MCQ Chapter 7: Defining and Commencing Collective Bargaining
-union security provisions
-bargaining structure (who are the negotiating parties)
-what kind of people are on each negotiating team
-how to identify and prioritize concerns and desired outcomes
-legal deadlines for starting bargaining
-how the labour board can interfere with bargaining (bad faith complaints)
Opening vignette: Interest-based negotiation: approach to collective bargaining that focuses on process
and encourages creativity, information sharing, and participation. E.g. at Mount Allison University, they
negotiate by tell each other about their concerns and collectively come up with solutions. This involves
less prep work and allowed Mount Allison to reach an agreement in 4.5 days.
EFFECTS OF CERTIFICATION: Union security provisions Union security provision: contractual terms regarding changing various sections of the labour code to
ensure the union has sufficient resources to represent all members.
Dues check-off: Agreement from the union member/employee to allow the employer to take union
dues off their pay and direct them to the union. This saves the union trouble and ensures the dues will
be regular and timely.
Religious exemption: labour code of BC, Sask., Manitoba and Ontario, as well as the Canada Labour
Code says employees may opt out of being a union member if they can show participating would go
against their religious beliefs (not simply because they don’t like the union). The money that would have
gone to dues would be directed towards a registered charity of the union and employee’s choice.
Rand formula: Everyone needs to pay union dues. Employees may opt out of being a union member but
they’ll still need to pay union dues as every employee will benefit from the work of the union. This
model often supplements or replaces the religious exemption.
Closed shop/union shop model of employment: new employees must join the union and pay union
dues if they want the job. This prevents the employer from reducing the union’s membership by hiring
employees who won’t join the union.
Skilled trades and construction: these workers are required to be a part of the union before
applying for jobs because they tend to have to change jobs and employers a lot. These unions
often have hiring halls, where the employer can advertise job openings.
Alternatively, the union may hold meetings with applicants and try to match them to
Alternatively, the union may have a list of qualified union members and place members
with jobs based on senority.
Union provisions to expel members: if a member gets kicked out of the union (e.g. for not paying dues
or doing the work of another member on strike), they will be fired from the company too. This is to
encourage union members to be good members. Unions rarely kick people out because of the
consequences on the employee’s future employment, particularly because they won’t be hired at
another other unionized workplace either.
-once certification order is issued, the union and employer must begin collective bargaining, must
acknowledge each other’s role as bargaining reps
-the employee won’t be able to bargain individually about their working conditions anymore (or vice
FRAMEWORK FOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: STRUCTURE OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Defined by number of locations, unions and employers involved. Single union and single employer is the
most common structure The structure is outlined in the certification order.
Pattern bargaining/whipsawing: when the agreement reached between one employer and union group
is used to pressure other employers to agree to similar terms. To counter this, employers in the same
industry may band together and bargain as 1 (employer’s council).
-Was popular among unions and employers of the Canadian auto industry, but has been
suggested as the reason for the auto industry’s financial trouble in 2008-2009 (because of the
increasing labour costs) and thus may not be sustainable in this industry in the future.
Employer’s council: group of employers who want to bargain as a group. Need to be accredited by the
labour board. If an organization wants to leave the council, they need to apply to cancel the
accreditation before they are able to bargain individually
Bargaining council: group of unions that bargain as one. Do not need formal recognition by labour
-When multiple unions representing different employees of one employer decide to collectively
bargain, it may result in efficiency but also greater advantage to the unions. If one unit goes on
strike, the other units may show support and decide not to cross picket lines, which could lead
to work stoppage in the whole org. This is why the labour board is often reluctant to certify
small bargaining units within large workplaces.
PARTICIPANTS IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: THE UNION:
-executive of the union, because they have extensive knowledge of the union’s operations and of the
issues that are important to the members
-(elected) union members, because having ordinary members will assure the union members that actual
member issues will be addressed (not just the issues of the executives) and because they’ll know how
the proposed terms will affect the working life
-regional/national rep. (if the union is a local of a larger union), because they are usually experienced
negotiators and they know what terms the other locals have gotten and can ensure this local doesn’t get
anything worse than the others’ and set a bad precedence.
-Bargaining council member reps. (if the organization is a part of a council), so that each rep can update
-professional negotiators, researchers, and/or economists (if the negotiations involve a national
union/large employer), because they can help develop a strong strategy/tactic, provide industry
information to support the union’s proposal, and can calculate the impact of the proposed terms.
Executive/HR director: someone who knows the workplace conditions, often deals with the union, and
is familiar with the collective agreement and where changes should be made.
Financial officer: someone who knows the financial situations of the organization and will be able to
calculate whether the organization can afford the proposed terms.
Parent organization reps. (if the bargaining team is a unit of a larger org). Similar to unions, including a
rep from the parent company will lend negotiating expertise and ensure the terms agreed upon are
consistent with the other units of the organization.
Employer’s Council member reps. (if the organization is a part of a council), so that each rep can update
Professionals (negotiators, researchers, economists)
WHAT CAN THE PARTIES BARGAIN FOR?
Basically anything the parties care about, but most commonly discussed are wage, benefits, working
hours, procedures for hiring and promotions, and working conditions.
Management rights clause: specifies that management can establish procedures and policies regarding
issues not addressed in the agreement. Many collective agreements contain this.
Provincial and federal labour relations legislation says collective agreements must be effective for at
least 1 yr (to prevent the parties from wasting all their time bargaining), and prohibits terms that are
worse than legal minimum conditions an