to negotiate with the union on the matter. When lodging a complaint, one of the articles invoked by the European Union was the recognition clause.
In awarding a victory to the union, the arbitrator noted that “the contract and jurisprudence under the National Labour Relations Act require the parties to bargain collectively if subcontracting results in the loss of jobs for bargaining unit members.” Yesterday, the NLRB abandoned this standard to adopt a “contractual coverage” standard that allows employers to take certain unilateral measures without continuing negotiations with the union for the duration of the CBA, if these rights appear to be granted by the management rights clause of the CBA or elsewhere in the CBA. One of the most important complaints you`ll hear from employers with unionized staff is that it`s so difficult to implement minor policy changes during the term of a collective agreement. There are some who try, but they are usually incomprehensible to mortals. That is why, in the Treaties, there are generally two clauses which are fundamentally general. One of them is the “administrative rights” clause, which defines some of the general rights available to management. The other is the “recognition clause” which defines the rights of the Union and the obligation for management to deal with the Union. I like the more detailed version of the management rights clause. This tends to confirm that a topic has been discussed during collective bargaining and, as a practitioner, I have found that this is useful for the formation of the Union and an arbitrator. . . .