1. Are Management Rights Clauses Required in a Collective Agreement


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The language of management rights can be general and at the same time clear and unambiguous. In this case, the parties agreed that Graymont reserves the right “to issue and enforce rules and regulations, as well as policies and procedures.” No reasonable person reading this wording could conclude that Graymont`s right to unilateral action extends to rules, regulations, policies and procedures that affect some issues but not others. On Friday, Factory Superintendent Cotton Mather addressed Union Shop President Sam Bellemy: “Sam, I just wanted to let you know that as of Monday, radios will no longer be allowed in the plant.” “What is it?” asked Sam. “I thought we had solved all the problems with the radios; Did anyone play too hard? “It`s just that the big bosses feel like they`re distracting. People need to pay more attention to their work,” Cotton said. Sam thought for a minute, “Well, I think we need to file a complaint.” “Under no circumstances,” Cotton said, “there is nothing in the contract to listen to the radios, and the management rights clause says we have the right to operate the plant.” A. No. MV Transportation`s contract listed several broad areas in which the employer retained exclusive control, including “schedules,” “hours of work,” “transfers,” and “the adoption of reasonable work rules.” A contractual clause that does not list mandatory bargaining issues as a management right should not be interpreted as allowing for unilateral changes. One of the biggest complaints you`ll hear from employers with unionized workforces is that it`s so difficult to implement minor policy changes during the term of a collective agreement. For example, the employer may want to implement a new safety policy to address a recent increase in workplace accidents that could have been avoided if employees had worn the required PPE (personal protective equipment). The employer is adding a new provision to the PSE rule that requires employees caught without PPE to undergo a mandatory retraining program in the first place and be disciplined for any subsequent violations, including dismissal. With respect to management`s right to issue a new attendance policy, the CBA granted the employer the following rights, but the NLRB noted that this clause was not a clear and unequivocal waiver of the right to negotiate new disciplinary measures: one union was concerned that its clause on contractual management rights could be interpreted as a waiver of negotiations, should try to get new contractual language: perhaps by adding a sentence confirming that the union is not giving up its right to bargain.

If this is not possible, consider sending a letter to management during contract negotiations stating that the union does not consider the existing management rights clause to be a waiver of its NLRA bargaining rights. There are several lessons to be learned from the NLRB`s decision in Graymont: (1) With the current NLRB, no management rights clause is so strong that it is prudent to rely on it without examining the history of the negotiations; (2) not to respond or refuse to respond to a request for information, even if there is no relevant information or if you otherwise believe that there is no obligation to respond; (3) Be very careful when drafting responses to complaints and other correspondence with the union to include any possible arguments you may have under the contract; and (4) work with a lawyer to ensure that you have taken all steps to submit the charges to arbitration, remove the matter from the hands of the NLRB and place them in the hands of an arbitrator. On the 29th. In June 2016, the NLRB as a whole announced its decision in Graymont PA, Inc., 364 N.L.R.B No. 37 by a 3-1 vote. The employer was accused of violating section 8(a)(5) of the National Labour Relations Act (the Act) by enacting new disciplinary measures, including a new attendance policy, during the term of its collective agreement (CBA) and allegedly refusing to provide the information requested by the union. Council (1) did not find any clear and unequivocal waiver of the management rights clause of the union`s right to negotiate the new attendance policy and other new rules; (2) have concluded that the employer violated the National Industrial Relations Act by refusing to respond to a request for information when it did not have addressable information; and (3) refused to submit the matter to arbitration. .