MGHC53H3 Chapter 8: Collective Agreement Administration (Hebdon & Brown)

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Management (MGH)

H&B Chapter 8 - Collective Agreement Administration Role and Layout of a Collective Agreement - The collective agreement (CA) is the agreement between the union representing all workers included in the bargaining unit (ie union members and non-members) and the employer - The role of the agreement is to establish clear rules and procedures governing both workplace practises and the relationship between the parties - Most CA are similar in nature - CA can range from small pieces of paper to be carried in the pocket to online versions on YouTube - A CA includes: - A cover page - A table of contents - Articles - CA are divided into a number of articles, each covering a certain workplace issue - An article is a larger section of a CA - Generally each article is numbered and has a heading - Sections - Within an article, there might be a number of sub-areas, called clauses or sections, also usually numbered - A section (or clause) is a specific section of an article - Appendix/Schedules - Provide specific information - Letter of understanding - A letter of understanding usually describes a specific practise the parties have agreed to follow Type of Clauses - The clauses found in CA are fairly consistent - The federal government grouped CA language into several groupings - The rights of parties - The organization of work - Labour relations process - Education, training, and development - Working conditions Rights of Parties Recognition of Union Security - Unions often seek CA language that provides some form of union security (e.g. dues check-off, union shop, closed shop, Rand formula) - There might also be language regarding leave for union business and restrictions on management’s ability to contract out as a way to ensure union member security - Example of a CA between Ivaco Rolling Mills and the United Steelworkers (2012) Management Rights - Under the principle of residual rights, management maintains all rights and privileges it held before unionization, with the exception of rights restricted by the union (and of course, now illegal under changes in legislation) - Thus not all agreements have these clauses as some employers feel they are unnecessary - Other employers will seek to negotiate such clauses to emphasize their rights - In addition, a number of employers have included language concerning drug/alcohol testing, selection tests, or performance tests Employee Rights/Security - These clauses include language concerning anti discrimination, substance abuse, recreational and health services, and childcare/eldercare programs - In general there are 2 types of equity clauses found in agreements - Legislative reference is an equity clause in CA that references legislation - Explicit reference is an equity clause in CA that specifies which groups are covered - Some insight into why parties would choose to use a legislative reference rather than the more detailed, explicit reference clause - Some argue that the legislation reference is preferred as it ensures that the agreement is current with the law - Others argue, that explicit reference is better because (1) most managers, union leaders, and employees look to their CA for guidance on these issues, and the lack of specifics would not meet this need; (2) explicitly referencing specific groups ensures that these groups remain protected by law if the law changes; and (3) the parties may feel that they wish to include a group not covered by legislation Desired Relationship - In some agreements, the parties will set out expectations concerning the desired, positive relationship between the parties Organization of Work Technological Change - The union desires technological change language in their agreement to protect workers from potentially negative impacts of new technology - CA language may include elements such as the union being notified of the change, any restrictions concerning layoffs, any employer requirements concerning employee training for new jobs/equipments =, and any wage protection for employees (often called red circling) who might be demoted and/or moved to a lower-paying position as a direct result of technological change Distribution of Work - These clauses examine issues concerning job rotation, job sharing, teams/workgroups, and flexibility in work assignment - As many workplaces seek increased flexibility in work assignment and the organization of work in their workplaces Labour Relations Grievance and Arbitration - The right to a grievance procedure is not a requirement under common law - Thus most agreements have specific language related to grievances and arbitration - Grievance language is very important to all parties but can also be very complicated to follow Participate Mechanisms and Bargaining Methods - Some parties include language to address specific issues rather than wait for the next round of collective bargaining - Ie defining that members of the committee and sets the expectations that the employer (Hydro One) and the union (The Society of Energy Professionals) will negotiate in good faith to resolve issues quickly Health and Safety Committees - Building on the previous theme of participatory mechanisms, joint health and safety committees are required by law - Many CA include language on the role of such committees including: committee membership, roles, record keeping, and pay Education, Training, and Employee Development - Unionized workers often have increased access to workplace training, thus many CA contain specific language about leaves for education, repayment of educational expenses, access to training, the employer’s ability to provide multi-skill training, contributions to a training fund, and apprenticeship training programs - Multi-skill training is training that provides employees with a variety of skills, some of which may not normally be part of their job Repayment of Educational Expenses - Language may discuss issues related to paid vs
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